Legally compliant invoices are the key documents upon which VAT is both charged and recovered, so compliance with the format and content requirements of the jurisdictions in which a business operates goes to the heart of effective VAT management. These can be demanding – in the EU, for instance there are up to 18 different items an invoice must legally contain. If invoices are not properly compliant, this may be a problem not just for the business that issues them but also for all of its VAT registered customers who are relying on these documents to claim VAT recovery. In many jurisdictions, substantial penalties await both companies that issue incorrect invoices and those that claim recovery against incorrect invoices.
The treatment of VAT on invoices differs from country to country so for businesses that are active across borders a key challenge can be to create invoices that are compliant in all the jurisdictions necessary. This is especially the case for those businesses that operate centralised billing in a shared service centre environment, where a single invoice template may need to fit the demands of a wide variety of jurisdictions. The accounts payable or purchasing side of the business will face the same challenge in mirror image; all incoming invoices need to be checked against local legal requirements and this is also particularly challenging in a shared service centre environment where a number of different jurisdictions and languages are being catered for.
Essentia can support your business with respect to invoicing in the following key ways:
- Working with IT departments to produce compliant invoice templates
- Reviews of AP and AR processes with respect to invoicing
- Training of AP and AR staff with respect to invoice content
- Audit of invoice files to check VAT compliance
- Assistance in approaching suppliers for corrected invoice