In Spain, the process of business digitalisation is increasingly becoming a reality. Companies are committed to optimising their processes and automating them. In this sense, important and vital aspects for any business activity are also being digitised, as is the case of electronic invoicing. Find out what it consists of, what advantages it has and resolve any doubts you may have on this subject in our article. Read on!
Table of Contents
1. What is electronic invoicing?
The simple definition that best explains what electronic invoicing consists of is based on separating the two concepts that make it up: invoice and electronic invoice. Without looking for further complications, an electronic invoice is an invoice, like the ones we are used to dealing with in our companies, but in electronic format.
It should be noted that, since this system is in the process of being implemented, electronic invoices can only be issued with the recipient’s consent and approval. In the absence of such consent, an ordinary physical invoice, printed on paper, must be issued.
2. FAQs on electronic invoicing
As we mentioned in the previous section, electronic invoicing in Spain is booming in terms of its implementation. This is why some doubts may arise.
Below are the most frequently asked questions related to electronic invoicing.
- What is done with the electronic invoices sent? When issuing an electronic invoice, the issuer is obliged to keep copies of electronic invoices for the same period of time as a paper invoice. This period is established by Law 58/2003, of 17 December 2003. In addition, electronic invoices must be kept in compliance with the guarantees required to ensure that they are legible, to verify the authenticity of the invoice’s origin and to maintain the integrity of the invoice’s content . Lastly, it is important that electronic invoices are accessible to the Tax Administration. The peculiarity of electronic invoices is that they must be accessible online.
- What is done with the electronic invoices received? Electronic invoices received are processed in the same way as issued electronic invoices. They must be kept for the periods established by law. Their legibility, authenticity and integrity of content must also be preserved, and they must be accessible to the Tax Administration.
- Is it compulsory to receive electronic invoices? The answer is no. A consumer or customer cannot be obliged to receive an electronic invoice without his or her consent. If such permission is not obtained, the invoice must be issued on paper.
- Can I be charged for issuing physical invoices? With this question, there is a duality in the answer. On the one hand, legal regulations do not prohibit requesting payment for issuing a paper invoice. However, as a consumer or customer, the fact of receiving a paper invoice cannot be conditioned by the payment of a specific financial amount. Therefore, if we look at the current regulations on Consumer and User Protection, issuing a paper invoice should not entail an extra cost.
- Can the services of third parties be contracted for the storage of electronic invoices? The storage of electronic invoices can be delegated to a third party. However, two important aspects should be highlighted. The first is that this company must be authorised for this purpose and, secondly, storage does not imply nullity of liability. This implies that, despite the fact that the electronic invoice is being kept by a third party, the responsibility lies with the company issuing or receiving it.
- Is it necessary to verify the electronic signature of an electronic invoice? This is an important question, as both the signature and the electronic certificate must be verified. If the electronic certificate is not valid, this may lead to problems for the justification of the invoice. However, it is the electronic signature generation programmes themselves, or the companies that generate them, that ensure the validity and legality of this process.
3. Advantages of electronic invoicing
There are many advantages to the electronic invoicing model. As it is a process that is carried out daily in a company, being able to optimise it is a major step towards digitalisation and process optimisation.
The main advantages of electronic invoicing are as follows:
- Saving on consumable materials, such as paper or printer ink, or courier services.
- Consequently, it is considered a more sustainable practice, as it reduces the use of paper.
- Invoicing processes are optimised and savings are made in terms of actual time spent by the invoicing staff.
- Invoices are easier to track and easier for the tax authorities to check, thus avoiding possible fraud.
- With the possibility of automating certain invoicing processes, errors are reduced.
4. Electronic invoicing and the Crea y Crece Law
The impetus for implementing electronic invoicing comes from a law that aims to promote the digitalisation of companies, with the objective of replacing the invoicing system in Spain, moving from paper invoicing to mandatory electronic invoicing.
4.1 Implementation of electronic invoicing
The measure to implement electronic invoicing is subject to parliamentary timelines. The Crea y Crece law was passed on 15 September 2022 and published in the Official State Gazette on 29 September 2022, with a date of entry into force for 19 October. Despite this timetable, the electronic invoice has an implementation period of six months.
Therefore, companies have until next March to start making the modifications.
Despite this, the law stipulates that, depending on annual turnover, companies and self-employed workers will have between 1 and 2 years at most to implement electronic invoicing in their businesses.
- Annual turnover over 8 million euros: 1 year maximum.
- Turnover below 8 million euros: 2 years maximum.
4.2 Requirements, obligations and penalties for electronic invoicing
As with all legal procedures with regard to the Tax Administration, electronic invoicing is subject to requirements, obligations and penalties. The requirements for issuing an electronic invoice are based on the following points:
- Guarantee the authenticity of the origin and content of the invoice: This means that both the issuer and the recipient must ensure the proper use of the electronic invoice. The content of the invoice cannot be altered once it has been issued, and monitoring by both the interested parties and the Tax Administration must be guaranteed.
- Use of electronic signature: an electronic invoice must be signed by means of an electronic signature. This requirement also calls for the proper use of the digital tools offered by this system.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): A medium compatible with the EDI system is required, which enables the exchange of information, in this case electronic invoices, between companies. As it is a standard format, it favours communication between companies and the sending and receipt of electronic invoices.
The obligations, as mentioned above, are to guarantee, both on the part of the issuer and the recipient, the preservation of the invoice, in terms of legibility, authentication of the content and access for consultation.
Furthermore, as we have seen in the previous point, electronic invoicing will become mandatory, making it the main obligation for companies in the coming months.
Since it is a mandatory system, non-compliance with the regulation entails penalties, which can amount to up to 10,000 euros for those companies and self-employed workers who do not comply with the requirements of electronic invoicing.
5. Solutions for electronic invoice management
In keeping with everything we have explained in this article, we believe that the best way to conclude it is by talking about digitalisation, but in this case, of processes related to financial management.
Electronic invoicing is a major advance in digitisation and automation for companies. However, many companies are still using outdated systems for financial control. Many of them still do not have a 100% computerised system.
Today, technology has come a long way in this area and has enabled the development of digital solutions for financial management. Solutions such as Tickelia, which allow 360º management of company expenses.
Tickelia offers the possibility of setting up customisable approvals for business expenses, which gives greater control over all financial movements that are made with the company’s money.
Moreover, thanks to its end-to-end process, payment to creditors is decentralised. With the approval flow implemented according to the company’s needs, it is the employees themselves who can request invoices and report them to the accounting department.
Tickelia is a solution that can be 100% integrated with other business management solutions, such as ERP&CRM management software, payroll and HR software, among many others. Therefore, it is possible to perform a complete financial management of any department of the company.
If you want to know everything that Tickelia can offer your company in terms of financial management, click on the following banner and request a demo!