Electronic invoices provide an important means of reducing the costs of processing, sending, distributing and maintaining invoices, resulting in a simplification of administrative procedures and a considerable reduction in the amount of time and space consumed, as the invoices are transmitted through telematic means, accomplished by applying technical certification mechanisms (electronic signatures), which guarantee the basic elements required in any invoice (the authenticity of its origin and integrity of its content) and allow them to be maintained in digital format, which affords immediate access to them at any given moment.
Types of Electronic Invoices _ An electronic invoice is one which meets the same requirements that apply to invoices issued on paper, except that it is presented in electronic format and its authenticity and integrity are guaranteed. In order to guarantee a document's authenticity and integrity, there are three possible methods: Utilization of a recognized digital signature, which is based on a recognized certificate and generated using a secure device for creating signatures. Remittance through an "EDI" system, which ensures integrity and authenticity. Use of another system which, in the opinion of the Auditing Department of the State Tax Agency, ensures authenticity and integrity, whenever the taxpayer issuing the invoice has applied for Agency approval of the system in question. In general, the use of a recognized electronic signature is considered to be an essential element of electronic invoices.
Integrated retrieval _ Invoices can be retrieved from IMS at any stage, the full audit trail and a history of the workflow determines exactly where in the process each invoice is. It is also possible to retrieve invoices directly from their ERP system due to the integration with IMS. The full audit trail is vital as they have to comply with Sarbanes Oxley legislation. The IMS solution is used to assist in this compliance, with the audit trail providing a complete history of the lifecycle of each document.