Master the Complexity of International E-Invoicing Requirements

International invoicing presents a greater complexity compared to its domestic counterpart. With the global adoption of electronic invoicing, new constraints have emerged alongside existing ones. The question that arises is this: How can AP Automation's e-invoicing solutions effectively address the challenges encountered by companies engaged in cross-border transactions?

International e-invoicing challenges

Some of the difficulties companies face when sending invoices to foreign countries include:

  • Different tax laws and regulations: Each country has its own tax laws and invoicing regulations, resulting in variations in VAT rates, exemptions, compulsory statements, and more. Furthermore, there are now specific rules governing electronic invoicing, encompassing aspects such as format, sending and receiving channels, and archiving. In-depth knowledge of these regulations is essential for both compliance and ongoing adherence.
  • Different currencies: Due to fluctuating exchange rates, your suppliers likely prefer to be paid in their native currency (euro in the European Union, dollar in the USA, pound sterling in the UK, yuan in China, etc.). In addition, depending on the destination of the funds, additional documentation may be required from the company making the payment to ensure the legitimacy of the transaction.
  • Language to be used: If you're sending an invoice to a customer abroad, they may ask you to send it in their native language.
  • Mandatory and country-specific information: Invoice requirements differ from one country to another, and tax authorities may impose additional specific information for international transactions.
  • Tax codes: Value-added tax (VAT) and general sales tax (GST) represent a substantial portion of public revenue and are closely scrutinized by tax authorities. Tax codes, such as those for VAT, must be included either at the invoice header or line level.
  • Customs obligations: Depending on the country, a customs invoice, also known as a consular invoice, may be necessary. This requires completion by the exporting company.
  • Compliance audits: Worldwide tax authorities conduct two types of audits. The post-audit model occurs after invoice issuance, requiring companies to verify invoice authenticity and integrity. In the clearance model, local tax authorities act as intermediaries, verifying invoices in real-time. Suppliers typically declare each invoice on a specific platform and obtain approval from authorities before sending it to the customer.
  • Associated costs: Managing international invoices may require extra staff resources, and international transactions often incur flat-rate commissions from banks and other institutions.
  • Exchange rate risks: Fluctuating exchange rates can impact profit margins, creating financial risks.
  • Customer data management: Invoicing in multiple countries involves secure management of customer data to comply with confidentiality and personal data protection regulations, such as Europe's GDPR.

Electronic invoicing and AP automation: solutions to address these challenges!

Implementing e-invoicing and AP Automation solutions, like those offered by Basware, presents a comprehensive approach to tackle these challenges. Specifically, these solutions empower companies to:

  • Ensure compliance with worldwide regulations: Manage various aspects, including invoice transmission channels, formats, prevailing taxes, mandatory details, tax codes, language, currency, archiving requirements, and data privacy regulations. These solutions are backed by specialists who stay updated on regulatory changes, reducing the costs associated with international tax compliance management.
  • Streamline global supplier invoice processing: Effortlessly receive, capture, and automate end-to-end invoice processing for your global suppliers, harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
  • Simplify multi-currency invoice processing: Automate multi-currency invoice processing, sync exchange rates with your ERP system(s), and execute foreign currency payments at favorable rates to safeguard your cash flow.
  • Accurate tax calculations: Automatically compute tax amounts, minimizing the risk of fines from tax authorities due to errors.
  • Prioritize security: Uphold the highest security standards, encompassing encrypted communications, non-repudiation of exchanges, personal data protection, and electronic invoice archiving. For instance, Basware's network serves as an official Peppol access point, facilitating compliant invoice issuance, transmission, and receipt across all operational countries.
  • Enhance visibility: Gain a comprehensive view of outstanding receivables and payables.
  • Maintain control: Oversee the entire process, whether for domestic or international invoices, with dependable and exhaustive audit trails.

For a deeper dive into this topic, I recommend checking out the blog, Redefining Business: The Global Surge Of Mandatory E-Invoicing. It offers valuable insights into the profound impact of mandatory e-invoicing on the global business landscape.

Ready for a world of seamless invoicing compliance?

Would you like to learn more about our cutting-edge solutions and dedicated support to ensure your readiness for mandatory invoicing compliance across the globe?

Contact us today to explore your possibilities and embark on a journey towards effortless international invoicing. Your success is our priority!

A graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce et de Management de Tours, Pascal Amilhat joined Basware in 2020. He has 20 years of experience in the IT industry and, more specifically, in managing the sales of IT services such as outsourcing and transformation programmes. At Basware, he helps clients adapt their source-to-pay processes to new market requirements, such as the 2024 Reform, and to improve in-depth purchasing and finance operations.
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