What is an electronic invoice (e-invoice)?
An electronic invoice, a so-called e-invoice, is a completely digital exchange of transaction data between the buyer and the seller, in a structured format. E-invoices are sometimes referred to by the technical term EDI, Electronic Data Interchange. PDF invoices are not e-invoices as they are images files and do not contain structured data.
The transfer of e-invoices can be done directly between the partners in a business settlement or via so-called e-invoice operators.
E-invoices sent directly between sellers and buyers require extensive technical preparation to establish a direct connection. This solution is not scalable but has historically been suitable for long-term customer relationships with a very large number of transactions. This technology is commonly called EDI.
Distribution of e-invoices via e-invoice operators, so-called VAN services, requires less technical work initially compared to a direct connection. With these operators, you get access to most networks and standards. The backside of using a traditional e-invoice operator is relatively high running costs in the form of licensing, distribution, and conversion.
Read this guide for a more comprehensive guide to e-invoicing.
With Qvalia, e-invoice management is free of charge with the international standard Peppol, which is used by the entire European public sector and its suppliers, and is spreading rapidly in other parts of the world.