Voice of the Industry

The future of invoicing is digital

Thursday 25 November 2021 08:24 CET | Editor: Vlad Macovei | Voice of the industry

Comarch's Katya Kancheva runs us through the already-evolved process of digitisation which is now moving towards more automated invoicing software and systems, as well as a new approach to e-billing

In the past two years, we have connected the terms digital and digitisation with the efforts of companies to adopt new technologies and processes across their operations due to demanding and extraordinary circumstances. However, as much as the pandemic has indeed been a push, other factors motivated companies to move towards a future in which digital will be an essential ally, integral to companies. Customer experience is also becoming a crucial factor in B2C and B2B relations, especially when we consider processes related to electronic invoicing. Digitisation has evolved and moved to new topics related to more automated invoicing software and systems, as well as a new approach towards e-billing systems and software. Big companies and institutions are looking forward to paperless invoicing processing, increasingly digitised, while small ones are catching up, thanks to new regulations and demand from partners. 

The e-invoicing revolution

When the EU mass adoption of e-invoicing started with the support of European legislation, which helped governments facilitate their business with the public sector, it boosted economic benefits, reduced manual work, tax evasion, and costs, raised the efficiency of processes, and created the opportunity for wider adaption of digitisation. In Europe, there are now common formats and benefits that countries found from e-invoicing. It sparked a new movement, with more and more countries now bringing in legislation for B2G, B2B, and B2C e-invoicing. France is already preparing for mandatory B2B e-invoicing as of 1 January 2024, with the introduction of a new government system called Chorus Pro, which handles B2B2G processes. Since 2019, Italy has had mandatory e-invoicing for B2G, B2B, and B2C processes. B2B and B2C is mandatory for Italian operators with turnover greater than EUR 65 000. A lot has happened in the past years when it comes to e-invoicing news, so here are some examples of what is coming in Europe:

  • As of January 2022, Italy is introducing new archiving rules that will help companies have more structured metadata, which will be stored;
  • Italy is also introducing new rules for cross-border e-invoicing as of 2022, and all e-invoicing will be handled by SDI (Sistema di Interscambio) instead of the Esterometro, which has been used until now;
  • In 2021, Portugal introduced B2G e-invoicing for big companies, with SMEs and other companies following suit on 1 July 2021;
  • On 1 October 2021, Poland introduced the KSeF Platform (Krajowy System e-Faktur), which will be voluntary as of January 2022 and obligatory from 2023.

Outside of Europe, companies are also moving towards a more digital future:

  • Thailand has introduced an e-tax e-invoicing system for all business operations;
  • The Australian government is starting mandatory e-invoicing for all Commonwealth activities as of 1 July 2022, with the hope of boosting the current adoption of e-invoicing (80% of invoices as of July 2021);
  • The Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA) in Saudi Arabia has published final technical requirements for e-invoicing regulations, effective from December 2021, while transmission will be mandatory as of January 2023;
  • By January 2022, all e-invoicing will become mandatory in Egypt after a successful rollout of the first phases;
  • The USA Federal Reserve started a rollout project to establish a standardised B2B e-billing system, in preparation for an in-market pilot programme as of early 2022. 

The future of invoicing is digital

With the increase in legislation, organisations are slowly moving towards more standardised software solutions for e-billing platforms and systems in order to have more homogeneous online results and system integrations. It is evident that companies now adopt more complex e-billing systems so they can better manage accounts payable and accounts receivable cycles across all departments. Initially, companies delivered e-bills mostly in PDF format, while currently more and more are adapting to EDI formats, such as XML or X12. With the help of automated workflows and advanced digital platforms, companies can easily move towards comprehensive organisational processes, with fewer errors and better results, compared to the past, where paper and PDFs were used more often. 

That is why it can be said that the invoicing future is digital. More countries are passing new laws, while companies, especially those with global operations, have started to adopt digital systems that help them further advance in the digital world. Nowadays, many invoicing systems also include ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies, which improve verification and transaction flows. Such digital technologies not only improve data exchange but also create space for new business opportunities such as moving beyond traditional billing systems.

About Katya Kancheva

Katya Kancheva is a Business Solution Manager at Comarch E-Invoicing. Katya is a MSc Management graduate with continuous international experience. She is responsible for consulting EDI/Master Data Management and E-Invoicing Pre-sales for multinational companies, specifically in the Italian market.

 

About Comarch

For the past 25 years, Comarch has been a global provider of advanced, software-defined technologies that help companies from all industries optimize their key business processes. The company’s vast portfolio includes systems and services for efficient data and document exchange such as Master Data Management, Electronic Data Interchange, Online Distribution, and e-Invoicing platform. Each of the products is fully compliant with the latest local regulations and allows enterprises to improve their business performance, gain a competitive advantage, and reduce operational costs. Comarch’s clients include top professionals from various sectors: retail (eg, METRO-NOM, Tesco, Carrefour) FMCG (eg BIC, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Unilever), pharma (eg GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi), and many more.


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Keywords: Comarch, e-invoicing, digitalisation
Categories: Banking & Fintech | E-invoicing, SCF & E-procurement
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech