In my previous article concerning Mexico CFDI electronic invoicing, we focused on the logistics and shipping aspects of the CFDI legislation. The lesson learned from that article was: the new laws affect your ability to ship, so make sure you don’t just contract with a single point of failure. Instead, ensure you have built-in contingency and a multi-PAC switch capability.
For today, we are going to focus on the ERP configuration – this is almost always forgotten or dramatically underestimated and is always the overwhelming cost of implementing, monitoring and maintaining as solution. Most PAC contracts you will findforce you to do the following:
- Create the ERP extraction file
- Map that file to a .txt or format that can easily be consumed by the PAC
- Manage a communication engine such as SFTP to get the file to the PAC
- Manage Addenda development and maitenance
- Manage automating the printing
- And manage the distribution to the end customer
The PAC – provides a signature leaving you responsible for all the other components. Companies who have been through this process before estimate that the ERP configuration is at least 80% of the total cost of implementing CFDI and if your solution provider is not doing this, then you or a systems integrator will be doing it for you. And they will be constantly adjusting this configuration as the laws evolve.
Classic SAP data extraction issues include but are not limited to:
Discounts – there is only one field on the Mexico XML
- What if your customers wants to see the discount per line item on the PDF
- Is a discount a percentage, a flat rate, or some arbitrary logic that is customer specific
- Question – how many customers do you have, how many different pricing configurations do you have – all of this will be difficult to map into a rigid XML
Surcharge – The Mexico XML has no field for Surcharge
- Most customers want this as a line item on the invoice – how do you manage just this one example of an “Extended Attribute”
Addenda creation and management
- These are customer specific requests (for example Wal-Mart and VW). These are information requests and are not a legal requirement for the government validation. Instead, they are specific requirements for data used for Straight-Through Processing by the Buyer.
- These also can change over time, so ensure you understand how these change management requests will be handled. In Mexico, you not only have to be concerned with government changes, but also the customer changes as well for your maintenance teams.
A common storyline I hear is: a company will look to the ERP vendor for a standard solution – unfortunately there is not one available nor is there one coming that will be easily implemented for a multinational.
Why? – First, many multinationals are not on the most up to date version of SAP. They run their OSS note applications only a few times a year. Getting a series of OSS notes that require a massive baseline upgrade is not something that is palatable for an SAP COE. Second, changes to the government regulations happen on a frequent basis without much advanced notice. It is not realistic to expect the ERP vendor to stay current with individual country changes. We see updates often released 12 months+ after the announcement of a new electronic invoicing requirement. Lastly, the addition of Addenda in the Mexico process compounds this issue even more.
In short, be sure your company has coordinated the evaluation of Mexico CFDI at both the local end user level and the SAP COE. Otherwise, you will be left with two separate projects, two separate solutions, two separate monitoring issues, and two separate ongoing maintenance issues. There are providers in the marketplace that solve both the SAP configuration issues as well as the government connectivity issues and they maintain all components throughout both customer changes and government changes.