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SAP Document Compliance (eDocument) for E-Invoicing in a Nutshell

“What is SAP Document Compliance?”

Many countries world-wide require post-commercial transaction reporting, be it monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and so on. In addition, a rapidly increasing number is also demanding real-time E-Invoicing – I call it “the plus one mandate.”

Essentially, invoice or invoice content needs to be either a) shared with tax authorities for electronic signing/validation or b) sent electronically to customers in the public sector. SAP Document Compliance provides the solution for both.

 

“Why the SAP solution?”

A good number of partners and/or competitors will advertise their offers as “unique, the only global solution available in the market today, tested and proven, etc.” All of them have their own place in today’s ever-growing complex E-Invoicing landscape.

What makes our approach unique is that we give our customers the ability to create and manage  legal XML files for multiple countries on their own and submit them directly to the designated recipients with an out-of-the-box solution coupled to their back-end as add-ons. We utilize the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite (formerly known as HCP, SCP, CPI) with the most current integration flows (iflows) as the communication layer to the recipients when and where possible, hence making the process of maintaining compliance easier.

This simplifies their technical solution and contractual landscape. In short – a global solution that adheres to individual country mandatory requirements.

 

“What countries are covered?”

SAP Document Compliance covers a good number of individual country scenarios today and we continuously add to it. Our effort is two-fold: 1. Create new solutions for brand new mandates in countries viable to our customer base (where preexisting solutions would not be available in  the market today) and 2. Integrate “older” solutions with already existing mandates into the SAP Document Compliance suite.

Do we cover all countries today? No. It would be great if we did, but the growth of new mandates continues at a healthy pace and for some countries we simply do not have enough demand to create a solution – at the moment. SAP is both looking at new mandatory requirements world-wide to plan accordingly and other ways (perhaps through partners) to extend the usability of the solution.

By the way – plenty of customers still benefit strongly from the solution, even if SAP does not cover all countries. Over time, the technical solution landscape can become increasingly complex, so a simplification of it can have a very positive impact in regard to visibility, management, maintenance, support and cost savings.

 

“We want to explore first. Where can we find more information for our internal solution due diligence?”

 

“Sounds interesting, we want to know more. Where do we start?”

Finding the “right” person can be a journey on its own. Reach out to your SAP Account Executive or you primary/preferred SAP point of contact who can then involve colleagues from global product management, local product management, etc. to answer any questions and tailor a plan forward to your exact need.

A word of advice: SAP Document Compliance can be used for single country scenarios. I would, however, look at the global picture with a digital compliance strategy lens: Solve new requirements today but also look into the near future and the past (potential migration of existing solutions to SAP Document Compliance).

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