Automated invoice capabilities for international trade | Transalis Blog

Businesses with international supply chains need to consider digitising processes with automated invoice capabilities.

As the digital age continues to drive both businesses and consumers to online channels, key decision-makers also need to factor in how this impacts operations. Particularly when international markets are involved. Brexit, along with new legislation, has increased bureaucracy in facilitating international trade. To mitigate these obstacles, forward-thinking businesses are investing in the digital transformation of their finance processing. This means implementing more efficient strategies for both the Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) functions.

Read the full report

Discover three critical areas that retail businesses can cut costs and increase efficiency under the threat of a looming recession.

In this blog, we outline the key legislation changes for international trade and what this means for businesses with supply chains both in and outside of Europe.

The increasing mandate for eInvoicing

Governments across Europe and further afield have been advocates of automated invoice processing (also known as eInvoicing) for many years.

This trend towards electronic invoice processing will grow rapidly over the coming years, especially across Europe. Some of the largest EU economies, such as Germany, France and Spain have all implemented phased plans to mandate the use of eInvoicing in B2G and B2B over the course of 2022-25. However, many other European governments have already enacted eInvoice legislation. For example, the Italian, Hungarian and Austrian Governments have eInvoice tax submission standards. These require businesses to submit digital invoices via local tax authorities.

Below is a summary of key eInvoice mandates in Europe:

Country B2G/B2B/B2C Year implemented
Austria B2G 2014
Belgium B2G 2022-23
Croatia B2G 2019
Denmark B2G, B2B 2005, TBA
France B2G, domestic B2B & B2C 2017, 2023-2025
Germany B2G & B2B 2020-24
Greece All 2020-2021
Hungary All domestic 2020
Italy B2G, B2B & domestic B2C 2015, 2019-2022
Norway B2G 2019
Poland B2G & B2B 2024
Portugal B2G 2021
Spain B2G, B2B 2015, 2023-2025
Sweden B2G 2019
Turkey B2B, B2G 2014, 2021

What this means for businesses today

Mandates for automated invoice capabilities will to continue to be introduced as Governments believe they can recover the cost of supporting businesses through COVID-19. For example, mandating Real-Time Reporting (RTR) can be used to close the VAT gap, as opposed to taxing the citizen directly.

With change on the horizon or already being implemented, businesses now need to automate their Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) functions. This not only means they can continue international trade unrestricted, but they will also gain from the long-term benefits including:

  • 40% in cost reduction through the removal of manual process

  • Elimination of errors through manual keying

  • Ability to take advantage of invoice discounting

Accounts Payable automated invoice capabilities

We worked with a cosmetics client to provide a suitable invoice automation solution, as they found EDI wasn’t sufficient enough to manage their complex order and billing process. Instead, they required a solution that could facilitate on-the-fly review and approval steps.

Transalis AP Automation CTA

Transalis AP Automation offered the perfect solution. This solution provides invoice automation capabilities to convert all inbound invoices of varying document types into a standardised digital format. This compliant invoice file is then imported directly into the chosen application. Narrow AI is utilised to manage any exceptions in this process so these documents can be reviewed on-the-fly.

With the AP Automation solution, businesses will save an average of 60-80% over their existing manual processing of these incoming invoice documents. Use our interactive calculator to discover your forecast annual savings.

Accounts Receivable automated invoice capabilities

In our report, Frictionless Business for the Future, we explore how to reduce the cost of meeting emerging einvoice requirements across Europe. Our AR Automation solution can be customised to suit your eInvoicing requirements. It can accommodate:

  • International eInvoice mandates

  • Document Standardisation Output (Digital-to-Paper) requirements

  • PEPPOL connections

  • System integrations

  • RTR and tax submission

This build-your-own approach to automated invoice capabilities for the AR function ensures your business gets the exact functionality and features you require. For example, a basic eInvoice setup for AR with 10 connections is just £3,999 per annum. With the imminent changes to international einvoice legislation in the coming years, forward-thinking organisations will need to start exploring suitable options now.

AR invoicing and PEPPOL

An emerging area of invoice standardisation is the growing use of PEPPOL to exchange electronic documents.

Standing for Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line, PEPPOL is a network that uses a standardised framework to digitally exchange order data between trading parties.

Previously, PEPPOL has been almost exclusively used to connect with public sector organisations. However, we are increasingly seeing private businesses make use of it. Not unlike EDI, PEPPOL operates using a set of standard message formats that simplify the process of exchanging documents between organisations.

PEPPOL offers an alternative to traditional EDI. Particularly in the case of design and manufacturing businesses involved in capital projects, that have now switched to PEPPOL to exchange messages.

Continuing from our previous example, the client was familiar with PEPPOL standards, so our solution simply needed to manage the transmission of messages. This approach resulted in both a reduction of costs and time. This is because there was no need to use a traditional ‘PEPPOL approved access-point’ for the set-up and configuration.

Free access to Peppol EDI Software

eInvoice Software

Visit our eInvoice Solutions page for further information on how automated invoice capabilities simplify complex processes whilst saving time and money. Or you can contact us: 0845 123 3746 (UK), +44 1978 369 343 (international), or email sales@transalis.com.


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