This is the FULL TRANSCRIPTion of the Electronic Invoicing webinar on NetSuite and Latin America.
Watch the full webinar at https://tinyurl.com/y9hjv5sk
Baz: Hey everybody you’ve just tuned into LatamZone! This is the monthly webinar, where LatamReady holds to talk about our localization solutions, a.k.a the LatamReady SuiteApp. Today’s topic is NetSuite and E-Invoicing with LatamReady, a much favorite topic of LatamReady. First of all, let me introduce myself, my name is Baz, Marketing Manager at LatamReady. Today we have the usual suspects for the webinar. We have Carlos Z, the CEO and President of LatamReady, we have Glenn our Sales Manager from LatamReady and of course, today we have another special guest, it’s Edgard our NetSuite expert also if I’m getting it right, our Senior Architect Manager of LatamReady, he knows everything.
Edgard: yes correct
Carlos: or sensei
Baz: thank you for joining us here gentlemen. How’s everybody feeling?
Carlos: great! Thanks, Baz for asking
Edgard: happy to be here
Glenn: I’m very cold though, Carlos loves to turn on the air conditioning in this room
Carlos: it is the correct weather for working
Baz: it’s the correct weather for working because it keeps you awake and pumped up! Ok so today’s topic gentlemen, we’re talking about E-Invoicing. This is a very interesting topic because a lot of people have so many questions about this. Not a lot of people have the right information about E-Invoicing and NetSuite. First of all, if any of you could take the reins here, what is E-Invoicing?
Glenn: Electronic Invoicing, it’s basically a way of having more control. What you will see a lot in Latin American countries is that governments require us, not only invoices but submit any documents electronically to the tax agency. When we say electronically, we mean an XML representation of the actual legal information.
Carlos: exactly it’s a way of electronic billing. In the States, for example, our customers they issue invoices through a PDF file, that PDF file is the invoice, and that’s the document they send to their customers. Here in Latin America, things are going in a different direction. Our customers are required to produce what Glenn said, an XML file and also what is called a graphical representation, it’s a PDF
Edgar: yes, the main documents the company needs to issue are the XML documents
Carlos: that’s the official one
Edgard: that’s the official, with a legal number, official number that the tax authority returns to the customer or to the service provider
Carlos: and the PDF is the human way of being able to understand what the XML file is
Edgard: it’s the printed version of the XML document
Carlos: but the official one is the XML. And when we talk about electronic invoicing we are not just talking about E-Invoices. We are talking about, let’s say bills,
Edgar: bills, debit memos, credit memos, withholding certificates, etc. For example in the case of Mexico, there is an electronic document about customer payments, it’s a complemento de pago.
Carlos: it is called electronic invoicing, but I think the correct name should be electronic documents
Baz: electronic documents because it has a lot more documents other than just invoices. Glenn, you mentioned that it is mandatory in Latin America since when has it been mandatory in Latin America?
Glenn: that’s a good question, I think Chile started?
Carlos: yes Chile started it almost fifteen years ago
Edgar: Chile and then Mexico
Carlos: and today it’s everywhere
Glenn: I think Latin America started with this, I know in Europe electronic invoicing started to get big as well, tax authorities required documents to be sent out electronically. But I think it originally started in Latin America because of the fact of tax evasion and being in control of all the transactions that are being made.
Carlos: exactly Latin America is the most expert region in the world on this topic
Baz: that’s actually very interesting. You mentioned tax evasion, so is that one of the reasons why electronic invoicing is in place?
Glenn: electronic invoicing for the tax authority means control. Basically any transaction that is made, any invoice that is being sent out, credit memo, debit memo…all of that information goes to the tax agency in real time, instead for them to wait until the end of the month, until the end of the quarter, until the end of the year, for a person or company to declare and for them to review that information
Carlos: it’s transparency because now the governments in Latin America they know how much you are invoicing and how you are receiving from bills, from your suppliers. The difference is your tax.
Baz: so in which countries, if I may ask, in Latin America is electronic invoicing mandatory?
Edgard: in most of Latam countries is mandatory to have electronic invoicing. For example next year Panama will have electronic invoicing
Carlos: and currently it is Brasil,
Edgar: yes Brasil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, Central America and Guatemala
Carlos: that’s the direction things are going today in Latin America, electronic invoicing is today mandatory in I’d say 90% of the countries and not only the countries but also in different types of documents. They are starting to include more types of documents in different countries as well.
Edgar: for example Peru or Argentina, have different document types. In the case for Argentina, for invoices, you can have factura A, factura B, factura M a lot of document types for factura, or for debit note, or for credit note. In other countries like Colombia, you only have factura, nota de credito, nota de debito,
Glenn: so gradually all of those other document are being added to the list
Edgar: the document types depends on, for example, the tax type, the company type, service or the product type, etc.
Carlos: for example, withholding taxes are still not, let’s say improved, they are still not part of electronic invoicing, am I correct?
Edgard: it depends, for example in the case of Peru or in the case of Argentina, you need to issue a withholding certificate. Each time the company has a withholding tax when you pay a bill for example.
Carlos: it is available in an electronic version?
Edgard: yes an electronic version for example in the case of Peru and the case of Argentina, with the same format in xml file and in the PDF format
Carlos: and Way Bills is the same? Is it mandatory in all the countries or is it migrating in order to be mandatory?
Edgard: Peru, Argentina, and Brazil have electronic Way Bills; and you can have different electronic waybills. For example, in the case of Peru, you have guia de remision, or guia de transportista, which is related to shipments. In the case of Brazil, you can have this document according to the States regulations
Carlos: Mexico had an update or new legal requirements in November, as far as I remember. What was that related to?
Edgar: it’s a complemento de pago. Every time that you receive a customer payment you need to produce or to send an electronic document about this payment
Carlos: there are more examples! Not only electronic invoices now payments in Mexico, waybills in Peru, withholding taxes
Baz: yeah! I don’t think we can fit it all in one webinar for today. Before I head onto the next question, I just want to tell our viewers to raise your hand within zoom here, if you have any questions or if you have anything you would like to mention, we’re more than happy to answer your questions. So the next question for either one of you gentlemen, what is NetSuite offering to support this e-invoicing as a solution?
Carlos: there is a standard module. NetSuite electronic invoicing SuiteApp, is basically a platform, am I correct?
Edgard: yes it’s basically a platform. For example, LatamReady offers an XML template according to the country and according to the document type. We install this template, inside this standard bundle in order to have the setup, the configuration, using the connection, the user, the password, using web service included in this module, with the service provider and tax authorities
Glenn: yes that’s important to understand, we have the electronic invoicing module as a standard package of NetSuite, but the way we make it work for countries in Latin America is rather specific. Because the way we are doing that today is through connecting that information through web services as Edgar was mentioning, to a local certified provider.
Carlos: yes exactly, that module from NetSuite electronic invoicing SuiteApp is basically a technical platform, for connecting NetSuite via web services to whatever you want, a tax agency or to a local third party.
Glenn: those are basically the two options you have, you use a module to directly connect yourself to the tax agency, which in our opinion is difficult and might be a mistake, and then the second option you could do is connect that to a third party provider that has a direct connection with the tax agency.
Carlos: and that connection is different in all the countries, am I correct? It’s not the same connection
Edgard: No, it depends on a specific url, a specific user, password and other parameters.
Carlos: every single government in Latin America is requiring different kinds of information
Edgard: yes and every company needs to get this authorization with this user and password in order to have this connection
Carlos: do you remember that big customer that are working with today, they issue 45,000 invoices per month in a very short time frame, I think in one two days. Is NetSuite electronic invoicing SuiteApp the solution? Or is there something different
Edgard: the platform or the standard bundle has a specific feature, a batch process where you can create the invoice in NetSuite and then with this batch process NetSuite takes the information for all the invoices that you create, using the template, and process using a schedule script in order to send this information. Over this feature, LatamReady has a specific template, structure
Carlos: it’s a different animal, like the Peruvian expression
Edgard: yes it’s different, because when you have one by one, the user only needs to click on two buttons and it’s automatic. In this case it’s a batch process that you can run at night or at the end of the day.
Carlos: yes like this customer we are working with. And SFTP is something that we are still using, or not?
Edgard: yes it’s a special protocol of communication, a secure protocol where we need to connect with the service provider in order to use this technical feature
Carlos: ok so we are currently offering NetSuite electronic invoicing Suite App, or using the NetSuite electronic Suite App when is one by one, when the electronic invoicing or documents are issued one by one. And we compliment that solution with a different way of developing, that is batch developing, and also SFTP technology in order to transmit a document.
Baz: this is via NetSuite.
Carlos: always inside of NetSuite, and we are always using the NetSuite technical tools that are available for us
Edgar: and in the case of batch process we take the same template, but we have a specific development in order to use SFTP
Carlos: What is SFTP?
Edgard: it’s a specific protocol on the internet, or connection where you can connect with it, t’s the same case, user, password we need to connect to a specific internet space in the local service provider in order to send massive information or massive files, a lot of files
Baz: wow! That was very technical! Remember everyone whoever is registered to this webinar will get the recording so you can re watch it. If you feel like there’s a lot of information going on too quickly. Next question, which e-invoicing options are available from the different Latin American countries? From different partners…ok let me repeat myself. So which invoicing options are available from the different Latin American partners in the region? What’s out there?
Glenn: yes so there are different options, I already talked about basically two options, or what LatamReady does we can connect NetSuite using web services the technology, to connect them to a local provider, which is certified by the tax agency. The reason why you would do that, the invoice industry in Latin America is very dynamic. Changes might occur as Edgar mentioned as Carlos mentioned, new documents get added to the list .
Carlos: do you remember that expression a customer from Mexico used? “Things change here in Mexico dramatically”
Glenn: yes, dramatically, on a daily basis. We had a conversation with a client in Brazil a few days back and they told us, look things change here every day. So the reason why we connect to a local certified provider is because of that dynamic quality of the industry. So they take control of that, they provide all of the documents, they offer their services and they have a direct connection with the tax agency. We just send the information straight from NetSuite using the web services technology, they send that information to the tax agency, it gets validated, it comes back and gets back inside of you NetSuite environment. It sounds pretty complicated, it’s a process of seven or eight seconds.
Carlos: And it’s also safer because in some countries the tax agency has a time frame for rejecting a document, and things could happen in the middle
Glenn: yes so that’s the first option, that’s what we do. The second option is a direct connection with the tax agency. NetSuite could develop that themselves, any partner could develop that direct connection. There’s a lot of reasons why we don’t do that, though.
Baz: I think it’d be nice to know, maybe just state one reason why we don’t do that, allow companies to just do it themselves.
Carlos: because we want to be focused on working on the solution inside of NetSuite. You’re going to find that changes in the side closer to the tax agency are happening, and we prefer to be focused on changes between NetSuite and the third party, less changes than between the third party and the government. Also in some countries the government is requiring a local certification, and local servers
Glenn: most of the countries. So an ERP provider would already have to certify themselves to connect themselves with the tax agency. Avoiding that step we can use that certification from local providers who’ve had that certification for years. Also that industry is pretty complex, having a local partner in which you can trust to offer full compliancy at all times offers our clients an advantage. It avoids the situation where we are in full responsibility of changes, like Carlos said, it makes us focus on the integration that we have between ourselves and the provider, instead of focusing so much on the changes that occur within the tax agency
Carlos: for example this change in Mexico, this new type of document that now is required. What happened is that our local partner, the local third party that we are connected to gave us the notice and the information in order to connect LatamReady or NetSuite to that new type of document, everything was already there, the connection was already there, the type of document was already there, the xml format was already there so it was easier
Edgard: yes for us is not work on a new template, or maybe to add a new field or new value inside NetSuite. The service provider needs to maybe change all the structure, change the protocol, change the certificate, etc
Glenn: and that’s just for one country, imagine helping a company that operates throughout the region, being in charge of that for each country separately is just an amazing amount of work and an amazing amount of control that you have to have, so we avoid those situations using providers
Carlos: and we have partners that are working with us in four or five countries, like COMFIAR from Argentina, our friends from COMFIAR are working with us in Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bolivia,
Carlos: six countries working together
Baz: and who are solely just focused on this. Ok so let’s say I am an international company, if one of my subsidiaries is issuing a low or small amount of invoices, do I really need to do electronic invoicing? I mean the whole integration between automated solution inside of NetSuite?
Carlos: that’s a classic
Glenn: that’s a good question, it’s what a lot of clients ask when we sell them our localizations from Latin America, do I really need the electronic invoicing integration? It depends on what the company wants. My personal recommendation would first of all be: if you have fifty or more invoices or documents a month, it starts becoming very valuable. But to be honest below that we have clients that have five, six even less documents a month and still they want to have the integration because they want to have everything as optimized as possible. It’s not always about the volume, the first thing that I’d tell a client is look at your volume and see if it makes sense for you guys. What someone else could do is issue an invoice in NetSuite and then do double accounting, just shoot that invoice again and report it to the tax agency, to get a validated xml.
Carlos: one of our biggest customers, one of the leaders in the Latam industry, for example in Ecuador, they have a very low amount of invoices, but important invoices
Glenn: in the end, implementing an ERP is all about optimizing processes, removing manual process, removing additional work. So even for four or five documents a month, it is still interesting to have that optimized and automated. The more automated your processes are, the better, the more in control you are, the less manual work, the less mistakes or errors.
Baz: you have to think about the future as well for your company, eventually maybe you are going to issue more invoices so this is something to have as well in the beginning
Carlos: or it’s productivity or it’s compliance and control
Baz: alright so, we talked about what we offer before, but can we go through that again for our viewers, what’s so special, what is it that LatamReady offers when it come to e-invoicing
Carlos: first of all it’s ready to use. It is the same application, the same Suite App for all our universe of customers. That’s very important, the same Suite App that we offer, is the same Suite App that a hundred customers are using across Latin America. For example in Mexico, the government is asking for a new legal update, that same application is updated to all our universe of Mexican customers. The second important point here is that we are supporting more than ten countries in a single way of serving our customers. Our customer service is there, our solution is the same, the way the customer’s interface between a person and NetSuite is exactly the same for more than ten countries
Baz: I think I have a general question. What did people do before for invoices?
Glenn: it is possible for any NetSuite customer, or if they have a NetSuite administrator and developers, they can develop something themselves. It is an absolute necessity for them to contact the partner like LatamReady if they have the knowledge and if they have developers they can always put in the effort and the investment to make an integration themselves or contact a local provider such as we do, and build something themselves. The biggest advantage that we have, we have something like that ready at an amazingly economical cost for them to already use it.
Carlos: and we are also now offering as part of our contract, the local cost of issuing documents. In the past that was different.
Glenn: now we subcontract local providers, so when we used to sell the automatic integration for electronic invoicing, I would tell the customer this is going to be the price from LatamReady, and then this local provider is going to charge you that much for their services. Today that’s not the case anymore. We offer a full package, they don’t have to worry about any local costs from the providers, we assume those costs, charge them a full package and we have a direct commercial agreement with the local providers
Carlos: and support is also via LatamReady and everything is clearer
Glenn: the customer will never be in touch with the local provider, they will always be working inside of NetSuite and for them there will be no knowledge of working with the local provider
Baz: what do our clients receive when they receive our invoicing solution? Other than of course, the solution for e-invoicing? What else do they get? What’s included in the support?
Carlos: every legal update, that case in Mexico it was part of our support, we are also improving the LatamReady SuiteApp in order to make it faster, better, stronger. For example today we are also supporting inbound xmls. If you issue a bill to a customer you will produce an xml, but in the same way you will receive xml files from your suppliers and now with this feature from LatamReady we can upload that xml and register that information as a bill .
Edgard: every time that you upload the xml file NetSuite or this integration creates automatically the transaction in NetSuite with basic information, in this version
Carlos: that’s a great tool for productivity. Could you imagine an accounting department receiving five hundred bills a month? Now with this new feature, they just have to upload that xml file and everything is going to be already registered inside of NetSuite. That’s also part of our solution.
Baz: I like that. If I were somebody who needs a solution I think this is actually really perfect it solves all my problems
Carlos: yes, so we issue the invoices and we also register for you the bills from your suppliers
Baz: I’m thinking in retrospect about a client I spoke to one time, I remember them asking me if we have this invoicing solution and we have it generated, do I upload it myself to the government’s portal?
Carlos: no, that’s automatic as part of the solution. That’s a good question because it could be one by one as part of the LatamReady SuiteApp feature, or it could be also in a very important amount of invoices, I don’t know 45,000 invoices at the same time. That’s also part of our solution.
Baz: wow ok! Is there anything else that’s very interesting? Because I know you guys have the experience, you’ve spoken to a lot of clients, a lot of potential clients as well. Any questions on e-invoicing that maybe our viewers might find very interesting, that might help them?
Carlos: I think that the main question from our customers is always “what are you guys going to do with changes?” Because it is always changing, it’s something that is evolving in the region, new documents, new countries, new types of documents, updates to the same documents…so it’s something that is still evolving in the region. It is exactly for that reason that we have our local partners working together with us in a very close relationship for having and offering the correct solution inside of NetSuite.
Glenn: I think it’s important for NetSuite customers to validate what kind of problems they are having right now. I’m going to give you an example. Carlos and I we spoke to a possible client in Mexico not so long ago, and they have been trying to implement those kind of features within NetSuite at their company they’ve been struggling for over a year, two years! One of the reasons for that is exactly all of what we’ve been talking about today. The methodology that we use, the reason why we connect to a provider instead of directly connecting us to the tax agency. I think clients should really validate, what do I have today? Is it working? Is it not working? If they don’t have anything in place, look at what the options are and weigh the advantages and disadvantages. We obviously strongly believe in the methodology of using local providers because that’s what we do for all of the countries, not only Mexico but all of them. But there’s other options out there, I think clients should just find out for yourselves, see what’s really, see what works and make their own decisions.
Baz: so a common problem would be, they’re not really sure what the right solution is for them I would assume that, because there are so many solutions out there, I think we have one of the best solutions out there but we can do so much for these companies but they are not sure of what’s perfect for them, what they need.
Glenn: yes, in the end, we are the experts, we’ve been in the industry for years so we can tell here at this table our best practice is to use a local provider. It doesn’t mean that that’s the only option, but that’s definitely our best practice.
Carlos: we have to remember that our solution is a bill for NetSuite certified solutions, so we have been working with a built-for-NetSuite certified SuiteApp for five years, and we technically certified our solution twice a year with NetSuite. So that’s also a difference. We are currently the only multi-latin that is certified by NetSuite in the electronic invoicing space.
Baz: that’s good because a lot of people need to know the importance of having a certified solution. That’s it for today! Guys that was actually a great talk about e-invoicing. I’m pretty sure our phones are going to be ringing off the hook now for people asking questions about electronic invoicing in Latin America for NetSuite. I just want to thank everybody who’s registered, who’ve come down to log in and check us out for today’s session on Latamzone about NetSuite e-invoicing. Don’t forget we do have another webinar coming right up, it’s about NetSuite and LatamReady. We’re going to give you all the information later on after this. Check out our website latamready.com also don’t forget to check out our social media platforms, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube we’ve got a bunch of videos there
Carlos: and now we have Instagram also
Baz: yes follow us on Instagram @latamready. So guys have a great day! Don’t forget to give us a call 786 600 2641 if you have questions, or if you want to speak to Glenn, myself, Carlos, Edgar anybody from the sales team. Ok so have a great day, thank you, gentlemen.
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