Latin America E-Invoicing 2014 Update: Argentina eFactura

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Steve Sprague of Invoiceware. This is the fourth in a five-part series providing an update on Latin America e-invoicing.

In my last article, I focused on Chile. For this week, I want to focus on Argentina electronic invoicing. Since October 2013, there have been a number of changes in the laws that will affect the Account Payables organization. Initially, the changes were associated to the “sin detail” invoices (i.e. the invoices without detail or line items). However, on December 16, 2013, the AFIP published General Resolution 3571/13, listing the new industry sectors that must transition to electronic invoicing. The industries were segmented into six different groups according to the type of activity they engage in. Gradually, all of them must migrate to the electronic billing system regulated by AFIP.

April 1, 2014 is the date that companies in the first group must be ready to carry out electronic invoicing. And on August 1, 2014, the last group (group 6) must be ready for compliant e-invoicing.

These industry groups include public services such as water and natural gas, as well as certain companies in the construction industries.

Here’s what you need to be aware of from a legislative and implementation perspective:

  • The AFIP mandates electronic invoicing across industries and countries, and there are multiple types of invoices depending on whether the invoice is for the final consumer, is a business to business transaction, or is an export invoice. There are different web services and XML schema for each invoice type, along with PDF and barcode formats.
  • Your supplier must make the XML available to you, the Buyer, within 10 days of receiving the CAE number, which is the approval code of the government. This is most commonly done via email in Argentina.
  • Note that Argentina web services can be quite strict. If the information is not exactly the way the AFIP expects it, the invoice will fail. This becomes very important if you are a sender of e-invoices in Argentina, and the concept of “Dynamic Sequencing” becomes critical to your IT architecture. You want to design the solution to automatically re-sequence invoices if one fails validation. So if you process a batch of 100 invoices and the second one fails, the system will renumber the invoices accordingly so that the other 98 will process. If you don’t have Dynamic Sequencing, the other 98 invoices would remain in holding until Invoice 2 was fixed.
  • For goods invoices, the CAE approval codes should be received by your supplier prior to releasing the goods based on the strictest interpretation of the laws.
  • Also, of all the mandatory countries, Argentina tends to give the least amount of notice. Often the legislation is announced and takes effect within three months. Compare to Brazil, which for version 3.1 gave almost 18 months notice to organizations.

Account Payables Perspective- Much like all mandatory countries you need to view the processing of supplier invoices in two phases. However, unlike Brazil and Mexico, where you can expect 95 to 98 percent of your invoices to be electronic, you still could be dealing with paper based suppliers who have not been mandated by the AFIP.

For Okay to Deduct (what the government requires you to do), you should be collecting the XML from your suppliers, validating that they are accurate and registered, and archiving them for five years. For Type A and Type B invoices, there are AFIP services that you can access in real time or batch.

For Okay to Pay (what you should be doing if you have decent volume of inbound invoices), remember that your supplier must make the XML available to you within 10 days of registering the CAE number, so you can use this XML to drive your 3-way matching process.

So as you look at Argentina e-invoicing, make sure you have a handle on the ever changing requirements and your supplier capabilities.

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