December 26, 2017

Electronic invoicing: benefits and generalities

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Several strategies are implemented by companies to reduce their operating costs and increase their turnover at the same time. Among them, the electronic invoicing system is undoubtedly one of the most important elements. This process offers many advantages, although it is still subject to some requirements imposed by law. Moreover, it has to meet some obligations to be really effective.

Electronic invoicing offers several benefits, including financial, productivity and time saving, but most importantly, an easy invoicing process.

Optimization of operating costs

As noted above, an easy invoicing process optimizes the operating costs of a business to the extent that it offers financial gains by reducing the use of paper and the cost of shipments. On average, the cost of a paper invoice is around 15 euros, compared to 4 euros for electronic invoices. This illustration provides an overview of the invoices dematerialization financial gain.

Productivity and time saving

The electronic invoicing device provides gains in terms of productivity. With such a method, it is no longer necessary to assign a task to multiple people. Only one person will handle certifications through electronic signatures. He will be in charge of sending, by email for example and archiving electronic invoices via different storage devices. Moreover, archiving electronic invoices allows for an easy  future access to the archived documents, which also saves considerable time.

Easy financial monitoring of files through the use of software tools

File management software incorporate a smart electronic invoicing system in order to simplify the financial monitoring of a case. These tools will prove to be helpful to evaluate the profitability of a file, check the amounts already invoiced and the remaining work to be invoiced, visualize the customer advances and the budget consumed or even to receive alerts when additional customer advance is required.

Customer benefits

Electronic invoices offer many benefits to customers as well. Anyone can consult their e-invoices at any time (online, through a dedicated customer area or simply by email), make an online payment and store it easily through electronic archiving, etc.

General information on electronic invoices

Electronic invoices can be divided into two categories: structured and unstructured invoices. This first type is sent to the recipients in formats approved by the tax authorities according to the EDI standard, XML or other similar formats. The second type, unstructured invoices, the invoices are issued in a non-modifiable format, such as PDF and JPEG files.

Electronic invoicing methods

There are two modes of electronic invoicing: easier invoicing and tax dematerialization. Regarding the first one, exchanges can be done in two manners, either by sending a paper invoice which will be scanned to be digitized once arrived at the recipient or by issuing an electronic invoice by sending a paper invoice simultaneously. What you need to understand about easier invoicing is that the legal document remains the paper invoice.

Concerning the second one, the exchange of invoices is done through an electronic procedure. The files issued must be compatible with various constraints and respect administrative standards. In France, these rules are defined by articles 289 bis and 289V of the French General Tax Code. Among these obligations set out by law, it is important to know that a valid electronic invoice must guarantee the identity of its issuer. It must not be modifiable and perfectly legible.

Electronic invoicing can be really profitable for companies. It enables financial, productivity and time gain which are the key elements that contribute to the success of a business. Nevertheless, this system is subject to strict rules set out by law, and the financial cost for setting it up can be relatively high. With all of these constraints, the best way for a company to switch to tax dematerialization and benefit from its advantages is to turn to advanced software. Aware of this, IPzen Legal offers a tool integrating an intelligent invoicing module that meets the needs and expectations of Attorneys. You will save considerable time.