The European Commission directive on public procurement, 2014/55/EU, is now in full effect throughout the European Union and requires that all companies who invoice a public administration or community use paperless billing. Beginning in January 2017 in France, all invoices issued within the public sector (including suppliers and providers) must go through the Chorus Portail Pro e-invoicing platform
. The implementation of the directive will be rolled out in staggered phases over the next three years, starting with large companies in January 2017, medium-sized companies in January 2018, SMEs in January 2019, and lastly small/micro businesses in January 2020.
There are several ways to send invoices via the portal: manual input, file upload (PDF, for example), or by using the automatic mode and sending an XML invoice via EDI, or via an API. EDI has many benefits, mainly the elimination of manual entry, and a reduction in both disputes and costs. AIFE (Agency for State Financial Information Technology in France) recommends the use of EDI
when processing over 1,000 invoices a year.
The government has set up a one-stop solution to make the implementation painless for companies: an easily accessible platform called Chorus Portail Pro. This platform will make it possible to have an automated and simpler approach to e-invoicing within the public sector. The platform can be accessed via any internet browser, via computer or mobile phone, and is a completely free service.
In order to ensure the move towards an e-invoicing process by 2020 is seamless, there is a lot of information available online to help companies understand the process, set up everything correctly, and be equipped to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Here is the run-down of the most important information that you will need in order to become an expert Chorus Portail Pro user:
- If you need help creating your account and logging in you can download a PDF user guide
- If you need instructions on how to manage your account, you can download a PDF user guide
- You can also download a PDF user guide if you require an overview of how to create a structured form (private or public)
- When it comes to entering an invoice into the system, there is a detailed user guide available for download
- Instructions for following the process of an invoice, and how to check on your status can be downloaded
- If you need information on how to file one or multiple invoices, you can access the PDF user guide
- For more information on what the account manager can and needs to do, there is a detailed PDF user guide available
- The government has provided a detailed overview of the system in a downloadable PDF format
- You can also download the official brochure of the entire project and system
- If you would like access to all of the regulatory documents, you can download them
- The government has also set up a comprehensive online community space, so that you can access all types of information, join webinars, discuss the platform with other users, and request help from specialists.
Chorus Portail Pro will make possible an easier and more straight-forward approach to e-invoicing, maintaining a standard process for all those involved. It is in everybody’s interest to familiarize themselves with the process sooner rather than later in order to remain compliant, as well as to ensure that bills are paid in a timely manner. It’s a small effort to make for a much needed and improved system.