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Compliance and Regulations

What is GENA?

December 1, 2023
9:00 am

GENA (Global Exchange Network Association - formerly EESPA) is made up of members and associate members, including Unifiedpost Group. Working together, we act as a trade body spanning across Europe and have recently broadened our reach to a global scale.

Established in 2011, GENA (Global Exchange Network Association) is a non-profit organisation designed to develop best industry practices and foster influence in the public policy domain. GENA was initially established as EESPA (European E-invoicing Service Providers Association). The association transitioned to GENA in October 2023, shifting focus from an EU approach to a global approach with regional chapters.

GENA provides opportunities for business networking and outsourcing, plus financial, technological and electronic data interchanging (EDI) services. With 100+ members, Europe's development and efficiency of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) has significantly advanced thanks to GENA. GENA reports an overall invoice volume processed by the membership exceeding two billion per annum. Of this at least two hundred million transactions are exchanged using interoperability services between members.

What is GENA’s role?

Businesses who send and receive large volumes of invoices across the globe save significant time and cost if all their invoices are in one standardised format and are tax compliant for each country. This allows for efficient processing.

International legislation aids businesses with standardised invoice formats that meet tax and processing requirements.

GENA stands as a body to debate, promote and defend member interests. This ensures that e-invoicing laws reflect the industry’s needs. GENA also actively holds discussions with the e-invoicing workforce to understand industry issues, offer potential solutions and frameworks for interoperability. It intends to create a non-competitive market, where members willingly collaborate to develop best practices and influence public policy.

The governance and divisions of GENA

GENA’s governance is made up of Chair and vice-Chair(s), the Secretary General, the Executive Committee and different working groups. The association proactively seeks to understand members’ interests and raise requirements of the market.

Take a look at the key working groups and their roles:

Interoperability working group

Interoperability is the ability of systems and software to exchange and understand unique information. This means, regardless of format, both sellers and buyers can share equally understandable and compliant e-invoices using their interoperable service providers.

To support this, the Interoperability working group creates detailed proposals for the development and maintenance of GENA frameworks, agreements, components and tools.

The latest standard defined by GENA is EIN (GENA Interoperability Network).

Public Policy and Compliance working group

The Public Policy and Compliance working group monitors and ensures compliance to tax authorities’ e-invoicing legislation and policy.

It actively participates in stakeholder forums and collaborates with policymakers and decision-makers regarding public policy domains and compliance matters, aiming to advocate for best practices and optimal solutions.

Plus, the group actively leads industry attitudes in policy debates and contributes to global policies. Other focuses include:

  • Continuous Transaction Controls (CTCs); updating members on CTC developments and contributing to better practices
  • SME enablement
  • Updating of the Summary of Policy Positions

GENA and Peppol

It is worth noting how GENA and Peppol are connected, as the two organisations heavily influence electronic invoicing processes around the globe.

Working together, the two organisations have co-created the Global Interoperability Framework. This framework supports businesses, service providers and governments in being able to easily exchange and automate supply chain documents and information.

By joining forces, the organisations create one strong business case to help governments and tax authority stakeholders, see the benefits that interoperability can bring to their local markets. Both organisations understand the importance of ensuring that e-invoicing models and mandatory tax compliance processes benefit all parties involved and that the models support the transition to a fully automated and digitalised supply chain process.

What are the two parties currently discussing? The first important topic is the use of a common network for B2B and B2G transactions by "merging" the EIN standard with the Peppol standard (more information available here).

The second big discussion point is the joint promotion of the DCTCE model for tax authorities across the globe. To learn more about the DCTCE model, what it means, who else is involved and how the model will influence new e-invoicing mandates take a look at our explanation.

GENA and Unifiedpost Group

As a full GENA member, we at Unifiedpost Group work to improve our services and opportunities within the global e-invoicing industry. Through this, we can provide better service and seamless solutions for our customers. Services and solutions that are compliant, reflect current legislation and the latest market trends.

Our electronic invoicing solution firstly provides SMEs with one efficient tool to create, send and manage e-invoices and their processes. While our medium and large customers can benefit from quick and efficient document and data conversion, in multiple formats, while complying with e-invoicing regulations in over 60 countries.

Take a look at our e-invoicing solution here.

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Tax compliance and electronic invoicing regulations

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