The City of Helsinki receives almost one million bills per year. The processing of bills has been intensified since the beginning of 2000 by gradually switching over to electronic processing and receiving e-invoices. Now the objective is that the departments and institutions under the city’s centralized financial management services receive e-invoices only as of 01.10.2009.
The City of Helsinki Financial Management Public Utility (Talpa) processes annually some 600 000 purchase invoices. Talpa has received e-invoices since 2005. The share of e-invoices has increased from the first year’s 14 % to about one half of all invoices received. The aim is to increase the share of e-invoices to the full 100 % which also follows the objectives set by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to the public sector.
Besides electronic handling of bills, the City of Helsinki uses an electronic purchase order system and automatic balancing tools for bills based on an order and contract. The from order to billing process concerns some 6 000 employees in the customer departments of Talpa, so the automation of the whole process has a significant and immediate impact on the working hours spent on bill processing, for instance.
Bills on paper must be scanned into a digital form and transferred separately to the bill processing system which causes unnecessary costs. The number of errors also increases in manual processing. Thus e-invoicing is also in the interests of the biller; the invoices reach the addressee quickly, the approval cycle runs quickly and the bill are paid on time.
The City of Helsinki will intensify and automate its business activity processes continuously and as part of this development, the City wants to encourage all its suppliers to adopt e-invoicing. To forward this objective, an easy-to-use service will be opened over which suppliers can transmit e-invoices free of charge. The link to the portal is http://bsp.basware.com. Also banks, e-invoicing operators and accountancy firms offer alternative ways of e-invoicing.