The Company from the Energy Sector decided to use the Safelayer TrustedX platform to efficiently reduce the complexity of implementing and maintaining the electronic signature in its electronic invoicing management processes.
The invoice is one of the most important documents within business processes: it contains references to clients, products and services rendered or received, in addition to the tax that must be paid. This document must be filed and presented to auditors and tax authorities as it can be used to verify balances and create a registration of all transactions made. Industry companies that need to manage between 10,000 and 100,000 invoices per week look for solutions that enable them to improve their business processes while reducing associated costs.
Industry companies that need to manage between 10,000 and 100,000 invoices per week look for solutions that enable them to improve their business processes while reducing associated costs.
The Spanish Association of Commercial Codification (AECOC) estimates that the cost associated with issuing and sending an invoice is 75 euro cents, while the cost for receiving an invoice is 1.90 euros. Consequently, companies that process large invoice volumes, whether issued or received, invest considerable economic and human resources in their management. The image of a company and the good relations with clients and suppliers can be jeopardised by normal incidents that occur during invoice management. Some of these problems are associated with delivery management (delays or missing post), while others have to do with the introduction of data by the receiver (transcription errors or slow processing). Eventually, all of this leads to a work overload for both parties. The importance of the invoice in fiscal terms means that it should be handled according to the legal regulations in force. The regulations that apply in Spain and the entire European Union specify the minimum technical and legal requirements, one of the most important being that the electronic invoice must guarantee the authenticity and integrity of the data it contains. The use of the advanced electronic signature is one of the best alternatives for meeting these requirements.
Soluziona, the firm responsible for implementing the e-invoice, has modified the existing process for printing invoices, capturing the data to produce electronic documents that are equivalent to the invoice that was traditionally printed. The captured data can be exchanged with clients and suppliers by telematic means, thus reducing associated costs and minimising the incidents associated with printed invoices.
The legal regulations mentioned above establish that documents must carry an electronic signature, which means that applications must be endowed with these security functions. The traditional way of securing applications has been through toolkits that provide the functionality of generating and verifying the electronic signature. However, the use of toolkits requires applications to be modified, resulting in solutions that are difficult to program and maintain, particularly in heterogeneous environments. A service-oriented architecture (SOA) has been chosen for implementation, focusing integration on the perspective of specialised and high-level services, simplifying interoperability between applications that deal with electronic invoices. TrustedX by Safelayer has been used, since its services include generating and verifying electronic signatures for any format of electronic signature.
All the security logic that has traditionally been implemented within applications that use “toolkits” is extracted towards the TrustedX configuration and management console. Therefore, the solution is maintained regardless of future changes to legal regulations, such as changes in recognised Certification Authorities (CAs) or the inclusion of time-stamps by trusted third parties (TSA). By using a security services platform like TrustedX, it is possible to reuse services and components within the same infrastructure. Thus, the solution for managing electronic invoices has been simple to integrate in existing processes, by stages and without forcing the existing processes to be completely replaced. TrustedX can be used to verify and electronically sign a variety of electronic document formats (PDF, XML, e-mail with S/MIME, etc.). Consequently, the Company has been able to offer electronic invoices that satisfy the needs of its clients while automating those received from its suppliers.
The improvement of processes thanks to the electronic signature offers high investment returns and reduces error management. As a result of the integration of TrustedX in the Company, it has easily resolved the incorporation of electronic signatures and time-stamps in electronic invoicing processes. With TrustedX by Safelayer, the solution provides trusted services in web services and SOA environments, clearly in line with the strategic policies of corporate information systems. The advantages of this approach greatly simplify the integration and maintenance of the electronic signature and data protection in applications and processes.
TrustedX offers a solution for managing issued and received electronic invoices in a centralized, automated manner, which is particularly interesting for companies with large invoicing volumes.