E-invoice and e-procurement are two of the most critical aspects of doing business in the 21st century. For many years, Serbia has been working on developing these technologies and making them available to businesses in the country.
Electronic invoicing in Serbia will become mandatory for all businesses and public sectors in January 2023. The implementation process contains three phases, from May 1, 2022, to January 1, 2023.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at e-procurement and e-invoicing in Serbia and which benefits they offer for Serbian companies. Read on to learn more.
Is e-invoicing and e-procurement mandatory in Serbia?
Serbia's Ministry of Finance is adopting electronic invoicing in a three-phase implementation timeline.
The first phase, which started on May 1, 2022, states that all suppliers in the public sector must start using e-invoices when billing the government, and the government must be able to receive and store them.
The second phase, which commenced on July 1, 2022, requires all public entities to send e-invoices to companies that should be in a position to receive and store them. On January 1, 2023, e-invoicing will be mandatory for the entire B2B sector.
There are legal penalties for companies that do not implement or use e-invoicing by the stipulated time frames. Non-compliance with the requirements is sanctioned with a fine of around 17,000 euros.
Characteristics of the electronic invoice in Serbia
The Serbian Ministry of Finance defines E-invoicing as "an invoice in electronic format containing all the information required by law, which is signed with a qualified electronic signature and/or delivered through a secure electronic channel."
The following are the main characteristics of e-invoices in Serbia:
Every invoice must include:
- Unique Invoice Number;
- Supplier's name, address, and TIN (Taxpayer's Identification Number) of taxpayer;
- Recipient's name, address, and TIN of taxpayer;
- Applied tax rate;
- Amount of VAT added to the basis;
- Date of issuance;
- Payment deadline;
- The total amount of e-invoice and amount of advanced payments;
- Description of the sold goods or services.
The Serbian government has introduced an ancillary system called Sistem za Upravljanje Fakturama (SUF), which is a part of the country's e-invoicing platform. The system stores all e-invoices and makes them available for retrieval by the relevant authorities.
Qualified electronic signatures
Under Serbian law, e-invoices must be signed with a qualified electronic signature. The Sistem E-Faktura, the country's e-invoicing platform, uses a PKI system to issue and verify signatures. It is also possible to use other signature methods recognized by the Sistem E-Faktura.
E-invoices in Serbia must be in XML format and comply with the technical specifications set out by the Ministry of Finance. The Sistem E-Faktura provides templates that you can use to generate compliant invoices.
E-invoices generated by private sector entities must be stored for a minimum period of 10 years in an electronic archive that is accessible and usable. Those generated and received by public entities are permanently archived in the government's electronic invoicing system, Sistem E-Faktura.
Benefits of e-invoicing for businesses in Serbia
The Serbian government has been working hard to promote e-invoicing and other electronic means of doing business in the country. This is because of the many benefits that these technologies offer businesses. Some of the benefits of e-invoicing for businesses in Serbia include:
Reduced overhead costs
The implementation of e-invoicing can help businesses reduce overhead costs. Companies will no longer need to print and mail paper invoices.
Furthermore, businesses will no longer need to invest in storage space for paper invoices. The electronic storage of invoices also eliminates the need to hire staff to manage paper invoices.
Improved cash flow
Businesses can receive payments faster when they use e-invoices and improve their cash flow. In addition, businesses can automate the billing process and send invoices electronically.
This eliminates the need for manual billing processes, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. The automated billing process also ensures that invoices are sent on time and reduces the probability of late payments.
Greater efficiency and transparency
When businesses use e-invoices, they can track their invoices' status. This allows businesses to resolve any invoice-related issues quickly. Businesses can use the data from e-invoices to improve their internal processes. You can also use the data to provide greater transparency to the business's stakeholders.
E-invoicing also offers businesses the opportunity to integrate their accounting and invoicing systems. This can lead to increased efficiency and accuracy in the invoicing process.
Improved customer relationships
E-invoicing can help businesses build and maintain better relationships with their customers. When businesses use e-invoices, they can provide their customers with greater transparency and visibility into invoicing. This can help build trust between the business and its customers.
In addition, companies can use e-invoices to offer their customers discounts or loyalty programs.
Compliance with government regulations
The Serbian government has been working to promote e-invoicing and other electronic means of doing business in the country. As a result, businesses that use e-invoices can comply with government regulations. Companies that use e-invoices will also be able to take advantage of any benefits or incentives the government offers.
Immediacy means businesses can send invoices to their customers as soon as the goods or services are provided. This eliminates the need for businesses to wait for the customer to request an invoice.
In addition, businesses can use e-invoices to send reminders to customers who have not yet paid their invoices.
How to send and receive compliant e-invoices in Serbia
Sending electronic invoices in Serbia can be done in two ways:
1. The Sistem E-Faktura
Businesses must follow the following steps to send e-invoices through the Sistem E-Faktura. You will need a qualified electronic signature to register for an account.
After registration and logging into your account, you can create an invoice and fill in the necessary information. Use the Sistem E-Faktura to send it directly to the customer.
The tax authorities will automatically receive a copy of the invoice and verify that it complies with the government's requirements. Finally, the customer receives the invoice electronically and pays through the Sistem E-Faktura. After the payment has been processed, the funds will be transferred to the business's bank account.
2. E-invoicing solutions like Storecove
Storecove is a global e-invoicing solution and accredited Access Point Provider. This means that we can provide businesses and ERP companies with the ability to send and receive compliant e-invoices in various countries worldwide.
You simply have to connect your (financial) software to our API and we make sure that your e-invoices are processed and sent - in bulk if needed - through Sistem E-Faktura, all from within your own software.
The advantage of using an API-based e-invoicing solution is that you eliminate repetitive manual tasks and that your e-invoices and documents are automatically generated into the required format. This means that you don't have to be able to create multiple e-invoicing formats yourself.
E-invoicing in Serbia has many benefits for businesses, including compliance with government regulations, immediacy, and the ability to send invoices electronically. The process is being implemented in phases, and the ultimate goal is to have all businesses using e-invoices by the start of 2023.
If you are doing business in Serbia, your invoices must comply with the government's requirements. Storecove can help you get started with e-invoicing in Serbia and help you to send e-invoices that meet the government its requirements.
More information on e-invoicing in Serbia?
Call us on: +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org