With regards to electronic invoicing (e-invoicing), Spain has been a front runner in its promotion. Since 2010 there has been an electronic invoice protocol standard with the administration, only the second one after the Nordic countries. From 2016 there has been a European standard which all countries are adopting. Recently, news from all governments points to the imminent mandatory use of electronic invoicing, to increase control and speed in invoice-related processes.
What is the electronic invoicing (e-invoicing)?
Firstly, an electronic invoice is, for legal purposes, the same as a paper invoice. An electronic invoice is an invoice that is issued and received in electronic format .
E-invoicing replaces paper invoices and is characterized by the sending of the invoice to the recipients in an electronic format by electronic means, sending data, replacing the physical paper document but with the same legal validity, by incorporating an advanced electronic signature, issued by a certifying entity recognized by the corresponding administration.
Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) promoted by european governments
Regulations such as the Immediate Information Supply(SII), SILICIE or TicketBAI, are examples of regulatory frameworks, already implemented or in the process of implementation, which impose certain time and form restrictions on those they apply to. The companies concerned require an evolution in their processes, both in the issuing of invoices to customers (AR), and receipt / accounting of supplier invoices (AP). This change, basically involves the implementation of Electronic Invoicing, which in addition to being completely in line with the global trend of Digital Transformation in the financial area, has significant advantages over traditional invoicing processes.
Improvements caused by the implementation of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing)
In essence, the main improvement resulting from the implementation of e-invoicing processes is that resulting from the automation of the process, whether in the area of suppliers or customers. Do not confuse e-invoicing with e-invoicing delivery. A traditional billing process is not automated just because a PDF invoice is generated and sent by email, automation covers all the steps of the process and implies the availability of the invoice data throughout the cycle.
During the last 3 years, there has been a sustained growth of electronic invoicing in Spain of over 10% per year, to the detriment of paper invoices.
From our experience in electronic billing processes, easap has 20 years specialization in the continuous improvement of invoicing processes, issuing and processing tens of millions of invoices every year, we can summarize the improvements introduced as follows:
- Reduction in process cycle from days to hours, both in the management of AP invoices and in the issuing in AR.
- Traceability of the entire process and audit events, with relevant information to shorten the collection and payment deadlines.
- Reduction of management times and improvement of internal control, and mitigation of risk inherent in manual tasks.
- In the suppliers’ area, improvement of the process and reduction in reworking due to complete digitalization, eliminating 100% of the manual tasks inherent to document management.
- In the customer area, alignment of the billing policy with the requirement of the end customer, each customer receives the invoice in the format that best suits their needs.