Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting: Satisfy global e-invoicing mandates through Avalara’s open API

E-invoicing requirements are complex, and they’re spreading

For multinational companies, complying with an ever-growing number of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and live-reporting requirements can be complex. Much like U.S. sales tax laws at the state level, there are unique rules and systems for compliance based on the location in which you’re doing business.

Many countries have adopted different modes of e-invoicing, from simple e-invoice transmission via an open network such as Peppol to complex workflows and models, including pre-clearance and real-time reporting to tax authorities, to meet their regulatory needs.

If you’re unfamiliar with electronic invoicing or live reporting, our e-invoicing FAQ can provide you with a comprehensive overview.

For international companies, the already complicated process becomes even more difficult with each upcoming e-invoicing mandate. As their technology and processes aren’t built to communicate data within a structured (machine-readable) format directly to tax authorities in different countries, e-invoicing compliance on a global scale can be a serious challenge.

E-invoicing mandates also pose significant challenges to technology providers. ERPs, accounting systems, and ecommerce platforms need to enhance their offerings and provide the necessary functionality to help their users achieve compliance. They can do so by offering a single solution that’s integrated into their software and compliant with multiple differing standards used globally.

Building functionality in-house that satisfies country-specific requirements in 60+ countries cannot be done without heavy technical resources and investment. Equally challenging is managing multiple deployments and contracts with local e-invoicing providers.

Avalara E-invoicing and Live Reporting API

Avalara has developed a solution for simplifying the compliance processes for businesses and their software providers that operate internationally. As part of a robust tax compliance cloud platform used by over 30,000 customers in over 90 countries, Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting enables businesses to leverage a single API to exchange e-invoices and report data in real time across various platforms and exchange networks and comply with country-specific mandates. 

Avalara designed the solution with the following objectives in mind:

Meet global compliance standards: Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting covers existing or upcoming e-invoicing or live-reporting regulations in a wide range of countries, and support for new country mandates is added regularly.

Integrate seamlessly with business systems: Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting integrates into business systems with a single API, simplifying the deployment process and helping to ensure efficient system maintenance. Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting doesn’t displace your existing tech stack but in many instances, integrates into it.

Provide a single compliance solution: Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting is uniquely equipped as an end-to-end compliance service to create invoices with accurate tax data as required by the tax authority and transmit those invoices in the proper format. 

How Avalara E-invoicing and Live Reporting works

You might not be deeply involved in the technical functions of your systems, but your administrators will want to understand how Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting features work and the typical workflow of transmitting data across systems. Here’s a high-level introduction:

Integration is the first step and it begins with the Avalara Integration Studio, which is used to create the integration between your software and the Avalara platform. As mentioned previously, E-Invoicing and Live Reporting integrates into ERP software, accounting systems, ecommerce platforms, and other business systems via a single open API. This allows you to exchange e-invoices through the Peppol network or tax authorities’ platforms in multiple countries as well as report required data to tax offices in real time.

Once implemented, you’re ready to start managing the process. As the diagram indicates, the workflow is multilayered, but there are essentially three core steps that Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting manages:

  • Receiving invoice data from your business system in XML UBL 2.1 format
  • Converting invoice data into an e-invoice in the format required by individual country regulations
  • Transmitting the e-invoice to the local tax offices’ platforms or exchange networks

Note that Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting works in the other direction as well. It can automatically convert incoming e-invoices provided by tax authorities or exchange networks, in their respective formats, into XML UBL 2.1 format, then provide it to your business system. 

Frequently asked questions

Can Avalara E-invoicing and Live Reporting integrate into any system?

Yes. Although accounting and billing systems may not currently have the capacity to comply with differing e-invoicing and live-reporting standards, you can enhance your systems by adding e-invoicing and-live reporting capabilities in one of several ways:

  • Use Avalara’s integration tool, Integration Studio, to merge your technology platform and customers into the vast network of global e-invoicing requirements
  • Use several specialized service providers to comply with requirements in select countries
  • Deploy Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting via its global API, which allows you to comply with e-invoicing and live-reporting requirements in multiple countries 

Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting offers many advantages that can help you save administrative and technical resources. For example:

  • You only need to use one API to address your e-invoicing compliance mandates across multiple countries
  • You only need to maintain a single solution over the life cycle of the e-invoicing solution, which will save your company the significant recurring costs associated with maintaining multiple point solutions in parallel
  • If you are a software vendor, you can set your solution apart from other providers that might lack e-invoicing and live-reporting country coverage

What type of requirements does Avalara ELR support?

The fact that countries don’t adhere to a common e-invoicing model and there’s no single global e-invoicing system is a major pain point for enterprise businesses. Fortunately, Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting integrates into ERP software, accounting applications, ecommerce platforms, and other business systems via a single open API. This allows businesses to exchange e-invoices through the Peppol network, local country networks, or tax authorities’ platforms in multiple countries as well as report required data to tax offices in real time.

As a true global solution, Avalara ELR converts Universal Business Language (UBL 2.1) data to country-specific formats such as FatturaPA (Italy), FA-VAT (Poland), Peppol BIS 3.0, Peppol PINT, etc. Avalara ELR can also provide human-readable PDF invoices.

How can I partner with Avalara and implement E-Invoicing and Live Reporting?

We have an extensive program for our partners. As a partner, you can integrate the solution into your own applications and offer it via marketplaces as an extension of your own application — or simply embed the technology directly within your offering. Additionally, you can refer your customer to Avalara for assistance with e-invoicing and live-reporting requirements. 

How do I enable Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting for my system?

Avalara E-Invoicing and Live Reporting provides a global API that allows you to connect your system to our service. The published API documentation describes the different methods such as Send, Receive, and Status and indicates for each method if it’s required or optional. 

Once you deploy these methods in your system, you can use e-invoicing and live reporting on an international scale.

You can select the country and relevant mandates to activate, triggering individual workflows that automatically create e-invoices in accordance with the countries’ requirements.

For answers to more questions, check out our e-invoicing FAQ.

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about the product here.

Learn more about how to partner with us here or contact us directly at partnerwithus@avalara.com to discuss how we can help solve this compliance burden for your customers. 

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