Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interview with Mexico e-Invoicing Expert Scott Lewin, Part 2

This is Part 2 of this interview on Mexico e-Invoicing.  Read Part 1 here.

Kevin: How much needs to change on the backend ERP to support these new Mexico e-Invoicing requirements?

Scott: Not very many changes are required in the ERP if you use a managed service like Crossgate. If one of our customer's outbound invoices does not contain all the required fields for compliance, we can often add those fields for them as part of our managed service. We have the ability to help companies gain compliance without a lot of backend work. Inbound invoices also will need to be validated. Some companies receive both paper and electronic invoices from suppliers. Starting next year they need to send the inbound invoice information to the SAT and then store the validation in their system. We can also help them set this all up and be compliant.

Kevin: How much work do your customers do, and how much can Crossgate do for them.

Scott: Very little work outside of the Crossgate solution is needed to meet the new regulations from the SAT. We take the customer’s data, convert it to the proper format required by the SAT and then manage and monitor the entire real time validation process. We have been supporting the real time inbound and outbound e-Invoice processes in Brazil for several years, so we understand the work that needs to be done.

Kevin: Do companies need to create a valid invoice with all product shipments?

Scott: Yes, each transaction valued over 2000 pesos needs its own invoice. The validation process takes only seconds. It works like credit card processing. All of these processes can be monitored and managed from within SAP. It all takes only about 20-40 seconds. The SAP Monitor can show exactly where all transactions are in the process.

Kevin: Where do you see the biggest challenges in this program?

Scott: The large volume of companies that are now recognizing they only have a couple of months to comply. Many of these companies still need to get everything designed, developed, deployed and tested. I anticipate a crush of compliance work leading up to the deadline.

Kevin: Tell me about the requirements of the company receiving an inbound invoice.

Scott: The receiving company may get both a paper and an electronic invoice from their supplier, but the legal invoice is the electronic XML file. The receiver needs to send the XML file for validation per the SAT requirement and get it matched with the amount declared on the outbound invoice. This is the validation process and the validation certificate needs to be stored.

Kevin: Companies must need this process integrated into their ERP right?

Scott: Absolutely, otherwise you are adding significant manual steps to the invoice process. Our entire inbound and outbound process is completed integrated, controlled and monitored within SAP.

Kevin: In a warehouse environment, the dock workers may scan incoming products or they receive an electronic invoice in the Mexico SAT mandated XML format right?

Scott: There are additional benefits that can be realized from these new processes. Companies who utilize our solution can also automate the entire MIRO and MIGO processes which dramatically reduce the time needed to receive goods. It can be a very smooth process.

Kevin: If companies are going to stay on top of these changes they will need their own internal team of experts right?

Scott: Yes, if they decide to implement their own on premises solution. Keep in mind that the January 1, 2011, mandate is just the first version of the new changes. We expect new requirements to be added on a regular basis for the next few years. It requires a major commitment from Finance and IT to support this solution inhouse. This is one of the major reasons so many companies are turning to Crossgate to manage this process. We are committed to maintaining compliance with all changes announced by the tax authorities. This removes a heavy burden, especially from global companies that need to comply with regulations across the globe. Today we support 38 different country eInvoicing requirements.

Scott: These days we are being contacted by many systems integrators and other solution companies with partnership requests. Their customers need to be compliant and we have the solution. These next few months as well as the next few years are guaranteed to be interesting in the eInvoicing world..

Thanks for your time Scott!

Kevin R Benedict SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, SAP Blogger Independent
e-Invoicing and EDI Analyst and Consultant
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*Full Disclosure: I am an independent consultant that has worked with and for many of the companies mentioned.

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