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SAP Nota Fiscal: Mandatory SAP and SAP GRC NF-e Upgrades in 2014

by Steve Sprague, Vice President of Product Strategy, Invoiceware International

August 27, 2013

Should you evaluate an alternative to SAP GRC NF-e with the new legislation in Brazil? Many companies when first faced with the electronic requirements for electronic invoicing in Brazil turned to their ERP providers. This included SAP, Oracle, Microsega and others. But the lesson learned over the past few years is that the real cost of NF-e is not the first implementation, it is the constant change management. With the release of version 3.1 by Brazil’s SEFAZ, another upgrade is looming in 2014.  As you look at the budgeting process – here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • All companies operating in Brazil will need to upgrade to version 3.1
  • Retailers now need to understand the potential effect of 3.1 on their Point of Sale processes as Brazil is combining the Consumer and B2B standards into one XML format.  No longer can they just look at Brazil as a Procurement NF-e project with the potential to phase out the ECF (Cupom) printers now viable.
  • Whether you are running a local provider such as Mastersaf or the SAP GRC NF-e solution, you will have to budget for the upgrade
  • Best Practices for the evaluation
    • Understand the real cost of operating your NFe solution. Before you spend another 100K US dollars on an upgrade – ensure you have the best long-term strategy.
    • Evaluate solutions for both sides of the business process, as both are required by law
      • Outbound Account Receivable NFe generation
      • Inbound Account Payables collection and validation
  • Understand the processing of all types of NFe
    • Entrada, Exports
    • Goods – In/Out
    • Services – In/Out
    • CT-e – Transportation Documents
    • NFC-e – Consumer
  • Look at managed service providers
    • Hybrid Architectures
  • Understand how you will manage “Contingency” and ensure you have the best possible solution. As the World Cup and Olympics approach, the last thing you want is to have your operations shut down due to an NF-e process issue.
  • Look at Latin America as a regional issue; leading companies use these forced changes to take a look at the bigger picture.  Remember:
    • Latin America is a region of constant change in electronic invoicing legislation
      • Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile all have similar legislation
      • Odds are you are running 4 different solutions for each region
      • Your SAP COE is having to manage a change every year for every country, remember you just got through a forced upgrade of GRC or Mastersaf in the later part of 2012/early 2013 to deal with the web service changes
      • Companies can reduce their overall Operation & Maintenance of these government compliance by upwards of 75% annually when looking at a consolidated regional/solution

The test systems for the new version of 3.1 NFe will be up and running by the end of the year. Get an early jump on the planning phase and use the time to select a long-term solution not just another expensive short-term fix.  The one truth about Latin America – e-Invoicing laws change every year.

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