More than two years have passed since the rollout of compulsory Facturae for the public sector and its suppliers, a technological leap that has gradually become consolidated. In 2016, around 7,882,585 e-invoices were submitted to the different public administrations through the FACe entry point. The figure represents 31% growth compared to 2015, when throughout the year 6,011,813 bills were issued in this format.
These data are taken from the report published periodically by the Ministry of Finance and State Administration on the status of Facturae. Last December, the study announced that since coming into force in January 2015, FACe has processed 13,894,398 e-invoices, to the tune of €70 billion. Without this technology, these files would have meant millions of documents on paper, which would have had to be managed and stored traditionally with the economic costs entailed, both for businesses and the public sector.
Local Administration, the biggest invoice recipient
Although progress in the number of bills can be observed between the FACe report for 2015 and the 2016 version, there are other data which remain almost unchanged. Both studies confirm that the majority of Facturae are addressed to local administrations, closely followed by the regional authorities. In fact, in 2016 47.01% of electronic invoices went to city councils and 40.58% to regional bodies. In the two segments, the Community of City Council Madrid are the front runners, followed by the Government of Andalusia and Seville City Council.
In terms of monthly evolution in 2016, we saw a slight increase in the number of e-invoices sustained throughout the year. The figures only went down in August and September, two months affected by the vacation period. In contrast, December was the month in which most e-invoices were submitted via FACe, to a total of 802,343.
What will happen to Facturae in 2017?
For now, the Ministry of Finance and State Administration has already issued the FACe report for January 2017. According to the study, in the first month of the year 606,624 e-invoices were tendered, a figure well over that of 2016, when the number was 507,366.
We still have to wait to find out the details of the trend for the year. However, forecasts point to ongoing growth for e-invoicing in Spain. Although it is a mandatory technology for public sector suppliers, in some cases the exclusion of invoices worth less than €5000 is allowed. In other words, paper invoices are still being sent to the administrations, which have the potential to become digital.
Nevertheless, one of the main reasons leading us to expect a resurgence for Facturae in 2017 is rollout of the Immediate Information Sharing (SII) system. This new model requires more than 62,000 Spanish businesses to adapt to electronic VAT management by next July. With SII, submitting returns to the Tax Agency can be fully automated in the case of electronic invoices, but paper documents will mean a heavier workload. So, we expect an increase in use of e-invoicing, both in the B2G and B2B scope.