The Digital Invoice is here The Digital Invoice is here

The Digital Invoice is here

It is mandatory for Public Administrations. What changes does it bring? Everything explained in an infographic.

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Electronic Billing: last call

Electronic invoicing can be an important leverage for the digitalization process that involves our country. What will be the consequences of this huge transition to electronic invoicing? All the players involved are ready. What are the advantages for suppliers, companies and Public Administrations?

Electronic invoicing became mandatory on 6 June last year for the main ministries and social security institutions, however, since 31 March 2015 about 28,000 local public bodies have been involved: including national parks, police stations (Carabinieri), health authorities and municipal offices.

Now, all these Public Administrations (PAs) will no longer be able to pay an invoice, a bill or a surveyor's fee unless a standard invoice is received in electronic format. This XML format can be stored in large databases so that it will be easy to trace and consult.

Such a revolution brings many advantages in terms of costs (a saving of €60bln/year – Data from the Observatory of Electronic Invoicing and Dematerialization of the Polytechnic University of Milan), as well as absolute transparency with regard to public spending.

What changes are involved?

There will be no more delays or errors when sending an invoice, payments will be speeded up and filing made easy. All this will be possible with the digital invoice format.

Electronic invoicing will lead to a whole string of benefits, primarily including the extension of the sending process to companies providing a PA with services. As of 31 March 2015, private companies working for a PA will be able to issue, transmit, store and file invoices in electronic format only.

One of the most important and beneficial aspects of electronic invoicing is the Interchange System (SDI -Sistema di Interscambio), the credit certification platform that not only facilitates business relations between a PA and a supplier but also monitors public finance.

A creditor (a company, one-person business, professional or organisation other than an firm) of a PA will be required to transmit an invoice via the platform managed by the Inland Revenue office, which will then forward the electronic payment documents to the offices of public administration bodies. After receiving an electronic invoice and checking that the document is correct, a PA will need to notify the Interchange System as to whether it accepts or refuses the invoice no later than fifteen days from the date of receipt.

Moreover, suppliers will be able to request certification of credit for amounts due for any supplies, public works contracts and professional services, as well as trace any subsequent transactions related to advance payment, payment and transfer. In this way, they can check that PAs are complying with the various steps in the process until payment has been made.

Finally, the supplier who needs to send an electronic invoice to a customer is able to rely on brokerage firms that provide a complete service, in some cases at a very moderate cost: they make out an invoice according to all the criteria prescribed by legislation and send it to the Interchange System to complete the process.