Good practices for electronic invoincing
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Invoicing is a crucial step in the sales cycle and is subject to various regulations.
Even if paper invoices are still widely used, from 2023 electronic invoicing will be required for all transactions between companies, whether they are SMEs, ETIs or Large Enterprises. A legal obligation detailed in the latest report by the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, which, although it may seem complicated to implement at first glance, is a real opportunity for all businesses, whatever their size.
In detail, the timetable is based on an obligation to receive electronic invoices from 2023 for companies of all sizes, and an obligation to issue them in 2023 for large companies, 2024 for small and medium-sized enterprises and 2025 for small and medium-sized businesses.
Electronic invoicing offers significant advantages for companies and makes it possible in particular to :
Its cost is 10 times less than a paper invoice.
Gain in productivity
The automation of the invoice creation and sending processes saves administration time but also reduces payment times. The administrative burden linked to invoicing will therefore be reduced and productivity will be boosted!
Reducing ecological impact
Reducing paper and ink use will reduce the carbon footprint and that’s great news when you’re looking to become paperless!
Make your data reliable
By bringing them together in a single tool, companies can better monitor invoice processing, limit late payment problems and thus control your cash flow.
What are the best practices in terms of invoicing?
1. Fill in the legal information
The first good practice is of a legal nature, it is indeed mandatory to insert the regulatory elements such as the date of the invoice, the invoice number. You can find the whole list directly on the government website here.
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
An invoice number must be unique, chronological, uninterrupted and cannot be deleted.
- The date of the sale or provision of service
- The identity of the seller or service provider
The identity of the seller includes the company name, the address of the registered office, the Siren or Siret number, the NAF code and the legal and corporate form for companies.
- The identity of the buyer or customer
Company name, address, billing address and delivery address.
- Purchase order number
- VAT identification number
- Designation and counting of products and services sold
The nature, brand and reference number of the goods must appear as well as the name, quantity, unit price excluding tax, rate of VAT added and discounts.
- The catalogue price
Unit price excluding VAT of the products sold or hourly rate excluding VAT of the services provided.
- The legally applicable VAT rate
In particular, if different VAT rates apply, they must be clearly indicated by lines.
- Price reduction
Discounting on the date of sale or provision of service, excluding discounting operations not provided for in the invoice.
- Total amount to be paid excluding tax (excl. VAT) and all taxes (incl. VAT)
- Payment information
The date or term of payment, the penalty rates in the event of non-payment on the settlement date shown on the invoice and the amount of the fixed compensation for collection costs in the event of late payment (€40).
- The date or deadline for payment
To this are added the penalty rates for non-payment on the due date and the amount of the flat-rate compensation for collection costs in the event of late payment.
2. Take care of the form and detail the invoice
On receipt of the electronic invoice, the customer must be able to identify precisely the various services invoiced, as well as their unit price. A complete breakdown will also allow your customers to see more clearly. Also, as required by law, the VAT rate and any discounts must also be indicated.
3. Automation the issue and reminder processs
Whether a company invoices subscriptions on a recurring basis or products and services on an ad hoc basis, automating its processes can save considerable time in productivity but also limits the risk of errors or omissions.
This is why more and more companies are turning to automated invoicing software to manage their business. This software makes it possible to divide by 3 the time spent creating invoices.
Futhermore, most electronic invoicing software can be used to automate the sending of invoices and reminders.
Why wait until 2023 to benefit from the advantages of electronic invoicing? If you are used to invoicing on paper, Excel or Word, now is the time to change!
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