e-Invoicing with the Public Administration, six months on

Factura Electrónica España

e-Invoicing became mandatory for the Spanish public sector and its suppliers on 15 January. However, there is still a long way to go for the users of this new system to make the most of all its advantages. Six months after its launch, certain technical errors continue to be detected in the administrations which hinder invoice sending and reception.

By mid-April, there were still many agencies at all levels of government which remained inoperative. Among them, some as relevant as the Bank of Spain, the ICEX, the Congress of Deputies or the Senate. As reported by AMETIC, 73 bodies expressly requested that invoices be sent on paper. In addition, 1307 agencies demanded that users must access their website to mechanize their invoice. A problem that should be solved as soon as possible by placing a deadline on this failure to comply.

Beyond the lack of preparation of public bodies, the e-invoicing system (Facturae) has to tackle other aspects to optimize the process as far as possible. We can sum them up as follows:

  • Setting up an updated record of points of entry. Currently, each agency has the option of developing its own entry point. In fact, more than 79 have already been detected. Nevertheless, there is as yet no census in which to find them all.
  • Homogenizing attachment processing, as at present each regional authority chooses the alternative that it considers appropriate (incorporated in XML, synchronous sending, size limits, etc.). This hampers operations.
  • Clearing up confusion over the €5000 limit. The regulation states that bills for an amount below this sum may be sent on paper if so expressly stipulated by the corresponding Administration. However, there is no record detailing which autonomous communities (regions) have taken advantage of this option.
  • Correctly notifying DIR3 codes. When sending the invoice, many suppliers found that they did not know the code identifying the administration receiving the document. In other cases, the snag is that they have used the same code to identify more than one agency.
  • Returning the invoice status. One of the main advantages of e-invoicing is that it lets the suppliers know which stage of the process the document is in. However, there are agencies which still do not provide this information. To this end, it would also be convenient to unify the type of status returned.

e-Invoicing streamlines procedures, improves recovery times and increases cost savings, both in the public and private sectors. This is why it is important to solve the technical problems detected as soon as possible and start to take advantage of this technological leap.