SAP ZUGFeRD | E-bill - It's that easy!

Mailcenter Add-on


Innovative – Invoice exchange with ZUGFeRD

  • Simple Creation of e-invoices directly in SAP
  • Fully integrated solution
  • Fast Implementation
  • After a short time fully operational

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Invoice processing ZUGFeRD with SAP

Why you should also rely on the ZUGFeRD format when exchanging invoices

SAP ZUGFeRD – The exchange and management of invoices eats up numerous resources in day-to-day business. With the ZUGFeRD format, there is an innovative solution for this. ZUGFeRD stands for “Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing in Germany”. It is a specification that enables automated exchange of invoices.

The standardized format makes it easy to send electronic invoices. The sender and receiver do not have to coordinate with each other. You also don’t have to worry about which software to use. This facilitates the exchange of electronic invoices. This makes it faster and easier for companies and authorities to exchange invoices.

Invoice processing in PDF/A-3 standard

PDF/A-3 is a special variant of the PDF/A file format, which was developed for the long-term archiving of electronic documents. In contrast to the other versions, the A-3 standard allows the embedding of file attachments in the PDF document. Here are some of the benefits of PDF/A-3:

  • Integration of different file formats: PDF/A-3 allows you to integrate different file formats into one PDF document.
  • Improved usability: Embedding file attachments in the PDF/A-3 document improves the user experience by containing all relevant information in a single document.
  • Better data integrity: Like other PDF/A formats, PDF/A-3 ensures that the file remains readable in the long term, without formatting problems or dependencies on external resources.
  • Legal compliance: PDF/A-3 meets the requirements for long-term electronic archiving and is therefore accepted in many countries and industries for the storage of legally relevant documents.

What is a ZUGFeRD invoice?

ZUGFeRD – a format for man and machine

ZUGFeRD invoices always contain both a PDF and an XML file, so that the recipient can choose the most suitable format for him. The specific functions of these invoices depend on the selected profile.

Such an e-calculation consists of two components:

  • A PDF/A3 file for long-term storage and view for users
  • A file in XML format for machine processing


Launched by the Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany, ZUGFeRD meets the needs of large corporations, medium-sized companies and small companies, because: It creates a uniform standard and is also compatible with SAP.

With an appropriate connection, ZUGFeRD can greatly reduce the operational administrative effort. In order to achieve this, associations, municipalities and well-known companies from a wide range of industries were involved in the development.

The current version ZUGFeRD 2.3 (September 2023) is compliant with the EU directive on XRechnung.


  • 07/2020 – ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 version with XRechnung profile
  • 03/2019 – ZUGFeRD 2.0
  • 06/2014 – ZUGFeRD 1.0

XRechnung and ZUGFeRD – “With the MailCenter, we are advancing digitization in the company.”

Duisburger Versorgungs- und Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH
Wolfgang Scheffler – SAP Senior Consultant Logistics/Accounting (Project Management)

ZUGFeRD invoices – Invoicing also for B2B

ZUGFeRD is basically suitable for any B2B company that sends invoices and receives incoming invoices. In order to fully exploit the potential of the invoice format, it is recommended to connect SAP with ZUGFeRD.

In this way, documents can be processed, stored and integrated into the ERP workflow without human help. In addition, the format is also internationally compatible and suitable for cross-border shipping, because: it is based on the international standards UN-CEFACT and Cross Industry Invoice. In addition, it is subject to standard part 3 of the PDF/A ISO standard.

ZUGFeRD has a major advantage over other formats such as EDI: no contractual agreements between the two parties are necessary to use it. Of course, the invoice data in pdf format must match the data in the XML file to ensure lawful processing.

The use is completely free. However, an extension is necessary to process ZUGFeRD invoices with SAP, as the program is not able to do this by default.

For this reason, with the add-ons of our MailCenter digitization platform , we offer suitable plugins that make your SAP invoice ZUGFeRD-compatible. Take advantage of this opportunity to save time, material and costs.

SAP ZUGFeRD Invoice and X-Invoice

Two e-invoice formats with small differences

Currently, there are two important formats for electronic invoices: X-bill and ZUGFeRD. These formats must comply with EU standards and additional national rules for X-billing. It is based on the EN 16931 standard, a European standard for electronic invoicing that defines uniform structures and formats for electronic invoices in the European Union.

The same applies to ZUGFeRD; it must abide by these norms and rules. To ensure that the invoices are correct, you can use the validation tools on our website or the tools provided by KoSIT. If the documents do not comply with the established rules, they are usually not accepted by contracting authorities.

When ZUGFeRD invoices are sent, the most important information is stored in the embedded XML attachment. This annex is legally significant for the invoice and is used for automated processing at the recipient’s premises. The included PDF file is just a container for this information; Images or attached files in the PDF file are not used for processing.

To put it simply, both X-bill and ZUGFeRD e-bills must follow certain rules, and there are tools to check whether they meet these rules. With ZUGFeRD, the important invoice data is located in the embedded XML part, not in the PDF part.

ZUGFeRD invoices with the SAP partner munich enterprise software

Our SAP ZUGFeRD add-on

The MailCenter E-Invoice add-on is our user-friendly solution for all companies that want to integrate ZUGFeRD invoices into SAP processes.
You create your e-invoices directly in the SAP system. With this platform in SAP, you also secure the basis for useful tools that simplify your everyday business life enormously.
Make SAP compatible with the ZUGFeRD format. Integrate outgoing invoice creation into your ERP workflow. While the documents are processed automatically, you can take care of more important things.

The following are some of the key benefits and features of SAP MailCenter E-Invoice:

  • ZUGFeRD compatibility: Make your SAP system compatible with the ZUGFeRD format so that you can process ZUGFeRD invoices effortlessly.
  • Streamlined workflow: Seamlessly integrate invoicing into your ERP workflow to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
  • Automated processing: Documents are processed automatically, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.
  • Recipient Management: Easy management and organization of recipients within the system.
  • Attachment support: Add attachments to invoices as needed and expand the possibilities of your document management.
  • Improved usability: In your process, benefit from an improved user interface and experience that makes it easier to navigate and use the platform effectively.
  • Process Assignment: Simplify the mapping of different processes to ensure a clear and straightforward workflow.
  • Simplified invoicing: Streamline your invoicing process and make it more efficient and less time-consuming.

That sounds interesting? Then contact us. In a free live demo , we will answer all your questions about integration, the invoice transmission process, administration and how MailCenter works with ZUGFeRD.

Schedule a date for free live demo

System requirement ZUGFeRD SAP – electronic invoices –

Product versions from:

  • EHP2 FOR SAP ERP 6.0
  • SAP ERP 6.0
  • SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 (SAP enhancement package 2 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0)

Software component versions from:

  • MailCenter from version 32.010 || 20-11 (11/2020)
    – SAP Product Version from SAP NETWEAVER 7.31 SP26
    – Adobe Server NW750 ADS SP-5

Also for SAP S/4HANA customers – from SAP S/4HANA ON-PREMISE 1511

SAP Mail Product Overview

Keywords: E-Invoices, ZUGFeRD (Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany), E-Invoicing System, factur x, ZUGFeRD 1.0, ZUGFeRD 2.0, 2.1.1., E-Mail Solution, IT, pdf files, XML instead of paper

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