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e-Invoicing in Finland

eInvoicing is becoming increasingly popular around the world as a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paper-based invoicing. In Finland, eInvoicing has been widely adopted and is now the standard method of invoicing between businesses and government agencies.

In 2010, the Finnish government set a goal to make e-invoicing the primary invoicing method for all business-to-business (B2B) transactions by 2020. This goal was achieved ahead of schedule, with e-invoicing accounting for over 90% of all B2B invoicing in Finland by the end of 2019.

eInvoice Process in Finland

 

First, it’s important to understand that there are two main types of e-invoicing: direct and network-based. Direct e-invoicing involves the sending and receiving of invoices directly between the sender’s and recipient’s financial systems, without the need for an intermediary. Network-based e-invoicing, on the other hand, involves the use of a third-party service provider to transmit the invoices between the parties.

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Direct eInvoicing in Finland and Finvoice Format

 

In Finland, direct e-invoicing is a method of sending and receiving invoices electronically between the sender’s and recipient’s financial systems, without the need for an intermediary service provider. This e-invoicing approach offers several benefits, including increased security, faster transaction times and lower costs.

To send e-invoices directly in Finland, the sender creates an invoice in Finvoice format, which is a standard electronic invoice format used in Finland. The Finvoice format contains all the necessary information required for the invoice, such as invoice number, date, terms of payment and items. The invoice is then transmitted directly to the recipient’s financial system using a secure electronic network.

When the invoice is received, the buyer’s financial system automatically processes the invoice and compares it with the relevant purchase order and payment details. The invoice is then approved and paid according to the payment terms stated on the invoice.

One of the main benefits of direct e-invoicing in Finland is that it eliminates the need for an intermediary service provider such as a bank or billing operator. This reduces the costs associated with e-invoicing and makes the process more efficient. It also increases security as there are fewer intermediaries in the forwarding and processing of the invoice.

Direct e-invoicing is especially useful for large organizations that handle high-volume invoices. By automating the invoicing process and eliminating the need for manual data entry, direct e-invoicing can save significant time and resources. It also reduces the risk of error as invoice data is transferred directly from the sender’s financial system to the recipient’s financial system without any human intervention.

In Finland, both direct and network-based e-invoicing are widely used, but network-based e-invoicing is more common for small and medium-sized businesses. The country has also developed a national e-invoicing standard known as the Finnish e-invoice (Finvoice) format, which is based on the European standard for e-invoicing (EN 16931).

Finvoice is a standard electronic invoice format used in Finland for sending and receiving invoices between businesses and government agencies. It is not a platform or portal, but a standardized format that can be used by different software solutions or platforms to generate and process electronic invoices.

Various platforms and portals in Finland support the Finvoice format for e-invoice. These platforms usually offer a range of e-invoice services such as invoice generation, forwarding and payment processing.

In addition to these commercial e-invoicing platforms, the Finnish government also offers a free e-invoicing portal called Suomi.fi. This portal allows businesses, government agencies, and metropolitans to exchange electronic invoices using the Finvoice format, among other formats such as e-Invoice and TEAPPSXML. Suomi.fi provides a secure and convenient way for businesses, whatever their size or level of technical expertise, to send and receive electronic invoices.

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Network-Based eInvoicing in Finland

 

Network-based e-invoicing in Finland is an electronic invoice method where businesses and organizations connect to a network or platform to exchange invoices with their trading partners. This method involves using a third-party network provider acting as an intermediary between the sender and the recipient of the invoice.

Businesses can use several network-based e-invoicing platforms to send and receive electronic invoices. These platforms typically offer a range of services, including invoice generation, forwarding, validation, and archiving. They also offer different ways of sending and receiving invoices, such as web-based portals, email or direct integration with accounting software.

As a result, network-based e-invoicing is a popular method of electronic invoicing in Finland, which involves using a third-party network provider to exchange invoices with trading partners. These platforms provide a range of services and features such as invoice automation, compliance with billing standards, and integration with accounting and ERP systems. By using network-based e-invoicing, businesses can streamline their invoicing processes, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

 

UBL and Finvoice Formats

 

UBL (Universal Business Language) and Finvoice are both XML-based e-invoicing standards that are used in Finland and other countries for electronic invoicing.

 

UBL is a generic e-invoicing standard that can be used to create invoices and other business documents, such as purchase orders, delivery notes, and payment instructions. It provides a standardized format for exchanging business information between different systems and is supported by a wide range of software vendors and service providers.

Finvoice, on the other hand, is a specific e-invoicing standard developed for use in Finland. It’s based on UBL and includes additional requirements and rules specific to the Finnish market, such as the use of certain invoice type codes and VAT rates. Finvoice is widely used in Finland and is supported by many software vendors and service providers.

While UBL and Finvoice have many similarities, there are also some differences between them. For example, Finvoice includes some additional elements and codes that aren’t present in UBL, such as the FinvoiceDetails element and the SalesUnitCode attribute. In addition, Finvoice places more emphasis on certain elements, such as the use of the InvoiceTypeCode element to indicate the type of invoice being sent.

 

Overall, both UBL and Finvoice provide standardized formats for electronic invoicing and offer many benefits over traditional paper-based invoicing, such as faster processing, reduced errors, and lower costs. The choice between using UBL or Finvoice may depend on factors such as the specific requirements of the business and the preferences of its trading partners.

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It’s worth noting that while UBL is an accepted format for e-invoicing in Finland, it’s not the only format available. Other accepted formats include EDIFACT, XML, and PDF/A-3.

Melasoft Finland eInvoice Solution

 

Melasoft Finland eInvoicing solution is an electronic invoicing solution that can help businesses in Finland automate their invoicing processes and comply with Finnish e-invoicing regulations. The solution enables businesses to send and receive invoices electronically, helping to reduce manual processes, minimise errors and save time and costs.

Compliance with Finnish e-invoicing regulations: The solution is designed to comply with Finnish e-invoicing regulations, including those related to invoice content, format and delivery. The Melasoft solution helps businesses ensure that their invoicing processes comply with Finnish regulations and avoid non-compliance penalties.

Integration with SAP ERP systems: The Melasoft solution is integrated with SAP ERP systems such as SAP S/4HANA to automate the creation, processing and delivery of invoices. This integration enables businesses to streamline their invoicing processes and ensure that their financial data is accurate and up-to-date.

Electronic invoicing: Melasoft Finland eInvoicing solution enables businesses to send and receive invoices electronically in accordance with Finnish regulations. The solution supports multiple e-invoice formats, including Finvoice, TEAPPSXML and CEF-compliant formats, allowing businesses to send invoices to different types of customers.

MelaCockpit: The Melasoft solution includes a cockpit that enables businesses to manage their e-invoices, including invoice creation, sending, receiving and archiving. The portal also provides real-time visibility into the status of invoices, allowing businesses to track and monitor their invoicing processes.

Digital signature: The solution supports digital signature for e-invoices, allowing businesses to electronically sign and verify invoices. This feature helps businesses reduce paperwork, increase security and speed up the invoicing process.

Overall, Melasoft Finland eInvoicing solution can help businesses in Finland automate their invoicing processes, comply with Finnish e-invoicing regulations and reduce the time and costs associated with manual processes.

If you would like to learn more about our services and solutions, contact us now!

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