Everything you need to know about PEPPOL, XRechnung, ZUGFeRD

The new network: Are you already in it?

Do you know the PEPPOL network? The project that is an important cornerstone of the EU’s digitalisation strategy? We have found that there is still a great need for clarification in companies. Hardly anyone knows who needs to be “in” and how it works. Therefore, the experts of munich enterprise software GmbH explain all the details in this article.

Who is this article relevant to?

B2G: For all companies that work for public authorities. In Germany, Europe, international.

B2B: For all companies that want to automate their business processes and are looking for legally binding, secure solutions for data exchange with each other.

1. What is the PEPPOL network?

With PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine), the EU has implemented a cross-border project that aims to simplify the entire procurement process (eProcurement) around public procurement procedures through standardisation and digitisation.

Why was it introduced?

The project was already started in 2008 because the processes in international procurement were analogously far too confusing, complicated and therefore almost impossible to control. eProcurement via PEPPOL tries to solve this problem: the new standards and formats ensure an efficientand transparent exchange of information between contractors and clients. All documents can be easily sent, read and processed by all actors on the network.

Works like a phone network

Basically, YOU can think of PEPPOL as a “telephone” network, through which organizations can exchange secure “messages”, such as invoices and orders. By the way, the format for this is called UBL (Universal Business Language). A distinctive ID ensures that they can reliably identify each other.

This enables companies connected to the PEPPOL network to exchange documents securely, quickly and easily in digital formats across Europe.

This also includes e-invoice formats such as
, which can be sent via PEPPOL to companies and contracting authorities in the EU.

Important: Companies operating for the public sector are obliged to send electronic invoices from 27.11.2020. These can still be sent by e-mail and do not necessarily have to be transmitted via PEPPOL. The main thing is that the format is compliant with
Directive 2014/55/EU

2. Who really needs PEPPOL?

Companies that send e-invoices can use the infrastructure. Suppliers from the federal government and public authorities in particular are currently wondering whether eProcurement via PEPPOL is of interest to them. As of 27/11/2020, they are obliged to send electronic invoices to their clients. Shipping can be done via PEPPOL, but also via simpler transmission channels such as e-mail.

In Germany, two formats are mainly used for shipping:
, where by the expert opinion, XRechnung will prevail.

What experts say about PEPPOL

As of today, we cannot say whether PEPPOL will really be something positive for our customers. It makes them inflexible, dependent and costs money (connection and operation). Therefore, we are currently advising on the transmission route e-mail.”

Managing Director of a leading software company.

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the PEPPOL network?

In addition to the benefits of security, efficiency, protection and transparency, the exchange of documents via PEPPOL provides companies in the B2G sector with the certainty that they can exchange invoices with the authorities in accordance with the law (EU Directive 2014/55/EU). – Similar to sending XInvoice via e-mail. In addition, the infrastructure ensures legal and technical interoperability with existing systems, such as SAP. Of course, there are also disadvantages, which cause, among other things, costs and inflexibility.


  • Legally compliant invoice exchange
  • More efficient procurement processes
  • High safety standards
  • Internationally usable
  • Interoperability with other systems


  • Costs of setting up
  • Costs of use
  • Choosing a provider
  • Connection to a provider
  • Dependence on a provider
  • Data protection is managed by the provider

4. What are the costs?

Companies wishing to use the PEPPOL network face two costs. On the one hand, for linking to the network itself. On the other hand for “ongoing operation”. The individual costs depend on the respective company to be connected to the international infrastructure.

Companies that shy away from costs can also send compliant invoice formats such as the XInvoice via proven transmission methods, e.g. e-mail.

5. How does the company’s implementation work?

Companies that are now considering switching to eProcurement via PEPPOL face a challenge: First, you need to find a competent partner so that the conversion or expansion of their existing infrastructure can take place without risks, in a timely and secure manner. This connects them to the network, provides an access point, a PEPPOL ID, and all other steps necessary to connect to the network.

We are happy to help you connect your company to the PEPPOL network or to send e-invoices in accordance with the guidelines via simpler transmission channels, e.g. e-mail!

6. What solutions for XRechnung, ZUGFeRD and PEPPOL does munich enterprise software GmbH offer?

We offer solutions for XRechnung, ZUGFeRD and the PEPPOL network. Our experts ensure that they can send, receive and manage invoices in a technically and legally secure manner and in accordance with the EU. Contact us and we will work with you to find the best solution for your needs.