Mumbai, 08/01/20: GSTN today conducted a consultation workshop with leading companies developing business software in Mumbai. The workshop was focussed on to create synergy within the software for e-invoicing process. As per the proposed timelines, all organizations with annual turnover above Rs 500 Crore (from 1st January 2020 onwards) and all organizations with turnover over Rs 100 Crore (from 2nd February 2020 onwards) are able to participate in the trial on a voluntary basis. E-Invoice will become mandatory for all registered taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover of over Rs 100 Cr. from 1st April 2020, onwards. More details are available at https://www.gstn.org/e-invoice/ .
GSTN has kicked off a multi-city campaign on E-Invoice, in partnership with trade bodies- CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHDCCI and NASSCOM. GSTN conducted special demo sessions in 7 cities namely New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Pune in the month of December 2019.
Over 100 software and product development companies in the accounting and billing space e.g. invoicing and billing software, solution providers for GST, GSPs, ASPs, etc. have actively participated in this multicity initiative, so far. Participants invited from industry bodies included representatives of top business software organisations such as Microsoft , TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Tally, Oracle, Busy and Sap participated in the workshop. GSTN would continue to conduct such briefing sessions at various key cities across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prakash Kumar, CEO-GSTN said, “The session was the next step of what was approved by the GST council as the standard of e-invoicing during its 37th meeting held on 20th Sept 2019. The council also published the schema on its portal. Recognising the abstruse nature of the procedure, the GSTN felt the need to come up with an explanatory document to clear all kinds of confusions.”
The GST Council has approved the introduction of E-invoicing in a phased manner for reporting of business to business (B2B) invoices to GST System, starting from 1st January 2020 on a voluntary basis. The machine readability and uniform interpretation is the key objective. This is also important for reporting the details to the GST System as part of Return. Apart from the GST System, adoption a standard will also ensure that an e-invoice shared by a seller with his buyer or bank or agent or any other player in the whole business ecosystem can be read by machines and obviate and hence eliminate data entry errors.
“No changes are required as far as the businesses are concerned as they will continue to use the same software with same user interface to generate the e-invoices such as ERP, accounting and billing software, excel based billing system etc. The companies which have developed the ERP or billing software will have to make changes in their software codes to make them conform to the approved standards.” Added Mr Prakash Kumar.
E-Invoice or Electronic invoice is generated by a large number of businesses today. However, they all use the format as provided by the ERP or billing software they use. Lack of a standard format leads to a scenario where e-invoice generated on one billing software can’t be read by another, requiring manual data entry from electronically generated invoice. A standard e-invoicing system will ensure complete inter-operability of e-invoices across the entire GST eco-system and will eliminate the need for manual data entry mitigating chances of errors.The e-invoice standard was drafted in consultation with trade/industry bodies and ICAI and the same has now been approved by the GST Council. The workshop focusses on standardisation of e-invoicing across business software platforms.
Apart from developing synergies with the business software providers, GSTN is also trying to clarify misconceptions and doubts about e-Invoice through other channels. The document uploaded on the web portal https://www.gstn.org/e-invoice/ is an attempt to explain the concept of e-invoice, how it operates and basics of standards. It also contains FAQs which answer the questions raised by people who responded to the draft e-invoice standard used for public consultation. It is expected that the document will also be useful for the taxpayers, tax consultants and the software companies to adopt the designed standard.