(Atsuya Sugawara) In our previous dialogue of 28th December 2022, we just referred to DNP, as a leading BPO company in Japan. On 1st February 2023, Mr.Kato of Digital Agency and myself are invited by Mr.Kimura and Mrs.Hashimoto of DNP Information Innovation Operations to know more about their interesting DX challenge.
(Hiroyuki Kato) It feels so fresh for me. My first impression of DNP is that DNP is one of the largest companies in Japanese printing industry. In addition, I didn’t have a connection with DNP in Peppol e-invoice initiative.
(please see Business Areas | DNP Group (global.dnp) for more information)
Our root of the ‘printing’ starting from 1876 and its evolution with know-hows so called P&I (Printing & Information) make our company to create new value expected by the society, together with valuable partners.
As a BPO, we do invoice printing service on someone’s behalf and since 2002 we started electronic document delivery to finance and banking sector, which was expanded to insurance policy and credit card statement. Recently we started offering electronic contract service.
(AS) Thanks to DNP’s service, more efficiency of the back-office process including invoicing will be realized! In fact, there are still lot to do for Japanese companies to achieve at a substantial level ofdigitalization/paperless.
(HK) There are lots of benefits of utilize paperless invoice processing. However, the key point to understand is that it is a stepping-stone to Digitalization. For instance, a non-structured data or an image generated by scanning a paper invoice is not suitable for automated processing since it is a human readable format. To process it automatically, it needs a machine-readable and structured invoice data.
(DNP) It is true that our DNP electronic issuance service is on PDF format, which means, it cannot be processed automatically, therefore, we also offer it with CSV file in order to reduce manual operation like ‘cut and paste’ on Excel. However, it is not a real digitalization and we started looking into any possible usage of the structured data invoice.
(HK) Well, even though CSV is a kind of a structured data, it is required to be processed manually. By the way, does “a structured invoice data” you mentioned mean “Peppol e-invoice”? As you know, Peppol e-invoice is a standardized and structured invoice data. Digital Agency, Government of Japan decided Peppol e-invoice as a local specification of e-invoice in Japan and has been leading Peppol e-invoice initiative.
(DNP) Yes, we do, it is ‘Peppol e-invoice’. For example, one of our services to finance/banking sector is to claim commission/bank charges electronically, based on PDF though. Therefore, we are planning to convert it to Peppol e-invoice, starting a new service within this fiscal year, subject to current negotiations with the customers.
(AS) It is a quite meaningful project, however, a bit pity if you limit it to banking sector only.
(DNP) Indeed, we would like to spread widely our service and applications to various other industry.
(HK) Sure. It is a typical case where it switches from Digitization to Digitalization. I am sure it is important to move forward step by step. By the way, Peppol e-invoice is usually exchanged through Peppol network. So that, it would be important to access to the network. Well, does DNP have a plan to create Peppol Access point by yourself? Off course, it would be a reasonable option to utilize the access point service provided by Peppol Certified Service Provider.
(DNP) We are checking any options how to handle this matter.
(HK) I appreciate your careful consideration and expect that you can lead the best conclusion. At the same time, I hope it doesn’t take too long. The service of Peppol e-invoice has been provided in Japan, so that you can gather necessary information、including details of cost for its support, with little difficulty.
(AS) I have one pop-up question now. The structured invoice data allow accounting system to process automatically, that is a future. However, many people still worry and ask, ‘how can we verify invoice contents through a fully automated process, which eliminates our routine check with a readable invoice, either paper or PDF?’. What is your company’s answer to such a question?
(DNP) it is a quite common question we hear too, just a matter of ‘viewer’. Human operation will be only to check the result of the process, not necessarily to check the invoice itself, because the process is done automatically by the system based on the structured data.
(HK) Confirmation process might also be important. However, I would repeat what is most important is to ensure automated data processing by system.
(DNP) So it is. By the way, before concluding the dialogue, we would ask one question, to Kato-san, it is about the relationship between Peppol e-invoice and new Qualified Invoice requirements. Is this Peppol e-invoice a part of the consumption tax law?
(HK) The aim of our Peppol e-invoice initiative is to accelerate Digitalization in invoicing. So, Peppol e-invoice is not a regulation but just a tool. Off course, it is compliant to requirements for Qualified Invoice. Therefore, if all items required by laws and regulations are included appropriately, it can be a Qualified Invoice.
(AS) We believe that the DNP’s activities are remarkable and are giving big impact on the market, especially to other BPO companies. It is good also to see and enjoy one day soon DNP’s new service with the concept mentioned today. We are sure that your activity is quite something for Peppol adoption in Japan.
We wish you good success!