Peppol Singapore – All the Information Your Business Needs
In May 2018, Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) became the first governmental agency outside Europe to become a Peppol Authority. Peppol is part of Singapore’s e-invoicing framework, a government-led initiative designed to facilitate better international trade, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Singapore was soon joined by New Zealand and Australia, who are also helping Peppol expand in the ASEAN region.
In this blog post, we’ll be covering everything to do with the Peppol in Singapore, touching on e-invoicing, Singapore’s requirements for transacting, and the benefits businesses can get from working with an IMDA approved Peppol service provider.
For general Peppol information, including key components and implementation, see our document Peppol Crash Course: Utilizing the Peppol Network for Success.
How do Businesses in Singapore Benefit from Peppol?
As we’ll see below, Peppol gives businesses cross-border e-document transfer capabilities with greater security. However, this is only the beginning. Here are some of the other main benefits businesses are taking advantage of:
- Invoicing processing cost reduction of at least 66% compared to paper or PDF-based invoicing;
- Faster payments by an average of 7 days, with improved cash flow a result;
- Better quality of data due to a reduction in manual processing, leading to fewer errors and more complete record keeping;
- Connect once, reach all with a global network. Different setups and configurations for point-to-point connections are no longer required;
- Easier compliance with the laws and regulations of the country you are transacting with.
E-invoicing in Singapore – General Info and Common Questions
With the numerous benefits listed above, it is no surprise that Peppol is at the center of Singapore’s nationwide e-invoicing network, known as InvoiceNow. This network adopts the Peppol framework but provides some slight extensions/modifications, based on country-specific requirements (more on this below).
How is Singapore Encouraging Peppol?
As part of the e-invoicing strategy, in 2020, the government even rolled out Peppol Singapore grants to encourage uptake. The E-invoicing Registration Grant was open to any company that registered with a certified Peppol service provider, while the Chain Leader Grant was aimed at subsidizing integration costs for companies with a portfolio of at least 500 partners. According to the IMDA website, the agency has stopped accepting submissions due to the unexpected enthusiasm with which the grants were endorsed.
As Peppol and e-invoicing are still developing spheres in Singapore, there are many commonly asked questions that arise. We’ll answer them right here.
Are e-invoices legally compliant?
Yes. The Singapore Peppol framework encourages legal compliance through robust data and transparency. E-invoicing through Peppol makes sure that you not only comply with Singapore’s requirements but those of the public and private organizations that you transact with overseas.
Does Peppol support cross-border transactions?
Yes. Peppol’s very nature is designed to make it as straightforward to send an invoice to a business in your city, as it is to send one to a business on the other side of the world.
What is e-invoicing compliance?
E-invoicing compliance involves adhering to the laws of the countries in which you transact. This means invoices should be unaltered, delivered in one of the country’s accepted document formats, and comply with local tax laws.
The IMDA developed an extension to Peppol’s Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) Billing 3.0 (more on this in the section How to Submit E-invoices to Singapore Government Agencies via the Peppol Network). As stated on the OpenPeppol website:
The extension takes into consideration Singapore’s GST tax requirements, and helps companies comply with Singapore tax laws through PEPPOL easily.
Is the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) able to access e-invoices?
IMDA’s FAQ guide on e-invoicing says that under the current regulation the IRAS can not access e-invoices through Peppol. However, the agency does clearly state that those conducting e-invoicing are required to comply with IRAS tax regulations as per normal.
Does Peppol cover consumer transactions in Singapore?
No, at present Peppol covers only business-to-business transactions.
What is SG Peppol BIS Billing 3.0?
As explained in our blog post, Why Use Peppol for E-invoicing?, Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) ensure the standardization of documents sent through the Peppol network by stipulating certain components. Only by operating according to the BIS can a business be validated by Peppol.
In the drive to make Peppol e-invoicing conform to Singapore’s GST tax laws, while also fuelling easier international trade, the IMDA has created an extension to the Peppol BIS Billing 3.0. Some of the changes include:
- Specific GST calculation and rounding steps for presenting amounts in invoices;
- Changing Europe’s value-added tax (VAT) to Singapore’s GST (Goods and Services Tax);
- Singapore specific payments such as direct debit using GIRO and credit transfer using a Unique Entity Number (UEN)-based PayNow corporate.
Is Peppol Just for E-invoicing?
While we have only focused on e-invoicing so far, it also must be mentioned that the scope of Peppol extends to other forms of electronic documentation such as e-orders, e-advance shipping notes, eCatalogues, Invoice Message Responses, and more.
How to Submit E-invoices to Singapore Government Agencies via the Peppol Network
Sending e-invoices to Singapore government agencies isn’t difficult — in fact, there is a complete guide complete with the catchy title: E-invoice Submission to Singapore Government Agencies via the PEPPOL Network. The guide takes you through everything step by step, and includes a table of the Peppol e-invoice fields with related requirements.
Of course, before sending, each participant within the Peppol network has to be set up with a Peppol ID.
Peppol ID – What is it For and How Can My Business Get One?
One element that makes Peppol a more secure framework through which to conduct invoicing is that each member is identified by their Peppol participant ID. This is created by a Peppol Access Point and needs to be registered with Singapore’s SMP. From here, the participant will be listed on the Peppol directory Singapore, which is linked to the global Peppol directory.
The Peppol ID format consists of three parts:
1) BusDox Participant Identifier prefix;
2) the country code;
3) the GLN (Global Location Number) of the organization.
In full, the Peppol ID looks like this:
In short, you cannot send or receive any electronic document without a participant ID on Peppol; however, for this you should be thankful. The ID verifies that the organization you are transacting with is legitimate and helps to reduce instances of invoice fraud.
Peppol Access Points
The Peppol Access Point is your bridge to the Peppol network. If you are a small business working with an accounting system connected to Peppol, it’s easy. Through the ERP-system’s Peppol Access Point you can quickly start transacting on the network.
If you are a big business with your own ERP system, a service provider, or an ERP provider, the situation becomes a bit trickier as you will need to set up your own Access Point. In this case, there are two distinct options:
1. Set up the Access Point yourself – This requires a time-consuming and involved accreditation process — we go into the accreditation process in more detail in our blog post, Peppol Access Points – Setting Up Your Own or Working With a Provider.
2. Work with an accredited Peppol Access Point provider – Here you use the certifications of the Peppol provider, while they handle the technical aspects. This option means the only thing you need to worry about is tending to your clients and growing your business rather than development, hosting, and maintenance.
Peppol Ready Solutions with Galaxy Gateway
If, like most businesses, you are looking for an accredited Access Point provider, you should look no further than Galaxy Gateway. Active in the Peppol community since 2012, our specialists are here to not just give you access, but help you realize your business needs through scalable infrastructure, optimized to your operations.
For big companies, service providers and ERP providers, we cut out all the pain points of Access Point accreditation, and get you up and running in days, rather than months. While we handle the hosting and support involved in running an Access Point, you can take advantage of our up-to-date certifications and compliance with every Peppol Authority throughout the world.
Contact us to ask about our shared instance and white-label solutions, or head to our website, where we have a calculator that gives you an idea of price depending on your operations, as well as more Peppol info and news!