4 Reasons Why E-Archiving Should Be the Foundation for a Global E-Invoicing Strategy
January 29, 2019
No global e-invoicing strategy is complete without functionality for e-archiving. In fact, far from being an afterthought or add-on, e-archiving should be at the core of any organisation’s e-invoicing plans.
Here are a few reasons why:
E-archiving makes up a large percentage of a global e-invoicing strategy
If a government wants to audit an organisation’s invoices, it accesses the e-archive. That’s where the evidence of compliance, or lack thereof, ultimately rests. It’s the proving ground for the rest of the e-invoicing strategy, so setting it up correctly goes a long way toward completing an entire e-invoicing plan. E-archiving represents probably 50% of an e-invoicing strategy in general.
E-archiving centralises e-invoicing operations and consolidates fragmented solutions
With an e-archiving strategy in place, multinational companies will ultimately save money by being less vulnerable to pressure from subsidiaries or departments that want to quickly, and perhaps sloppily, deploy e-business solutions from local solution vendors. Without an archiving strategy, companies invariably end up with a fragmented archiving landscape and vendor lock-in; at that point, getting out of such relationships can be close to impossible and definitely expensive. Centralised e-archiving, then, becomes a money-saving technology component.
E-archiving provides a common architecture for all applications
Organisations that can quickly pinpoint where they store their original e-invoices can more easily trace a “compliant path” back from the archive to the different applications, service providers, trading partners, processes, product lines, and countries where e-invoices originate. Archiving facilitates the entire compliance process.
Most countries with e-invoicing require e-archiving
E-archiving is a common denominator among countries that require e-invoicing. Just about every jurisdiction that mandates e-invoicing also requires e-archiving, but with a welcome twist: Whereas e-invoicing regulations can vary wildly country-to-country and change rapidly, e-archiving regulations tend to be fairly stable and similar from one nation to another. So, it’s possible to employ a “superset” approach to country rules, which requires relatively little country-specific logic.
The devil is in the detail. A “superset” approach is only possible if the e-archive is built on a compliance monitoring and maintenance foundation, thereby allowing country-specific logic to be factored in to meet local compliance flavours as they evolve in time.
E-archiving should be a priority rather than an afterthought
Because it lacks some of the disruptive change and pressure of e-invoicing, e-archiving can seem like a mere accoutrement in a global e-invoicing strategy. In fact, it is the bedrock of any successful plan.
Sovos Global Compliant eArchiving solution provides one universal, compliant e-invoice archive regardless of the number of service providers and e-invoicing software solutions a company uses. It consolidates invoices and supporting documents via a single API in more than 60 jurisdictions.
By Filippa Jörnstedt, Regulatory Counsel, Sovos TrustWeaver
Filippa Jörnstedt is a Regulatory Counsel at Sovos TrustWeaver. Based in Stockholm, Filippa’s background is in international e-invoicing compliance and global regulatory developments. Fluent in English, Italian, French, Romanian and her native tongue Swedish, Filippa earned her degree in Law from Lund University in Sweden.