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Moving away from paper invoicies to electronic invoices isn’t just about delivering business efficiency and the automation of business processes. It’s as much about eliminating paper and saving the planet – right? And in places like Mexico where e-invoicing is soon to be compulsory, we should see a dramatic improvement in the carbon footprint of finance departments all over the country shouldn't we?. What will happen to printer sales? Will printer manufacturers go out of business? And what about print supplies? It’s ironic but, as a direct result of the introduction of mandated e-invoices, there may well be a boom in printer sales in Mexico.

PodCast Pete2Last week I met Ed Berger for the first time. It was gratifying to find out how much we had in common. We've both been operating in the same P2P space for longer than we'd care to admit and it is always interesting to compare notes with people with a similar heritage. Ed heads up the sales function at Nipendo but he's not what you'd expect from a sales guy. Very much the expert consultant, it is clear that he is passionate about his role. We chatted for about 20 minutes explaining to one another how we ended up in B2B technology and discussing how the predictions of 15 years ago are only just beginning to materialise. You can listen in to the edited version of the conversation by hitting the play button above.

Governments in many countries are considering how best to capitalize on the opportunities that electronic invoices present. Some countries like Brazil and Mexico have used the force of law to insist on the use of electronic invoices - other countries have mandated that suppliers to public sector use e-invoices. But some of the biggest economies in the world, notably Germany, the UK and the United States seem hesitant. Perhaps they don't want to interfere too closely in commerce. Maybe it's the fear of the bureaucracy of new legislation that puts them off. It could be lack of political will. But by providing no encouragement or leadership, these governments are depriving their economies of literally $billions in efficiency and liquidity and as a stakeholder in this, I'd like to propose a three point plan to persuade businesses to use electronic invoices.

It's clearly the right thing to do. So why isn't everybody doing it? I'm going to have to come clean. I was, for years, one of those people that was reluctant to recycle. I wasn't a global warming skeptic or anything like that. My formative years were in the 1970's when we thought the oil was about to run out. Green was good and what is now called sustainable energy sources were seen as the way of the future. I have a scientific education so when I hear that a large majority of scientists agree that there is an urgent need to control carbon emissions I don't think twice about ignoring the conspiracy theorists and crackpots that claim we can carry on regardless. So why was I reluctant to recycle? Why was I not in the least bit motivated to turn off my standby lights? And why do I love plastic bags? And what's any of it got to do with electronic invoicing?

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