What is an e-invoice?

Since the term e-invoice is defined in different ways, it is important to clarify what we mean by a true e-invoice.

According to our definition, a true e-invoice is an invoice that is issued, received and processed electronically. It is digital from its creation in the financial system by the issuer until it is received and processed by the recipient. In other words, true e-invoicing is electronic throughout its life cycle.

Some companies send PDF copies of invoices via e-mail. These can be scanned or printed out on paper and thereafter registered in the ledger. We offer the possibility to send PDF invoices via e-mail as a value added service, but we recommend that our customers send and receive true e-invoices for many reasons:

  • It is easier to achieve a high degree of automation with true e-invoices than with PDF invoices.
  • The sender does not automatically receive any confirmation that the PDF invoice has been received by the recipient.
  • PDF invoices can be blocked by the recipient’s spam filters.
  • Several larger companies do not accept PDF invoices via e-mail.
  • The recipients must invest in a scanning solution to interpret PDF invoices.
  • Significantly less information (fewer fields) is interpreted with scanning than when invoices are fully electronic.
  • Studies show that the probability of a scanned invoice being interpreted without errors is just 34.7% (source: Basware), which implies time-consuming fault processing.
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