New e-invoicing regulations come into force in Turkey – so what?

New e-invoicing regulations come into force in Turkey – so what?

Posted by Pete Loughlin in AP Automation, e-invoicing, Electronic Invoicing 04 Jan 2014

“As new Turkish e-Invoicing regulations come into force in January 2014, two leading service providers have partnered to bring world-class electronic invoicing to Turkey.”

So says the press release that many of you will have read over the past few days about OB10 and Digital Planet. But how big a deal is this? What is the significance of the Turkish regulation change? If you look into it, it seems only to effect a few corporations – those that trade in alcohol, tabacco and gasoline. Will it have a major impact or is this really just the Turkish Government piloting a concept or seeking to control industries within which tax evasion is common?

As an outsider, it’s easy to jump to these conclusions so rather than relying on my limited knowledge and intuition on this subject, I spoke to an insider, Adnan Vural, CEO of Digital Planet, who was able to demystify things for me. The new regime in Turkey I learned, is no pilot exercise.

Purchasing Insight logoBusinesses with turnover greater than 25 million Turkish Lira are effected and that threshold will be halved at the end of 2014. The rules only apply to companies that trade in alcohol, tobacco and gasoline – at least that ‘s the way the headlines read. But in fact, the rules actually capture many more businesses because it’s not just companies in those industries that need to comply.

Any business that trades with any of those businesses in the specified industries is impacted. And that means any kind of trade too. Adnan put it succinctly: “It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. If your revenue is big enough and you buy chewing gum from a gas station, you are trading with one of those industries and you have to implement e-invoicing.”

The regulations may give the impression that Turkey is just scratching the surface but when you look a little deeper, the intention is clear. Turkey is serious about e-invoicing.

And so the new alliance between OB10, now part of Tungsten Corporation plc, and Digital Planet, Turkey’s leading e-Invoicing solution provider, is a big deal. It will enable companies to comply with the regulations and automate their invoicing processes.

What does each party bring to the table? Digital Planet is one of the first certified service providers in Turkey and it helps companies that are required to adopt e-Invoicing to integrate with the government’s new system without changing their invoicing flows. OB10 enables companies to simplify their invoice processing, reduce operational costs and improve cash-flow management. As part of Tungsten Corporation, it also aims to offer invoice discounting to Turkish suppliers and generate substantial cost savings for buying organisations through spend analytics.

“Our partnership will help organisations meet their regulatory requirements and streamline their processes,” said Edmund Truell, Group CEO at Tungsten Corporation. “Automated invoice processing also allows companies to take advantage of early payment discounts and improve payment performance.”

“OB10 is a global giant in e-Invoicing and has been delivering purchase-to-pay automation solutions to the world’s largest companies since 2000,” said Digital Planet CEO Adnan Vural. “By presenting our services through a common platform, our alliance combines our local experience with global practices. We are proud that OB10 has chosen to work with Digital Planet after an extensive search in Turkey.”

The intention of the Turkish regulation change is to create a win-win between the Ministry of finance and Turkish businesses. The Ministry of Finance aims to close the gap from lost taxation, while companies can strengthen their invoicing practices, invoice data analysis and supplier relations. It’s another example of a government mandating what many see as plain common sense and it provides another example that other, tardier governments, can consider following.

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

  • Markus Hornburg January 20, 2014 at 11:40 am /

    What I still find remarkable Pete, is that more and more countries are looking at improving their VAT collection. Just recently, not just Turkey but also Indonesia and Vietnam have announced their e-Invoicing programs – all with the same purpose. Brazil, Mexico are both far ahead with their implementation of real-time auditing.
    It is funny that the EU is still looking at “business process improvements” to justify next steps in implementing electronic invoicing. One could argue, explaining business process improvement is not necessarily the area of expertise of politicians.
    I remember someone from Mexico asking me recently, “why on Earth is the EU commission trying to understand the benefits of electronic invoices to trading companies instead of focusing on their Governments improving their VAT collection?”
    Maybe it were easier if the EU simply issued a mandate to use electronic invoices for all companies in the 28 member states and rely on the existing processes, applications and service providers in the various nations to deliver it.

  • Ellen Leith January 21, 2014 at 10:16 am /

    I think it’s difficult to generalise. The reasons why one country needs to step up their tax collection capabilities are not going to be the same for another. The case for raising audit visibility in countries where previously it’s been opaque, is going to be pretty compelling and necessary. In countries where the system works, but it’s perhaps not as efficient as it could be – you’re going to need to add another element to your argument, and I guess that “something else” is process improvement, the by-product of which is obviously cost and time savings.

    You’re right about that not necessarily being an area of expertise for politicians, but I think most of them would shy away from promoting a methodology based solely on what could be seen as self-serving reasons.

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