Now it’s slowly getting time: more than five years ago, the EU Directive 2014/55EU was adopted, which makes the introduction of xinvoicing mandatory for public authorities. The deadline for implementation is November – this year!
But the authorities are obviously far from as far advanced as the “Kommunale” trade fair for public authorities in Nuremberg recently showed. The state-run IT service providers in Germany, Austria, Italy and France are currently rather “under” as far as the implementation of the invoice standard is concerned. The demand for consulting services has only really increased with and after the summer break. At the last minute, the authorities are now trying to create the internal conditions for sending and receiving invoices exclusively in electronic form in the future.
Admittedly, the specifications for implementing the standard are not entirely trivial. But they have been known for five years! Anyone who has now done their homework can sit back and relax. However, this was demonstrated at the “Kommunale” in Nuremberg, where many did not do their homework and now have to do detention.
The challenge is not only for the authorities. Also all enterprises of the free economy – all the same whether within the European union or in the European Union foreign country – must be able to switch over in the business traffic with European authorities to electronic calculations. This is not necessarily new territory for sectors such as the automotive industry, mechanical and plant engineering or the chemical industry. For years they have had electronic invoice formats in their program, which now “only” have to be converted to the official format.
Three problem areas nevertheless remain:
The employees: discussions with finance offices, IT managers, mayors, managing directors and accountants at municipal and state level show that there are still major gaps in knowledge – for example, what an electronic invoice looks like, what it actually is, what it can do and what it cannot do. The suppliers: Only from November of next year will suppliers also be obliged to send “top-threshold” invoices only electronically. This may not be a challenge for global corporations and large medium-sized companies. For craftsmen and service providers, however, this can represent a seemingly insurmountable threshold. The data: A simulation game on xinvoices showed that many suppliers are not even in a position to supply the requested information – regardless of the format. Large projects will still be necessary to enable the suppliers’ business applications to spit out the necessary data at all.
A problem like made for the actesy metadata framework, with which it is a matter of a few days to tickle out the necessary data from an application and make it available in any format. From the projects of the last months we have put together an integration package with actesy Invoice that makes it possible for companies to fulfil the legal requirements for an xinvoice on the basis of their own business applications within a very short time.
In order to ensure that the path of the electronic invoice from receipt through transformation in several processing steps to the desired invoice format remains traceable, all intermediate steps are stored in the actesy metadata framework on which actesy Invoice is based. Thus a further requirement of the standard xinvoice is already fulfilled in principle.
It is five to twelve – but there is still enough time if you are prepared.
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