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Shared Service Centers: E-invoicing compliance essentials

June 1 2023

Written by: Karen Broadhurst & Marcus Lewander

Managing e-invoice mandates across multiple countries is a complex task. Not only do different countries have different regulations for electronic invoicing, but they also change regularly. There is even an example where a country changed its regulatory requirements three times – in a single week. 

For Shared Service Centers, keeping up with e-invoice mandates and becoming and staying compliant requires constant attention. But with the right global processes in place, it doesn’t have to be an overly cumbersome task. Continue reading for essential tips and actionable advice:

1. Spread awareness of regulatory requirements

Shared Service Centers must comply with local regulations and guidelines in each country of operation. In some countries, e-invoicing is mandatory; in others, it's optional. There are also vast differences in requirements for invoice format, deadlines, validation rules, and tax compliance, to mention a few. Being aware of today's mandates and upcoming changes requires a lot of resources and can be difficult for many businesses. To support initiatives on the compliance topic, a general awareness of regulatory demands should be widespread throughout relevant functions at the company. 

Tip: If your team and key stakeholders have low awareness of compliance-related topics, develop a plan to educate them internally and explain why this is needed. Understanding the reasons for change makes it easier for those involved to absorb new information and adopt new processes. 

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Expert guide: E-invoice compliance for SSCs

Continue your journey towards becoming and staying compliant with our expert guide! Here, you will get deeper insights into e-invoice mandates and best practices for Shared Service Centers.
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2. Find reliable sources to stay up to date

In order to become and stay compliant with e-invoice mandates across multiple countries, Shared Service Centers must navigate complex local regulations and diverse systems that are in constant change. Finding reliable sources and knowing where to look for up-to-date information is a significant challenge for many companies. 

Tip: Find information about local regulatory requirements using various sources available to you. One such source is government websites, where you can access the latest information about e-invoicing regulations and technical standards. Additionally, industry associations and organizations can provide valuable insights into the latest e-invoicing trends and regulatory updates. You can also consult with e-invoice service providers who have experience navigating local compliance requirements. When downloading our Expert guide for Shared Service Centers, opt to request a country-specific Compliance Report and subscribe to our Compliance Monitor – giving you an easy way to stay up to date with changing regulations in all your markets. 

By standardizing invoicing processes and technology solutions, businesses can increase efficiency and reduce errors, resulting in significant cost savings

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3. Standardize for cost-efficiency and scalability

Countries adopt different Continuous Transaction Control (CTC) models. As a multinational business, this means you must have the necessary resources to build the respective compliant solutions specific to each country. This process is not only costly and time-consuming but also difficult to scale. By standardizing invoicing processes and technology solutions, businesses can increase efficiency and reduce errors, resulting in significant cost savings. 

Tip: Adopt a global approach to e-invoicing, as this enables standardization and allows organizations to expand into new markets without investing in new systems or developing new processes. Before launching a new global e-invoicing system, start with a pilot program in a single location. Involve a cross-functional team with representatives from various departments including Finance, IT, and Legal. This can help your team identify any internal challenges or issues that must be addressed before scaling to a global strategy. 

Choose a vendor that has a dedicated compliance team and that provides a global, open network to easily connect suppliers and buyers

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4. Simplify vendor management

Tackling e-invoice compliance can be particularly challenging when using local compliance vendors in each country of operation. And while Shared Service Centers must oversee electronic invoicing to support the needs of multiple countries of operation, that does not necessarily mean a large number of local technology providers are needed. Working with several local vendors can pose challenges, such as different time zones, local language barriers, and having to deal with multiple service providers when issues arise.

Tip: Work with a global e-invoice compliance provider to ensure a consistent approach to compliance across all your operations, regardless of location. Choose a vendor that can support all your markets and has a dedicated compliance team to help you stay on top of new and evolving regulations. They should also offer a global, open network to connect suppliers and buyers easily. 

Global finance teams on working with Pagero:

"We have been able to fulfil our invoicing-related tax and legal requirements in all 29 countries where we use Pagero as our e-invoicing service provider." - Mihai Chiriac, EMEA & APJ e-invoicing Program Manager, HPE

“The interaction with Pagero has been very pleasant [...]. The team was efficient, approachable, competent and very knowledgeable, which made the experience so good.”Sudhir Kothare, Finance Director, Jotun India

"Without Pagero, managing e-invoice compliance regulations per country would have become a real burden and required high levels of internal resourcing."
- Simon Maddan, Head of Application Support, Ricoh

Summary and next steps

Businesses face challenges in managing e-invoice compliance mandates across multiple countries due to constantly changing regulations, diverse systems, and limited resources. However, by implementing automated and standarized global processes, it is possible to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and expand into new markets without significant investment. 
 
With Pagero, compliance goes from a guessing game to a sure thing. Take the chance to deep-dive into this topic by accessing our expert guide and other free resources now! 

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When downloading our expert guide, you can also opt to subscribe to our Compliance Monitor for an easy way to stay up to date with changing regulations in all your markets. 
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