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How can electronic invoices streamline work for the accounting department?

Electronic document circulation can facilitate the functioning of practically all areas of a company's activity, including accounting. Thanks to electronic invoicing, the invoicing process can be sped up and generate lower costs.

Printing and storing paper invoices is an inconvenient method and does not align with the realities of the 21st century. In 2005, on the basis of the regulation from the Minister of Finance, entrepreneurs already had the possibility to use electronic invoices. Today, the issue of electronic invoices is regulated by the Act of March 11, 2004 provisions on the tax on goods and services. The definition in Art. 2 point 32, leaves taxpayers with a lot of freedom, as an electronic invoice „shall be understood as [...] an invoice in electronic form issued and received in any electronic format”.

Electronic invoices –  requirements

The law does not impose any technical requirements regarding the format or method for saving the invoice. The entity issuing the electronic invoice can use any software and save the document in the chosen format. In practice, this is most often a PDF file, but there is nothing to prevent the invoice from being saved as a DOCX text document or an XLS calculation sheet. It is important that the electronic invoice must not only be generated in electronic format, but also sent in this form – e.g. via e-mail or other online messaging platform. The method for delivering an electronic invoice must be approved by the recipient beforehand. The invoice created using a computer program, which was then printed and sent via traditional post does not meet the requirements that result from the statutory definition of an electronic invoice. It is also important that the invoice’s recipient is able to open and read the file, otherwise the invoice will not be considered delivered.

The electronic invoice must meet all the requirements of a „standard” invoice. That is, it should contain the following elements:

  1. Document’s date of issue
  2. An unequivocal number that allows the invoice to be identified
  3. Address, first and last name or the name of the taxpayer
  4. Address, first and last name or the name of the purchaser of the goods or services
  5. A number that makes it possible to identify the taxpayer
  6. A number that makes it possible to identify the purchaser of the goods or services 
  7. Name or type of goods or services
  8. Quantity of goods or range of services
  9. The net unit price of a good or service
  10. Tax rate
  11. Net value of the delivered goods or services performed
  12. Net sales value (taking the division into sales covered by individual tax rates and tax-free sales into account)
  13. Tax amount on the sum of the net sales value (taking the division into the amounts of individual tax rates into account)
  14. Total amount of receivables 
  15. Date of delivery of goods or the completion of services or the date of the receipt of payment (if specified and different from the date of the invoice)

Autenti and invoices online

The Autenti platform makes it possible to sign and send documents of various types, including invoices, correcting invoices, and correcting notes. In the Value Added Tax Act, the legislator does not specify the channel through which the invoice is to be delivered to the recipient. In this type of situation, the basic version of our platform is a completely sufficient tool. More importantly, as soon as the invoice reaches the recipient, the Autenti platform automatically generates a „Delivery certification”, which is sent to the sender. The recipient does not have to confirm that they have received the invoice. This solution is particularly convenient in the instance of correcting invoices issued by the seller - documents of this type require confirmation from the purchaser. However, the legislation lacks specific guidelines as to the formats of this type of confirmation - in this case, the  „Delivery certification” specifies who and when opened the document sent via the Autenti platform, and this is completely sufficient.

The electronic invoice’s origin of integrity and authenticity

The issuing party of an electronic invoice is obliged to specify the method that ensures the authenticity of origin, integrity (i.e. immutability) of the content, and legibility of the invoice. Using the Autenti platform solves this problem. The electronic invoice, as well as any other document that is sent via the platform is protected against changes with the help of a qualified electronic seal. It is impossible to make changes once the document has been sent. Thanks to this, the sender and recipient can be certain that they have identical versions of the same file at their disposal. The seal is also proof of the document’s authenticity, confirming that it was sent via a trusted service. Autenti also makes sure that documents are accessible - meaning that both the sender and the recipient have unlimited access to a document(s) and can use it at any time and without needing to involve the other parties. The combination of these two important features, integrity and accessibility means that documents sent via Autenti meet the requirements of a durable medium. As a result, electronic invoices can be used in court or administrative proceedings.