E-invoicing is here: This is what you need to know
Got your hands on The CFO’s playbook for 2024 yet? Then you’ll have heard of e-invoicing. (If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Download your copy now).
Either way, the new regulations* around e-invoicing will come as a big wake-up call for many businesses across Europe.
Don’t worry, there’s still time to cover yourself. In this blog, we’ll unpack exactly what you need to know about e-invoicing so you can prepare your business for the upcoming changes and stay compliant.
*We're aware that amendments to regulations are still being discussed for each market, and this blog will be updated should these current conditions change.
What’s e-invoicing all about?
E-invoices (electronic invoices) are a form of digital invoice. This is nothing revolutionary, but simply digitising your invoicing process isn’t enough to be compliant in the EU.
This proposal is aimed at recovering more than €11 billion in VAT per year by disposing of paper-based records, promoting digital signatures and, in doing so, eliminating occurrences of tax evasion and fraud.
It’s safe to say most businesses are embracing the wave of digital transformation we’re seeing. Yet we still hear stories of finance teams who print out and handle practical paper copies of invoices – risking data leaks, duplicate work and a potential information black hole. The new e-invoicing rules are a bid to make businesses more efficient, and their data more accurate. And of course, there’s the need to be compliant with the laws already in place or shortly on the way.
E-invoicing regulations are in place across much of mainland Europe, but the exact details vary. Keep reading to find out how your business will be impacted based on its location.
Different market, different rules
Find your country from the list below to learn how you’ll be impacted by the new regulations.
E-invoicing laws are not mandatory in the UK yet. But given they’re rolling out across Europe as we speak, this will likely come into play at some point. So getting a head start might not be a bad thing, especially when thinking about future-proofing your tech stack.
Here’s everything you need to know about invoice management (including how Pleo can help you automate your process – no more missed invoices, no more late fees!).
France recently postponed its mandatory B2B e-invoicing and B2C e-reporting mandates, but that doesn’t mean it’s a no-go. In fact, 2025 will see a voluntary pilot phase for businesses to participate in, with large and medium-sized companies required to use e-invoices and e-reporting by September 2026, followed by smaller businesses in 2027.
It’s worth noting that the Senate has made a counter proposal to move some of the obligations of the new invoicing law from September 2026 to July 2025. Although this new proposal needs to go back to the Assembly for voting, so the outcome is still unclear. If the Senate's proposal is adopted, all companies will have to be able to receive and process e-invoices by 1st July 2025. Plus, large companies will have to be able to issue e-invoices by this date.
On 15 September 2022, the Crea y Crece Law was definitively approved. This means that companies and self-employed workers will have to carry out e-invoicing in their commercial transactions.
This regulation hasn’t yet had final approval from the Council of Ministers. Once the regulation has been published and approved (we can’t say when this will be), the period of time available to the affected companies will begin to run.
The first phase will involve all companies and self-employed workers with an annual turnover of more than 8 million euros. They will have a period of 1 year.
The second phase will involve the rest of the companies and self-employed, i.e. those with an annual turnover of less than 8 million euros. They will be obliged to apply this measure within 2 years.
Germany is implementing e-invoicing regulations in the B2B sector from January 2025, ‘EN-compliant’ e-invoices will become the default in Germany, although non-compliant invoices will still be accepted at first (with a gradual phasing out to happen from 2026-2028).
Denmark’s a bit ahead of the game. In 2022, the country launched a new Bookkeeping Act that made e-invoicing mandatory. This outlined stricter requirements for accounting software providers, including the ability to issue, receive, process and archive electronic invoices. All companies are now required to use Digital Bookkeeping Systems (DBS) that meet government standards.
While there is no clear timeline for the phasing out of non-compliant invoices, Sweden has clearly outlined the benefits of moving to e-invoicing. The country has also seen formal requests submitted to the government to consider adopting mandatory e-invoicing in the B2B and G2B sectors, so watch this space.
While there are no mandatory rules for e-invoicing in the Netherlands yet, the country has taken steps towards digitising the procurement workflow. They’ve done this by introducing e-orders via the Pan European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL). Again, keep an eye out for any news in this area in case The Netherlands follows in the steps of the rest of Europe.
Keeping up with e-invoicing regulations can be tricky, as few things are set in stone and plenty of changes are afoot. Check back in on this blog, as we’ll update it as we find out more information to help keep your business one step ahead.
The CFO's playbook for 2024
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