Companies: the electronic invoicing revolution

the essential
From 1 July 2024, companies will have to submit to electronic invoicing and declare their business in real time to the tax authorities. So, constraint or time saver, in the end?

The revolution is underway, and it would seem that the imminent mandate of electronic invoicing is worrying companies. “It is a leap into the unknown, especially for SMEs”, admits Michel Puyet, president of CPME 65, “but we will have to face it…” To dispel fears, the tax administration has organized an information meeting, with the Medef , the CPME, the order of chartered accountants, the CCI, the Chamber of Méteirs, the banking federation of the Hautes-Pyrénées. “We conceive it to be a revolution”, admits Jean-René Nolf, departmental director of public finances, “of the same order as the withholding tax, which will affect more than 4 million companies”. Because it’s not a simple dematerialization of invoices, as many do, but the transmission of invoices to the tax administration in real time.

“Ease of Management”

As proof that the DGFIP takes the matter seriously, the national director of the project, Céline Frackowiak herself, leads the meetings. “We have been working on electronic invoicing with professional branches for some time, and to put it simply, we are not “inventing” it, we are generalizing it”. As it already exists, it is already mandatory for public procurement or transactions with local authorities. The objective, even if not clearly recognised, is above all that of combating tax evasion, particularly in the field of VAT. “In Italy, where this system has been implemented, it has made it possible to collect 3.5 billion euros which have escaped the state”. And to add that it is not a “police”, on the contrary, “it is more transparent, and avoids unfair competition”. But above all, the DGFIP’s argument is that of simplification. “Every company has to make its own VAT returns on a regular basis, and submit them. Sometimes it’s boring, while there it will be in a certain sense automatic. Indeed, it simplifies management”.

saving time and money

“So, the company can focus on its core business and not waste time with billing.” In short, invoicing will therefore allow productivity gains. And generate savings. “Absolutely, we have done studies, an electronic invoice, which will be archived on a secure mega server, will cost the company less than 1 euro, while a paper invoice, if we combine its edition, its printing, postage and archiving for 10 years, in the end it costs 7 euros.” The difficulty of the “digital leap” remains… “We have been working on the subject for months, we have developed a dedicated portal, and agents are trained in each department and an electronic invoicing contact person is installed, to answer all the questions that companies might ask . In the Hautes-Pyrénées, it is Laure Bensilhé. Jean-René Nolf wants to believe in the success of the project. “it can be scary at first, but in the end it’s more of a gain than a constraint.”

Barcos transport in advance

Jean-Calude Barcos, head of the homonymous transport company, electronic invoicing is already done. “There are only advantages, in our work, between estimates, invoices, transport tickets, delivery notes, we have handled tons of paper. Now everything is scanned, digitized, in a simplified word, and it is also safer. Furthermore, we saving money, not counting the gain in speed, especially for the payment of invoices by our customers, in summary I would say that it is less cost and more time.”

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