Jason: Sure. The process works as follows:
- The outbound, standard invoice process in SAP is VF01.
- The invoice process creates a billing document.
- The billing document invokes a function module which generates an IDoc.
- The IDoc is transmitted to the real time connector which converts it to an XML document.
- Crossgate picks it up and manages the entire Mexico e-Invoicing process and returns it to SAP with the digital signature.
- Crossgate also provides the archiving of the data for each invoice and digital signature
Kevin: What data does your team need to add to a standard invoice to make it compliant with Mexico’s requirements?
Jason: The fiscal attributes all come from SAP. We simply manage the e-Invoicing processes that result in the receipt of a digital signature. We send the digital signature signing attributes from SAT back to SAP where it is integrated.
Kevin: What are the training and education challenges?
Jason: Local managers in Mexico are often ill informed and they need retrained. SAT is a real time mission critical process. You need 24/7 support in case something breaks. Many managers don’t seem to grasp the real-time component and how it works.
Kevin: What other challenges are you seeing?
Jason: There are a lot of questions on how foreign companies must respond to these requirements. Some questions have to do with import questions. You sell in Mexico, but don’t have any presence there. If you have a presence in Mexico, and you import goods from yourself? We address each of these issues and resolve them with our clients.
Jason: There are other complexities. Some companies in Mexico like to use a Carta De Porte. It is like a bill of lading. Companies often use it when they don’t want to show the product shipment’s value. Sometimes they send a Carta De Porte, and then follow with an electronic invoice. Companies want to know how this is treated by the Mexico SAT authorities. Some companies want to have the recipient of the products sign the paper invoice. How is this treated? These are the kinds of questions that often come up and we address.
Kevin: Can you clarify one more time who needs to support these requirements in Mexico?
Jason: Sure. If a company has less than 4 million pesos in annual revenue, then they don’t have to do it. If a company has over 4 million pesos in annual revenue, but the aggregate amount of the invoice is less than 2,000 pesos, then they don’t have to use this process for that invoice. However, why would you support two different processes? It would not be cost effective or efficient.
Kevin: What about retail environments like a Home Depot? If these are selling to a contractor what happens?
Jason: Some retailers provide a receipt ticket with a number they can look-up online to receive their digitally signed invoice. Even large retailers will need to abide by the over 2000 peso invoice rule. If over, 2000 peso then an approved SAT invoice must be completed.
Kevin: What particular challenges does your team face most often when implementing these Mexico e-Invoicing processes?
Jason: Customers must grant access to their systems so we can integrate the external processes (SAT) with the internal (SAP) processes. Access to their people and time so we can get questions answered and test the implementations.
Kevin: What is a PAC?
Jason: Authorized digital signature service providers. These are third party providers, authorized by SAT to provide these services. They are entrusted to sign invoices on SAT’s behalf.
Kevin: You mentioned earlier the concept of a contingency mode. What does this mean?
Jason: In contingency mode is a process that some countries like Brazil have documented well. What happens if the Internet is down? Must all companies stop doing business? There needs to be a well documented contingency plan. In Mexico, it is not yet well defined. Perhaps you can use a Carta De Porte if the Internet is down? We use multiple PACs in our network to add back up and fail over capabilities.
Kevin: How do the PACs get paid?
Jason: PACs charge a transaction fee for every invoice they sign.