Advantages of e-invoiceing
For several years now, many companies have been increasingly relying on e-invoices. The advantages are obvious:
- Invoices follow a uniform standard.
- Invoicing processes are accelerated.
- Errors can be avoided more easily.
- Manual effort is reduced.
The two formats: ZUGFeRD and XRechnung
The two formats commonly used in Germany for e-invoices are ZUGFeRD and XRechnung. Both are based on the EU Directive 2014/55 and the DIN standard EN 16931.
The Central User Guide of the Forum Electronic Invoice Germany (ZUGFeRD) is an electronic invoice format developed by the eponymous forum to meet the needs of the business community.
ZUGFeRD is a hybrid format, as it consists of both a human-readable PDF and a machine-readable XML. The XML file is embedded in the PDF and sent along with it.
XRechnung is an invoice format based on XML. It fulfills all requirements of the German administration. Unlike ZUGFeRD, it does not contain a human-readable PDF.
XRechnung is mainly used for public clients and submitted via a central invoice platform. The platform automatically checks incoming invoices for errors and reports them back.
Acceptance and compatbility
However, different formats and versions pose challenges for companies, because not every e-invoice is accepted by the customer. While the ZUGFeRD format is often used between companies, invoice processing with public authorities is usually done via XRechnung. The background to this is that public-sector customers did not accept ZUGFeRD invoices until version 2.1. In the meantime, however, ZUGFeRD has integrated the specific requirements of XRechnung in its own profile (version 2.1.1 or higher).
Equipped for every customer requirement with projectfacts
No matter whether your customers prefer XRechnungs, the ZUGFeRD format or conventional invoices, with projectfacts you are prepared for all cases. For this purpose, the system offers you three different levels of settings:
- System-wide: ZUGFeRD, XRechnung or conventional – here you define the “standard” for your company. If there is no different setting for a document or customer, the selection you make system-wide automatically takes effect.
- Per customer: You work with ZUGFeRD, but a specific customer always requires an XRechnung? No problem. Simply store this in the master data of the customer.
- Per document: For individual invoices, too, you can choose a different format than in the system-wide setting or the customer-specific setting.
Thanks to the different setting levels, you enjoy maximum freedom in choosing your invoice formats.
Combine invoice attachments smartly
Many service companies send invoices with a proof of activity, a cost breakdown or the current order status as standard. For this purpose, automatic attachments can be defined in projectfacts.
Unless you use a standard for e-invoicing, you can either attach these documents to the mail or combine them with the invoice in a PDF file. If you invoice with ZUGFeRD or XRechnung, the corresponding documents will be embedded automatically if desired.
Test e-invoice and co with projectfacts
Our consulting team will be happy to support you with questions regarding e-invoices and the formats ZUGFeRD and XRechnung. We will help you to set up the system according to your wishes. If you want to test projectfacts in advance, you can get access to your free test account here.
Header image: © Ibrahim Boran – unsplash.com (2021)