Compliance year in review and 2020 forecast

Blog eProcurement October 28, 2019

Compliance Officer Ana Botorce wraps up 2019 with insights on e-document compliance news from the year and projections on what to expect in the year to come.

A compliance officer’s take on 2019-2020

With the introduction of EU Directive 2014/55/EU and the resulting widespread use of Peppol as a solution to the Directive, 2019 was set up to be an action-packed year in e-document compliance. Less expected was the number of countries outside of Europe that would jump on board the e-invoicing bandwagon by introducing mandates or making substantial moves in that direction. In this this post, I’ll discuss the major patterns, surprises and driving forces behind this year’s regulatory compliance, and our forecast for what to expect in 2020.

E-invoicing mandates made a mark in 2019

EU Directive 2014/55/EU introduced standardised e-invoicing formats for business-to-government (B2G) transactions throughout Europe. Government entities have been required as of April 2019 to accept e-invoices that adhere to the European norm (EN 16931), but it has been up to individual Member States to define local regulations.

As of December 2019, 23 European countries have implemented the use of Peppol as a way of fulfilling the EU Directive; Croatia, France and Estonia joined the list of countries that have introduced mandatory B2G e-invoicing and e-procurement; Greece surprised us with two e-invoicing mandates; and Italy made strides towards combatting tax fraud by introducing a clearance model for all domestic invoices, setting the example for more countries to begin implementing real-time reporting.

Steps towards a standard for global e-invoicing

The spread of mandatory e-document legislation reached far outside European borders in 2019. Australia and New Zealand adopted Peppol in efforts to standardise domestic and cross-border trade, demonstrating definitive evidence of Peppol’s global expansion efforts.

“The spread of mandatory e-document legislation reached far outside European borders in 2019.”

Unexpected developments came out of Saudi Arabia, India, Kenya, Bolivia and the Philippines, all of which have set plans to implement mandatory e-invoicing within the next few years. Common motives of these policies include attempts to battle tax fraud and increase efficiency in B2G transactions.

Peppol updates and expands

As Peppol continues its worldwide expansion, new requirements will be enforced for accredited Service Providers (currently known as Access Points) beginning January 1st, 2020.

The rush to meet these deadlines has already begun, but many organisations may find themselves losing customers as they become unable to fulfil these updated prerequisites. Pagero is one of few Service Providers to meet all the requirements of the 2020 Peppol deadlines.

Despite any obstacles Service Providers might have maintaining their status, Peppol is certain to spread throughout the world as the go-to framework for countries that introduce mandatory e-invoicing.

What to expect in 2020

If your country hasn’t been impacted by mandates thus far, it’s likely to happen in the near future. 2020 is the year we’ll see e-invoicing mandates launch into full effect and several new plans emerge. We predict developments in the Asia-Pacific and Gulf Cooperation Council regions.

April 18, 2020 is the final deadline to comply with EU Directive 2014/55/EU, meaning Member States and businesses with B2G transactions must be prepared to handle e-invoices within the next four months. Failure to comply by the deadline will result in consequences enforced by the European Commission.

“2020 is the year we’ll see e-invoicing mandates launch into full effect and several new plans emerge.”

We expect more countries aside from Italy to amp up the fight against tax evasion by introducing e-invoicing clearance models. No matter what policies a country introduces, businesses can expect the demand to make changes to their internal processes in order to achieve compliance. Companies of all sizes will be required to provide further information to tax authorities as they tighten their grip on documents passed between trading parties.

How Pagero gives you a competitive edge

With changes continuously arising in compliance legislation, Pagero focuses on proactively mapping out and preparing for legislative changes. We work to continuously expand our partner network as well as our in-house compliance team to accommodate the growing need for businesses to have a reliable compliance partner.

Our dedication to creating a fair and transparent e-invoicing model across all borders was apparent in 2019 when we finalised a partnership agreement with GoSocket that would create the world’s largest compliant e-invoicing network and open up Latin America to Pagero customers. Additionally, our participation in OpenPeppol helped shape the upcoming Peppol changes, and we proudly became the French Government’s single Peppol Access Point.

It’s never too early to go digital

What does 2020 hold for us? Our priority is to remain a trusted advisor for legal compliance, constantly monitoring developments and guaranteeing that your business is never compromised by changing requirements.

Whether or not the countries in which you do business introduce mandatory e-invoicing in the coming months, it’s never too early to go digital in your financial operations. If you want to learn more about digitalisation, here are three tips on how to get the most out of taking your operations digital. It’s better to stay ahead of the changes than getting caught off guard when the mandate hits.

Stay compliant in 2020!

We can help your company transition to e-invoicing and handle requirements globally.

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