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Subject: RE: SV: [ubl-dev] Best practice for timezones in =?UTF-8?Q?invoices=3F?=


Since you were asking for best practices - then perhaps this is the time to establish something more fool proof!?

For example if the rules were couched as "Settlement of Invoices".

Invoices will be paid by the last business day of the month in which they were submitted, provided they were received 21 days elapsed prior to that date, local time.

This would be very clear - and allow for sequential processing of accounts - which is all anyone cares about - that the process is predictable.  This gives maximum window of 21+31 = 52 days, and minimum of 21 days.  

Whereas 30 days system you mention could give up to 29+30 = 59 days maximum payment window and minimum of 29 days.

Variants obviously apply.  For an ebXML stance - this is something you would have in your partner agreement - as Martin mentioned.  And of course - in ebXML we envisioned developing standard best practice agreement templates - but that meandered off somewhere - and I don't recall exact outcomes on that - but do recall a lot of email thread on that at one point!?

Thanks, DW

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: SV: [ubl-dev] Best practice for timezones in invoices?
From: Martin Forsberg <martin.forsberg@ecru.se>
Date: Wed, April 28, 2010 7:48 am
To: Mikkel Hippe Brun <mhb@tradeshift.com>,
"ubl-dev@lists.oasis-open.org" <ubl-dev@lists.oasis-open.org>

Hi Mikkel,
I’ve got the following response on the subject from my colleague Sören Lennartsson;
Generally I would say the sender's time zone should apply, it is an unnecessary complication to keep track of all partner's time zones (even more so as many suffer from temporary adjustments like summer/winter time).
Dates in commercial documents would likely have to satisfy business requirements on two levels:
- legal requirements (e.g. auditing and tax payment - on seller's side I would expect that authorities wish to read dates as "local"; on buyer's side, buyer's "local" date information is added/recorded in the process for audit purposes), and
- commercial practices/requirements (these might potentially be negotiated; and may be even mixed - e.g. despatch time and estimated arrival time may be expressed in local time). As your example concerns payment terms: this is part of the commercial arrangements between seller and buyer, it is up to them to select/define workable ones. However, some of these terms are less appropriate because they are not 100% clear to all involved, but they seem to be still favored for unclear reasons (possibly historic ones?). In e-commerce, with the potential for automated processing, it becomes even more obvious that ill-defined terms should not be used. As an example, in Sweden we have the use of terms like "30 days after receipt of invoice" which is not helpful to the sender's follow-up system. This is leads over to educating the community of users, instead of mirroring the paper world.
But in a global economy "sender's time zone" may still not be precise enough - is it the sender's time zone where the operations took place, or where the company is officially registered (or, even, where the outsourced invoicing service is located)? I don't know any details, but for commercial dates there must be international commerce law governing interpretation of such dates.
/Martin Forsberg
Single Face To Industry, Sweden
Från: Mikkel Hippe Brun [mailto:mhb@tradeshift.com]
Skickat: den 28 april 2010 09:02
Till: ubl-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
Ämne: [ubl-dev] Best practice for timezones in invoices?
Hi all,
Whats best practice in terms of timezones on invoices and other business documents?
A US based company invoices a European company at 11pm EST on April 30th. Thats actually 5am CET on May 1st in Europe. Some European companies have payment terms stating that an invoice will be paid "at the end of a month plus thirty days". 
I am assuming that it is the timezone of the sender which counts and that you would not "normalize" the view of an invoice to your own timezone.

Best regards,

Mikkel Hippe Brun
Chief Technology Officer, Cofounder

Voice: +45 3118 9102
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