Obligatory digital invoicing: 3 ideas for getting ready for 2024

Why is a mandatory transition to electronic invoicing introduced in France?
For several reasons, the first is to simplify VAT reporting and collection, which will result in better fraud detection. Another important reason is to reduce paper printing and speed up the invoicing process to increase competitiveness.

This commitment will therefore involve many changes in companies, especially according to their degree of digital maturity. Symtrax gives you a few tips to make this step easier.

Tip # 1 Master key concepts

Deadlines to know:

The obligation to receive electronic invoices comes into force on July 1, 2024 for all companies, regardless of their size.

As for the obligation to issue them, a schedule has been set to facilitate the transition:

  • July 1, 2024 for large companies
  • January 1, 2025 for medium-sized enterprises
  • January 1, 2026 for small and medium enterprises and others

All of these deadlines – the first of which was postponed for 18 months (the commitment was originally scheduled to begin on January 1, 2023) – aim to allow companies to properly prepare for this new commitment.

Formats to follow:

Please note that an invoice sent in PDF format by e-mail will not be considered an electronic invoice. Indeed, the electronic invoice will have to follow the standard EN16931 which will include 164 data that will be mandatory.

Each electronic invoice must comply with one of the following 3 formats:

  • Factur-X (hybrid format, PDF with XML attachment)

Through these 3 formats we can see that XML will therefore be imposed on everyone, and that it will become the basic standard for mastering.

New players:

Several entities will appear in an electronic invoicing environment. Here are three actors who need to know how to prepare well for 2024:

  • Public Billing Portal (PPF). A portal that will centralize the flow of invoices, perform regulatory checks and finally transfer the data to the tax administration. It is the equivalent of the Chorus Pro portal, which is dedicated to public sector invoicing.
  • Partner Dematerialisation Platform (PDP). A state-certified platform that will convert and transmit invoices and that will be responsible for conducting compliance checks. PDP will be registered in the directory of recipients and will have to update the data on its users listed there.
  • Dematerialization (OD) operator. An actor who will have the ability to convert and transfer invoices without certification. It will not update its customer information.

This obligation to switch to electronic invoicing leads to mastering some of the concepts. To facilitate their understanding, a glossary containing all acronyms, terms and definitions is available.

Tip # 2 Anticipate change

For good prediction, it is necessary to analyze what already exists. Can we provide 164 data that will be mandatory? It is important to check the quality of the data you already have, and especially to study how you will be able to reach the missing ones.

For example, billing data will be circulating and it is therefore useful to take an interest in managing the flows sent and received. Within the implementation of electronic invoicing, 4 “flows” are defined:

  • e-invoicing, invoicing in electronic format
  • e-reporting, transmission of invoicing data in electronic format (more precisely, the amount of VAT)
  • life cycle, invoice status in processing
  • directory, flow of information about companies

Therefore, it is necessary to determine upstream everything that you can or want to do internally and according to which flows you want to manage yourself or entrust to the service provider. That is, the dematerialization operator (OD) who will convert and transfer the invoice for you. Or go even further by using a partner dematerialization platform (PDP) that will manage all of these flows for your company.

This decision will have an impact on your IT and administrative organization and therefore deserves enough time to think.

Why is preparing in advance the right way? There are more than 4 million companies in France, service providers, whether OD or PDP, will have increased activity which will create bottlenecks when approaching 2024. In order not to find yourself with an imposed implementation schedule, the partner you have chosen and who will be able to support you.

Tip # 3 Go beyond invoicing

Therefore, all companies will now use standard invoice formats and this will greatly simplify their processing. These formats and data will allow you to automate many processes, especially entry and reintegration into your accounting software or ERP.

But other than that, this commitment should allow you to review your entire documentary chain in the light of dematerialization, from distributing product catalogs to receiving an order form, from issuing a referral to tracking your customers ’arrears. Indeed, productivity gains or value pockets are piles up: automating reconciliation between documents (e.g., purchase orders, invoices, and delivery notes), activating inventory level alerts, integrating into validation circuits, and signing, for example.

Electronic invoicing will also improve reporting and allow you to view all invoicing data in near real time (overdue customers, late payment, reminder status, etc.) to improve company management.

This mandatory pass is a great opportunity to take full advantage of digital technology and finally move towards 0 paper in companies!

For any contact:
SYMTRAX – Dematerialization expert
+33 (0) 4 66 04 54 27

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