The public sector e-invoicing in Estonia is celebrating its first anniversary

  • 2020-07-05
  • Heikki Sal-Saller

During the year, Estonian state agencies have received 370,000 e-invoices.

On July 1, one year has passed since the state of Estonia started accepting only e-invoices. With this, the state has been a pioneer in the transition to modern settlement solutions in Estonia; in a year, state agencies have received 370,000 e-invoices from their cooperation partners. Financial technology company Fitek, the operator of e-invoices for state agencies, estimates that the share of e-invoices received by the public sector has more than tripled, reaching 98%.

Marek Ilves, Head of the Business Software Development Department of the State Shared Service Centre: “the State Shared Service Centre serves 163 public sector institutions, and the transition to e-invoicing has increased the quality of data for our customers while reducing the state's costs in processing invoices. The fully automated e-invoicing process eliminates errors that may occur due to manual entry, the delivery of invoices is guaranteed, and duplicate invoices will not be processed. Costs for the invoice processing environment service have been reduced by about 45% due to the fact that it is no longer necessary to pay for the invoice digitization service."

Andrus Kaarelson, CEO of Fitek, is of the opinion that the country's decision to fully switch to e-invoicing from July 2019 is very positive in the view of global trends. Many countries are planning or already taking the same step. Estonia's advantage is technological readiness, the multiplicity of sending and receiving solutions.

“We are moving towards universal e-invoicing in Estonia. The state's example is gradually reaching the private sector, where the share of accepting e-invoices has grown to 38 percent over the year. We will probably see more growth by the beginning of 2021. We have experience from the corona spring when the need for teleworking solutions increased by leaps and bounds,” says Kaarelson.

According to Kaarelson, the bold decision of the state can be visualized numerically: In the first month, e-invoicing reached 98%, the rest belongs to cross-border PDF invoices. Fitek sees that foreign countries are also interested in sending e-invoices to the Estonian public sector through special solutions and the standard international PEPPOL connection. "For our part, we also expect other service providers to pay more attention to the PEPPOL network and e-invoices," he added.

Andres Lilleste, Fiteki business manager: “Fitek has created a solution for companies to send e-invoices to the state. Last May, we launched a new service to make sending e-invoices more convenient from business to the public sector (B2G), business to business (B2B) and business to private persons (B2C). Over the year, the service has been used by more than 13,000 institutions and companies, more than 100,000 invoices have been sent, of which 87% have been e-invoices. The rest are PDF invoices sent by e-mail. Three-quarters of e-invoices have been sent from companies to the state."

Fitek Group 

Fitek Group, which offers financial technology solutions, operates in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fitek Group employs 280 people and has a turnover of over 21 million euros. Fitek is owned by the Belgian financial technology company Unifiedpost.