Thursday, April 5, 2012

SAP Brazil Nota Fiscal 2012 (SAP NF-e 2.0) – Compliance is Complex and Requires SAP Configuration

Readers should be aware that complying with Brazil’s Nota Fiscal legislation is much more complicated than just creating a few XML integration points. I was reminded of this from a recent press release from Invoiceware International, Packaged SAP® Services for Brazil Nota Fiscal Compliance where they released SAP Nota Fiscal services to solve the big 3 problems with compliance – Localization, SPED and sending/receiving digital Nota Fiscals.  

In conversations with others in the industry, the implementation of SAP in Brazil is one of the most complex in the world, if not the most complex. So be sure you understand the following in detail because you can’t just install a few OSS notes to comply with Brazil. You need deep expertise from those that have done this before. Often, those in charge of the SAP Global Template for their company, which is a huge undertaking, don’t fully recognize the complexity of the process.  Here are the 3 key areas where you need to look for guidance:
  1. SAP ERP Localization for Brazil compliance – there are many OSS notes that you need to look at and install. If you are not on the most current version of SAP ECC 6.0, then I have seen companies that would need to install upwards of 300 notes to get their system compliant.  It is critical to understand your local needs in Brazil, as well as align them with the upgrade policy and change management policy of the SAP global template. These are often miscommunicated, and there are also alternative solutions to major upgrades.  The local teams can get the solutions they need without having a large impact on their global SAP roll out or template.
  2. SPED Compliance - Under the Brazilian Federal Revenue Office’s administration, the objectives of SPED are to integrate the action of the tax authorities by sharing accounting and tax information, thus expediting the identification of tax offenses by cross checking the tax returns submitted by taxpayers with their accounting records. This process, once your system is localized, requires the production of reports that are complicated and very specific. SPED Report examples include: SPED PIS/COFINS, EFD FISCAL SPED, SPED CONTÁBIL.
  3. Nota Fiscal Eletronica - regulations covered not only physical goods (NF-e), but they also covered service invoices (NFS-e) and logistic invoices (CTe) making the implementation for global organizations even more complex.  For SAP users, there are solutions that are in-house that you need to manage (i.e. SAP GRC Nota Fiscal) as well as multi-country on-demand providers such as Invoiceware International with their SAP compliance dashboards, and a host of local solutions that don’t have the tightly integrated processes internally to SAP like both Invoiceware International and SAP AG.

As you are looking at e-invoicing solutions, be sure to fully understand the issues created as you transition your business and SAP systems in Brazil.  Also, be sure you understand the new NF-e inbound process mandates, and how they relate to SPED reporting starting in April 2012.  This will be the focus of our blog next week. Inbound SAP NF-e processing and requirements.

Kevin Benedict, EDI and e-Invoicing Veteran, Consultant, Speaker and Writer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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