Should You Be Compliant Even if the Mandate Is Not in Place in Your Country?

Short answer: Yes! While it’s still a work in progress in many countries, the basic principles are settled down and shouldn’t change drastically.

One of those rules revolves around: what is an e-invoice? If you’ve been reading our blogs for quite some time now, you would think that it’s not a question anymore. However, it goes better saying it once more: an e-invoice is an invoice that is issued electronically, a scanned document or a PDF is not an e-invoice

Once you know what an e-invoice is, you should have a look at the solutions you are already using, and if they are issuing electronic documents. You might already be able to use e-invoicing, but you’ll have to make sure they provide documents that comply with a wide range of regulatory requirements. Choosing a service provider that follows generic standards, such as Factur-X, or are part of global networks such as Peppol, should help you be compliant with most mandates that are coming into place.

Finally, implementing e-invoicing at an early stage will help you when (and not if) a mandate is being enforced. You will already be using e-invoicing and would, in worst case scenario, only have to make small adjustments to be fully compliant. Thanks to your anticipation into the implementation of e-invoices within your daily processes, that’s a burden you won’t have to carry anymore when the deadline approaches.

Make an Inventory of Your Solutions

As we mentioned before, a good starting point is to check what are your IT solutions and what they are doing. One of your solutions might be providing e-invoicing solutions already, but are those on the good path for the future mandates? Is it an add-on to what you are currently using? 

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Another obstacle to a smooth transition is usually the lack of communication between the different services within the company. Accountings might be using an ERP that is not connected to the sales services. Making sure that all solutions communicate and are fully integrated is the key to success, it is better if no information goes missing between two steps of the e-invoice flow!

Make an Inventory of Your Business Partners

You would think that e-invoicing is only a matter of being compliant with legal requirements and taxes. This is part of the equation as there is more to consider when switching to e-invoicing. Having a clear picture of your customers and business partners will also help you into your implementation. Some partners might be using e-invoicing for years, others might have no idea of what this is about. One very important partner might prefer to use a certain standard that is better integrated into their systems. If you don’t have a clear view of those requirements, you might lose the good relationships you have with them. 

Our advice would be to be part of a global network such as Peppol. It will help identify companies and providers that can tag along your e-invoicing journey. Also, involving your partners creates a win-win situation, where e-invoices are issued in a quicker manner, and thus, being paid in a shorter delay as well.

At SPS Commerce, we see our business partners as a big community and we are here to help you achieve a global compliance, to taxes mandates, but also with your existing customers and trading partners.


Still having doubts on how to tackle your e-invoicing project?

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