Domestic businesses have been encouraged to implement internet-based invoicing systems to help save costs associated with printing invoices and processing payments, according to the General Department of Taxation.
HA NOI —
The use of e-invoices have been welcomed by large-scale businesses while small- and medium-sized enterprises have voiced caution using such systems due to a lack of IT knowledge, reported the General Department of Taxation.
Vietnam Airlines representative Tran Thanh Hien said his company was one of the first to instigate online billing, after the company was permitted to issue e-invoices and e-air tickets by the Ministry of Finance.
Hien said the use of the e-billing system had created favourable conditions for customers to avoid losing their flight information, and to be able to retrieve it instantly through email. Using e-invoices helped businesses save costs on printing, delivering and storing paper invoices, which in turn simplified accounting procedures.
Using the e-invoice system, Vietnam Airlines last year posted nearly VND1.5 trillion (US$71.4 million) in revenue and issued about 400,000 invoices. This year sale revenue is expected to hit nearly VND2 trillion ($95.2 million), or 5 per cent of total company turnover.
Hien emphasised that most international airlines had developed web sites to sell online air tickets, posting revenue of nearly 20 per cent of their total sale revenue while domestic airlines accounted for only 4-5 per cent. Using e-billing systems would allow airlines to raise competitiveness with regional and international airlines, while helping customers.
Hien attributed the successful application of e-billing systems to the forethought of company leaders. Executives must be aware that the application of e-billing systems was crucial to improving service quality and raising competitiveness.
Deputy director of the General Department of Taxation Cao Anh Tuan said the tax department already assisted businesses in applying e-billing services at several State-run corporations. Banking, telecommunications, electricity and airline businesses had applied e-invoice systems to their operations and gained significant advantages, according to the department.
A lack of modern IT infrastructure may hinder small- and medium-sized enterprises from applying e-billing systems, and many have sought intermediary service suppliers to manage their data. By doing so, customers have expressed fear their personal information may be revealed, according to Hoang Quoc Khanh, director of Nacencom-Smartcard Technology Joint Stock Company.
Khanh said intermediary service suppliers needed to save essential data for authorised agencies only to validate the accuracy of information.
His company was one of few small- and medium-sized businesses who were now using e-billing, however his company already had IT infrastructure to implement the new system. Khanh said using e-billing brought many benefits to businesses, including avoiding fake bills and invoices and e-billing also provides convenient and instant billing services.
Hien Quan Electronics Corporation director Nguyen Van Tiep expressed concern about the application of e-billing systems and said the ability to use IT in small- and medium-sized businesses remained limited. He added that hiring intermediary service suppliers to back-up all data, including client bills, could become a barrier hindering businesses from using e-billing systems.
Deputy Director of the tax department Tuan said it was reported that around 50,000 businesses had begun printing their own invoices and added that the department would facilitate and encourage any businesses eligible to issue e-invoices, while the remainder of businesses remain on old systems.
According to Tuan, small- and medium-sized businesses should make their own printed invoices using computer software. — VNS