Updated: Oct 2, 2020
‘E-invoicing’ or ‘electronic invoicing’ is a system in which B2B invoices are authenticated electronically by GSTN for further use on the GST portal. Under the proposed electronic invoicing system, an identification number will be issued against every invoice by the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) to be managed by the GST Network.
Taxpayers will continue to create their GST invoices on their own Accounting/Billing/ERP Systems. These invoices will now be reported to ‘Invoice Registration Portal (IRP)’. On reporting, IRP returns signed e-invoice with unique ‘Invoice Reference Number (IRN)’ along with a QR Code. Then, the invoice (with QR Code) can be issued to receiver. A GST invoice will be valid only with a valid IRN.
As stated by the GSTN authority, E-invoice has many advantages for businesses such as standardisation, inter-operability, auto reporting of invoices into GST return, auto-generation of e-way bill (where required), reduction in processing costs, reduction in disputes, improving payment cycles and thereby improving overall business efficiency. Huge advancements in technology sophistication, increased penetration of internet along with availability of computer systems at reasonable cost has made ‘e-invoice’, a popular choice worldwide. Due to these benefits, which ensure ease of doing business, many countries have already adopted e-invoicing
There are many mechanisms for reporting Invoices to the GSTN and recently the authorities have provided bulk generation tool to upload the invoices duly converted into JSON format.
The factor that we need to keep in mind in terms of making the GSTN system successful in achieving the underline objective is by ensuring seamless synchronous flow of data from the business accounting application to IRP of GSTN - Automation.
Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance.
Imagine situation where an organisation make 50 to 100 invoices a day and has to go through manual procedures in terms of sending the pay load, receiving the payload, update into a table and then print. There is every possibility of failure rate with human intervention. Any business process might compromise on the success rate, where as in compliance it can't and has to be at 100%.
Success of GST System lies with automation at all levels and as business leader we have to ensure the compliance process from the business accounting software has to be automated with minimal human assistance.