Over the last few months, there have been a number of announcements by vendors stating that they are now supporting the einvoicing process in Latin America – specifically Brazil Nota Fiscal and Mexico CFDI. Many of these vendors are either traditional European signature providers, Supplier Networks, eInvoicing Networks, and B2B Managed Service providers that have offered einvoicing in the US and European Union for the past few years. It is important, as your organization evaluates solutions, to ask all the functional questions. There is one thing that is positively true: eInvoicing in Latin America is nothing like eInvoicing in Europe or North America.
As your company looks to comply with the constantly changing legislation, there are some key areas that you should focus on in your conversations as the requirements are process oriented:
- Unfortunately, most of the ERP and Financial applications were are not equipped to handle the constantly changing process flows. Ensure you understand how the eInvoicing company is going to assist you with the installation requirements within the ERP system. Many of the new vendors will claim cloud compliance, but that is less than 10% of the project.
- Ensure your trucks can leave the warehouse on time — Latin America eInvoicing is more than just a signature; it is about a real-time web service process and print management of approved documents. If this process fails, then you are left with trucks lining up at the warehouse and customer complaints or worse — lost orders. Make sure you understand how the organization will ensure that if the network is down, the government is down, or the einvoicing system is down that you can still ship in “Contingency”
- Support has been the most asked question in the management meetings we have seen over the last six months. Ensure you have local language and staff that speak Portuguese and Spanish as well as a global team that speaks English and understands your SAP system.
- Diagnosing the error — ensure you understand who’s responsibility it is and if your vendor is using a partner for any of the 10 major components of Latin America eInvoicing. If you don’t, you could find yourself on a call with your vendor stating that it is your issue as the XML was passed through the firewall and their support stops at a “Service Transfer Point”.
Over the next few weeks, I will be covering updates on the changes in 2013 as well as a more in-depth review of the solutions in the marketplace. Buyers should do their due diligence as you could be facing a maintenance headache if you don’t evaluate all the pieces of the complex puzzle called “Latin America eInvoicing”.