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As an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with different and also scalable price plans, we needed a solution to be able to manage recurring payments efficiently and easily. Back then, we chose Stripe as a means to accept payment over the Internet: it was one of the market leaders, offered an API and was recognized internationally.
Stripe and German accounting rules
The only downside of Stripe was (and still is) that it provides you only with a payment receipt, which is absolutely insufficient for the German accounting. According to the German accounting rules, an invoice, especially if we are talking about companies, must contain for example a VAT-ID, and lots of other data depending on where a company is seating and to who it writes the invoice. These rules concern both incoming and outgoing invoices, with the latter being hardly relevant for our end users (if they use our solution for their private purposes), but being very important for us as we have to keep all outgoing invoices in the event of a future tax audit.
So, first we used to enter all data from Stripe manually into another online tool that was used by our accountant – this tool made sure that all invoices are compliant with the German accounting rules. But in the end it would cost us whole two consecutive days of time each month to do this job.
Integration for Internet payment and online accounting
It was the moment when we decided to build a connector for Stripe, and to integrate it with Billomat – a German provider of an online accounting solution. The latter would save the information from Stripe as a draft invoice in a form that was compliant with the German accounting rules. From there, we could send these draft invoices to our accountant for further proccessing.
So, now Stripe sends payment receipts to the payers while at the same time pushing the necessary data like invoice amount or customer’s name from these receipts to Billomat, where this data is completed with the data required in Germany. Our customers who run a company or work as a freelancer receive a copy of this invoice from us for their own records.
Our experience shows that this solution is perfect for any SaaS company as well as for those Mobile Apps providers who offer additional services on subscription. Basicaly, any provider in the DACH region who has a flexible and scalable pricing plan and/or a subscription model, would gain from this integration solution. Currently, we use Stripe exclusively in the combination with Billomat, but we believe that other providers of online accounting solutions like Debitoor or e-conomic would definitely benefit from such an expansion of their software’s functionality as well.
We still need to research whether this integration solution is relevant not only for the DACH region, but also for other countries. But we suspect that companies based in any other country that has as strict invoicing regulations as Germany, would profit from our solution.