Everything you need to know about e-billing
In our eInvoicing AZ you will find all the important information about e-invoices and their creation in SAP with our GOpus eInvoice solution.
A - access points
In order to send or receive an e-bill via the Peppol, a certified access point, a so-called Peppol access point, needed. Not only invoices, but also orders, delivery and payment advices, etc. can be electronically exchanged with public institutions and private companies nationally and internationally via our certified access point ecosio.
B - B2B Commitment
The Germany-wide obligation to use e-invoices has so far only been limited to B2G invoices. Other countries are already much more advanced here: Since April 2018, Italy has also made electronic invoices mandatory for B2B invoices. In the coalition agreement of the SPD, Greens and FDP from 2021, the nationwide B2B obligation is brought into play by a central reporting system for companies.
More on the current B2G deadlines under "National Obligation" and "International Obligation".
C - CII (Cross Industry Invoice)
D - data
E - E-Invoice
The electronic invoice is legally anchored in the EU directive 2014/55/EU and nationally in the e-government law and in the e-invoice regulation. According to the definition, the e-bill must meet two conditions:
- The invoice is issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic format and
- the format enables automatic and electronic processing of the invoice
The format in which the e-bill is sent is legally irrelevant. In addition to PDFs, image files (.jpg, .gif, .bmp) can also meet the requirements of an e-invoice as long as they are issued and transmitted electronically. Sending e-invoices saves numerous costs in the company, such as personnel costs, storage costs (saving storage space for archiving) and low costs for postage, paper and printer ink, for example. In addition, the e-bill ensures higher liquidity, as the faster delivery of the bill also means faster payment.
One According to Section 5 of the Federal E-Invoice Ordinance, e-invoices must contain at least the following information in addition to the VAT-related invoice components (cf. Section 14 UStG):
- The route ID, you will be informed of this when you place the order
- Terms of payment or alternatively the due date
- Bank details of the payee
- De-Mail or e-mail address of the biller
- optional: job and order number
F - formats
The following e-invoice formats are common in the countries and can be implemented with our e-invoicing solution:
- Belgium: PEPPOL
- Denmark: PEPPOL, OIOUBL
- Germany: XRechnung, ZUGFeRD
- Estonia: EVS 923
- Finland: TEAPPSXML, Finvoice
- France: Chorus Pro, DEMAT (EDI COMPLET), OASIS UBL 2.1, CII UN/CEFACT
- Greece: no standard, PEPPOL recommended
- Croatia: OASIS UBL 2.1 or CII
- Ireland: PEPPOL BIS or UBL, EDIFACT
- Italy: FatturaPA
- Latvia: PEPPOL TO 3.0
- Lithuania: no standard, PEPPOL recommended
- Luxembourg: PEPPOL BIS, UBL 2.1
- Mexico: CFDI
- Netherlands: NLCIUS, UBL-OHNL, SETU (HR-XML), SI-UBL
- Norway: EHF, PEPPOL BIS
- Austria: ebInterface
- Poland: Krajowy System e-Invoice (KseF)
- Portugal: UBL 2.0 or XML-GS1
- Sweden: PEPPOL TO 3.0
- Switzerland: ZuGFeRD recommended
- Slovenia: e-SLOG
- Spain: Facturae, V3.2.X
- Czech Republic: EDIFACT; UBL, ISDOC
- Hungary: NAV
- United Kingdom: EDIFACT, ANSI X12
- Cyprus: PEPPOL-BIS
G - Legislation
According to the German E-Invoice Act, the following deadlines apply in Germany for the introduction of e-invoices with the XRechnung standard:
- 11/27/2018: Implementation deadline for the receipt of e-bills for the supreme constitutional bodies and federal authorities
- 11/27/2019: Implementation deadline for all other federal authorities
- 04/18/2020: Implementation deadline for all other authorities, states and municipalities
- 11/27/2020: Obligation of the suppliers of the federal government and the state of Bremen to send invoices exclusively electronically (B2G)
- 01/01/2022: Obligation of the suppliers of the states of Baden Württemberg, Hamburg and Saarland to only send electronically (B2G)
Here you can find out about the respective implementation deadlines of the federal states.
H - Hybrid bills
Hybrid calculations have been established by the ZUGFeRD format. They provide a visual representation of the invoices as a PDF in which the structured invoice data is embedded in the form of an XML file.
I - International commitment
In the following countries, e-bills are already (partially) mandatory or a law on e-bills has been introduced.
Africa: Morocco, South Africa
Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Vietnam
Europe: Andorra, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Cyprus
North America: Canada
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay
Australia: Australia, New Zealand
J - years of storage
E-invoices, including all receipts, must be kept for 10 years, just like invoices in analogue form.
The XRechnung format was developed by the Coordination Office for IT Standards (KoSIT).
L - Route ID
The routing ID is part of every e-bill and is used to uniquely identify the public bill recipient/client. It can also be used for Peppol addressing
N - National Obligation
The implementation deadline for receiving electronic invoices in the XRechnung standard is
- November 27, 2018 (for the supreme federal authorities and the federal constitutional bodies),
- November 27, 2019 (for all other federal authorities, ie sub-central contracting authorities, sector contracting authorities and concessionaires) and
- April 18, 2020 for the countries.
Since November 27, 2020, the creation of e-invoices for public clients of the federal government and the state of Bremen has been mandatory.
On January 1st, 2022, the states of Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Saarland followed suit.
The deadlines of the other federal states, from which date e-bills are mandatory, can be found here: E-Billing Obligations
O - OZG-RE
OZG-RE stands for online access law-compliant invoice receipt platform. This is the platform for affiliated institutions of the indirect federal administration and cooperating federal states.
P - Peppol
Peppol is a network for the transmission of electronic documents. It works like a communication network by allowing messages to be exchanged securely. Companies can submit international B2B and B2G e-invoices via access points such as ecosio.
R - Invoice receipt platforms
In Germany, two invoice receipt platforms for the submission of electronic invoices to authorities (B2G) have prevailed: the central invoice receipt platform of the federal government, in short ZRE, as well as the online access law-compliant invoice receipt platform, OZG-RE for short. The ZRE is used by the direct federal administration, constitutional bodies and cooperating federal states, the OZG-RE by affiliated institutions of the indirect federal administration and cooperating federal states. In the B2B sector, Peppol is the network most used for the exchange of electronic invoices.
S - SAP Service Billing
If you use the SAP Service Billing, sending e-invoices is possible with our solution. You can find more information about the SAP service billing document here.
T - testing
For tests on the submission of electronic invoices, the test environments of the ZRE (bund.de | Central invoice receipt portal (ZRE)) and the OZG-RE (OZG-RE – Registration (xrechnung-bdr.de)) be used. You are also welcome to book a live demo of our e-invoicing solution at any time, in which we simulate the sending of an e-invoice from SAP.
U - UBL
UBL stands for Universal Business Language and refers to an XML standard that is used to issue agreements on the digital data structure of the XML file.
X - XRechnung
The XRechnung is an XML-based data record that has established itself as the German standard for the content and technical composition of invoice information.
Z - ZUGFeRD
The ZUGFeRD format is another German e-invoice format, de facto identical to the French Factur-X: It allows visual representation as PDF/A-3. This PDF file contains the XRechnung as an attachment.