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New consortium built in Estonia for invoicing between companies


EUR 80 million savings for state and private companies

Itella Information, the largest invoice handling company in Estonia, in cooperation with Swedbank and economy software producer HansaWorld have established a consortium to enable a paper-free full digital invoicing system for companies. Itella Information estimates up to EUR 80 million in savings for state and private companies making the changeover to full electronic invoicing.

Estonian companies and individuals increasingly prefer electronic invoicing. About 25% of Estonians have switched to e-invoicing, being the first in Europe. Sending invoices through e-mail has been popular in Estonia for a long time. The new system allows exchanging invoices between the information systems of companies.

- Our goal is to make sending and receiving invoices more effective. Calculations show that companies are able to save up to 20% of their accounting expenses. We expect to multiply the number of companies using digital invoicing in 2009. In five years, half of the invoices in the private sector will go from the info system of the sender to the recipients', says Ahti Allikas, Executive Manager of Itella Information.

The clients of Itella Information using e-invoicing today are Tele2, Swedbank Leasing, G4S, Estravel, and Ensto, among others. This environment is open to new clients as well.

According to Karin Lamp, Head of Corporate Product Management Division of Swedbank Estonia, the e-invoicing system has several advantages.

- The new system enables sending invoices to other banks as well, and the administration is very convenient in our Internet bank for business clients. We are glad that e-invoicing is becoming more popular. Last year more, than 1.5 million invoices were sent via Swedbank, says Lamp. 

Fully digital invoicing saves a great deal on expenses. Calculations have shown that the public sector in Denmark has saved up to 150 million EUR per year after making the changeover to electronic invoicing. Swedish Financial Inspectorate ESV, which coordinates the infrastructure of e-invoicing, has set a goal to save EUR 365 million within five years. The European Commission forecasts EUR 18 billion savings after making the total changeover to an electronic invoicing system.

The most important factor influencing expenses is saving time. Research has shown that digital administration of an invoice is up to five times shorter compared to paper invoice administration. Another important fact is that the electronic system is much more beneficial for the environment. Research in Finland and Sweden has shown that using e-invoices can reduce up to 90% in carbon dioxide emissions compared to paper invoices. The Swedish Royal Institute of Technology has shown that carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced in Sweden by approximately 40,000 tons per year with the help of e-invoicing.

For more information, contact:

Ahti Allikas, Executive Manager of Itella Information, firstname.lastname@itella.com

Itella Information boosts the efficiency of financial information flows and leads the way in electronic invoicing in Europe.  Services comprise solutions for the efficient processing of incoming invoices within the organisation, and for cost-effective sending of invoices, electronically or on paper. Itella Information operates in 15 European countries with a staff of circa 2,000 professionals. Net sales in 2008 amounted to EUR 247 million. Itella Information business group is part of Itella Group. For further information, please visit www.itella.com/informationlogistics.