How ZUGFeRD simplifies invoice exchange
Great savings potential through process automation for all companies
Many companies are currently in “digital puberty”. Their business processes are no longer analogous, but they are not yet fully digitized. ZUGFeRD helps them to innovate in the course of digitalization in the course of digitization. At the same time, however, the format also allows for the old manual processing paths. ZUGFeRD offers many other advantages. By the way, also in connection with SAP.
ZUGFeRD is a hybrid that opens all doors for companies to automate standard invoice management processes during the transformation phase. The smart format expands the options of digital processing, but also allows conventional methods. This allows companies to decide for themselves whether they want to continue processing invoices by hand or already automatically. Switching from manual to machine is so easy. You can read how this works in detail. First of all: ZUGFeRD is particularly interesting for companies that use SAP!
Who is ZUGFeRD suitable for?
- Public administration
- Companies with SAP systems
What is ZUGFeRD?
The bulky acronym ZUGFeRD stands for Zentralen User Guide des Forums elektronic Rechnungen Deutschland. Basically, it describes a dual procedure for electronic invoice exchange, in which billers and billeers can exchange structured data.
Originally, ZUGFeRD was developed for medium-sized and large enterprises as well as for public administration. Small companies also benefit significantly, as ZUGFeRD takes many steps away from them, simplifies communication between the biller and the recipient and thus saves considerable costs.
Important: Companies operating for the public sector are required to send electronic invoices as of 27/11/2020according to EU Directive 2014/55/EU.
The ZUGFeRD format is suitable for this purpose.
What are the advantages of ZUGFeRD?
The format reduces the processing time of invoices to a minimum, ensures the correct booking and saves both time and money. Technically, it expands the entrepreneurial scope, but does not contain any limitations. – Regardless of industry and size.
- Fast, convenient, easy management
- Reduced operating costs due to process automation
- Reduced manual & time spent
- No postage and paper costs
- Lower personnel costs
- Fewer errors
60% less costs – bills are paid earlier
It has been determined that the use of electronic invoice procedures such as ZUGFeRD can save around EUR 10 per invoice.
This corresponds to a cost reduction of approx. 60% per invoice.
In addition, invoices are paid on average 5.3 days earlierthan by post. (Source: computerwoche.de)
From paper to ZUGFeRD
The “electronic invoice” has been in the large companies for some time. For SMEs, however, the topic is also becoming more and more interesting, whether the many advantages.
As a rule, the recipient receives digital invoices in PDF format – as an attachment to an e-mail. If it is a conventional, pure PDF invoice, the accounting department needs a so-called OCR software for the transmission of the information. If it does not have this, it must manually transfer all invoice data to the invoice receipt book. Only then can the invoice be processed digitally. With ZUGFeRD, this is different. The format combines the best of both worlds.
PDF/A3 + XML = ZUGFeRD
The best of both worlds
ZUGFeRD arrives at the invoice recipient as a “PDF image”. Embedded in it, the structured file. The format therefore consists of two components:
- PDF/A3 file (unstructured)
- XML-Datei (structured)
This has the advantage that ZUGFeRD can be read with the eye by the human invoice recipient as well as by the accounting software, which reads the data by machine. The latter is, of course, much faster, simpler and more efficient, and can significantly reduce operating costs.
ZUGFeRD and SAP
The unstructured PDF file is for long-term storage and is better suited for viewing and printing. The structured invoice data is carried by the appendix in XML format, which the software reads out and can process automatically in a hurry. By the way, also in the already existing SAP systems of your company.
Tip: Do you work with SAP? We extend your systems to invoicing with ZUGFeRD!
ZUGFeRD is a hybrid that combines two formats. Thus, it is the right choice for companies that are in some way also “hybrids” – i.e. in the transition phase from analog to digital and want to automate standard business processes.
With ZUGFeRD, they keep all paths open. In the type of processing, but also in the choice of business partners (B2B, B2G). In addition, by ZUGFeRD, they will still be able to send legal invoices to the public administration after 27/11/2020, as the format is COMPLIANT with EU directives.