As of 1 January 2019, companies doing business in Italy must send and receive invoices in electronic format. This is valid for invoices to government and public administration (PA) offices, but also those to private individuals. The regulation, which was already in effect for PA offices, now concerns all transactions, and penalties are enforced in the event of delayed invoicing or a failure to comply with the new e-invoicing mandate.
This means that any organization that delivers a product or service must immediately issue a digital invoice after delivery. The e-invoice will gradually replace the analog invoice. All operators in the sector have pointed out that this change is radical in many respects.
The e-invoice consists of a standard language, a digital signature, and must be stored for tax purposes only in digital format.
The format to be used at every stage of the billing process (from issuance to transmission to storage) is eXtensible Markup Language, known as XML, a computer language that allows you to define and control the meaning of the elements in a document for legal purposes. The compulsory digital invoice, in fact, can be a significant savings opportunity for all companies, and can also be a way to simplify some procedures that currently require time and manual effort.
In addition, e-invoicing can be an opportunity for digitizing the order cycle and an evolution of business skills. In fact, to seize the e-invoicing opportunity, companies are called to review their internal procedures for managing the phases of receipt, accounting, and storage of invoices through the enhancement of the information systems in use and through training of personnel to monitor the passive cycle processes. It is also possible to turn the new digital invoice format into an opportunity to communicate with your customers, learn more here.
The impact of this new method of invoicing will be considerable and will not only affect companies and their internal procedures; it is, therefore, a change of significant importance for Italy.
For this reason, the choice of supplier is crucial. A good supplier is one who is reliable and, above all, has the proper certifications.
Certified e-invoice service provider – AgID accreditation (Agency for Digital Italy)
What can provide an absolute guarantee of compliance with the essential characteristics of an IT document? Only a system that operates in accordance with the law. To guarantee these characteristics, archival systems are subject to a set of standards and technical regulations.
AgID specifies a series of requirements in order to certify the safety and reliability of an e-invoice service provider to ensure compliance.
Article 44 of the Digital Administration Code (Legislative Decree no. 82 from 7 March 2005, recently amended by Legislative Decree no. 179/2016) grants the agency the exclusive power to issue accreditation for those who perform storage activities for computer documents and certification of the relative processes.
There are two types of controls provided for in the certification system for the accreditation of digital registrars:
- controls aimed at granting accreditation
- controls aimed at the periodic supervision of compliance with the requirements (recognized during certification)
For supervisory purposes, accredited registrars are required to transmit data relating to their quarterly retention activity to AgID: this data is summarized in periodic reports prepared by the Agency. Both evaluation and surveillance activities must be carried out according to the checklist made available by AgID: a real checklist for evaluators that is compliant with the technical requirements of the regulations for archival systems.
Among the many evaluation parameters we can mention: the management of access (including physical access) to the archives, the management of business continuity and backups, risk analysis, identification of the contents of the storage manual, contracts, the characteristics of the software systems used, the management of document flows, and the characteristics of the hardware and software infrastructure.
The requirements to be a certified e-invoice service provider
The new technical rules and instructions from AgID related to international standards establish the following requirements:
- Organizational. Storage requires that data be managed according to certain regulatory, archival, and managerial standards.
- Professionals. Those responsible include the person or organization in charge of the storage service, as well as those who are responsible for security, privacy, information systems, as well as those who manage to archive for public entities.
- Process. Data traceability and control activities during the processing phases.
- Infrastructures. Relating to the security of the stored data.
Why you need a certified e-invoice service provider
Selecting an accredited registrar is absolutely crucial and necessary to ensure quality and reliability for any organization using the e-invoicing service, whether it is electronic invoicing to public administration offices or between private individuals.
AgID certified e-invoice service provider must pass a difficult exam to perform this function, and they are subject to periodic checks to make sure they are compliant.
Doxee is an AgID certified e-invoice service provider.
Its process is perfectly aligned with the new technical rules as established by the Italian government for the storage/archiving of computer documents and it meets all the requirements of AgID—including organizational, technical, and financial reliability—necessary to perform archival activities.
Doxee has obtained the highest awards in terms of quality and security, confirming itself as an Italian company of excellence in the field of digital document preservation. Doxee has processed 24 million electronic PR/PA invoices sent to SdI in January 2019 alone.