As of January 1, 2014 the Administration will have a single accounts payable record
Electronic invoicing with the Public Administration becomes mandatory as of January 15, 2015
Currently pending its definitive approval by the Senate, the draft bill on electronic invoicing and creation of a single accounts payable record in the public sector comes into force as of next year. This initiative, which went through Congress last October 23, aims to minimize late payment by the Administration, improve the competitive edge and efficiency of businesses and reduce administrative burdens. According to government calculations, these measures could mean annual savings of €51 million.
The changes in this draft Bill will be applied in two phases. The Public Sector will be the first to take up this new billing procedure. And as of next January 1, all Administrations will have an accounting record for invoices, whose managers will forward the information on bills received to the Tax Authority. This will allow immediate knowledge of the real economic situation, making it possible to set budgets more in line with the actual situation, so making public accounts more reliable.
In a second phase, from January 15, 2015, electronic invoicing, under the designated E model, will be mandatory for all bills for sums over 5000 euros. In addition, suppliers and service providers must present their invoices and carry out all their transactions with the accounts registry of the Administrations electronically, so that a record is kept of the delivery date. The aim is to ensure payment within 30 days, following the requirements laid down by Brussels. Otherwise, the Administration will have to pay the supplier the corresponding interest.
This is not the first initiative from the Spanish Government to roll out electronic invoicing in the public sector. As explained in our Expert Analysis “Factura-e: electronic invoicing with the Spanish public administration”, the first ruling dates from 2003, when Royal Decree 1496/2003 transposed Directive 2001/115/EC, which opened the doors to this format in Europe. “In recent years in Spain, discrepancies have cropped up in the requirements for electronic invoicing in the public and private sector”, explains our International Projects Manager, Miguel Soler.
However, this time it seems that the draft bill has a solid foundation which should facilitate the rollout of Factura-e. On one hand, large investments have already been made by suppliers and creditors of the Administration, who had already primed their Information Systems to issue electronic invoices in 2009, under a previous initiative.
On the other, the rollout of e-invoicing is already a reality in the European Union Member States, in line with the Digital Agenda. Italy and Belgium have taken steps similar to those of the Spanish government in recent months. Other countries such as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark now top the rankings for uptake of this format in the public sector.