E-Invoicing – Critical for Efficiencies and Compliance with Government Regulations – Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayThe pressure for organisations to up efficiencies, enhance value and remain one step ahead of the curve is relentless! Digital document transformation updates legacy processes (often manual) to a digital and automated workflow.

Another arrow in the quiver

E-invoicing is a tool that is transforming how finance departments and organisations operate as part of a companywide digitisation strategy. It converts the traditional paper invoice into an electronic document and allows for the digitisation and automation of a company’s billing process.

Whilst not all e-invoicing solutions offer the same capabilities, the functionality provided by effective e-invoicing solutions is vast. It can include the ability to automatically convert invoices into the right XML or JSON format. This, irrespective of whatever EDI (electronic data interchange)  protocol you may use. It can also allow for the tracking of delivery acknowledgement and invoice status. As a result, one can make better-informed decisions whilst observing every step of the process.

Furthermore, effective e-invoicing solutions can allow for the management of all files in a single web repository. From a single location, on-premises or via the cloud, your internal users or business partners can view any format of the invoice – human-readable, XML or JSON. . This adds consistency and traceability to the electronic invoicing process.

Increasing international government regulations

Effective e-invoicing has become essential for increased business efficiencies and enhanced functionality. Adding to this is growing pressure worldwide, for compliance, with increasing government regulations. As governments seek greater transparency on VAT, expenses and tax reporting, the right e-invoicing solution can support export for any international and local businesses. This helps to level the playing field for smaller businesses trading with larger enterprises.

A case in point is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The beginning of January 2022 saw a multiple display format required for all invoices – .pdf and XML. Both these versions needed to comply with certain rules as to layout and information. The regulation extended to all debit and credit notes which needed to meet the same requirements.

Additional regulations become effective on 1st January 2023. It will see the introduction of a government platform requiring all taxable businesses to create invoices electronically and then submit for verification.

As a result, as of 1st January 2023, all invoicing solutions must fulfil a host of requirements. These include:

  • UUID (a mandatory unique 128-digit number created by the e-invoicing solution provider and embedded in the XML file for every invoice);
  • cryptographic stamp (technical digital signature that verifies the document’s authenticity and proof that the invoice is created by the specified sender and the content unaltered);
  • cryptographic stamp identifier (a credential associated with the invoice and stamp issued by ZATCA’s e-invoicing integration portal);
  • previous invoice hash (a mandatory alphanumeric code with special characters generated by the taxpayer’s invoicing solution);
  • QR code (containing specified invoice data and visible on printed invoices); invoice counter (generated by the invoicing solution and represents each invoice issued via the system).

The global landscape

These increasing government e-invoicing regulations are not limited to KSA alone. Organisations in other countries that have had to reassess their invoicing and e-invoicing compliance include, but are not limited to: France, India, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Belgium, Greece and Switzerland – across both centralised and decentralised platforms.

It is important to note that government regulations pertaining to e-invoicing are not only applicable to the organisations within that specific country. Any company, anywhere in the world that has dealings with those countries will still need to comply, irrespective of where they may be situated.

What to look for in an e-invoicing solution?

  • Adaptability with all invoicing requirements. This includes translation, certificate integration, and format conversion (XML, JSON, PDF, etc.). Ensure invoices fit your customers’ regional requirements to avoid rejections or delays. The solution should allow you to change formats and make invoices human-readable. Also, to upload to the correct platform via EDI (electronic data interchange) or API (application programming interface).
  • A complete end-to-end solution. Invoice details and real-time status updates make Accounts Receivable follow-up for collection easy. Automated reports and interactive online search capability provides control over each invoice released. From ERP to government certification to the final customer-facing remittance, complete traceability and security is key.
  • The ability to monitor and manage all invoices without the need for any special programming. Look for a solution with an easy-to-use interface that allows administrators to perform all required document functions. It should include the ability to incorporate government verification steps into the current workflow as needed.
  • Seamless integration with current processes and systems. The ability to automate electronic invoicing and ensure compatibility with multiple countries’ protocols, all without disrupting your current ERP. In addition, the support of Accounts Payable by streamlining inbound invoices as well.
  • And, of increasing importance – compatibility with format requirements across multiple countries and the ability to add government verification steps as required.

The right solution – so much more than tech

As important as the right technology infrastructure is, other essential factors to consider when selecting your e-invoicing solution include:

  • Is the chosen solution able to ‘stand-alone’ and is supported by a team of seasoned professionals with end-to-end experience across all areas of the solution? Or does it require 3rd party add-ins that can result in multiple vendors and potentially a more siloed experience?
  • Is the solution able to be easily configured to your specific requirements? Is it modular? Does it enable the vendor to package and implement a solution best suited to your specific requirements quickly and effectively?
  • How extensive is your chosen vendor’s footprint globally – from an installation, support and R&D perspective? Is your chosen vendor’s R&D capability inhouse, thus with no subcontracting to a third party needed?
  • Does your potential vendor have experience in helping customers meet increasing government regulations across multiple countries?

Invoicing will always be a crucial part of any business transaction. Integration of an effective e-invoicing solution is essential for compliance with increasing government regulations. It is also key to strengthening your overall digitisation strategy and, in that, your business in its entirety.

Contact Symtrax to find out more about exactly how Compleo Hybrid can assist with your e-invoicing requirements.

symtraxAt Symtrax, we help businesses accelerate its transition towards the digital future it envisions and needs!

Our collaborative approach allows organisations to harvest the most out of its resources, improving efficiencies without comprising security. Using automation, our document management services help to reduce manual dependencies – making data management easier (cloud and on-premises).

Further, our direct integration with ERPs (API-based) ensures a direct communication channel with the system, delivering automated data conversion that allows you to toggle between the data formats best suited to your business processes.

Our solution is powered with RPA capabilities and an integrated modern EDI solution for standard-specific document transmission.

As your business grows, scale your initiatives to match your changing requirements – maximising the value of digital document transformation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here