What are companies failing at with electronic invoicing in Colombia?

What are companies failing at with electronic invoicing in Colombia?
What are companies failing at with electronic invoicing in Colombia?

Juan Carlos Suárez, CEO of Q-enta, spoke about the implications of electronic invoicing in the country and what is missing for all companies to comply with the Dian standard – credit Mayor’s Office of Bogotá / Q-enta Press

On Friday, June 21, one of the events that caused the most controversy in the country became known due to the preventive closure of the picket line Queen Secondvery traditional in the Doce de Octubre neighborhood in Bogotá, and it is because it was not issuing electronic billing.

The decision of the Dian caused both the rejection of hundreds of users and politicians on social networks, as well as some who agreed with them, since the entity had informed the establishment a year ago about the process so that it had enough time to develop it,

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Juan Carlos Suárez, CEO of the company Q-enta, which provides advice on electronic billing, spoke to Infobae Colombia about the mistakes that other stores, like Queen Secondwould be committing and would trigger such sanctions.

All sales invoices must be electronic from 2024 – Colprensa credit

Given what happened with the closure of the Doña Segunda establishment, what do you think are the reasons why an establishment like this does not comply with electronic billing?

The Dian informs its users a lot and they are constantly issuing communications regarding all the current regulations. The electronic invoice is not a new issue, we have been working on this since 2015 and it was not until 2019 when it became mandatory, especially for companies and in that decree it was clarified that some commercial establishments that had to do with the issuance of alternative documents or supporting documents could use those that were entered by commercial establishments with a point of sale open to the public, such as the aforementioned establishment that closed.

For some time now, the Dian had not regularized this electronic documentation, but it had been known for some time that it was going to be done. In 2024, the regulation began to come into force and people were informed so they could enter.

Perhaps it was due to ignorance. We would not like to think that these establishments do it arbitrarily or voluntarily, but rather that perhaps their accountant or the people who advise them did not have the appropriate knowledge, but it is information that is public and that everyone knows it.

Doña Segunda assured that she is not doing any harm to the national government, after the preventive closure for not using electronic billing – credit Mayor’s Office of Bogotá

Do you think that the Dian should also do more educational work with users rather than companies? There are many people who do not know about electronic invoicing.

Unfortunately, the volume is very large. There are more or less 1,390,000 companies registered in Chambers of Commerce and a million additional establishments. Imagine the Dian visiting each one. If they have done so, they visit centers where there are crowds like in San Andresito, the medical service clinics where there are dentists and doctors, they do an educational course with the end user and give them a time frame so that they can comply with the regulation.

However, this is not enough, perhaps because there are so many establishments and merchants that they would have to visit. Fortunately, accountants are quite well informed about the regulations, and it is very unusual for an accountant not to know the regulations in this regard.

Electronic invoicing is a way for the Dian to monitor the income of businesses in Colombia – reference image credit Freepik

Another point to highlight is that stores of important companies such as Éxito, Olímpica, among others, were also closed due to the same problem…

Yes, closures began last year. The regulations are very clear and state that those who fail to comply with these obligations may be subject to closure.

These closures are preventive, meaning they were given a few days to get back on track, but it is possible that the establishment will eventually close permanently, surely on a recurring basis. I do not know of the first case where the closure was permanent, but there have been many closures lasting three or four days, mainly to help people get up to date with the regulations.

Juan Carlos Suárez is the CEO of Q-enta, responsible for providing services to companies on electronic billing – credit Q-enta Press

What recommendations have you given to the companies you manage to move forward with electronic invoicing?

We are working very hard to ensure that companies have the technological capacity to adapt it to their needs and regulations at very affordable prices. Having an electronic invoice is actually almost the same as what was being done before, the systems are very similar, no extraordinary operations are involved and neither are the costs.

These are very affordable technologies that are fortunately available to any citizen, any company, any commercial establishment, and we work to facilitate access to technology. Sometimes, users do not have the appropriate tools, but instead have to go out and hire a company to resolve their regulation and do everything they need through their accountant, but the same businessman can do it, if he wanted to.

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