Post-Webinar E-invoicing Exploration: Seamless Transition to E-invoicing (feat. Forrester)

Comarch recently hosted an enlightening webinar featuring Forrester on seamlessly transitioning to e-invoicing. Notable experts in the industry, including guest speaker Meng Liu (Senior Analyst at Forrester), Piotr Jagiełło (Consulting Director at Comarch), and Katya Kancheva (Business Solution Manager at Comarch), shared valuable insights and recommendations with the audience.

Pooling their expertise, our proficient panel delved into critical matters surrounding e-invoicing transition. Key topics included regulations and practices in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Europe, legal and technical aspects of e-invoicing, and the advantages of using e-invoicing solutions such as Comarch’s.

Throughout this engaging discussion, the audience posed numerous captivating questions. Due to time constraints, our experts couldn’t address all of them. In an effort to compensate for this, we’ve compiled this Q&A article to continue our dialogue. Let’s dive deeper into the latest e-invoicing requirements.

Is Comarch registered as a service provider with the Malaysia Inland Revenue Board for e-Invoicing? Additionally, can Comarch establish seamless integration between e-invoicing and systems such as SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft?

Comarch is actively monitoring the developments related to the proposed e-Invoicing mandate, particularly the potential introduction of a four-corner PEPPOL Model. Upon feasibility, we intend to engage in the certification process to enable the provision of e-invoicing services in Malaysia. Notably, Comarch facilitates document exchange with various ERPs utilizing a range of formats such as XML, JSON, EDIFACT, CSV, UBL, and other EDI formats across diverse communication channels, including AS2, AS4, FTP, FTPS, SFTP, X400, HTTP/HTTPS (WebService/WCF), OFTP, OFTP2, and email, among others. Our extensive experience encompasses seamless integration with prominent ERP systems, including SAP, as well as others such as Netsuite, Oracle ERP Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Is a digital signature mandatory for e-invoicing in Malaysia?

The proposed approach in Malaysia entails issuing digital certificates to taxpayers, empowering them to affix digital signatures to e-invoices. These digital signatures will be mandatory, ensuring the validation of the e-invoice data source for a particular taxpayer. The hashed value of the digital signature will constitute a segment of the e-Invoice API submission request body.

Is e-invoicing mandatory for both sending and receiving parties in Malaysia, specifically requiring the account payable side to receive XML files from the supplier?

The Malaysian e-invoicing solution guarantees that, following e-invoice validation, the supplier is required to share the approved e-invoice with the buyer. This involves embedding a verified link (provided by IRBM) as a QR code on the e-invoice. The QR code serves to verify the e-Invoice’s presence and status via the MyInvois Portal.

In the event that the e-invoice contains errors, the buyer has the option to request its rejection within a 72-hour window from the time of validation, utilizing the MyInvois Portal. If no action is taken within this 72-hour period, the e-invoice is automatically accepted.

In which European countries can a company utilize PEPPOL?

You can find the list of PEPPOL authorities established in various European countries on the page PEPPOL Autorities – OpenPeppol. Additionally, in several other countries like Australia, Croatia, Estonia, and more, where there is no dedicated authority, the exchange of e-invoices through the PEPPOL network is also permitted.

Apart from streamlining e-invoicing requirements and adhering to diverse rules, what additional advantages does opting for a provider like Comarch offer? Particularly, when the tax authority offers a user-friendly portal for submission, do you perceive significant efficiency gains and time savings as compelling use cases?

There are synergies that extend beyond borders. While developing e-invoicing platforms, specific tools are being designed concurrently to expedite the implementation of new changes. Additionally, with a supplier such as Comarch, proactive steps are taken even before the electronic invoicing obligation is enforced in a particular country. This includes identifying the company for creating the government platform and establishing early connections. In cases where the government platform encounters issues, these established direct contacts enable us to respond swiftly. At times, we even extend our assistance to government platform personnel in rectifying portal errors.

Establishing and maintaining relationships with individuals in the industry and government entities is highly valuable, as it allows us to communicate effectively. Furthermore, we aggregate industry-specific challenges at a slightly broader level, focusing on sectors like construction or energy.

Do these archiving periods take into account tax prescription periods?

The invoice archiving period pertains solely to the storage of documents for specific years, distinct from tax prescription requirements. Moreover, when collaborating with an e-invoicing platform provider, there’s an option to extend the document archiving period. This scenario often occurs in industries like construction, which have specific regulations mandating invoices to be retained for more extended periods – ranging from 20 to 30 years in some cases.

Is it feasible to achieve global standardization at the ERP level?

We have numerous clients utilizing a singular global ERP system and aiming to ensure compliance across multiple countries. While some opt for supplementary solutions, others prefer the streamlined efficiency offered by third-party vendors such as Comarch.

Generally, managing compliance is more straightforward when working with a single ERP system. In such scenarios, the focus is on establishing a seamless connection between this system and the middleware, which serves as the bridge to various government platforms. This configuration is relatively easy to maintain.

If the ERP system can generate invoice data in a structured format like text or CSV, is it compatible with the integrated e-invoice solution?

The Malaysian e-invoicing solution exclusively accommodates XML and JSON formats. Regardless of the format in which your ERP generates e-invoices, you can transmit it to us, and we will seamlessly convert and tailor it to meet the government’s specified file requirements.

Assuming I run a company in Malaysia implementing e-invoicing, what implications would it have on the solution’s development and usage if my customer or supplier has not adopted e-invoicing?

Typically, the adoption of electronic invoicing within a country is a phased process. Initially, it involves larger companies, followed by smaller ones, and eventually even the smallest enterprises. The larger corporations are mandated to align their invoicing with government-mandated requirements, whereas smaller companies can continue to submit invoices in PDF format. Nevertheless, invoicing between companies of similar size, particularly larger entities, adheres to the same principles. If a business group is obligated to issue electronic invoices, the entire group must comply with this directive. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in financial penalties.

Consider a scenario where a company sends an e-invoice to a central government platform. If their business partner does not integrate with this platform to automatically retrieve the structured file, the company can still transmit the invoice via email as a PDF attachment. In some cases, specific subprocesses are devised. While the primary documentation is uploaded to the government platform, supplementary attachments may be sent through a communication channel between trading partners to work around potential challenges.

Are there significant variations in invoicing implementation across the globe, or can we assume that there are fundamental principles that remain consistent?

Nowadays, one constant remains – change is inevitable. Being prepared for the chaos associated with launches, especially in the lead-up to the event, is crucial. This was precisely the case in various countries, where changes often occurred practically overnight and had to be swiftly implemented within days, if not hours, to meet stringent deadlines. Additionally, last-minute testing with the appropriate customer groups was essential but presented challenges.

In such scenarios, opting for an external provider proves advantageous. It allows the company to have a stable client connection to its platform, significantly minimizing changes. The model that Comarch has diligently refined over the past few years aligns well with these requirements and has demonstrated strong effectiveness.

What resources are essential for a company or provider to implement invoicing on a global scale successfully?

In addition to engaging an external vendor capable of building diverse capabilities and providing the necessary platform and features, a company must possess internal expertise and a team of experienced professionals. Establishing a dedicated team equipped with the required resources in each operational region is crucial. These resources may include individuals specialized in software, such as representatives from the accounting departments, as well as a team of legal and tax experts.

The optimal approach involves a synergy between internal capabilities, knowledge, and skills, combined with external vendors who can assist in developing various technologies and also share their experience, particularly in the realm of compliance.

Conclusion: Comarch e-Invoicing for global Compliance, Efficiency, and Flexibility

The new e-invoicing requirements are emerging globally, making a solid solution from a provider with decades of expertise crucial. Comarch e-Invoicing System is a powerful and comprehensive software that ensures a smooth transition into electronic invoicing. This solution streamlines payment processes, lowers operational expenses, and guarantees complete global compliance with legal regulations. Get in touch with our experts to learn more today!

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