The E-invoicing Checklist: It’s issuing time! [part 10]

August 24, 2012  |  Electronic Invoicing, Publications

Time flies when you’re having fun. Well, the team at the E-invoicing Platform at least tries its best to make electronic invoicing as fun as possible for you. But back to the subject. Part 10 already in our E-invoicing Checklist series. What else is there to teach you? Lots! How to engage with your customers, for example. This step involves sending, exchanging or provisioning the e-invoice towards the receiving party: your customer. We neither favour nor make a distinction with regard to the file format, the channel, address or any other way the invoice is issued.

Does your customer agree with an electronic invoice/bill?

You (or in the case of self-billing: your customer) can only start sending electronic invoices after it is clear that your customer is willing and able to receive them. The acceptance of e-invoicing can be achieved in two ways: explicit or implicit (through a payment).

Use of proper infrastructure, formats and channels

Possible formats are: PDF, HTML, UBL, CIIv2, EDICOM, ISO20022, Word, sector specific standards, and so on. The choice for a format depends heavily on what your customer agrees to, or what is custom behaviour in your sector. You have to ensure that your customer can receive the invoice as it is issued (integrity), that your customer can verify that the invoice is actually intended for him or her, and verifiably sent by you (authenticity).

The invoice has to be issued on time

Make sure that the invoice is issued and registered within the legally prescribed period (e.g. in the EU 14 days after providing the service or product). With e-invoicing and e-billing, the creation of an e-invoice can coincide with the actual sending, exchanging or providing of the e-invoice (for example, purchases in webshops). The time of issuance is legally important and determines whether you have fulfilled the obligation to issue an invoice within the legal time frame.

Reliable delivery of the invoice at the agreed address should be ensured

This requirement has at least one advantage: management information. E-invoicing offers the possibility to see when a specific invoice was received and opened, and by whom. This valuable information can be put to use to optimize cash management, improving your estimates on your cash flow and DSO. This kind of information can also be used as evidence in a debt collection case, during a (tax) audit or when confronted with fiscal inquiries.

If you can’t wait to read everything there is to know about about receiving invoices in next week’s post then you can download the complete E-invoicing Checklist here for free!

Previously published articles in this series:
New series: The E-invoicing Checklist [part 1]
The E-invoicing Checklist: Manual [part 2]
The E-invoicing Checklist: Current EU e-invoicing basics [part 3]
The E-invoicing Checklist: The new EU E-invoicing Directive [part 4]
The E-invoicing Checklist: content – tax requirements [part 5]
The E-invoicing Checklist: content of the simple invoice [part 6]
The E-invoicing Checklist: content clarity and comprehensibility [part 7]
The E-invoicing Checklist: content payment instructions [part 8]
The E-invoicing Checklist: create your invoice [part 9]

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