By 1st of January 2019, all companies in Colombia must be able to issue and receive electronic invoices

“By 1st of January 2019, all companies in Colombia must be able to issue and receive electronic invoices.” At least that was the instruction of the DIAN (tax authority) until last week when its director, Mr. Jose Andres Romero postponed the implementation for all but the largest enterprises and announced that electronic invoicing will be implemented gradually in 2019.”

It is not the first time the DIAN has to backpedal from its ambitious plans, due to the fact that neither the DIAN’s systems nor all branches of the economy are ready yet to make this fundamental change.
The electronic invoicing process has long been on the tax authority’s agenda as it hopes to curb the country’s notorious tax evasion and increase tax revenue that will allow the newly elected government to implement its ambitious spending program, e.g. in education, defense, etc.
Notwithstanding the respite that the DIAN’s postponement offers, we recommend all companies to start preparing for electronic invoicing on time.

Steps to take towards formulation of Electronic Invoices in Colombia:

  1. Choose an authorized technology provider
    Currently there are over 40 providers of electronic invoicing solutions who have been authorized by the DIAN. The choice on which provider to use should depend on your type of business, number of invoices issued per month, your company’s accounting system (many providers of accounting systems and ERPs offer their own solution that allows for a more integrated invoicing/bookkeeping process), cost considerations, etc.
    Alternatively, the DIAN says it will offer a free solution on its platform that might be less user-friendly but should be sufficient for companies that issue only a limited amount of invoices.
  2. Implement / integrate the solution
    Usually, the authorized provider will offer either personal or remote support for the implementation. For the integration of external solutions into an existing accounting software or ERP, and depending on your in-house capacities, you might require the support of an external specialist to guarantee a satisfactory implementation. If you are going to use the free DIAN solution, take advantage of the training sessions the DIAN offers regularly to familiarize yourself with the handling of this online tool.
  3. Review and adjust your processes
    Especially in companies issuing and receiving a lot of invoices every month, the change from physical to electronic invoices will require a careful review of the implications on internal processes and staff workload to avoid frictions in the transition.
  4. Electronic signature
    Invoices must be signed electronically so you need to register your electronic signature or make sure your signature is up to date.
  5. Invoice resolution
    The currently used invoice resolution will lose its validity with the implementation of electronic invoicing and you will have to request two new resolutions: one for electronic invoicing and another for contingencies, that is, for when the platform does not work or when some other problem arises. It is also necessary to register the electronic invoicing code in the RUT.

As the DIAN will gradually implement electronic invoicing by groups of companies, we recommend that you pay attention to DIAN communications, so you’ll know on time once it will be your turn to implement. Usually this task falls to your accountant so make sure to discuss this topic with him/her.

Clients of Ongresso will be informed accordingly and we will continue to publish relevant news to keep our readers up to date.

As part of the Ongresso Accounting Service we support you in correctly applying this legislation and ensure your compliance. Please let us know if you have any questions, we’re happy to help!