Electronic billing, in the face of ignorance and uncertainty » MuyCanal

Electronic invoicing is going to cause a tsunami in Spanish companies. The regulatory changes that we are experiencing especially concern two of the protagonists of correct regulatory application: professional offices or partners and software manufacturers.

On the nearest horizon are two laws that promise to be the most important and those that will have the greatest impact on Spanish companies. We refer to the Create and Grow and Anti-Fraud Lawboth related to the use of eletronic bills. Although this process was already mandatory in some cases (such as the contractual relationships of the private company with the Administration), once they come into force it will be essential for all types of businesses, including the self-employed.

To shed a little light on these regulations, at MuyPymes and MuyCanal we have held a round table in Madrid with several key players in the sector. This is how they have accompanied us Álvaro Salto Quilez, DocuWare Channel Manager for Spain and LATAM; Francesc NunezERP Product Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Spain; José Rodríguez Ansaldi, Product Owner Accounting & Finance by Holded; Domingo Pérez GallardoBusiness Development of Grupo Aitana and Anabel GameroEconomist and Lawyer at Talenom.

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Current panorama on the use of electronic invoicing in Spain

The situation in companies regarding the next mandatory electronic invoice It is between ignorance and procrastination. «We have two or three very interesting years ahead of us. It will be a turbulent time and we will have to do a lot of training for the end client. For our part, we believe that these regulations will be a very good step forward for companies.”Álvaro Salto Quilez, from Docuware, told us.

This was an opinion shared by José Rodríguez Ansaldi, from Holded: «They are going to be tough years and for software manufacturers, a very big call to action challenge for consultancies. There are two important points that we must address, on the one hand, knowing how to transfer this optimization to the client and, on the other, starting to train in usability, flows and how things should be done from now on.

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Francesc Núñez, from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Spain: “We manufacturers have a great responsibility to help SMEs in the processes.”

Training for clients and“make things clear” They will be the most pressing challenges for the sector, according to Domingo Pérez. For the representative of Grupo Aitana, important work is already being done by everyone to disseminate this knowledge, «“But it is not 100% clear how it will work and as we get closer to the day they come into force, this work will be more intense.” To which he added the importance of highlighting the benefits of the regulations.

Precisely, the implementation of electronic billing has already It is becoming a reality in many countries. Anabel from Talenom gave us the example of her company, whose headquarters is in Finland and where this practice is already a reality. «Spain cannot be left behind. A time of difficulty will come, especially for consultancies, which we have to explain and train clients. For the country it will be a great boost to digitalization and also a positive impact for entrepreneurs, self-employed workers, etc… because late payments will decrease, the procedures for issuing invoices will decrease, there will be more security, lower costs and absence of errors.

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Álvaro Salto Quilez, from DocuWare: “We have two or three very interesting years ahead of us”

Frances Núñez added some more advantages to this list, such as «access to financing, get clients and have more time to attend to business. The director of Wolters Kluwer also warned of the need for coordination between all the agents involved so that «“This works.”

Ignorance and uncertainty

Currently, the sensations that the participants in today’s table have captured the most have been the ignorance and uncertainty by SMEs and the self-employed. Although they have noted that large companies have already «“put the batteries” and they work perfectly with electronic billing, the little ones have a harder time. Those that have taken a small step forward are those that have relationships with the big ones and have known this experience first-hand.

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José Rodríguez Ansaldi, from Holded: «We must know how to transfer to the client the optimization created by the electronic invoice»

«“Many SMEs still use PDF to make an invoice and believe that this is electronic invoicing,” indicated Álvaro, who added that companies will have to rely on consultancy services because they will not be able to manage everything on their own. From Holded they also indicate that small businesses have a great lack of knowledge of the regulations and that consultancies will have to take an active role and reinvent themselves. «It is a business opportunity«, he indicates.

At Grupo Aitana they believe that in Spain there is a tendency to “let it go, see what happens”although he recognizes that «sooner or later they will have to enter that channel.

From Talenom they have verified a slight evolution of its clients and some already apply electronic billing, although they are “Aware that it will be a very complicated job and for SMEs and the self-employed it will be difficult to implement this from one day to the next because it will be difficult for them to assume the obligations”. However, they recognize that those who have already taken the plunge have not been slow to see the benefits.

On the part of Wolters Kluwer, they believe that the great challenge will be to make the client see that they have to «change the way you work, specifically ““modify the way of billing with the normal circuits of the company.”

Anabel Gamero, from Talenom: «Changing the mentality and way of working in Spain is complicated»

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The role of consultancy and manufacturers

Who has the responsibility of informing and evangelizing companies about the new regulations? Without a doubt it is the task of all parties involved: the Administration, consultancies, manufacturers and the distribution channel. «“Changing the mentality and way of working in Spain is complicated,” indicates Anabel. One of the keys and on which everyone agreed was that the way to approach the issue is not to present it as an obligation, but as an advantage.

«You have to explain to small businesses that electronic invoicing saves time and costs. But it is going to be a tremendous job to show the advantages,” indicated from Docuware. For Aitana there are three obstacles: “Tradition, lack of investment and change of mentality.”

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Domingo Pérez Gallardo, from Grupo Aitana: «There are three obstacles here: tradition, lack of investment and change of mentality»

For Francesc Núñez, software manufacturers They have a great responsibility to help them in the processes. It also recognizes the reinvention work that professional offices have had and their need for digitalization to help clients.

José Rodríguez believes that there is two challenges in this communication work. The first is to make known why the electronic invoice will help the processes; The second is the usability and flexibility that the tools provide. “That is the biggest challenge that I see and we have to make the software as intuitive and easy as possible.”

In short, on this day of «IT Conversations: Electronic Invoicing» sand they put on the table aspects that will influence Spanish businesses. Among them, the upcoming electronic invoicing regulations (Create and Grow and Anti-Fraud), the challenge of knowing how to communicate them to companies and the challenge for manufacturers to have flexible and easy-to-use tools to help their customers.

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