2024 reform: what role will dematerialization operators play?

It will come into force from July1, 2024(postponement of the planned entry into force in 2024), and while its rollout is due to take place gradually until 2026, the e-invoicing obligation is still generating confusion. This is due in particular to the change in the system for transmitting and receiving electronic invoices: companies will now have to use a dematerialization platform. This implies the arrival of new players in the dematerialization circuit - and even a redistribution of roles. After the reform, only the Public Billing Portal (PPF) and partner dematerialization platforms (PDP) will be authorized to send invoices directly. And what about dematerialization operators? Let's talk about them.

Electronic invoicing: several players but different roles (and advantages)

Everything, or almost everything, began with article 26 of the amended finance law for 2022. Set to come into force as early as 2024 (postponement of the planned entry into force in 2024), the article provides for mandatory electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and the transmission of invoicing data to the tax authorities for companies subject to VAT (e-reporting). One of the aims of this measure is to combat fraud by ensuring end-to-end data confidentiality.

For this reason, the transmission of all billing data will have to be based on a precise system, also known as a "Y" system.

What is the Y-shaped device?

The very select club of the dematerialization circuit includes three main players to ensure the transmission of invoices and data between companies: the PDP, the PPF and the OD. The distribution of roles is illustrated by a Y-shaped diagram diagram, with the supplier and buyer at each end of the upper branches, linked by the PPF, which handles transmission to the tax authorities. Companies will have a choice of platform for issuing/receiving invoices, which is why they can also opt for a PDP, a private operator registered in the same way as the PPF, but offering many additional functionalities.

Read also: 2024 reform: how do you choose your e-invoicing platform?

The DO, a potential intermediary between companies, PDPs and the PPF

The OD, on the other hand, can join the system as a service provider. Integrated into a company's system, it then acts as an intermediary between the company and the chosen dematerialization platform (PDP or PPF), and offers support in complying with the new regulatory obligations. More precisely, and keeping in mind the Y-shaped diagram, it can be found upstream and/or downstream of the PDP or PPF, where it acts as an additional aid to compliance with the new regulatory obligations. By offering, for example, a sales management and invoice tracking function.

But its role will remain limited because, unlike the PDP and PPF, the OD will not be authorized to directly transmit electronic invoices, billing, transaction and payment data for the administration.

The guide to understanding and anticipating the generalisation of electronic invoicing in 2023

When should you use a dematerialization operator?

This is where the difference between PDPs and ODs lies: a dematerialization operator is any private platform that is not certified, i.e. that has not been recognized as a PDP by the tax authorities. ODs are nonetheless players in the dematerialization circuit, but as facilitators. They will provide complementary services to the PDP and/or PPF.

Different functions to meet specific needs

The value of a dematerialization operator lies in the additional functionalities it offers, especially as they are all different. In the context of the reform, a DPO can provide support for the company in processing incoming invoices, assist with management through to payment tracking and, overall, provide added value upstream or downstream of invoice transmission.

It can also offer an invoice conversion service, in at least one of the three formats approved for dematerialization(UBL, Factur-X and CII). A DO may be able to issue invoices in third-party formats to the client company, or receive them from the supplier, then convert them before transmitting them to the following players: the PDP, which will extract the invoice data and deposit them on the PPF.

Know your options before the reform

However, most PDPs will offer the same functionalities. The use of a DO will be relevant for a company if it chooses on July1, 2024 (postponement of the planned entry into force in 2024) to use the PPF, which will be able to provide a free, but limited, issuing and receiving service. If need be, companies will be free to integrate a PPF-compatible management tool, capable of meeting their specific requirements and automating processes. This will then be considered as a DO.

In short, a solution less extensive and automated than a PDP, but suitable for standard practice. For more demanding requirements, however, the paid-for but optimized PDP option will provide the necessary support.

Freedz, a dematerialization operator, has positioned itself to support companies as a PDP , with the aim of providing a complete service from a single source. Do you have your own specific requirements, but want to simplify your invoice management while maintaining a high level of data security and control? As a candidate for official PDP status, Freedz has already made every effort to meet security and compliance requirements. When the day comes, our platform will be able to collect, centralize, control, secure and standardize the management of your invoices, and ensure a smooth transition. Need to get a better idea of our expertise? Request a demo in just a few clicks!

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