The Austrian ICT Consolidation Act of 2012 obliges contract partners contracting goods and services for the federal government and government offices to issue eInvoices. The transposition of EU Directive 2014/55 into Austrian law is contained in Article 368 of the Federal Procurement Law (Bundesvergabegesetz-BVergG 2018) entitled Receipt and processing of electronic invoices. According to this article, it is obligatory to issue an eInvoice in XML format and following EN 16931 Standard for transactions related to purchased goods and services above the threshold.
Federal Service Portal (Unternehmensserviceportal)
The Austrian government has developed an online platform, Unternehmensserviceportal — USP. Companies that register on the portal can manage many financial transactions in digital form. However, thanks to portal, you can file tax returns, social insurance payments, taxes can pay.
Solution providers in Austria can choose any eInvoice platform to send eInvoices. There are about 60 software providers that create eInvoices in the country. As in many EU countries, there are eDelivery compliance solutions in Austria using PEPPOL. However, the USP provides the required authentication services when offering eInvoice.
Bundesbeschaffung GmbH is Austria’s federal public procurement agency. BBG is a trusted purchasing partner. For instance ministries, federal states, municipalities, subcontractors, universities and institutions in the healthcare industry.
In other words, BBG portal, customers&suppliers can use all BBG services with a single registration. Economic actors who receive commissions on contracts have to send their invoices to portal. The Agency has a legal obligation to evaluate statistical data on invoices. The BBG invoice portal is linked to the federal government eInvoice service. This service (E-Rechnung.gv.at) delivery of eInvoices is free for the user.
E-Invoice receiving and processing approach
Austrian federal government receives and processes eInvoices from economic actors supported by the following solutions:
Firstly, Federal Government receives the eInvoice generated through a direct eInvoice download, web form, or manual eInvoice creation via a web service link.
Secondly, USP provides the necessary authentication services for the issuance of e-Invoices and does not require further use of electronic signatures.
Thus, companies can receive a paper, e-mail, PDF, etc., through E-rechnung.gv.at or through a solution provider that manages the transmission after authenticating the USP as e-Invoice. Solution providers affiliated with USP can forward their customers’ invoices without need for individual registration.
After submission, eInvoices are stored as an automatically generated PDF. This is followed by automatic pre-receipt of invoice receipt. E-Invoice processing is integrated into the federal budgeting and bookkeeping system process. Once received by public administrations, E-Invoices are processed at the federal level through automated and integrated systems linked to the public administration’s workflow and core systems.
The processing of eInvoices is automated and integrated with the federal government. It differs greatly for other government agencies. For example, eInvoices are processed manually in cases where organizations do not have ERP systems.
eInvoice application at sub-central level contracting authorities
At subcentral level, the e-Invoicing system is based on Peppol, used by 50,000 contracting authorities. Receiving eInvoices at the sub-central level is not regulated by law. They are free to voluntarily participate in federal government solution. In conclusion, ERechnung.gv.at implements as recipients or their solutions.