Are your eInvoicing processes up to speed?
It seems like every country is introducing new eInvoicing formats these days. Who can keep track of it all? Many companies are insecure about which format they should be using. Certainly, this is something they should know. But there is no avoiding even more urgent questions: What are your processes like before and after an invoice? Are your invoice processes up to speed? Are you tapping the full potential of invoice management?
First things first: Companies with international business operations need to stay abreast of the latest changes in invoice formats. In Germany, for example, the updated invoice format ZUGferd went into effect last spring to be in line with the EU standard EN 16931 and with Directive 2014/55/EU from April 16, 2014. Many industry experts are saying that the ZUGferd standard will push other EU member states to adopt a similar eInvoicing standard in the next few years. “The higher the degree of digitalization at a company, the more eInvoicing will be implemented and become obligatory at a company,” says Ivo Moszynski, Chairman of FeRD, the German forum for eInvoicing. The forum hopes that the updated format in Germany will encourage companies to practice EU-compliant eInvoicing in the B2G sector.
The format jungle grows
Many countries already have or are planning to introduce EU-compliant standard formats for eInvoicing. For instance, the XRechnung has been in effect for eGovernment in Germany since 2018; ebInterface is used in Austria; in Italy, Fattura PA is standard; Norway has PEPPOL. Sweden and Poland will launch their own format soon. Switzerland is the one exception: suppliers of the federal government must fulfill the eInvoicing obligation, but they may choose their own format (for now). The EU standard encourages the use of eInvoices — but also format diversity.
Time to shift the focus
Instead of grumbling (understandably) about the multitude of eInvoicing formats, why don’t international companies use this as an opportunity to modernize eInvoicing through company-wide digitalization? Besides fulfilling compliance requirements, eInvoicing has another big plus: The electronic format is predestined for automated invoice processes. And this is the key to higher cost-effectiveness:
• Digital invoice processes mean higher productivity with lower resources.
• The error rate drops dramatically, duplicate work decreases, and the risk of penalties is avoided.
• You’ll be able to meet cash discount deadlines more easily and ensure discounts.
• With digital invoice processes, customer service is faster and better.
From eInvoicing to company-wide digitalization
When digitizing your invoice processing, you should launch a solution that digitizes the entire process: from inbound invoice processing to review and release, all the way to audit-proof archiving. This will save your company from unnecessary system interruptions and ensure a smooth user experience. Our tip: check out the certified Doxis InvoiceMaster, which unites process automation and intelligence. It offers a big advantage over other commonly found invoice processing systems: artificial intelligence. Using AI to extract and classify invoices, your entire invoice process is automated and information is always put in the right business context. Once you’ve got your invoice processes digitized, it’s easy to apply the same approach to other areas: inbound mail, cross-departmental approval processes, document filing and assignment, document archiving and retention management, and many more use cases in which automated processes are ideal.
Intelligent platform solution
When creating your digitalization roadmap, aim for a comprehensive strategy that will benefit all areas of your company. The Doxis ECM platform offers, for example, freely combinable services for a wide range of processes and requirements. This forms the foundation for company-wide, end-to-end digital processes. The big benefit of the platform? You create diverse solutions for your information and process management which can be expanded at any time according to your requirements. All the while, you can utilize core services for, e.g., customizing and roll-out, security and authorization management or reporting and monitoring for all applications. This way, you achieve transparency throughout information and processes while also preventing security and process gaps — which is the prerequisite for higher quality and efficiency throughout your company’s processes.