Electronic invoicing has many environmental benefits. For we have set ourselves the goal of making this company a little greener every month.
Starting on 30. June 2019, we have changed to electronic invoicing. We now send our invoices by email to all customers who have consented to this. In doing so, we have left it up to our customers to decide which variant they want to choose.
In the following we we explain what advantages we see in this practice.
Electronic invoice vs paper invoice
Since the Law on Simplifying Tax was introduced in Germany in 2011, invoices may be sent not only in printed, but also in electronic form. For electronic invoicing the same rules apply as for invoicing on paper. This means for example that incoming as well as outgoing invoices have to be conserved for 10 years. Invoices also have to be clearly readable during the entire conservation period, and both their origin and their content must be evident. Besides the fact that much paper can be saved this way, which helps our sustainable way of working, there are other advantages that electronic invoicing entails.
What advantages does electronic invoicing have?
Correspondence by email has largely replaced postal correspondence in the past years. Emails reach their recipient within seconds while a letter takes at least one to two business days, even up to three days to Austria. We can communicate and react faster by email.
Another aspect is that we send digital invoices directly to the right contact person if we have received a dedicated email address from them. This reduces misdirected mail, saves time and money, and no more discount periods are missed.
It is furthermore possible to accelerate the release process as the responsible parties have faster access to a digital invoice document.
Archiving all invoices is also easier and more straightforward, and they are faster to access if one wishes to look at them again at a later point in time.
It takes just one click in the mail client to send an electronic invoice.
It does not have to be printed out or archived in a physical folder. The electronic invoice remains securely stored on a PC or server employing hard drives and backups.
This has a decisive cost benefit as the user saves much money using digital invoicing, the expenses for letter postage, printer ink and toner, paper, and folders. Looking at a whole business year, this amounts to a lot of money.
The EU Commission estimates the cost of paper invoicing to be about 64.5 billions of Euro per year. For the single company this signifies a possible cost reduction of 20% to 35% regarding invoice processing.
In our case, we have actually been able to save 25% of the monthly printed-out and posted invoices.
An important contribution to the protection of the environment, as 7.5 kg of wood, 130 liters of water and 26.8 kilowatt hours of energy are required for the production of a standard package of copy paper (500 sheets DIN A4, 2.3 kg). (Source: www.pro-regenwald.de)
Of course, we know that increasing digitization is also taking its toll. The World Wide Web is certainly not CO2-neutral. On the contrary, it produces a lot of it, because the servers that run it need electricity. But for every argument there is a counter-argument, and wood is not an infinitely available resource.
This brings us another step closer to our goal of becoming a little greener every month.
Please also read about our other W.R. Lang goes green! projects:
Become more digital, too – please provide us with your email address for invoices!
In order to receive your invoices as fast as possible by email simply advise us of the email mailbox we can send your invoices to in the future. You can use our form and send the completed form back to us by email or fax.