54 of all customers would
an electronic invoice
Initial situation – Why send invoices electronically?
Although we have now arrived in 2020, the majority of invoices are still sent by post. In other areas, a large part of the communication in business is exchanged via e-mail. In Germany alone, according to The BMI, we send more than 30 billion invoices by post each year. Companies have various potential savings from sending electronic invoices. After all, electronic invoices do not only save paper and postage. By sending invoices from SAP, you can replace labour-intensive and error-prone processes.
Motivation – invoice by e-mail
When you send invoices to your customers, there are many advantages to this:
- Printing and shipping costs are saved
- Fast and secure delivery (also abroad)
- Shortening the period from invoicing to receipt of payment
- Invoicing processes are significantly simpler
- Invoice in Corporate Design
- Easy installation and configuration
Functions – Send SAP billing by e-mail
With the MailCenter a light exercise. The add-on is seamlessly integrated into the system and can be flexibly adapted to the respective business process. You create, edit and send emails directly in the ERP backend. This solution makes an important contribution to the digitization of your company.
- Invoices with unstructured, structured and hybrid data formats such as HTML, PDF and PDF/A
- Multiple contacts per invoice recipient
- Possibility CC and BCC address
- Easily and flexibly customize mail titles and text
- Invoices in corporate design with (mandatory) or standard information
- If necessary, entire invoice as HTML without PDF attachment
- The transmission process is transparent and traceable
- Send from Cockpit Transaction or in Batch
- Flexbiles Customizing
In addition to the basic topics, there are also questions about the ERP standard. What are the options for mail titles and texts, body, corporate design and (mandatory) standard information with transaction SODIS. This is precisely where the standard has shortcomings. Other problem areas include recipient discovery (only one address), mail processing, file creation, and file attachment management. Companies that use ERP and want to send documents quickly and efficiently will in most cases need an additional IT solution.
Electronic invoice or e-invoice
Conceptuality according to Directive 204/55
In language usage, e-mail with attachments as well as purely pictorial representations as well as exclusively structured data formats are referred to as e-bills. European Directive 204/55/EU of 16 April 2014 describes the framework conditions for electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) for public contracts. The Directive defines the term electronic invoice in Paragraph 4a as follows: “An invoice is electronic if it is issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic format and the format enables the automatic and electronic processing of the invoice.”
Prerequisite for electronic invoices
Various conditions are important when using. This includes the consent of the recipient of the invoice, human legibility,
authenticity of origin
, mandatory information (see paper invoice).
Read also = > E-invoice
Digital Signature – Simplification for Electronic Invoices since 2011
In order to help the acceptance and dissemination of electronic mail in everyday business, the legislator has reduced the requirements. This applies specifically to e-invoices. Transmission can be done in edi procedure. The qualified electronic signature is no longer required. This digital signature has not been necessary since 1 July 2011. Invoices can be sent electronically without the need to use a digital signature.
The abolition of electronic signaturehas have simplified the creation and use of e-invoicing for the biller and the recipient. Since then, the mailing of invoices has been steadily increasing. Of course, there are still customers who only accept invoices by paper. Nevertheless, electronically sent invoices are on the rise and are legally valid.
Obligation for invoices to contracting authorities
The X-invoice specifies a digital format for digital invoicing. It was determined by the IT Planning Council for the Federal and State Governments. In this way, Germany is creating a uniform format for electronic invoicing. This provision is in line with the requirements at European level under EU Directive 2014/55/EU. According to the EU Directive, suppliers of contracting authorities must be able to produce correct e-invoices to authorities in Germany from the end of November 2020. As an electronic invoice, all public contracting entities will in future only accept the X-bill.
MailCenter Extension – SAP XInvoice
That’s why we have developed an extension for XIns and ZUGFeRD for our MailCenter customers and fully integrated it into SAP. This allows you to create, validate and send invoices according to the German format of the XInvoice. The creation takes place directly in the course of invoicing with SAP.
You can also read more about XRechnung here: XRechnung .
Overview Invoice formats PDF, PDF/A, XRechnung, ZUGFeRD
Various formats are eligible for invoices by e-mail.
- Unstructured data formats: Invoices in .pdf-, .jpg or .tif format
- Structured data formats: XML, EDI, XRechnung
- Hybrid data formats: PDF/A, ZUGFeRD
- Transmission channels: e-mail, DE-mail, e-mail or web download
PDF/A is a file format that arose from the desire for long-term archiving of digital documents. The format is standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as a subset of the Portable Document Format (PDF).
See also = > SAP Adobe Forms
The Forum Electronic Invoice Germany (FeRD) has developed a common overarching format for e-bills. The format can be used for the exchange of accounts between businesses, public authorities and consumers. This allows the exchange of structured data between the biller and the recipient (“ZUGFeRD” format). The ZUGFeRD invoice format makes it possible to transmit invoice data in a structured manner in a PDF file. These are read out and processed without further steps.
The FeRD invoice format was developed by companies from the automotive, retail, banking, software, public sector. It meets the requirements of international standardization. It can also be included and applied in cross-border European and global accounting. Whether and to what extent the ZUGFeRD initiative can establish itself on the market is currently questionable. So far, the format is only available for invoices. An extension to other processes is discussed. See also = > ZUGFeRD.
E-BILL. Gv. At
E-BILL. Gv. AT is the data transfer procedure for the submission of electronic structured invoices (e-invoices) to public administration or companies in Austria.
For information on this, as well as the topics “SAP billing by e-mail”, “Emails with PDF invoices”, “Creating electronic invoices” and “Send invoices electronically”, please contact us. We are happy to help.
Timeline PDF/A, ZUGFeRD and XInvoice
From 2005 PDF/A-1
PDF/A-1a (based on PDF 1.4)
From 2011 PDF/A-2
PDF/A-2b – (based on PDF 1.7) guarantees the correct appearance of the document for long-term archiving
PDF/A-2u – all text is shown in Unicode
PDF/A-2a – structural and semantic properties
From 2012 PDF/A-3
PDF/A-3 – Opens up possibilities for electronic invoices, as this standard can be used to store machine-readable data in XML format as well as the archive-compatible PDF output of the invoice in a file.
From 2014 ZUGFeRD
ZUGFeRD Version 1.0 – Initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi)
2 Parts: PDF/A-3 + structured data in XML format are attached to the PDF/A-3
From 2018 X-bill
XRechnung – mandatory for all contracting authorities from 2019 and 2020. Contractors must switch to sending electronic invoices by 27 November 2020 at the latest.
As of 2019 ZUGFeRD Version 2.0
ZUGFeRD Version 2.0 – This format plays a minor role besides the XRechnung. Public institutions use the standard of the X-bill adopted by the IT Planning Council in a uniform manner.
The following PDF/A versions are supported as of SAP NetWeaver AS for Java 7.5 SP05 (ADS version 1160.2016+):
|Supported PDF/A formats|
You define the desired PDF / A format in the print program. For the “Archive” and “Printing and Archiving” scenarios, it is still possible to activate the PDF/A output via a BAdI (Business Add-in).
Since NW Release 7.50 SP05 offers ADS the ability to convert PDF files to PDF/A or ZUGFeRD PDF/A. The converting PDFs must meet the following requirements:
all non-native Adobe fonts must be ’embedded’
PDF version is 1.3 or higher
PDF is not interactive
PDF is not dynamic
Use the following feature test to verify that the ADS version you are using supports this feature: ABAP class CL_FP_FEATURE_TEST.
What is Peppol?
The international project Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine (PEPPOL) aims to standardise cross-border, electronically supported public procurement procedures within the European Union.
The aim is to speed up the electronically supported public tendering and procurement process, thereby saving costs.
PEPPOL supports E-invoicing Directive 2014/55/EU. PEPPOL is not limited to the exchange of invoices (E-Invoicing) such as ZUGFerd. It covers the entire electronic procurement process. PEPPOL allows the exchange with all registered partners in the network via a connection. Access is via so-called access points.
How does Peppol work?
Different message types, such as the invoice, are exchanged over the defined standards. These principles include the Universal Business Language (UBL Standard ISO/IEC) format. The PEPPOL network is used to exchange The UBL documents.
SAP is one of the first providers to provide the basis for electronic invoicing to authorities in accordance with the secure PEPPOL standard. The Walldorf-based company provides a cloud-based solution for this purpose.