Italy's mandatory e-invoicing: behind the scenes

September 2, 2019

See where Veronica is speaking at ETOT on the agenda here 

 

Getting the world of invoicing on one (or several) digital platforms is as difficult as getting your local barber and your local bank to both comply to the same standards.

 

This is why, in 2019, we are still yet to see a market place which is wholly digital despite seeing comparably high levels of tech-penetration in other similar fields.

 

Veronica Musumeci, whom is well experienced in this field and is currently leading a role in the back office in the energy management department in ERG; will be speaking at ETOT 2019 giving us her insights. She adds a great twist as she will be giving real situations where teamwork and networking at ETOT has led her company to only benefit. 

 

Before that, we got the chance to speak with her on the matter and beyond.

 

Please tell us what mandatory e-invoicing entails Starting from January 1st 2019, e Invoicing is mandatory in Italy.

 

This event obliged all Italian companies to adapt to a new a format for invoicing: we cannot anymore send invoices by email or paper invoices; we have to comply with a new electronic format (XML standard) established by the authority.

 

The e-Invoicing process also provides that all the invoices have to be processed through a central exchange hub named Sistema diInterscambio (SdI) developed by The Italian Ministery of Finance. This led to the necessity to adapt our ERP systems but, also our way of work. The SdI could take 5 working days to check the XML compliance to the standards and to deliver the documents to the final customer: the invoices can be considered really issued only after submission and acceptance of SDI.

 

As a consequence of this, we have to manage the process in a different way, for example back office have to anticipate the internal settlement process and to transfer the invoicing information to Administration and Business Accounting earlier, so they could start the e-invoicing process accordingly. In some cases, we also have to contact the counterparties to be sure that they have received the document. This is because the possibility of rejection by SdI could cause delay in the delivery of documents which reflects also on delays on payments.

 

Are there any solutions to fix that problem?

 

Generally, the process works well.
I think that most of the issues were due to an early stage of the new e-invoicing process and that they are gradually decreasing. Some of the issues were technical: for example, some fields were added to the standard XML format upon request from certain counterparties and sometimes these new fields were not compliant to the rules established for the construction of the XML file so that it was rejected by SdI. In the last months issues didn’t occur often, I think we should be pleased with this.

 

What was the implementation journey like?

 

I didn’t follow directly the technical implementation of the change in my company, my IT department was the main function involved. They opted for an internal solution, so they worked a lot to integrate our ERP system with a new component which is able to create the XML file according to the standards established by the authority and to transfer it to the SdI.

 

From my side (the back office side), I’ve been the link between my colleagues of different department (i.e. IT and Business Accounting) and the external counterparties: collecting important data necessary to the e-invoicing process, working to explore potential changes to the contracts, establishing a dialogue with the Institutional counterparties to discuss how to implement this new process. It was a very interesting project regarding transversal topic that allows to increase the team working internally in my company but also with the people of other companies. As you know I took part in a multi-company working group on e-invoicing!

 

You'll be speaking on a panel alongside many Italian peers - how important is it to collaborate with others in the industry? How did you go about organising the collaboration?

This is very high added value which is difficult to find in the energy sector in particular.

 

ETOT 2018 was the moment where we met and decided to start this working group. Last year one of the presentations was about e-invoicing who was presented by an Italian. After the presentation all Italian companies attending ETOT started to talk about the new mandatory law that would take place on 1 st January 2019 and we consider the possibility to work together and discuss of this matter. Then our multi-company group was born, and we decide to make together this journey to the e-invoicing implementation! It was a very interesting experience as we all helped each other to solve common problems but also to see problems
that probably some of us don’t consider.

 

The topic we will be discussing at the event is the working group. We are happy to promote the experience of sharing and cooperating with different companies. This is very high added value which is difficult to find in the energy sector in particular.

 

What do you think? Do you agree with Veronica? Or do you have an alternative solution?

 

Want to be in the game too? Join us at ETOT 2019 and enter the debate and much more. One step left now click to register here.

 

See you there!

 

See where Veronica is speaking at ETOT on the agenda here 

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