Electronic invoicing: the first steps

Since 2021, companies have been required to send their invoices to the public sector electronically via the Chorus Pro portal. This obligation will soon apply to all transactions between companies subject to VAT. Here's an update on the first steps involved in electronic invoicing.

Gradual implementation

Electronic invoicing, initially provided for in the 2020 Finance Act, was due to come into force from 2023 and up to 2025, depending on company size. However, as requested by companies, the ordinance on the implementation of e-invoicing has postponed the timetable for the widespread introduction of the system.

This is broken down into two obligations for French companies:

  • E-invoicing: the obligation to receive and issue electronic invoices for domestic B2B transactions;
  • E-reporting: the obligation to upload invoicing data for flows to private customers (BtoC) and foreign flows.

The new timetable also takes into account the size of companies, and sets the effective date for the obligation to issue electronic invoices at :

  • July 1, 2024 for large companies;
  • January 1, 2025 for mid-sized companies;
  • January 1, 2026 for small and medium-sized businesses and micro-businesses.

The ordinance confirms the use of the Chorus Pro platform or the possibility of using a dematerialization platform registered with the tax authorities to transmit invoices and data.

To avoid penalties (a fine of 15 euros per invoice for failure to invoice in electronic format), companies are well advised to entrust their accounting to an expert.

The first steps to electronic invoicing

Companies wishing to anticipate this obligation can take the following steps:

1. Set up a working group

It may be a good idea to set up a working group within the company toidentify the functions likely to be involved in the billing transformation (general management, legal department, accounting, etc.). This group will also be responsible for identifying the company's incoming and outgoing flows.

2. Choose an intermediate platform

From July 1, 2024, companies will have to be able to receive invoices in electronic format issued by large corporations (electricity suppliers, internet service providers, equipment suppliers, etc.). With this in mind, it is important to choose an intermediary platform, which may be the public Chorus Pro portal or a partner dematerialization platform (PDP). The list of PDPs will be available on the impots.gouv.fr website from the 2nd half of 2023.

3. Evaluate your needs

It's a good idea for every company to take stock of the equipment it has available for invoicing (computer, tablet, wifi connection, etc.). Investment in specific equipment depends on the nature and number of operations carried out. Free solutions are also available.