Singapore Encourages the Use of E-Invoicing With Peppol (Everything You Need to Know)

Peppol e-invoicing in Singapore is governed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). As the Peppol authority, the IMDA ensures that businesses comply with Peppol billing interoperability specifications (BIS Billing 3.0) and licenses the access point service providers.

Through the IMDA, the country has 11 access points and is expanding its digital trade with Australia through a cross-border e-invoicing agreement.

Since Singapore joined the global Peppol network, more businesses are signing up via the country’s InvoiceNow network. This is especially for organizations contracted by government agencies. These organizations are compelled to satisfy the country-specific e-invoice requirements for successful processing and payment.

To help you understand why e-invoicing is such a big deal, we will discuss everything you need to know about Peppol e-invoicing in Singapore.

By the end of this article, you’ll have clarity about e-invoicing rules and how to exchange Peppol e-invoices with businesses in Singapore.

Let’s get to it!



What is Peppol e-invoicing in Singapore?

Peppol e-invoicing in Singapore is exchanging electronic invoices through the Peppol network. It is regulated by the IMDA, the first Peppol Authority set up outside Europe.

IMDA adopted Peppol e-invoicing in 2019. This e-invoicing network is part of the global Peppol E-invoicing network that allows businesses to send and receive e-invoices globally.

Through IMDA, Singapore became the first country outside Europe to adopt e-invoicing.

When IMDA launched the e-invoicing network, it had 11 access point providers. One of them is Storecove access point solutions.

In the same year, an accreditation solution called Peppol Ready was created. By January 2020, fifty businesses had been accredited as Peppol Ready Solution providers.

The country’s e-invoicing network is currently known as InvoiceNow. Suppliers prefer to use InvoiceNow as the preferred channel for submitting invoices.

In 2020, through the E-invoicing Registration Grant (ERG), the Singapore government introduced a strategy for incentivizing businesses to enlist in the e-invoicing network.

Joining the Peppol network would help businesses:

  • Increase their efficiency - you can send invoices overseas and process them quicker
  • Help get paid much faster - a standardized invoicing system makes processing and validation faster.
  • Lower the cost of manual handling of invoices and storage
  • Eliminate the need for paper and have a positive environmental impact

Is e-invoicing mandatory?

E-invoicing is not mandatory in Singapore. However, the country has made steps to incentivize organizations to join the Peppol-network through the country’s specific InvoiceNow network.

With InvoiceNow, suppliers to government agencies no longer need to extract data from their accounting systems and format it as an email-based or paper-based invoice.

This was a time-consuming process for contracting organizations who had to scan or enter the information manually into their accounting system for processing.

InvoiceNow allows businesses to send e-invoices directly from their accounting system to the contracting agency’s system without manual intervention. This has sped up invoice processing and payment.

Source

Through the country’s Peppol network, you can exchange e-invoices using the XML format. This format is common and is known as Business Interoperability Specifications Billing 3.0.

The beauty of using the common standard is that suppliers can choose their accounting system and exchange e-invoices with contracting agencies that don’t use the same systems.

Instead, the documents pass through access points that act as gateways into Peppol’s network.

The seller’s and receiver’s access points ensure that the e-invoices comply with the standard format as they pass through the Peppol network.

Previously, the Singapore government had increased Peppol registration and use through e-invoicing grants.

The IMDA and Enterprise Singapore partnership enabled businesses to digitize through a one-time $200 e-invoicing grant. Called the E-invoicing Registration Grant (ERG), its purpose was to help organizations enlist in the country’s e-invoicing network by 31 December 2020.

This grant was awarded to businesses that had been registered and were valid and active by 25 March 2020. No grant application was necessary. So long as businesses complied with the requirements, they received the full payout.



What are the e-invoicing rules in Singapore?

Outside Europe, countries use specific BIS billing specifications.  In Singapore, the country-specific specifications are known as SG Peppol BIS Billing 3.0. The IMDA is responsible for setting  Singapore’s Peppol BIS specifications.

Peppol Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) outline the processes for standardizing e-invoice exchange between access points. These specifications are used within Europe.

Since SG Peppol BIS Billing specifications are country-specific, Singapore has replaced some entities and calculations to suit its national payment system.

For instance, Singapore replaced VAT with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The SG Peppol BIS Billing specifications also consider businesses not registered with GST.

In addition, the specifications define how calculations can be rounded in an invoice and contain a code list for available GST categories.

Further, the specifications outline country-specific payment details using debit or credit transfer via Giro and PayNow Corporate respectively.

As Singapore’s Peppol Authority, the IMDA does the following:

  • Accredits Peppol-Ready Solution providers
  • Approves Peppol Access Point providers in the country
  • Setting technical standards and rules for the Peppol framework
  • Monitoring compliance
  • Promoting Peppol adoption in the country

The exact format of e-invoices is shared on Vendors portal. It outlines what fields the Singapore government mandates and which ones are mandated by the Peppol network.



How to exchange Peppol e-invoices in Singapore

You can exchange Peppol e-invoices to organizations in Singapore so long as you’re registered on the Peppol network.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get your Peppol ID from a Peppol Access Point, like Storecove.

Your Peppol ID is in three parts: the prefix (BusDox Participant ID), country code, and your organization’s Global Location Number (GLN)

  1. Once you have your Peppol ID, you’re listed in a nationwide Peppol directory. This directory is also linked to Peppol’s global directory.
  2. Submit e-invoices via InvoiceNow. InvoiceNow uses SG Peppol business document specifications and operates through the Peppol network. This means you can transact digitally with other Peppol participants across the globe.

To use InvoiceNow, you must have the following:

  • Corppass account via the Corppass portal
  • Approved status confirmed via the Vendors portal
  • A completed vendor record with the right payment information, such as bank details.

Once these accounts are in place, you can send e-invoices from the vendor’s access point to the AGD (Accountant General’s Department) via InvoiceNow.

  1. Once the AGD access point receives the invoice, they initiate validation checks using the Validex tool. Validex is a free tool that performs compliance checks on e-invoice XML files.

If the e-invoice does not satisfy these checks, such as having missing fields, you will receive a rejection notice within two working days. In the notice, you may be required to submit a new invoice.

  1. If the validation check is successful, your e-invoice is forwarded to the Vendors portal in one working day. Here, the e-invoice is validated against business requirements.

If the e-invoice fails the validation check, you’ll receive a rejection notice within 2 working days. You may be requested to submit a new e-invoice to InvoiceNow or edit the rejected e-invoice for resubmission.

If the validation check is successful, the e-invoice is forwarded to the government agency. Once the agency receives the e-invoice, it can initiate processing or send a rejection notification to the vendor within 2 working days.

Based on the reason for rejection, you may need to submit a fresh invoice through InvoiceNow or edit the rejected invoice before resubmission on the Vendors portal based on the reason for rejection.

You can find more details about the InvoiceNow network through this FAQ guide by IMDA.



Final thoughts

The IMDA is the Peppol authority in Singapore. The authority is responsible for Peppol registration and compliance with the Peppol BIS Billing 3.0 specifications. It verifies and accredits access point providers in Singapore.

Storecove is one of the eleven Peppol access point service providers in Singapore. With our e-invoicing solution, you’ll belong to a global network of thousands of businesses that enjoy faster delivery and efficient invoicing regardless of your accounting or ERP platform.

Whether you’re on XML, SAP, CSV, or TXT, we can help you send e-invoices that comply with Singapore’s SG BIS Billing 3.0 framework.

Register on Storecove to start sending compliant e-invoices now!


More information on Peppol in Singapore?

Call us on: +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to: helpdesk@storecove.nl


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