County‘s Katya Kancheva guides us through the already evolved process of digitization which is now evolving into more automated software and invoicing systems, as well as a new approach to electronic invoicing
Over the past two years, we have associated the terms digital and digitization with the efforts of companies to adopt new technologies and processes in their operations due to demanding and extraordinary circumstances. However, as much as the pandemic has indeed been a boost, other factors have motivated companies to move towards a future in which digital will be an essential ally, being an integral part of businesses. Customer experience is also becoming a crucial factor in B2C and B2B relationships, especially when considering processes related to electronic invoicing. Digitization has evolved and moved into new topics related to software and more automated invoicing systems, as well as a new approach to electronic invoicing systems and software. Large companies and institutions are eagerly awaiting dematerialized, increasingly digital invoicing processing, while small ones are catching up, thanks to new regulations and partner demand.
The electronic invoicing revolution
When the EU’s massive adoption of electronic invoicing began with the backing of European legislation, which helped governments make it easier to do business with the public sector, it boosted economic benefits, reduced manual labor, l evasion of taxes and costs, increased the efficiency of processes, and created the opportunity for a wider adaptation of digitization. In Europe, there are now common formats and advantages that countries have found from electronic invoicing. This sparked a new movement, with more and more countries now adopting legislation for B2G, B2B and B2C e-invoicing. France is already preparing for mandatory B2B electronic invoicing from January 1, 2024, with the introduction of a new government system called Chorus Pro, which manages B2B2G processes. Since 2019, Italy has imposed mandatory electronic invoicing for B2G, B2B and B2C processes. B2B and B2C are compulsory for Italian operators with turnover above 65,000 EUR. A lot has happened in recent years when it comes to e-invoicing news, so here are some examples of what is happening in Europe:
- From January 2022, Italy introduces new archiving rules that will help companies have more structured metadata, which will be stored;
- Italy is also introducing new rules for cross-border electronic invoicing from 2022, and all electronic invoicing will be handled by the SDI (Sistema di Interscambio) instead of the Esterometro, which was used until now;
- In 2021, Portugal introduced B2G electronic invoicing for large companies, SMEs and other companies following suit on July 1, 2021;
- On October 1, 2021, Poland introduced the KSeF (Krajowy System e-Faktur) platform, which will be voluntary from January 2022 and mandatory from 2023.
Outside of Europe, companies are also moving towards a more digital future:
- Thailand has introduced an electronic invoicing system for all business transactions;
- The Australian government is launching mandatory e-invoicing for all Commonwealth activities as of July 1, 2022, hoping to bolster the current adoption of e-invoicing (80% of invoices as of July 2021);
- Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has released final technical requirements for e-invoicing regulation, effective December 2021, while transmission will be mandatory from January 2023;
- By January 2022, all electronic invoices will become mandatory in Egypt after a successful deployment of the first phases;
- The US Federal Reserve has launched a deployment project to establish a standardized B2B electronic invoicing system, with a view to a pilot program in the market in early 2022.
The future of invoicing is digital
With increasing legislation, organizations are slowly moving towards more standardized software solutions for e-invoicing platforms and systems to have more seamless online outcomes and system integrations. It is evident that companies are now adopting more complex electronic invoicing systems to better manage the accounts payable and accounts receivable cycles in all departments. Initially, companies delivered electronic invoices mainly in PDF format, while today more and more are adapting to EDI formats, such as XML or X12. Using automated workflows and advanced digital platforms, businesses can easily scale to complete organizational processes, with fewer errors and better results, than in the past, where paper and PDFs were. more often used.
This is why we can say that the future of invoicing is digital. More countries are passing new laws, as companies, especially those with global operations, have started adopting digital systems that help them move further in the digital world. Many billing systems these days also include ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies, which improve verification and transaction flows. These digital technologies not only improve data exchange, but also create space for new business opportunities such as overtaking traditional billing systems.
About Katya Kancheva
Katya Kancheva is Business Solution Manager at Comarch E-Invoicing. Katya graduated with an MSc in Management with continuous international experience. She is responsible for consulting EDI / Master Data Management and E-Invoicing presales for multinational companies, especially in the Italian market.
For the past 25 years, Comarch has been a global provider of advanced software-defined technologies that help companies across industries optimize their key business processes. The company’s extensive portfolio includes systems and services for efficient data and document exchange, such as master data management, electronic data exchange, online distribution and electronic invoicing platform. . Each of the products is fully compliant with the latest local regulations and enables companies to improve their business performance, gain competitive advantage and reduce operating costs. Comarch’s clients include top professionals from a variety of industries: Retail (e.g. METRO-NOM, Tesco, Carrefour) FMCG (e.g. BIC, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Unilever), Pharmaceutical (e.g. GlaxoSmithKline , Sanofi) and many others.