e-Invoicing is growing worldwide, both in commercial relations with the public sector and the B2B sphere. This system streamlines and provides greater security to document generation and submission processes. But what about archiving? To maximize the benefits of the technology, it is indispensable to complete the whole circle with digital safekeeping of the e-invoice.
If businesses only take up this model in the document creation and interchange phases, they will subsequently need to print and file it physically. This will increase the economic costs and entail less efficient management.
However, digitally preserving e-invoices is not just a case of ‘anything goes’. Bear in mind that these are files which must be held in custody by legal obligation for a long period of time. In Spain, for example, the set minimum is 10 years. To this must be added that these documents contain confidential details and may be required in the event of litigation. This is why this important to have the appropriate security measures in place.
Another aspect to be taken into account in digital safekeeping for e-Invoicing is that the invoices are usually linked with other documents, ranging from contract files to purchase orders or despatch advices (delivery notes). This means all the documents for each transaction must be preserved and interconnected to facilitate subsequent checking.
What is the solution?
The issue of electronic safekeeping through time prompted the European Union to approve the eIDAS regulation, governing electronic identification and trust services. Applying these mechanisms, which include digital signature or electronic time stamping, allows businesses to archive e-invoices and other commercial documents with legal guarantees.
In this sense, EDICOM, accredited as a trusted third-party, has created the EDICOMLta solution, a platform that automatically protects and links up company e-invoices. This preservation takes place totally securely, facilitating checking of the documents in the future and recording all movements taking place in each file over time. Digital invoices are also equally valid for legal purposes as bills on paper and can act as legal evidence should they be required.
How does EDICOMLta work?
- The EDICOMLta solution safeguards the purchase orders received via EDI, whether from the public administration or any trading partner. The service automatically generates metadata to index and rank the linked documents. If purchase orders arrive by email or fax, users can download and record the metadata manually.
- The EDICOM platform integrates with the ERP to issue the invoice in the pertinent format (Facturae, FatturaPA, etc.)
- EDICOMLta then saves the document and links it up with the associated files.
- The e-invoice is forwarded to the recipient, which may be another business or the public administration.
- The receipt acknowledgments (ACKs) sent out by the administrations are also kept along with each invoice.
- The user can consult the e-invoices through a secure private environment. Every action taken on the file is also recorded as proof before third parties.