Thursday, June 4, 2009

Electronic Invoicing for SAP

Electronic invoicing sounds simple. You set up your ERP to attach a PDF version of any generated invoice to an email and forward it to the email address of your customer. Easy right? Like most things in life, it is not as easy as it sounds.

Many governments and tax authorities around the world have established unique rules and regulations on how electronic invoices must be used. How do you learn, and follow the requirements of 30-50 different regional tax authorities? How many staff or consultants will it take to ensure you are compliant? Let's talk about some of the issues:
  1. Customers want to know if the invoice sent from their vendor is authentic and unaltered. Therefore, digital signatures are most often required to verify that the invoice is authentic and uncompromised.
  2. Some tax authorities require that all invoices include a government issued unique number (called folio number in Mexico). Who manages this process?
  3. Governments and their tax authorities want customers and vendors to archive the electronic invoices for often 5-10 years. How do you automate this archive process and make it compliant with each regional authority?
  4. Many countries have specific file formats required for electronic invoices. Who manages these file formats and ensures your in-house formats are correct?
  5. Some tax authorities require monthly reports on electronic invoicing. What reports? How do you submit these?

Most businesses select a global managed service provider that can manage global e-Invoicing for them. There are huge efficiency savings from using electronic invoicing, even with the cost of a managed service provider.

SAP users now have the option of using a global e-Invoicing service provider that is co-owned by SAP called Crossgate. If you would like to discuss in more detail just email me.

This article contains more information on the value of using e-Invoicing with your SAP system.


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