Electronic invoicing is becoming more and more common in businesses across the world. Despite the enthusiastic uptake however, several so-called electronic data interchange (EDI) standards exist which, when combined with local e-invoicing regulations can cause major problems for suppliers.
One of the largest problems for international e-invoicing is the localised implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) and how it is implemented by a foreign government. In most countries, businesses wishing to import goods are obliged to calculate and pay the correct amount of value added tax. Failure to calculate the correct VAT fee can lead to fines for non-compliance and delays in the shipment and delivery of goods. Presenting invoices in the wrong format can also prevent businesses from reclaiming available VAT rebates, adding further cost to a transaction.
Particularly problematic are countries within the European Union who although encouraged to implement e-invoicing under EU regulations, are also able to implement such directives in almost any way they see fit. Standardisation is therefore impossible as the determination of invoice integrity works on a country-by-country basis.
To deal with such a lack of standards, businesses can choose to adapt their existing in-house systems in the hope that they can cope with the multitude of different e-invoice expectations, or outsource the processing to a third party. Because of the diverse rules across Europe (and South America to some extent too), some companies are choosing to use the services of single country ERP cloud providers.
Such an approach however is far less cost-effective for the supplier who is ideally seeking a single e-invoicing provider who can provide the required interfaces to deal with governments and businesses anywhere in the world. Using a single, integrated solution such as Smart Admin from Celtrino will help to cut the complexity and cost burden placed upon a supplier and allow them to focus on the more important aspects of the transaction, such as manufacture and delivery. Using an outsourced solution, a business should also be able to ensure VAT is paid automatically at the correct point of the transaction and the rebate collected at the appropriate time too.