29 Jul International e-Invoicing and digital storage: find the ideal partner
Italy, the early mover
Italy has been the pioneer for e-invoicing within the European space: the use of e-invoices in public procurement in Italy has been mandatory for ministries, tax agencies and national security agencies since June 2014. Since 31 March 2015, it became mandatory for all public entities.
In fact, Italy has experienced such benefits from B2G e-invoicing, that it has extended the requirement, starting from January 2019, for all B2B invoices to be issued electronically through the ‘Sistema di Interscambio’.
What about Europe?
The European Parliament and Council voted the Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement on 16 April 2014. This Directive calls for the definition of a common European standard on electronic invoicing (EN 16931) at the semantic level, and additional standardisation deliverables which will enhance interoperability at the syntax level. Directive 2014/55 dictates that the Member States shall adopt it so that it will become mandatory for all public contracting authorities and contracting entities to receive and process e-Invoices complying with the European standard.
The benefits of transparency into B2G and B2B invoicing now enjoyed by the Italian tax authorities are inspiring other countries to follow suit, and to do so fast.
In Spain, using e-invoices with the public administration has been a requirement since 15 January 2015. In Belgium e-invoicing has been mandatory for new contracts within B2G procurement since 1 January 2017. It is also mandatory for businesses engaging in tenders above €135,000 from 1 January 2018. The federal government only accepts e-invoices since 2020. And in Portugal, from April 2020, e-invoicing has been a requirement when working with the public administration. This also includes electronic formats for credit notes and debit notes.
The French public administration has been extending the mandatory use of electronic invoicing in phases, from 2017 to 2020, according to the size of the company. In France, where mandatory B2G e-invoicing is already well into implementation, the e-invoice format is an XML structure called Factur-X and connectivity is via web services through a national online hub known as Chorus Pro. The French Government is planning to introduce mandatory B2B e-Invoicing starting from 2023 and by the beginning of 2025 through the following steps:
- 1 January 2023: large companies will be subject to the B2B e-invoice clearance and e-reporting mandate.
- 1 January 2024: obligations will apply for medium-sized companies.
- 1 January 2025: all companies will be in scope of the mandate by 1 January 2025.
Choosing an international e-invoicing and digital transformation partner
TESISQUARE is Full-Member EESPA (European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association) and PEPPOL Access Point; it has extensive competencies not only in legal-compliant e-invoicing implementations and digital storage, but also in consultancy services drawing on a deep experience based in project management, change management, process re-engineering and business modelling.
TESISQUARE offers one e-Invoicing and e-archiving platform that enables:
- support for custom and mandatory data, ensuring all required attachments, search criteria and other needs are archived;
- to get the original invoice in its government-mandated schema, including XML, PDF and others;
- storage of related attachments such as human-readable PDFs and attached documents;
- country-specific security requirement solutions in countries where they are required, for example, Hungary and Italy;
- defense against the normal wear and tear of archive access sessions due to audits, file retrievals and other actions;
- authorised use and viewing of records;
- change management, with a solution constantly updated, maintained, and tested in all covered territories;
- complete interoperability among different countries and providers.
12 Requirements of an ideal e-invoicing and digital storage partner
- Deep Experience in the Italian Market, given that Italy is far ahead of its European neighbours, not only in public sector e-invoicing, but also the whole digital transformation journey in B2G and B2B.
- Web Portal Functionality, enabling the online tracking of system status, sent/received documents, document consultation and print, with dashboard access also via smartphone and tablet.
- A Proven Track Record of Interoperability, which allows organisations to interact with all business partners, irrespective of their network platform, their major providers and their EDI VANs (value-added networks).
- Automated Workflows, for creation, translation, sort and traceability of flows and documents, along with engines for flow translation and mapping.
- Standard Document Layout in PDF format (e.g.: defined by GS1 Indicod-ECR) or customized.
- Flexible Integration Options, anywhere between full Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to full on-premise implementations (excluding EDI components), the hallmark of a truly independent, platform-agnostic Integration Brokerage.
- Data Transfer through secure protocols, communication channels and connectors (e.g.: Https, AS2, X400, Post Http, Web Services, SAP-XI and SAP-PI).
- Inbound and Outbound Multi-channel Communication capabilities (Mail, Web EDI, Certified eMail, e-Mail and publication on Portal).
- Cloud Architecture, scalable in terms of type and number of documents managed.
- Data Security by Design, through structured, automated communication processes across offices, departments and third parties, reducing compliance costs while ensuring greater accuracy and transparency.
- Multi-organisation Management (company groups or service centers) and access profiling based on user types.
- Tried and Tested Interfaces with public health bodies to send invoices in XML-PA electronic format, along with compliant digital document storage.