The U.S. Treasury plans to switch to electronic invoicing, a move that might accelerate the dawdling adoption of e-invoicing in this country.

Treasury announced last month that companies with which it does business must begin to submit electronic invoices by 2013. The department estimated the switch to e-invoicing will cut its invoice processing costs by 50%, saving it $7 million a year. Treasury also cited the advantages e-invoicing will provide vendors, including faster payment and the ability to check the status of invoices online.

Treasury isn't the first government agency to shed paper invoices. According to Treasury, the Department of Defense has its own e-invoicing solution that handles more than 7 million invoices a year from more than 92,000 vendors, for annual savings of more than $250 million. Treasury and the Defense Department are working to develop a single government standard for vendors. Treasury estimated that if the entire federal government adopted e-invoicing, it could save $450 million a year.

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