Not too long ago, the majority of companies worldwide were using traditional paper invoices. However, with the significant progress e-invoicing made, many countries require its use legally now. Operating internationally and dealing with various formats and standards from all over the world can pose challenges – both from practical and legal viewpoints. In this guide, we have prepared noteworthy insights on achieving the necessary regulatory e-invoicing requirements. Discover how to stay up-to-date!
What is Legal Compliance?
The buyer or supplier who wants to be legally compliant has to follow official rules set in certain countries when receiving and sending electronic invoices. Traditionally, legal compliance consists of legal research, implementation of requirements, monitoring of changes and interoperability.
Official regulations refer to the following areas:
- Readability of the document
- The authenticity of origin
What Does Legal Compliance Entail in Terms of E-invoicing?
If you’re wondering what legal compliance means in the context of e-invoicing, we have got your back.
Legal compliance for buyers and suppliers entails adherence to the complex rules, procedures, and policies governing business activities, including e-invoice transactions, in a specific country or region.
In addition, it is necessary to keep in mind issues such as:
- The platform required by the government
- The e-invoice exchange model
- The type of relationship between partners (B2B or B2G)
- The need to ensure the authenticity and integrity of invoices
- Establishing storage for the specified period
It is worth remembering that there are different e-invoice exchange models depending on the country. In Europe, Canada, and some parts of Asia, the post-audit model is common, while the clearance model is used in Turkey, Italy, and Latin America. Interestingly, Hungary operates on a hybrid of the two solutions – the real-time reporting.
What Makes Attaining Global Compliance in E-invoicing So Difficult?
With all that in mind, it is understandable that ensuring legal compliance in e-invoicing poses a challenge when considering the international operations of companies from countries with obligatory e-invoicing (like Italy or Turkey) and regions awaiting the introduction (Poland, Romania, Germany, France, Spain and many more).
Dealing with legal fluctuations in this field on your own can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, there is a way to comply with the most recent legal regulations for exchanging electronic invoices without needing to constantly track the rapidly evolving standards on your own. The appropriate external vendors will not only take responsibility for staying updated on legal changes but also ensure the proper implementation of specific solutions in their systems.
Every business decision has to be made consciously – before you start looking for an e-invoicing platform, it is crucial to analyze a couple of factors.
How To Choose the Right E-invoicing Platform Provider for Your Company?
The primary focus should be to meet global legal requirements. Utilizing a reliable e-invoicing tool is similar to having a group of advisors who are responsible for staying up to date with the formats and platforms for legally compliant document exchange. Issue an invoice and let the tool guide your next steps.
In practice, compliance with the law is easy when based on a reliable document exchange platform. The right tool can help you with the day-to-day exchange of e-invoices created in ERP, no matter where your business partners are located. However, it is worth mentioning that in certain countries your provider should be a Peppol Access Point.
Another crucial matter is the ability to integrate an e-invoicing platform with an already implemented ERP without any complicated modifications. The features should include invoice exchange in accordance with legal requirements and the capability to add digital signatures to processed documents if needed. On top of that, a good e-invoicing exchange platform has functionalities such as:
- Document tracking
- Data visualization
- User-friendly dashboards for performance monitoring
A system with these features should also provide state-of-the-art security standards, a short onboarding process, and additional business benefits. The best available e-invoicing platforms are constantly improving and tailor-made for each client. Only then you can expect a safe, legal and efficient invoice transfer.
Benefits of Utilizing an E-Invoicing Platform
E-invoicing has many more benefits, not only for you but also for your business partners. The right platform can reduce costs and minimize stress. One vendor implementing this tool means lower prices, safe and steady data exchange, and reduced time spent on each transaction.