How to choose an ‘e-invoice’ provider

All taxpayers who already invoice or who begin to do so must issue electronic invoices regardless of their income level.

Do you want to fulfill your obligations but don’t know where to start? The specialists give you some tips to understand what it is about and hire the service that best meets your needs.

The Internet Digital Tax Receipt (CFDI), commonly called electronic invoice Small Practices Medical Billing Services, is a fiscal document whose security elements are placed and validated with the help of an Authorized Certification Provider (PAC).

The PACs are the only ones authorized by the Tax Administration Service (SAT) to stamp or certify that the CFDIs comply with the corresponding security elements.

“The CFDI is an invoice generated by the taxpayer through computer software. Subsequently, the document is sent digitally to a company that operates as an Authorized Certification Provider in order to validate it through the Internet and directly with the SAT the security elements of the document, “he explained.

This instant online verification was not possible with the current schemes that will disappear as of next year: the Digital Tax Receipt (CFD) and the Two-Dimensional Bar Code Tax Receipt (CBB).

Starting to compare prices and services now will allow you to choose the best one. There are currently 71 PACs throughout the country, according to information from the SAT and the service options are as varied as the number of providers in the market.

Some offer the sale of business administration software that in turn allows the generation of electronic invoices, while others offer stamping service, that is, the possibility of issuing electronic invoices without the service being linked to the purchase of software , but which you have a limited number of bills per month. On the other hand, there is the free billing service offered by the SAT on its website.

How do you know which one suits you? In general terms, taxpayers can find themselves in three different scenarios and depending on which one they are in, it will be the service they will need to hire.

The three possibilities

1. The first scenario

In this group are taxpayers who have internal software with which they already generated their invoices.

This company does not need a PAC to offer a document generation system, but an exclusively stamping service, which is the placement of security and validation elements, explained Jorge Robles, director of Alliances at CONTPAQ i, a software development firm business.

2. Second scenario

Another segment are companies that require software to generate electronic invoices, but also want to implement a management system to control inventories and accounting aspects such as registration of purchases, suppliers and accounts payable, among other things. The company dedicated to selling the software must make an alliance with one or more PACs to stamp the invoices it generates.

“We offer administrative software and we link with more than 20 PACs to stamp taxpayer invoices.

In some cases, the same software development company is also PAC, as in the case of companies like CONTPAQ i. Generally under this scheme, companies charge for the software license and offer unlimited free stamping to their customers.

3. Third scenario

When the company does not have an administration software but does not want one either and only wants to issue an electronic invoice.

“Before they could have an invoice pad and a pen, then they need a system that is limited in solving that need,” commented Jorge Robles.

What options are there for them? Most PACs offer a billing service through an Internet page for which they charge a monthly or annual rent that may or may not be limited to a certain number of invoices or stamps, depending on each company.

For example, there are companies that offer packages of 50 stamps or invoices for 190 pesos plus VAT, which would give an approximate cost of four pesos per CFDI, but the cost is reduced and can reach cents per invoice as the billing volume grows.

In general, the cost of digital invoices can range from four to 12 pesos each, depending on the provider.

Free services

The SAT has a free electronic billing service. In addition, by law, all PACs are required to offer a free service. These may work for some taxpayers.

The free services are ideal for people who generate one to three bills a month, as is the case with freelancers, the experts agreed.

The differences between a free service and a paid one are, mainly, the level of support and attention in case of difficulties, the design of the invoice is more austere, it does not include addenda, which are documents with additional information about the transaction that some request large companies, in addition to the fact that the storage time is less than that offered by a paid service.