Electronic invoicing: a chance for change


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  • Date February 24, 2020
  • Observatory Digital B2b
  • Language English
  • Type Business Scenario

Responds to...

  • What are the figures on electronic invoicing in the first months since it became obligatory?
  • What issues still need to be teased out, and what are the areas for improvement?
  • What opportunities does electronic invoicing bring?
  • How much is B2b eCommerce worth in Italy?
  • How widespread are solutions for integrating the supply chain (EDI, Extranet, Marketplace)? And why invest in these solutions?
  • What are the most widely used payment tools in B2b? and what are the current trends?
  • How are Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence applied in the Supply Chain environment?


Around 850 million electronic B2b invoices were issued between January and early June 2019, with around 2% rejected. And 8% of entities not covered by the obligation even chose to use electronic invoicing. But what are the benefits for the accounts payable and accounts receivable cycles? Why do some people feel it has increased the operative burden? The Research has identified six opportunities to be grasped, to move beyond merely meeting regulatory requirements. Because companies need to understand the benefits of this “forced digitalization” and how to extend it to other processes, to in turn increase the value of B2b eCommerce. B2b eCommerce was worth €360 billion in 2019, an increase of 7% on the previous year. A substantial figure, but still only 16% of overall transactions between Italian companies (€2,200 billion), whereas the penetration rate of eCommerce B2b between Italian companies and foreign companies is higher: at €132 billion it accounts for a 26% share of the total transacted with foreign companies (€500 billion). The use of EDI systems for electronic document exchange has also increased, with 210 million documents (+27%) exchanged by 16,000 companies (+23%), over a quarter of which are invoices. The use of Extranets has decreased (-21% compared to 2018), making way for marketplaces and new leading-edge technologies to support Business-to-business processes.


  • Key questions
  • Abstract
    1. Electronic invoicing between private entities in Italy
    2. Impacts and opportunities of electronic invoicing
    3. Digital B2b
    4. New technologies for supply chain
  • Methodology Notes
  • Digital B2B Observatory
  • Work team
  • Research Supporters
  • School of Management