Today, between 10% and 20% of all invoices exchanged in France are in electronic format. This small share reflects a still widespread use of paper.
This analysis may seem surprising in view of the many advantages that electronic invoicing confers. We will tell you more about this below.
But despite (or thanks) to the health crisis, there is an awareness of companies wishing to rethink and modernize their operating methods, particularly to adapt to teleworking. As invoicing is a central element in business processes, their dematerialization becomes essential.
The dematerialization of processes and documents, but especially the dematerialization of invoices, is spreading worldwide. Electronic invoicing obligations are implemented gradually in many countries.
And as you have probably heard about it, this is also the case for France, which decided in its 2020 finance law to generalize electronic invoicing to the private sector. This obligation was already in place for invoices exchanged in the public sector.
This awareness of companies and their willingness to anticipate this obligation has led to strong growth in e-invoicing.
The government has therefore taken the decision to harmonize the different billing systems and to generalize the process. Let’s see how.
2020 Finance law: Obligation of e-invoicing and e-reporting
A gradual implementation
The electronic invoicing obligation will be implemented gradually in order to best adapt to different sizes of businesses.
From July 1, 2024, all companies will be required to accept receipt of electronic invoices. The issuing of dematerialized invoices will only be mandatory for large companies on this date.
In 2025, the obligation will be extended to mid-sized companies and in 2026 to SMEs and VSEs.
The obligation of e-reporting should in theory follow that of invoices issuing.
This implementation will therefore include 2 phases:
- The implementation of e-invoicing and e-reporting
- The implementation from 2026 of pre-filled VAT declarations
The pre-filling of VAT declarations will be made possible thanks to the invoicing data that will have been sent to the DGFIP when the invoices are issued.
The problem today is that many companies are not yet informed of the upcoming obligation, and therefore do not anticipate what to do next. This is why we are here to inform, advise and support them so that they can comply with the regulations as effectively as possible.
The objectives of the dematerialization of invoices
The government has 4 main objectives:
- Prevent and fight against VAT fraud thanks to automated cross-checks.
- Reduce costs for companies and thus improve their competitiveness. This will make it possible to secure commercial relations between companies.
- Facilitate the feedback of economic information in real time to government services to adapt economic policy as quickly as possible.
- Reduce declarative costs and facilitate declarations with pre-filling.
Which electronic invoicing model is favoured by the government?
The government wishes to set up a mixed model which is inspired by what has been set up for the public sector with the Chorus Pro platform. This so-called “Y” model will allow both electronic invoicing and the transmission of data or e-reporting to government services. Indeed, the dematerialization of invoices alone is not enough to fight effectively against fraud, which is why this obligation of e-invoicing is accompanied by that of e-reporting.
This will allow the tax administration to crosscheck purchases and sales in order to fight tax fraud. Ultimately, this will also allow the implementation of pre-filling of VAT declarations.
The e-reporting will concern in particular B2C sales, international B2B and intra-community acquisitions as well as cashing.
The technical aspect of this reform
Cohabitation between private platforms certified as trusted third parties and the public platform will be put in place.
Here is a plan to make the operation clearer.
The documents that will be concerned are invoices, corrective invoices and credit notes. They can be exchanged via 3 communication channels: APIs, a web portal and EDI.
This automated solution will allow you to monitor the progress of invoice processing.
The medium- and long-term objective is for all companies to be able to issue invoices in a structured or mixed format such as EDI or Factur-X.
As a first step, less computerized companies will be able to issue invoices in PDF format. The duration of this period has not, however, been announced by the DGFIP, hence the need to anticipate and comply with the legislation in order to be able to issue invoices in a structured or mixed format.
The role of certified private platforms
The role of the certified private platforms will be to relay the invoice data to the public platform. They will be responsible for tax and legal requirements. They will receive your invoices in the format of your choice, will extract the expected data and perform the required checks in order to transmit them to the public platform. If everything is in order, they can then send the invoice to your buyers or suppliers.
Without going through a certified private platform, you will have to send your invoices in a mandatory format (XML UBL / CII or Factur-X) to the public platform. Your buyers or suppliers will then be able to obtain their invoice.
What are the advantages of electronic invoicing?
The list of advantages of e-invoicing is long. If you now see this obligation as a burden, you will quickly see that e-invoicing is an opportunity for your business.
Switching to dematerialized invoice allows you to:
- Save time: you limit delays and payment terms while reducing time-consuming tasks for your employees.
- Improve productivity and responsiveness for finance departments.
- Reduce disputes thanks to the traceability of exchanges and the reduction of deadlines.
- Optimize management processes, cash flow and relations with customers and suppliers.
- Improve security thanks to electronic archiving.
- Reduce management costs: the average cost of an invoice drops from more than € 10 for a paper version to less than € 1 in electronic format according to the IGF (only concerns the invoicing part not e-reporting).
- Reduce the risk of human errors: data entry errors, document loss, paper document handling …
- Comply with tax regulations.
How to pass to paperless invoices effectively?
Before implementing a solution, it is essential to audit your processes and make a state of play of the existing situation to precisely identify your needs and objectives. This step should not be neglected because it will allow you to find a service provider and a solution adapted to your business.
Anticipating this obligation will also allow you to reap operational benefits as soon as possible. You will avoid having to rush into compliance and choose a solution that does not sufficiently meet your needs.
Why choose TX2 CONCEPT?
First of all, for the security of your data. With TX2 CONCEPT, your data is hosted in France in compliance with the legislation on our servers thanks to the Saas mode.
To have a single provider. At TX2 CONCEPT we take care of the dematerialization of customer, supplier and public sector invoices. As an EDI expert, we are specialists in the dematerialization of processes. By switching to EDI for the exchange of all your flows, you multiply the benefits. Having a single provider is a strategic choice both in terms of costs and efficiency. Thanks to our expertise, we are able to support you on a wider scope, such as the management of your orders or your shipping notices.
In addition, we keep ourselves informed of developments related to this obligation and we undertake to take all steps to be certified trusted third party by the DGFIP.
Experts for 30 years in EDI solutions and dematerialization, we have developed an e-invoicing solution to meet the needs of our customers.
We collaborate on a daily basis with more than 2,000 companies in more than 40 countries, in particular with companies in 4 targeted sectors: the automotive industry, retail, logistics & transport, and optics.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project, please do not hesitate to contact us by:
– Mail: email@example.com
– Telephone: +33 2 38 69 65 43