Many governments around the world are introducing eInvoicing as a way to drive digitisation of the small business economy, with some regions even mandating its use. While it’s still early days in the UK, we expect that eInvoicing will eventually become a global best practice standard and a natural part of the cloud accounting process.
Today, we’re excited to share that we are the first major small business accounting software company to launch eInvoicing in the UK. In the months ahead, you’ll be able to receive your monthly Xero subscription bill as an eInvoice, with the ability to send eInvoices to follow, as the adoption of eInvoicing in the UK increases.
To start receiving your Xero subscription bills as an eInvoice, you’ll need to register to receive eInvoices in Xero. It’s easy and free with your Xero subscription.
What is eInvoicing?
Most businesses create an invoice and send the PDF via email, or use a word processing software like Microsoft Word and post a hard copy in the mail. However, the customer still needs to open the invoice when it’s received and either scan or manually enter the data into their accounting system.
This is time consuming and can lead to errors, such as entering the wrong invoice amount or bank account, or sending the invoice to the wrong contact. Businesses can spend valuable time chasing customers for payment, which may impact their cash flow.
eInvoicing helps reduce errors and delays, by sending an invoice directly from the business’ accounting system into the accounting system of their customer. The invoice arrives as a pre-populated bill, ready to be approved and paid.
How it works
When a business sends an eInvoice, it’s transferred directly to their customer via a secure eInvoicing network. There are a number of eInvoicing networks globally. Xero uses the Peppol network, which has been adopted by the UK government as well as other countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
The beauty of eInvoicing is that the business and customer don’t need to be using the same accounting software, because the international standards used by Peppol allow the two accounting systems to ‘speak’ to each other.
To access an eInvoicing network, both the business and customer need an access point. Xero has been investing in eInvoicing for a number of years, and acquired a technology business called Tickstar in 2021, which allows us to host our own access points and not rely on third-party providers.
What it means for you
At first, you’ll just be able to receive eInvoices in Xero. In the second phase, you’ll be able to send eInvoices as well. Once you’re able to both send and receive eInvoices, and more businesses join the network, it will offer a number of benefits for your business or practice:
- It will save you from having to manually email or post PDF invoices, and scan or enter bills into Xero
- The real-time delivery of invoices into your customer or client’s accounting software means there will be no delays and you can get paid faster
- eInvoices will help you track your bills in Xero without any manual data entry, so you can better understand and manage your cash flow
- By eliminating human intervention, it will improve security and reduce the risk of invoice tampering via email
- It will reduce bookkeeping admin and time spent chasing documents, so you can spend more time focusing on higher value tasks for customers or clients
Leading the way in eInvoicing
Xero is the largest digital service provider of eInvoicing in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. We’re committed to driving the adoption of this exciting technology in the UK, and hope that other organisations see the value in this powerful tool to help small businesses save time, get paid faster and better manage their cash flow.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of eInvoicing right away? You can now register to receive eInvoices in Xero, including your Xero subscription bill. It’s easy and free with your Xero subscription.