e-Invoicing in LATAM: A challenge for multinationals

e-Invoicing in LATAM: A challenge for multinationals


Multinational with presence in Latin America must not only adapt to the business peculiarities of their regional customers. They must also meet the technical and fiscal specifications of the different countries in everything to do with e-invoicing and maintain permanent links with the different tax authorities.

In 2016, roughly 30 billion electronic invoices will be exchanged worldwide (from 10% to 20% more than 2015). The annual Billentis report, from which this statistic is taken, shows that the use of these technologies is very uneven between regions. And more than 11 billion of these transactions will take place in Latin America alone, where the majority of tax and financial authorities call for the use of the system as the only billing option.

This fact was the main point on the agenda at the latest edition of the CIAT Technology Meeting, held between 10 and 12 October 2016 in Miami, where different tax authorities, businesses and service providers met up to share experiences on best practices in the field of tax administration.

Single e-invoicing model?

Multinationals operating in Latin America must adapt to mandatory e-invoicing in the vast majority of countries. In Mexico and Brazil, both leading countries in uptake of this billing system, e-invoicing is used by practically 100% of businesses and taxpayers. Beyond these two countries, compliant e-invoicing systems are also a reality fully ensconced in other countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru or Nicaragua. In other countries such as Colombia, Uruguay and Guatemala, the obligation is gradually spreading, with larger numbers of issuers joining the system little by little. Meanwhile, a small number of countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador Panama still maintain timid initiatives which in the best of cases are no more than projects in study phase.

It is common practice for multinational businesses operating in this area of the world to have management systems located in corporate centres outside these countries’ borders. These systems are also exploited by users from different countries that must adapt their accounting, tax and business processes not only to the particular features of their customers, but also to the demands of the different tax administrations with which they have to interact.

It is common to find that invoices issued in Latin America must be issued according to certain technical specifications that vary between countries. These specifications often call for real-time declaration of the amounts liable for tax liquidation, requiring businesses to face the challenge of adopting multiple technical legal requirements that can translate as loss of efficiency in business and administrative management.

A global solution

To overcome all these inefficiencies, companies can opt to implement global e-invoicing solutions.

These are integral platforms linked to issuer management systems, which take over all the complexity arising from adaptation of the data, e-signature and declaration of the amounts to the tax administrations in each case.

Solutions of this kind usually operate in the cloud, and in order to be efficient, must provide multiple integration technologies to ensure automatic processing of the data generated from the ERP. The more solid the experience, international presence and technical capabilities to provide complementary services (issuing e-certificates, advanced digital signature, certified document storage, etc.) attested by the platform provider, the more the success of the project is assured.

e-Invoicing Platform

A single solution that lets you issue electronic invoices in any country worldwide

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