The Electronic Invoice

In August this year the electronic invoice and will be mandatory for large firms in their relationship with the central government; the rest, meanwhile, will have until February 2011 to adapt to this digital tool, ahead of Julian Inza, president of Interactive Albalia. And, despite its proven benefits, this billing model still does not enjoy a massive presence, especially among SMEs.

Martin Perez, president of the Multisectoral Association of Spanish Companies of Electronics and Communications (Asimelec) considers that it is a logical situation, “as befits a new way of working, which will be implemented progressively.”

The Electronic Invoice
Image Source: Google Image

To this, the enormous ignorance that entrepreneurs have about what is added is electronic invoicing, different formats or systems to integrate with your organization, as noted by the general director of the Foundation for the info- technological Development of Companies and Society (Fundetec ), Alfonso Arbaiza.

Some questions that go along solving this report with the help of several experts in the field. And all with a single goal: to say goodbye to paper.

The Electronic Invoice
Image Source: Google Image

Delegate or not to third parties

As a first step, we must know what the process is summarized in the transmission of invoices or similar documents by  electronic media (computer files) and (from one PC to another); these will be signed digitally with qualified certificates, with the same legal validity as paper invoices.

Then you must take care of decision whether this task yourself or delegate it to third parties. If you choose the former, Arbaiza message launches its simplicity. “Almost all programs management and accounting have an electronic billing module. The only procedure here would get a certificate for signing, “he says.

The Electronic Invoice
Image Source: Google Image

In addition, from private and public entities they are launching initiatives to facilitate the use of electronic invoicing. Specifically, through the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, has developed a free software application that allows open easily generate invoices. A program specially designed for SMEs, micro and self – employed.

Bill yourself

If one assumes internally without subcontractor- electronic invoicing, it has available several formulas according to their degree of complexity:

  • The simplest. Sign an email (or a document with Word, Excel, Acrobat format) and send it to invoice data. This mode is not the most common or the most beneficial, according to experts consulted. “Clearly if the receiver has to retype data coming into a PDF, efficiency and speed that is supposed to disappear system” illustrates Inza.
  • Intermediate formula. It consists of issuing or receiving invoices from a web application that allows creating them manually. Sebastian Muriel, general manager of, says it is an affordable method, designed for those who would scare a more complex alternative. It is also interesting to small SMEs, with a volume of small bills, says Xavier Puyol, responsible for EDI Projects Implementation and the Spanish Association of Commercial Coding (Aecoc).
  • The most complex (and complete). This is a module integrating specific billing systems and financial management of the company. Experts agree is the ideal formula and with the advantages attributed to electronic invoicing are obtained. These include greater flexibility in the procedures, being automated processes.

    The Electronic Invoice
    Image Source: Google Image

Leave it outside

For entrepreneurs who choose to delegate formula billing, collective tools are driven by banks, telecommunications operators or management software companies, says Perez. But we must also bear in mind that this method does not relieve of the legal responsibilities of any bill, so you’d have to be very careful when choosing the supplier. The solutions vary, depending on process totally or partially subcontracts:

  • Comfort. In this case, the entrepreneur does not have to worry about anything, because the platform will handle meet all operating, legal and any other requirements. These systems have a connection so that the user can enter their bills. From that moment, a specific document format which will apply an electronic signature is created.
  • A signature, please. On this occasion, the provider only has to provide the firm, but also the possibility of offering other complementary services, such as validation of it.

No two without three

Apart from these two forms of outsourcing, there is what is known as self – bill. In this option, responsible for drafting the bill is the receiving entity, which usually also the firm. This type of operation is common in some very specific sectors such as insurance. Thus, the insurer generates the bill, after the professional that has contracted to settle a claim referred you work data. For more reviews like this visit

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