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SAP e-invoicing with ZUGFeRD or XInvoice

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e-invoicing will become mandatory starting in 2020

By law, from 27 November 2020, all billers must issue and submit invoices to public bill recipients in a uniform electronic form.

Here's a quick overview : bundled knowledge about electronic invoicing and a simple solution for generating e-invoices in SAP.

1. What are e-invoices? ↓

A quick look at the key features and benefits of electronic invoicing.

2. ZUGFeRD vs. XInvoice ↓

What is the difference between the electronic invoice data formats? Which one is best for you?

3. Creating e-invoices in SAP ↓

How are outgoing e-invoices generated in SAP? Get to know our simple SAP-addOn GOpus E-Invoice.

GOpus E-Invoice (PDF)

4. Ask about our e-invoicing solution ↓

Do you have any further questions about the GOpus e-invoice solution or would you like a consultation on its integration and costs?

Make an inquiry

What are e-invoices?

Legal requirements and benefits

European Directive 204/55/EU defines electronic invoices as being issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic format which also allows electronic and automatic processing.

Image files, a scanned paper invoice, or PDFs without structured data do not meet the EU specifications for e-invoices. On the other hand, hybrid formats are permitted where part of the bill meets the legal requirements.

Advantages of e-invoicing:

  Saves paper, printing, and shipping costs

Further savings through digitalisation of internal processes

Faster payments thanks to shorter processing times

Improved processing efficiency thanks to digital archiving

When sending invoices to public bodies, you will have to choose between the structured data format XRechnung and the hybrid format ZUGFeRD.

ZUGFeRD vs. XInvoice

Both ZUGFeRD and XRechnung are based on CEN Norm 16931. Although they have many similarities, there are also some differences between the two formats.


The XInvoice / XRechnung is a semantic data model based on XML. This version has been fixed by the IT Planning Council for the Federal and State Governments. The XRechnung corresponds to standard EN 16931-1 and can therefore be displayed correctly in all common software systems.

Only purely structured data without a human-readable document is transferred with the XRechnung.

  • Provides clear rules for the users.
  • Is reliable and sustainable.
  • Ensures proper invoice processing flows.

As a uniform technical standard, XRechnung offers advantages for clients and contractors alike.


Since March 2019, the German  ZUGFeRD e-invoicing standard has met the relevant EU requirements.

ZUGFeRD is a hybrid data format consisting of a PDF document (PDF/A-3) and structured data in XML format. This makes it possible for even the smallest companies to exchange invoices electronically, quickly and conveniently with their customers.

  • Human and machine readable
  • Good alternative for SMEs with many different partners
  • Suitable for companies that only send out a few invoices.

The recipient of ZUGFerd can view the invoice as usual. At the same time, the e-invoice can be automatically posted in the ERP.

Creating e-invoices in SAP

The GOpus e-invoice SAP-addOn in ZUGFeRD 2.0/XRechnung format

GOpus E-Invoice is the solution for easy and secure integration of electronic invoicing into SAP® ERP and SAP® S4HANA.

We use the standard messaging controls in SAP SD.

We fill the e-invoicing data structures with billing data from the SAP SD invoice and then convert into ZUGFeRD 2.0 or XRechnung XML.

Both steps are part of a classic SAPSCRIPT or SAP Smartforms print program.

The created documents can be sent directly via email, https, or via web service.

They can also be stored in the file system for further processing.

Of course, we always keep our solution up-to-date with the latest versions.

If you would like to know more about how you can create e-invoices in SAP with GOpus E-Invoice, check out the attached PDF or contact us directly:

GOpus E-Invoice (PDF)

Contact Us

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Under the brand name GOpus, we have SAP products and tools that save you time and money.

Wherever the standard software in your company reaches its limits, we custom develop SAP software for you. The goal is always to save time and costs by simplifying and automating business processes.

Our focus is on maximising functionality and easy handling.

Experienced IT consultants since 1999

Extensive customer-oriented process analyses

Your contact for legally compliant solutions

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We will be happy to help you with further questions about GOpus E-Invoice. Get in touch with us today.

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GOpus E-Invoice (PDF)

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