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Bilingual invoicing in Poland – the key to international business cooperation

02.11.2023
Bilingual invoicing in Poland – the key to international business cooperation

The business world is dynamic and unpredictable. However, in the age of globalisation, one thing is certain: international cooperation is becoming increasingly essential for many businesses. But how do you make sure that communication between partners from different countries is seamless and that all transactions are transparent and understandable to both parties? Here is where bilingual invoicing comes in.

Why do you need a bilingual invoice?

Have you ever wondered how simplifying your business processes can improve your collaboration with foreign partners? In the case of a bilingual invoice, the answer is simple. It enables both parties to understand all the information on it, without the need for a translator or additional tools. This is especially important for companies that regularly work with partners from other countries and have to comply with different standards and legal requirements.

What are the characteristics of an ideal bilingual invoice?

If you are thinking of introducing a bilingual invoice in your company, it is worth paying attention to a few key aspects. First and foremost, the ideal bilingual invoice should be clear and transparent for both parties. It is not enough just to translate all the information on it into the foreign language – you also need to make sure that the translation is accurate and leaves no room for varying interpretations. In addition, it is worth considering the choice of appropriate languages. Do your business partners prefer English or another language? You may want to consider a Polish-English bilingual invoice if most of your transactions are with partners from English-speaking countries.

Bilingual invoice template – what to look out for?

Creating a bilingual invoice template may seem complicated, but in reality you only need to follow a few basic rules. Firstly, make sure that both languages are represented equally and do not dominate each other. It is important that each item on the invoice is appropriately labelled in both languages and that there is no ambiguity as to its meaning. In addition, remember to comply with any legal requirements and standards in your business partner’s country. This may require some modifications in terms of data presentation, but it guarantees that the invoice will be acceptable in both countries.

Accounting for invoices in a foreign language – key Principles

Accounting is a field governed by its own precise rules, which are crucial to the proper functioning of a business. When international transactions and invoices issued in a language other than Polish are involved, there are some unique challenges.

Although invoices in a foreign language can be seamlessly entered into a company’s accounts without having to be translated into Polish, the process of accounting for such documents involves several specific steps.

First and foremost, every entry made in the revenue and expense ledger must be made in Polish. This means that although the invoice itself can be retained in its original form, any entries related to it in the company’s accounting records must be made in our native language.

Another aspect to bear in mind is the currency in which the amounts on the invoice are expressed.If these are foreign currencies, it is necessary to convert them into zlotys before making the settlement. It is important to use the current exchange rate, in line with the relevant transaction date or other agreed date, to ensure accuracy and transparency of the company’s finances.

Accounting for invoices in a foreign language is not a complicated process, but it does require strict adherence to certain rules and standards. In this way, the company will be able to ensure the accuracy of its financial records and avoid possible misunderstandings or errors related to language and currency differences.

Which invoice currency for a foreign counterparty? Key tips

When you are doing business internationally, there are a myriad of challenges and decisions to be made, one of the key ones being the choice of invoice currency for a foreign partner. Although this seems like a technical issue, it is of great importance for both the liquidity of the business and the transparency of the transaction.

Under current Polish law, bilingual invoices can be issued in a foreign currency. This means that if the transaction takes place, for example, with a partner from the US, it is possible to issue an invoice in US dollars without any problem. But it is worth bearing in mind here some nuances related to the settlement of such an invoice.

Although the main amounts on the invoice can be presented in a foreign currency, the need to convert them into PLN still exists. And while it may seem like a simple matter of converting at the current exchange rate, the truth is a little more complicated, especially when it comes to VAT

VAT, no matter in which currency the invoice principal is presented, must always be expressed in PLN. This raises the question of which exchange rate to use. The safest, and at the same time legally compliant, is to use the average exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland on the last working day preceding the moment when the VAT obligation arises. In practice, this is usually the date of issue of the invoice.

Is a bilingual Polish-English invoice standard?

Although English is often considered the language of business, this does not mean that a bilingual Polish-English invoice will be suitable for every business. It all depends on the specifics of your business and the needs of your business partners. That’s why it’s worth conducting a market analysis and identifying the main directions of your international cooperation. You may find that you need bilingual invoices in other language combinations. In any case, remember to pay attention to detail and adapt to the changing needs of your business.

A bilingual invoice is undoubtedly a tool that can help make international cooperation more transparent and efficient. It can help you avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both parties know exactly what is required of them. Are you ready to introduce this standard in your company? If so, be sure to think about all aspects and adapt the invoice to the specifics of your business. It’s also worth using our Taxon invoicing app – it will help streamline the whole process and avoid mistakes in international billing.

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