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10.12.2010

Electronic invoicing on the rise

REWE International AG implement eBilling

REWE International AG implemented, in cooperation with EDITEL and GS1, the ECR standard solution to process EANCOM® (EDIFACT) invoices with electronic signature. Approximately 11 tons of paper per year can be saved using electronic invoicing each year. The electronic signature guarantees the authenticity and integrity of the document. The solution offers great benefits also for the suppliers.

eBilling, the electronic exchange of invoices, is regulated by Austrian law since 2005. Prior to that invoices could be sent only as a printed copy personally to the addressee or per Mail or Fax. According to the Austrian legal situation which is based on the EU-directive of 2001 it is as well permitted to exchange exclusively electronic invoices. An electronic signature guarantees authenticity and integrity of the documents content and corresponds with the regulatory requirement.

As one of the first companies in the FMCG industry, REWE INTERNATIONAL AG implemented the ECR recommended standard for processing electronic invoices with digital signature. The EDI-based system has been developed in line with ECR and the cooperation of EDITEL and GS1 and finally reviewed and approved by the Austrian tax authority. REWE INTERNATIONAL AG is therefore authorized to receive electronic invoices with electronic signature from their suppliers instead of paper-based invoices. These electronic files are called EANCOM®-INVOIC.

After the receipt they are stored electronically. The archival storage has to be effected according to the specifications of the Austrian tax law. Should an official tax examination occur the files have to be retrievable by the tax auditor. With the use of EANCOM®-INVOIC files the whole invoicing process runs fully automatically from the invoice receipt, accounting control, archiving of the document to the final release for payment. Just in case of discrepancies regarding the quantity and price specifications, the invoice has to be verified by the accountant. Otherwise the invoice will be approved for payment to the supplier and automatically booked in the accounting system.

“We developed an IT-solution which allows us to process automatically the entire invoicing procedure”

DI Norbert Bures, IT Director and CEO, REWE International Dienstleistungsgesellschaft m.b.H.

The supplier also benefits from the use of electronic invoicing. Besides cost savings eBilling comes hand in hand with higher efficiency along the entire invoicing process. Therefore REWE International AG plans to implement electronic invoicing processes using EANCOM®-INVOIC files with as many partners as possible.

Benefits for the supplier

  •  Lesser cycle time: therefore faster conclusion of the whole invoicing process
  • Smaller error rate with the incoming invoices: therefore more quality in the whole EDI-based replenishment-process
  • Saving of paper, printing, mailing and packaging material
  • Safety of the integrity of the invoice document
  • Standard data format for all customers
  • Saving of storage space due to electronic archiving
  • Eco-friendly

In order to issue electronic invoices it is necessary to consider certain aspects: First of all the signatory needs an electronic certificate, which assures his identity, to create an “advanced electronic signature”. The certificate can be obtained at so called Trust Centers. In Austria these are A-Cert und A-Trust. The signature process itself is supported by common software products available on the market. The software provides the, not yet electronically signed, EANCOM®-INVOIC file with a digital signature. From this moment the integrity and authenticity of the invoice is ensured and approved for the deduction of VAT (Value added tax).

More about e-Invoice

For further information please contact our support team +43/1/505 86 02 – 0 or support(at)editel.at