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OKD has implemented ISDOC e-invoice receiving

Prague, 29 January 2014 – In cooperation with suppliers, the hard coal mining company has successfully implemented an electronic invoicing system. OKD has thus joined many other important businesses utilizing the advantages of electronic communication when dealing with its business partners.

 

In several phases, OKD moves over to receive e-invoices in the ISDOC format that has been developed by the Electronic Data Exchange Standards Working Team under ICT UNIE, an association of IT and e-communication companies. Received e-invoices are automatically uploaded to the OKD’s corporate information system SAP to be further processed before being filed in a secure archive. E-invoices are faster and easier to process saving the company hundreds of thousands of Czech koruna in costs every year.

 

“When selecting the format for structured invoice transfer, we have picked the ISDOC format utilized already at other companies since - based on our experience - it can be used universally in the Czech Republic. We also firmly hope that this format will expand to at least to our

neighbouring countries, or that it would be coordinated on a wider scale within the EU. From the point of view of the invoice receiver, ISDOC seems to be much more universal than PDF or any other picture format because the data can be automatically uploaded into business accounting systems that can “read” the format. And for those who have not modified their systems yet, they can use an ISDOCReader that is free of charge and available to generate an invoice copy that can be also printed and archived. The issuer of the invoice does not really care if the accounting system generates an invoice in ISDOC or PDF,” explains David Zajonček, Head of Accounts Payable Team at OKD.

 

“In terms of the invoice reception flow we picked the easiest and the cheapest one – that is via e-mails sent to an address designated for this purpose. We did not think it would make sense to use data consolidators as interface in B2B communication. First, such services are costly and second, we wanted to avoid problems if an incorrectly issued invoice had to be corrected or reversed,” continues David Zajonček.

 

The invoice in the ISDOC e-format is delivered to a central e-mail address where it is processed and the individual items are uploaded to the corporate SAP. Using the structured format saves time and costs related to manual transcription or digitalization which has to be done for paper or PDF invoices. Automatically uploaded data significantly shorten the time needed to receive an invoice in the accounting system. They also fully eliminate human errors that would, with a certain rate of probability, always occur despite all checks and controls. There is another practical advantage of this procedure – e-invoices, unlike their hard copies, are received continuously. Thus it is possible to better utilize the time of accountants as the issuers do not tend to cumulate individual invoices in order not to send “just one” invoice or put more invoices into a single envelope.

 

More automated controls (such as checking vs. contracts/orders, physical reception of purchased goods in the warehouse) could have been implemented thanks to the structured format of invoices accelerating and streamlining the process of invoice approvals both by the person responsible for posting and by the person responsible for the accounting transaction.

 

As nobody has to re-enter data from a hard copy invoice into the accounting system, the OKD accounting team appreciates their workload now as they can spend more time doing their specialized work and not losing it on non-productive activities. OKD’s suppliers have also seen that invoices are processed faster as they receive a confirmation once a day that their invoices were received in the company’s system. They know earlier now that their invoice was duly processed.

 

OKD started to prepare the ISDOC e-invoicing in Q4 2012 and went live on 1 January 2013 with the first ten major suppliers in terms of numbers of accounting vouchers. More suppliers joined the system in the course of 2013 and, as of 1 January 2014, e-invoices were in place for 30 suppliers already. As the OKD experience clearly confirms the benefits of e-invoicing, the company is negotiating with other suppliers and already performs tests of electronic documents issued by their systems. Last year, OKD received and processed more than 13 thousand e-invoices. This number should double this year to the detriment of paper and non-structured documents.

 

ISDOC format

Almost fifty software companies including local branches of international giants such as Microsoft or SAP, implementation partners such as Oracle or Czech development houses producing their own software applications enrolled to support the standardized ISDOC (Information Systems Document) format and integrated it in their applications in the Czech Republic. Hence, most economic information systems used in the Czech Republic facilitate the issuance and reception of e-invoices in a structured format. The amendment of the VAT Act applicable since 1 January 2013 also helped e-invoicing as invoices do not have to bear an electronic signature anymore and a wider scope of controls may be applied to ensure that the origin and contents of the document cannot be altered.

 

“In view of the Coalition Agreement of the incoming government, it can be expected that this technology will be used in near future to reduce public administration expenses; it would also be implemented at the web pages of individual banking institutions to settle invoice payments for major invoicing entities. To achieve that, ICT UNIE cooperates quite intensely with the Czech Ministry of Finance and the Czech Banking Association,” adds Petr Kuchař, Head of the Electronic Data Exchange Standards Working Team at ICT UNIE and a co-founder of ABRA Software.

 

 

OKD contact person:                                                                      Media contact – ICT UNIE:

Ing. David Zajonček, LL.M.                                                             Mgr. David Čapek

Accounting SSC – Head of Accounts Payable Team                     PR Specialist

Mobile: +420 602 786 061                                                              Mobile: +420 728 403 070

E-mail: david.zajoncek@okd.cz                                                      E-mail: david.capek@ictu.cz

 

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