As of January 1st 2021, big companies in Portugal (companies with more than 250 employees; or a business turnover over €50M; or with an annual balance greater than €43M) must compulsory issue electronic invoices in the B2G environment. A regulation that will extend to SMEs in July 1st 2021 and to micro-businesses in January 1st 2022. This regulation puts Portugal next to the majority of European countries that have made electronic invoicing mandatory to the Public Administration.

The main companies of the touristic sector in Portugal are already using electronic invoicing to digitize the billing processes, beyond the Public Administration. World-renowned companies such as Viagens Abreu, Springwater, Grupo Pestana, Vila Gale, Fourviews Hotels, Hoti Hoteis, Portobay Hotels, Nau Hotels, Bensaude Hotels, Hoteis Real and Hoteles Mundial use baVel to issue and receive electronic invoices.

Advantages for the sector

The digitization and automation of the administrative processes bring multiple benefits to companies: manual process automation, mitigation of errors, high productivity, documental control, paper-free, and major payment collection efficiency, among others. In the touristic sector, these competitive advantages are key, allow companies to optimize the back-office processes, and provides them with greater efficiency.

baVel, the electronic invoicing platform of Voxel Group, specializes in the touristic sector and it is designed for the workflows of the touristic industry and the HORECA channel. It provides with extra benefits such as traceability, automatic reconciliation, compatibility with universal management systems and the possibility to close the billing cycle automatically for B2B payments. All these benefits result in time and are a money-saving for the administrative departments of the companies.

In this sense, baVel has already finished the connectivity with the eSPap for two of the main PMS in Portugal: Opera and New Hotel. Regarding PMSs, ERPs and other management systems, connecting with baVel imply connecting with a technological hub that gives them access to tens of Public Administrations and other companies of the sector without them having to use their own resources and can focus on their main business lines.

Electronic invoicing in the touristic sector

At a global level, electronic invoicing is highly implemented in the touristic sector, as it is a highly transactional sector. This means that for the nature of the business, they can process millions of invoices and transactions. Historically, processing these invoices and managing manual work has been a source of great inefficiency for tourism companies.

In fact, according to figures provided by baVel, an international hotel chain can process up to 3 to 6 million invoices a year, while a travel agency or a tour operator can deal with over a million invoices each year; and an international bedbank can process over 10 million invoices a year.

“The electronic invoice to communicate with the administration in the B2B environment is normalized and in economic uncertain scenarios make more sense, as it helps optimizing processes which result in saving management costs and improving the collection processes”, explains Àngel Garrido, CEO at the Voxel Group.

European map of electronic invoicing

In order to help companies understand the panorama of the electronic invoicing in Portugal, and in Europe, baVel, the electronic transaction platform from Voxel Group, the leader in the tourism sector, has produced its “Panorama of the Electronic Invoice in Europe”, an interactive map detailing the state of legislation on electronic billing in each country.

It also indicates when new laws come into force and are continually updated with any new obligations concerning electronic invoices in each country. In some countries, baVel’s interactive map also includes a detailed guide to the requirements for using electronic invoices in each country.

Understanding the complexity of the legislation of the electronic invoicing provides companies with a greater and better decision-making power when it comes to managing the business”, concludes Garrido.

The Portuguese government has postponed the obligation to issue electronic invoices in the B2G environment, scheduled for April 2020, due to the coronavirus crisis