England is one of 31 European nations to have implemented electronic invoicing. PEPPOL allows a trust to have a single e-Procurement link to the outside world, allowing it to deal with current and future suppliers, both large and small, in the UK and globally.
A supplier only requires one connection to PEPPOL. Through that, they can contact all NHS clients and other PEPPOL-connected commercial partners at home or abroad.
PEPPOL provides a common link for e-ordering, e-invoicing, and electronic credit notes for the NHS and its vendors.
This article will go through the regulations and standards for e-invoicing in the UK, the NHS e-Procurement Strategy, and how to use Storecove to stay compliant with e-invoicing.
E-invoicing rules and regulations in England?
The transmission and storage of invoices in an electronic format without the need for duplicate paper documents is known as electronic invoicing.
The Public Procurement (Electronic Invoices, etc.) Regulations 2019 were passed by the UK government in May 2019 to implement the EU directive on e-invoicing for public procurement.
Anyone participating in public procurement proceedings must receive and handle invoices from suppliers that adhere to the Directive's e-invoicing requirement.
This implies that public sector organizations and entities, such as central government agencies, the NHS, and local governments, are required to use electronic invoicing.
Format of the electronic invoices
In England, e-invoices should be sent in EDI standard formats like UN/EDIFACT, EANCOM and ODETTE, XML, and even ASCII or PDF.
The picture shown above is a depiction of the format for the e-invoices. Your e-invoices need to have certain pieces of information about the transaction.
You need to ensure that you have the company name and the address on the invoice. This is usually placed at the top-left. Moreover, make sure that you get the customer’s name and address, just underneath that as well.
You also need to have the invoice number, the date of the purchase, and the due date. This information usually appears on the top-right so that it is easier to trace the invoice.
Along with this, don’t forget to mention your contact information on the invoice. This can be placed anywhere, but most people prefer the header or the footer because that way it doesn’t get in the way.
Of course, no invoice will be complete without payment details. This will include the number of items, price of one item, tax, and the total cost. These need to take the central space.
You will also need to provide the banking details to make sure that your transaction can be tracked. Try putting them a little below the rest of the details so that nothing elementary gets obscured by them.
Lastly, you can provide additional information about the purchase, such as tiny details that might not be obvious. For instance, if you are a business that deals in car upgrades and charges a customer a fortune for a bullet-proofing upgrade, the HMRC representatives may not pick that up immediately without those additional comments.
- A unique number for identification purposes
- Name of the company and at least the address of the customer you have made a sale to
- Supply date for the day you completed the order
- Your business’s address and contact details
- The total amount of the order
- A concise description of what you are selling
- VAT if there’s any applicable
When can you e-invoice?
If you can confirm the validity of the source, the integrity of the tab data, and legibility, and your customer agrees to enter bills electronically, you can bill them electronically.
There should be an interchange agreement between EDI trading partners that specifies the usage of methods that ensure the validity of the data's origin and integrity.
To utilize a supporting document and validate the data on an invoice, you must have accounting controls that ensure the document's information is reliable and independent.
You must send your invoices in safely through industry-standard authentication and security technology.
If you're sending electronic invoices to European states, ensure they match the UK's electronic invoicing requirements.
Before agreeing to invoice your customer electronically, double-check that their system can receive invoices in the format you use.
How to store your electronic invoicing data
During and after the operation processing, you must be suitable to guarantee the validity, integrity, and legibility of your tab data.
Invoices must be archived for 6 years and must include evidence of their authenticity and integrity.
If you store your records outside of the UK, HMRC recommends that you keep internet access to them.
You must still be able to provide HMRC with any records it requests in a legible format, within a given time, and at a mutually agreed location.
HMRC should be able to obtain data copies from your system. You might be able to fulfill your record-keeping obligations by providing:
- Physical access to your systems on-site.
- Access through a third party (providing information on electronic media, or possibly via remote access to your systems).
- Any other appropriate means that you agree with HMRC, such as a resident audit software installed at the request of the visiting officer.
Receiving electronic invoices
If your suppliers send you electronic invoices, you must fulfill the requirements for storing them.
Suppose you don't want or are unfit to admit electronic checks. This is a business concern involving you and your provider.
The primary provocation for obligatory invoicing in the UK is establishing a standard invoicing format accepted throughout EU nations, enabling cross-border trade.
The ripple effect is a more manageable, cost-effective method of conducting business between suppliers and customers across Europe and, by extension, the rest of the world, thanks to PEPPOL.
Who uses PEPPOL in England?
PEPPOL is a critical component of the UK government's Scan4Safety plan for the NHS, intending to lower operational costs. This will improve visibility and controls in the procurement and finance functions.
When it comes to internet commerce, PEPPOL is swiftly becoming the norm for public sector organizations all around the world.
With over 250 NHS organizations linked and dealing with thousands of PEPPOL-connected vendors, it is already changing how the NHS does business.
PEPPOL is planned to be used by all NHS Trusts to interact with their supply chain in the following years.
It allows buyers and suppliers to exchange documents such as orders and invoices in a standard manner without requiring manual intervention.
NHS purchasers and suppliers use a PEPPOL access point. Storecove, which acts as a PEPPOL access point provider, is one such platform. It uses the PEPPOL network to transmit e-invoices to governments and businesses all across the world in a secure manner.
Electronic invoices, orders, and other purchase-related documents are exchanged and received between the buyer and the supplier via the buyer's Access Point and the supplier's Access Point.
An NHS buyer can trade with ANY PEPPOL-connected provider. A supplier can also deal with all PEPPOL-connected NHS buyers (as well as other public and private sector organizations).
Also, check out: 5 Advantages of Using an E-invoicing Portal in 2022
NHS e-Procurement Strategy
In May 2014, the UK Department of Health and Social Care released the NHS eProcurement strategy, a policy statement that supports the Procurement Development Program.
It required adopting common global standards by NHS providers and their suppliers throughout their internal and external supply chains.
The primary requirements that the strategy expects NHS providers and their suppliers to fulfill are as follows:
1) GS1 (for product and location coding and data synchronization).
2) PEPPOL (for a purchase order, despatch advice, and invoice messaging).
The six NHS Demonstrator Trusts listed below were chosen for central funding. They began implementing the GS1 and Peppol standards in January 2016.
- Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
- Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
- Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
- Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
PEPPOL requirements for NHS trusts and suppliers
Electronic purchase order and invoice communications (optional for dispatch advise notes) must employ Peppol standards and be exchanged over PEPPOL Access Points.
Adoption is required under contract terms for both NHS Trusts and their suppliers, as follows:
1) Through the NHS Standard Contract for NHS Trusts, and
2) The NHS Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract for the Supply of Goods and Services, published in September 2016.
In 2015, DH took the following steps in the NHS eProcurement strategy:
1) In Q2 2015, they performed an end-to-end demonstration of technology (DoT), which included developing and transmitting electronic Orders, Despatch Advice notes, and Invoices.
2) Published a case study and guideline materials illustrating how Peppol methods and technology function in the NHS.
During 2016, the following activities were carried out:
1) The Department of Health began operations as the PEPPOL Authority for English NHS Trusts, accountable for the PEPPOL network's governance.
2) In October 2016, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) constructed a Framework Agreement for PEPPOL Access Point suppliers. The Framework Agreement is available to all NHS Trusts and the rest of the UK public sector.
With PEPPOL's e-invoicing system, England looks to digitize business operations, close the VAT gap, and tackle tax fraud.
E-invoicing is gaining popularity worldwide, and your company must adapt to reap the benefits of PEPPOL e-invoicing.
Storecove specializes in worldwide electronic invoicing and compliance and is a Certified PEPPOL Access Point supplier. It offers convenience and reliability, which can help make your PEPPOL transition more manageable and smoother.
More information on PEPPOL in England?
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