For digital transformation and automation of operations, government agencies and tax authorities have taken many steps to implement the electronic bill to reduce cases of commercial concealment and keep pace with global tax procedures. The Egyptian government and the Ministry of Finance took several steps several months ago to implement the electronic bill.
The purpose behind this transformation is to replace the traditional process of issuing paper bills with an integrated electronic approach that allows printing, sending, modifying, and storing invoices and notifications in electronic format and an integrated electronic form between the seller and the buyer. This article explains all the details you need to know about Egypt’s electronic bill and its implementation.
Before knowing what is meant by electronic billing, you first need to know the electronic billing system, which is a system that allows the integration of billing and payment.
The electronic billing system for companies and individuals facilitates dealing with businesses and helps create and send bills and track and integrate them with business accounting systems.
What is an electronic bill?
It is a bill issued, saved, amended, and sent electronically via an electronic system. It is an electronic document that officially proves sales and purchase transactions, services, and products.
The difference between a paper bill and an electronic invoice
Bills of all kinds, whether electronic or paper invoices, work to organize different businesses, but people face various difficulties in dealing with paper bills due to the ease of their loss or damage, which led to the emergence of electronic invoices.
Bills appeared 7,000 years ago, and documented expenses and goods were exchanged between two parties without accounts and financial figures. The development of accounting activities continued until the fifteenth century when Luca Pacioli published a description of the accounting bookkeeping system.
The difference between electronic bills and paper bills lies in the quality, speed, simplicity of use, and providing features that contribute to business development.
The electronic bill has become easy to organize and maintain financial transactions and facilitate commerce and business completion.
As for the paper, the bill requires time and effort, as they can be lost quickly and are difficult to modify, and are somewhat expensive compared to electronic statements.
E-invoice in Egypt
Egypt is the first country in the entire Middle East to implement the electronic invoice system. It relies on a central electronic system that reviews and approves purchase and sale invoices for commercial transactions between companies through the instantaneous exchange of invoice data in digital form instead of relying on paper invoices in the tax community.
The stages of applying the e-invoice in Egypt:
The Ministry of Finance and the Egyptian government have cooperated to implement and use the electronic invoice system in Egypt, intending to automate operations and digital transformation,
This system was the government’s first step to integrating the informal economy into the legitimate channel of the formal economy. The application of the electronic invoice system in Egypt went through three stages:
- The first phase, which started on November 15, 2020, included 134 companies.
- The second phase, which began on February 15, 2021, included 347 companies.
- The third and final phase began on May 15, 2021, including the rest of those registered in the Senior Financiers Center.
To whom will the e-invoice be applied in Egypt?
The electronic invoice applies to all those who will sell or provide a good or service, as they will record all their purchases and sales of services and goods on the electronic system. The purpose is to facilitate the process of tracking sales movement continuously for the benefit of the tax authority.
Objectives of the e-invoice system in Egypt
The Egyptian government and the Ministry of Finance have indicated the goal behind implementing the tax invoice system in Egypt, as:
- Introducing digital transformation in commercial transactions through all modern technical methods.
- Speeding up tax procedures and saving time and effort by facilitating them.
- Detecting fictitious transactions through clear identification of joint transactions between companies.
- Verify the validity of the issuer’s data, recipient, and contents of the invoice.
- Achieving justice among all companies operating in the Egyptian market, and thus achieving the principle of equal opportunities.
Features of the electronic e-invoice system in Egypt
There are several essential features and characteristics of an electronic bill, as:
- Electronic signature.
- Notifications in real-time.
- Standardizing the coding of goods and services.
- Standardizing the form and content of the invoice.
Advantages of online electronic bill
The electronic bill provides many advantages, and the following are the essential features of the electronic bill:
- Ease and speed of use and implementation
An individual or a company can do many electronic bills as quickly as possible without any obstacles, with ready-made templates and various benefits.
- Send bills and collect their money quickly.
Unlike paper bills, through the use of electronic invoices, you can print and send your bills within seconds, thus activating an electronic payment link to collect your money.
- Difficulty in getting the bill damaged or lost
When you enter to prepare an electronic bill, you enter your email address to the website responsible for printing bills. This allows you to access any device and view your bill whenever you want and anywhere without difficulties.
- Print as many bills as possible
You can prepare and send the most significant possible number of bills simultaneously; this helps you organize your business and collect your money quickly.
- Low cost of electronic bills
You do not need a cost to buy different papers and supplies to write bills, and you also do not need a specialized person to make bills.
You can get ready-made or new templates with multiple options and print your invoice in an organized and practical manner through electronic bills.
You can also obtain the billing service by registering in the portals that provide electronic payment services, which will allow you to have multiple benefits that help organize your business and increase your sales.
- Efficiently process the electronic bill.
If you have organized your bill but find it necessary to add a row, column, or other details, it is easy to process your bill with the click of a button, unlike paper bills.