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Hear from our country experts on France, Spain and Poland’s upcoming B2B mandates

September 26, 2023
9:00 am

In our most recent webinar, 'Embrace the future of e-invoicing compliance: A global perspective' we conducted a round-table discussion to gain insights into the opportunities and obstacles facing businesses in Poland, France, and Spain as they prepare for their B2B e-invoicing mandates.

Discover the valuable insights shared by our panel of country-specific experts, and further your knowledge on how local businesses can get ahead of their upcoming regulations.

What do you see as the potential opportunities and also disadvantages for businesses of the electronic invoicing model that will be introduced in your particular country?

Spain - Pascual Gómez

Of course there are some disadvantages as mandatory electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) might be seen as an obstacle to begin with, but in the mid-term it's going to be a win for everybody.

Each country has its own take on the approach to e-invoicing. We also have the European Commission working in parallel to make the mandates and processes more cohesive among the European countries.

From a public perspective the benefits are clear. Mandates will reduce tax evasion, as they target the VAT gap. We can see this in countries such as Italy, who are the pioneers.

From a business perspective, the benefits of e-invoicing mandates provide better insights, more control and transparency. Plus, businesses benefit from the improved automation of processes by reducing the manual tasks that are prone to delays and human error.

France - Jean-Pierre Gardille

The French government is taking opportunities with their reform. The first is to reinforce competencies - there will be a reduction of administrative costs, which reduces payment time.

The second one is a simplified tax declaration. With what we are putting in place in France, and the arrival of VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA), means that we would like fully automated VAT declarations. Companies will then not have to do their declarations, instead they will receive an invoice or credit note from the government for their VAT. This should be between seven and ten years from now.

Thirdly, there is a €20 billion VAT gap in France. This reform will make the economic game more fair to fight fraud. There are forced advantages, such as the real-time activity monitoring for businesses. At the moment, businesses monitor their activity with accounting reports, and what we're doing with e-invoicing means that businesses will have the capability to monitor their activities in real-time.

Poland - Krzysztof Pulkiewicz

The first benefit for businesses is the opportunity to automate the business processes on accounting, ERP, accounts receivables and accounts payables tasks. This is a great opportunity for businesses, as it will save a lot of time for various departments.

However, there are also disadvantages. One of the examples is that for the Polish implementation, everyone who has an IP, or VAT identifier, can send an e-invoice to our company. And it means that it builds a space for potential fraud. There are some plans for the Polish government to be able to deal with this, but I see a big challenge here - how to re-verify and how to validate the right invoices.

Do you think EDI connections between suppliers and buyers will continue to exist once the new mandates come into play?

France - Jean-Pierre Gardille

They are not directly dealt with in the [French] reform, therefore we can still carry out EDI as PDPs, but only between PDP and businesses (in the role of PDP customers).

At the moment, you cannot carry out EDI with the central public platform. So in fact the reform says, EDI can survive if you have existing agreements, but we as a public platform don't want to deal with EDI anymore. So in fact, it will certainly make this way of moving e-invoices to be less popular in France.

Poland - Krzysztof Pulkiewicz

I think many of the EDI connections will stay. It is also important that many existing invoice exchange channels stay in parallel with KSeF (Poland's e-invoicing platform). One of the reasons is that KSeF is not supporting any attachments. Therefore, if you want to attach a document to your invoice (billing, reporting etc.) it needs to be sent via a different channel, which will be parallel to KSeF. Direct connections will stay and sending invoices in parallel via email will also stay.

Maybe KSeF will be extended in the future, allowing us to send additional documents. But at this moment, I believe the existing channels will stay in parallel to the official KSeF upload channel.

Spain - Pascual Gómez

Very similar to France and Poland, EDI will coexist with the upcoming platforms and system. I think at some point it might evolve, but in Spain you can still have the connection between supplier and client, and then you have to report your invoices in parallel to the tax authority.

We've noted that there have been delays introducing the obligations compared to what was initially announced in each of your countries. In your experience, do you think that there's a place for businesses to now sit back and relax, or would you recommend they keep working to make sure they will be compliant?

Poland - Krzysztof Pulkiewicz

I would say that time is really ticking away. I believe we see a lot of businesses already working on their compliance, because it's not just about the connectivity, it's not just about being connected to KSeF, it’s not just about being able to upload and download the document - it's also about adapting business processes, and adapting systems. For example, the way we dispatch accounts payables, the way we deliver the accounts receivables together with additional documents.

So there is a lot of work especially for the larger and mid-size businesses. And if you haven’t yet started, it's already very late! But it is still a good moment to start working with us, at Unifiedpost Group, we are always able to support this process.

France - Jean-Pierre Gardille

Even if we have a delay, we know why we have a delay in France - the infrastructure is not completely ready. Instead of having a pilot for six months, we are going to have a pilot of more than one year with all the actors of the reform.

Just like Poland, the success for each business will be in the details. There are many partners that barely know that they have an impact, or that they have a role to play in the reform. So, when we start to activate the reform, we will see interactions that potentially were not planned before. This is why we really want to have an ecosystem during the pilot as rich as possible, to really pay attention to all the details and the impact on the information system of businesses. The larger the business, the more complex the information system and therefore the more complex the interactions we will see.

This is what we are seeing at the moment. Especially for midsize businesses, who sometimes have less resources for managing their IT systems and are therefore really struggling to put in place the reform.

Spain - Pascual Gómez

The short answer is no, even though you might see publishing delays, you have to stay on top of developments and you need as much time as possible to be prepared.

Of course, businesses have picked up the issues of delays. There is still a lot to do and what seems like a lot of time ahead, but if you fail to comply you simply cannot operate in these countries. Therefore, you have to ensure that you're globally ready! The more global the company, the more complex your environment is.

Businesses who might transact with Spain, Poland and France, have to prepare their project team for lots of testing and making sure the necessary data is ready to comply with the different requirements in each of the different countries. Each country’s model is complex and different from each other, so of course businesses better find a partner that can streamline e-invoicing and e-reporting services for all around the world.

Start streamlining your e-invoicing journey

At Unifiedpost Group, we transition businesses of all shapes and sizes to digitalised, automated ways of working. We work with you and your team to introduce electronic processes, so that electronic invoicing becomes part of your everyday workflow, in the most efficient way possible.

As we are tax compliant in over 60 countries around the globe, we know a thing or two about making sure your business remains compliant. Not only will your business benefit from compliance, you will benefit from extra value-added electronic invoicing services. Digitalised payments, automated incoming invoicing processes and the reach to extend your global network.

Start your e-invoicing journey with us, by exploring our solutions today.

Details correct as of the publishing date. For the most up to date regulations, view the latest e-invoicing regulations information for France, Poland and Spain.

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