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E-invoicing; what exactly is it?

What is e-invoicing?

E-invoicing is the fully electronic transfer of invoices from one system to another. The sender sends an e-invoice from his software to a recipient and the recipient’s software can immediately book and process the invoice.

The e-invoice itself has a file format that can be directly processed by the receiving software. A PDF, for example, is not an e-invoice. A PDF is a human-readable file, but accounting or ERP software cannot read it. Various file formats are possible, but in the Netherlands the UBL is used the most.

Benefits for the recipient

Benefits for the sender

  • Invoices no longer need to be typed out manually

  • Manual correction of scanned invoices is no longer necessary

  • By applying enrichment and validation layers, the quality of e-invoices is many times higher and these matters do not have to be sorted out or reconciled manually

  • Minimises the risk of double invoicing, fraud and disputes

  • Secure exchange of invoices via the Peppol network

  • Invoices are processed immediately and do not remain in a mailbox or on a desk for a while.

  • The rapid entry of invoices increases the likelihood that you will be paid on time (or even earlier)

  • If your customer asks for an e-invoice, you strengthen the relationship with your customer by making it easier for them to process your invoice

Is e-invoicing mandatory?

That depends on who you want to invoice. The central government has made e-invoicing mandatory as of 1 January 2017. Municipalities, provinces and water boards have been obliged to receive e-invoices since April 2019. If you want, you can submit an e-invoice to them, but this is not an obligation from the government.

E-invoicing may also be mandatory if your customer has included it in their procurement terms and conditions. If you agree to this, you are also accepting the obligation of e-invoicing. The number of organisations making e-invoicing mandatory in this way is not yet very large, but it will grow in the coming years. E-invoicing will eventually become more and more standard for both sender and recipient.

Who is e-invoicing suitable for?

Any organisation can e-invoice. There are different ways to e-invoice. Which way suits best depends, for example, on how an organisation currently invoices and how many invoices are involved.

Click on the situation that applies to your organisation below and find out how you can best e-invoice.

Easy e-invoicing with tradeinterop
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