In a scenario where it is established the obligation of electronic invoicing For the relationship between companies (and freelancers), talking about the benefits of electronic invoicing, in general, may seem unnecessary to some, more so, perhaps, when this obligation is viewed close, or relatively close, in time.
Someone might also think that it is an issue that It has been talked about for many years and that the arguments have not changed too much to emphasize them again and, perhaps, he is also partly right.
Much has happened since Law 25/2013, of December 27, promoting electronic invoicing and creating the accounting record of invoices in the public sector until this new proposal, included in the Create and Grow Law; however, the basic arguments for both have not changed. If the first had as one of its objectives the fight against delinquency in the public sector and the improvement of the efficiency in the administration, behind this new (but not last) impulse, is the reduction of delinquency in the private sector and a boost to the digitalization of companies. The next step will be the mandatory use in operations between EU companies.
And this is reasonable, since for the “global” benefits of using electronic invoicing to be noticeable, it is necessary to overcome a major challenge the effective extension of its use throughout the business fabric. This was reflected from the beginning in covering two needs. The first, its adoption or acceptance by small and medium-sized companies and, the second, the interoperability of electronic invoicing systems that allow their use in commercial interrelation both within and across our borders.
What is an effective extension in practice?
That all companies use it so that all systems and platforms have the need to interact and operate with each other regardless of the type of company, area or country.
Let me explain, while it was limited to the public sector, for the affected companies, it was necessary to incorporate the rest to get the most out of it. Which led to a cascading extension to more companies than were really required. The same is expected to happen with the companies that are incorporated in the next phase, while focuses on companies in one country, those that have relations with European companies will lack the incorporation of these.
In other words, as long as someone is left out of the equation, for those who are there it represents a possible exception in the automation of their processes. The reasonable, therefore, it will be trying to somehow avoid that exception. Either on the part of the issuing entities themselves, or on the part of the regulations themselves (this is what could be intuited in the will of the legislator in Crea y Crece).
But now, I would like to visualize it from the point of view of an “exception” company. And I turn to them. speaking of the Law Create and Grow, Those companies that invoice less than 8 million euros will be in this situation.
If I’m in this situation, I will find that I am not obliged to issue and remit electronic invoices to my client companies (you might think this is a good thing). However, if I have suppliers that invoice more than 8 million euros, I will receive electronic invoices and I will have the need to integrate them into my administrative circuit and respond to my client on whether or not I accept it and ultimately when I pay for it. In this case, the total beneficiary is the issuer, because although he is the one who has to issue and send the invoice electronically, he will also be able to electronically manage the information that I am giving him and above all (although he may have other tools for it), payment information. For this to work, I must have a tool capable of receiving electronic invoices and interacting with that of my provider that issues them.
It so happens that large companies are the ones that also represent the largest volume of invoices issued, which means that the probability that I find myself in this situation is relatively high.
If I have to consider, therefore, the need for a tool that allows me to manage the receipt of electronic invoices and the administrative state in which they find themselves, would it not be reasonable for that same tool to allow me to generate and communicate electronic invoices to my business clients and, with those who find themselves in the same situation and have what is necessary, begin to draw take advantage of automation and information?
If you are a company that invoice less than 8 million euros and you have thought, this is not for me, I will have two years to adapt, stop for a moment. Yes, this can go with you from the first moment or you may be interested in it. You can evaluate your suppliers to detect those that may be at that threshold of a large company. Evaluate your customers to try to detect those who could be in the same situation as you with respect to their suppliers. Evaluate your billing systems and the solutions you have. Evaluate your administrative circuits, both those related to purchases and payments, because they could be affected by the obligation from the first moment, as well as those of invoicing and collections, to see how to improve them and take advantage of the automation of electronic invoicing.
In short, ask yourself the question, but above all, the answers to whether it might be interesting for your organization to anticipate the full use of electronic invoicing.
Ronald Lozano, Engineering Legal Team Manager at Sage.