Serbia e-Invoicing Process
With the rapid development of information technologies, a huge shift occurred in business processes from manual systems to electronic system. In this respect e-invoice applications rapidly evolved, and the governments started to implement e-invoicing projects covering all business transactions between governments and businesses. Like many European countries, Serbia has announced the introduction of Law on Electronic Invoice (Article 24) at the beginning of 2022. The e-invoicing system is called as “Sistem e-Facture (SEF)” and it uses the well-known clearance model (as used in Italy). The law explains several aspects related with creation, transition, receiving, processing, and archiving of e-invoices. In this system both receiver and sender are under obligation, and it covers the transactions between business to government (B2G), government to government (G2G), government to business (G2B), and business to business (B2B) transactions.
The law covers the non-residents also that have local fiscal representatives. All eligible taxpayers including customers or suppliers should register to the online electronic e-invoice system. They can submit the e-invoices to the government portal manually or using the API services of the government portal. The companies that do not satisfy the requirements of the electronic invoicing system will subject to penalties up to 17,000 Euros.
The project is planned to be executed in three phases: In phase 1, private sector entities must send e-invoices to public authorities (B2G transactions) and the public authorities obliged to receive and achieve the incoming e-invoices. On the other hand, public authorities obliged to send and receive e-invoices from other public authorities (G2G transactions) starting from 01 May 2022. The second phase starts from 01 July 2022 in which the public authorities will be required to send e-invoices to private sector entities and private sector entities will be required to receive e-invoices. In the final phase, all business transactions (including B2B) will be conducted using e-invoicing system.
Technical Aspects of Serbia E-Invoicing System
The electronic invoices should be created, issued, and received according to EN 16931–3–2. An electronic invoice must be issued and received in XML format in line with the Standards EN 16931–3–2. The XML files should be in line with the UBL UBL 2.1. standard.
In general, there are two ways of creation, submission, and reception of e-invoices:
- Manual Submission over the SEF e-invoicing portal
- From the ERP system of the taxpayer using the API services provided by the Serbian Tax Authorities.
The clients that have lower number of invoices may use the manual submission option. The other clients, the most practical and effective way is connection of ERP systems to SEF portal using the API services. These API services offer several methods that can be used for communicating with the SEF portal including posting and receiving e-invoices.
Melasoft E-Invoice Solution for Serbia
Melasoft E-Invoice Application is an SAP addon that runs on client ERP system under the control of the client. The main components of Melasoft E-Invoice Application are inbound cockpit, outbound cockpit, periodic programs, and customizations as shown in the following figure. Each component is explained in following sections.
Melasoft Outbound Cockpit
Melasoft Outbound Cockpit is an SAP addon that works on the client SAP system. It is under the control of client as the other modules of the SAP system. This cockpit extracts invoice information from ERP system, creates XML files, and sends them to the Tax Authority Portal using web services. The outgoing invoices can be monitored, controlled, cancelled, or sent to the tax authorities’ portal. In addition, the status of the outgoing documents can be monitored using the web services. General status of the system is shown below:
Melasoft Inbound Cockpit
Melasoft Inbound Cockpit is an SAP addon that works on the client SAP system. It is under the control of client as the other modules of the SAP system. The incoming invoices are pulled from Tax Authority Portal using periodic jobs and they can be monitored, approved, or rejected over the incoming invoices cockpit. Moreover, the status of the incoming invoices can be monitored if needed.
Periodic programs run automatically per time interval defined or manually and used for updating information on Melasoft E-Invoice Program. In standard package two main jobs are used, namely “Get / Update Invoice” and “Update List of All Registered Companies”. The first job is used for updating status information of incoming and outgoing invoices in Tax Authorities Portal and check whether new invoices are submitted or not. The second job updates the lists of companies that are registered to the Tax Authorities Portal.
Customizations are used for customization of Melasoft Solution according to client company. The number and scope pf customizations depend on the company requirements. In general, the customizations are related with the invoice types, tax categories, tax exemptions, discounts, connection parameters, mapping classes, unit codes, and user login maintenance. The customizations are determined as a result of functional analysis conducted on the system.
Key Features of Melasoft Solution
Melasoft Solution is an SAP add-on that works within the SAP system and under the control of the client. The solution provides two distinct cockpits for incoming and outgoing invoices. The users can continuously monitor the status of the invoices in government portal and view the documents in different formats. The solution is flexible and can easily be adapted to different operational requirements. Also using the outputs, the solution can be improved, and new capabilities can easily be adapted. Different authorizations can be defined to users and hence different operations can be assigned to different employees. All operations are logged and can be viewed when necessary. In addition to these features, the solution can be modified according to requirements of the customers.