Here you will find most of the answers you are looking for.
Nevertheless, feel free to contact us if you still have questions!
We’re always happy to help.
What is e-Invoicing?
An e-invoice, or electronic invoice, is an invoice that can be read by software, electronically. This allows businesses to process invoices electronically, potentially automatically.
It also eliminates the possible need to enter fresh data — and, therefore, errors.
An electronic invoice can be defined as a structured data set that is sent as an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) message.
In response to the European Directive 2014/55/EU, German legislation defines an electronic invoice in the Act to promote electronic government (E-Government Act – EgovG) as follows:
An invoice is electronic if:
1. It is issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic format (such as XML, as in the XRechnung format);
2. the format enables the invoice to be processed automatically and electronically.
The simple sending of digital invoices, such as PDF files, does not meet the requirements of an e-invoice. Because recipients cannot automatically process PDF files.
Instead, recipients expect electronic invoices to be in a structured format that can be understood automatically.
I’m already using a form of electronic invoicing. Where is the difference between that and e-invoicing described here?
An e-invoice can be automatically processed by invoicing software.
On the other hand, digital invoices cannot be automatically processed.
An example of a digital invoice is a PDF file. Such invoices can be sent online, and they can even be paperless. But PDF files cannot be automatically read and processed by invoicing software.
E-invoices are often structured in an XML file, which can be automatically read and processed by invoicing software.
What are the advantages?
The main advantage of e-Invoicing is the huge savings potential that the introduction of electronic invoices offers companies. Print and delivery costs are eliminated, invoices are delivered faster and processing errors are reduced. If there is a link to an incoming invoice, the invoice can be booked fully automatically. In addition, the use of an electronic invoice reduces the time from invoicing to payment and thereby increases supplier liquidity.
Advantages of e-Invoicing at a glance:
- Real-time delivery and processing
- Touchless operations
- High data quality
- Track and traceability
- Better cash flow and lower DSO
- High ROI
- Environmentally friendly
Is e-Invoicing developing globally?
Yes, and at a rapid rate.
Due to government regulations, companies conducting international operations are increasingly required to create and send their invoices electronically.
But each country has its own legal regulations, so some countries with more intricate invoicing systems (such as Germany) are taking longer to implement such changes.
Corresponding global rules for electronic invoicing already exist in more than 65 countries, and the number is growing.
Who is obliged to e-Invoice in Germany?
All recipients of invoices in the public sector should be able to receive e-invoices from April 18, 2020.
From November 27, 2020, all suppliers of invoice recipients of the Federal Government will also be obliged to issue their invoices in the required electronic format.
Few clients at the State and Municipal levels require only a (genuine) e-invoice later from their suppliers. However, there are also regulations according to which the customer may, when entering into a contract, provide for an obligation to submit invoices in the form of an e-Invoice.
At present, these rules are available in 12 Federal States in the form of ERechV.
What are the implementation dates for the EU directive in Germany?
- 27. November 2018 – The central federal invoice receipt platform (ZRE) goes live;
- 27. November 2019 – All federal authorities MUST be able to receive and process e-invoices;
- 18. April 2020 – Federal States and Municipalities MUST be able to receive and process e-invoices;
- 27. November 2020 – Suppliers of the Federal Authorities and Public Institutions of the Federal Government MUST be able to submit e-invoices in accordance with the E-Rech-VO;
- 18. April 2021 – You MUST deliver invoices in accordance with the specific requirements of each respective State, Municipality, and Public Institution.
What is PEPPOL?
The Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) project was launched in 2008 to facilitate electronic procurement across borders.
Technology standards for e-invoicing have been, and continue to be developed and implemented by all European governments.
PEPPOL is the most important driving force for e-procurement by public authorities in the EU and naturally supports Directive 2014/55/EU.
PEPPOL is not limited to the electronic exchange of invoices but covers the entire e-procurement process.
PEPPOL is used, for example, as an electronic platform for ordering and exchanging e-invoices in public procurement and is increasingly used for business-to-business (B2B) scenarios. Furthermore, PEPPOL is gaining momentum worldwide and is used in 32 countries.
PEPPOL currently consists of project partners from twelve European countries. In such countries, PEPPOL authorities are responsible for determining the national characteristics of an electronic invoice. In Germany, for example, this task is taken over by the Coordination Centre for IT Standards (KoSIT). The KoSIT determines whether an XRechnung invoice and an AS4 transport protocol are compliant with PEPPOL.
The invoice exchange in the PEPPOL network is based on a so-called 4-corner model. The 4-corner model consists of a transmitter, a receiver, and their respective PEPPOL Access Points.
PEPPOL UBL (Universal Business Language) format is used for seamless cooperation between different systems. Communication is done through the PEPPOL Network, which provides a partner directory through which the recipients, supported processes (e.g. electronic invoice), and the recipient’s Access Point is identified.
For more information about PEPPOL, read our own guide: PEPPOL Explained.
How do XRechnung and the German GoBD fit together?
The principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records, and documents in electronic form as well as for data access (GoBD) contain, among other things, specifications as to which invoice contents are to be archived also in the case of electronic invoices (such as XRechnung).
What is the difference between XRechnung and ZUGFeRD 2.0?
The main difference between the two formats is obvious in the truest sense of the word: whereas an e-invoice in XRechnung standard is a pure data record, an invoice in ZUGFeRD 2.0 standard consists of a data record and a so-called visual document in the form of a PDF. However, both standards basically meet the European requirements.
Furthermore, ZUGFeRD version 2.1.1 also includes an XML file that is compliant with the XRechnung format.
For more information about ZUGFerD, read our ZUGFeRD invoices comprehensive guide.
For more information about XRechnung, read our XRechnung Explained article.
The Directive 2014/55/EU of April 2014 aims to promote digitisation in the public sector and thus simplify and accelerate processes. Estimates assume a possible cost saving of 60 to 80%.
The Directive requires all contracting authorities to receive and process electronic invoices. The Federal E-Invoicing Act passed in April 2017 implements these requirements in national law. For all public institutions of federal states and municipalities, the deadline for the introduction of e-invoicing is April 2020 at the latest. For federal authorities, the e-invoicing law has been in force since November 2018.
From November 2020, companies will also be required to submit invoices to the federal authorities electronically in accordance with certain format requirements (e.g. XRechnung). More precisely, this means that invoice issuers must issue and transmit invoices electronically.
To this end, the Federal Government, together with some of the Federal States, is developing an incoming invoice platform that can be used to transmit incoming invoices simply and efficiently to the advertised administrative authority.
About Webware Invoice Portal
Is my e-Invoice secure?
Yes, all invoicing through the Invoice-Portal is secure.
The security and integrity of document exchange via the Invoice-Portal are based on the use of an encrypted transport SSL.
In addition, it is based on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
These measures ensure that only parties with valid digital certificates can communicate through the Invoice-Portal.
Where do I find more technical information?
For necessary technical specifications and resources, as well as related fees, please contact us:
Does it support cross-border transactions?
Yes, our Invoice Portal allows you to send and receive invoices from overseas entities.
Please note that this does not exempt you from complying with any local or international regulations.
Are consumer invoices included?
No, the Invoice Portal only covers business-to-business(B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) transactions. Businesses to consumer transactions are currently not covered.
What is the purpose of Invoice-Portal?
The main, basic aim of the Invoice-Portal is to reduce the submission of multiple statements and details by the taxpayers. This helps the purchaser to get the input tax credit easily.
With our solution, you meet all legal obligations, also simplifying the receipt and processing of invoices.
If I send an invoice via PEPPOL will I get a confirmation back?
Yes. PEPPOL sends automatic message responses at 3 different stages of the data exchange process.
The 3 message response types are:
- Transport acknowledgments (Acks)
- Message Level Responses (MLRs)
- Business Level Responses (or Invoicec Responses).
For more information about PEPPOL’s message responses, take a look at our guide to PEPPOL Message Responses.
Navigation on Portal
Can I add or update the information on my account?
Yes, you can easily update or edit information related to your account (such as name, address, your own user details, banking details).
Just click on your profile name on the top right of the Portal, and edit any of the Master Data you wish to edit.
How do I add additional clients so that I can invoice them?
If you’re looking to add some more clients, you will need to take the following steps.
1. Go to the menu and select ‘Clients > New’.
2. Fill in the ‘Client Form’.
3. Click on ‘save’.
Can co-workers be added to my account?
Navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Users’.
From here you can add new users, define their account roles, and transfer administrator rights if necessary.
I forgot my login details. Where can I recover my password or username?
It’s good to remember that your username is the email address that you used to register your account.
If you have forgotten your password, please click the “Forgot Password” button on the login page of the portal, where you will need to enter your registered email address.
You will be sent an email with a link to reset your password.
How do I change my password?
To change your password, please follow the steps below:
1. Log in to your account
2. Click on Settings.
3. Go to the data page for ‘User’.
4. Edit your User Data.
5. Click ‘Change Password’.
How can I start using SFTP connection?
Data exchange through the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) must occur only between a Customer and the Invoice Portal SFTP server; the SFTP connection can be established by the Customer and data can be uploaded or downloaded through the interface based on the system structure.
The SFTP connection requires users to supply credentials (username is provided at the end of the user registration; the password is configured during the activation).
The SFTP interface for the production system is available at the following hostname and (non-standard) port:
Your SFTP access can be configured in “Settings -> SFTP Configuration” menu. To allow access, please enter the password in “SFTP Password” field and then press the “Send request” button.
After sending the request, your page will be reloaded when your access is ready. It can take up to 2 minutes to be processed. When access is granted, your page status turns green and you will see all required access data, except for the password.
Can I change my SFTP password?
You can change your password whenever you want, just enter your password in the “SFTP Password” field and wait 2 minutes to apply changes. Your page will automatically refresh upon completion.
For your security, we recommend using a strong password. The password length should be between 8 and 30 symbols.
Is my e-Invoice secure?
Yes, of course.
The security and integrity of document exchange via the Invoice-Portal is based on the use of an encrypted transport SSL.
In addition, on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
These measures ensure that only parties with valid digital certificates can communicate via Invoice-Portal.
How do I access the Invoice Portal e-mail interface?
The procedure for obtaining access to invoice portal E-Mail Interface:
1. Finish registration on app.invoice-portal.de
2. Send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Receive a personal E-Mail address, that you will be using to send your files to. You can see it in the “Service Options” menu in app.invoice-portal.de (found in the “Settings” dropdown menu).
4. Configure allowed E-Mail addresses in app.invoice-portal.de via the “Settings” menu
You will now be able to send invoices to the provided address. They will be processed on our side and sent to the receiver, if possible.
XRechnung Questions from our Customers
Where can I find the surcharge for line items in %.
Unfortunately, I sent an invoice incorrectly. Could you please delete the invoice?
When you create and send an invoice, the invoice is sent or handed over to ZRE within 5 minutes. We can no longer retrieve the invoice.
We have adjusted endpoint ID in the master data. After consultation with our customer, the endpoint ID was not transmitted. Can you possibly help us with this?
We have implemented the following logic:
- When you have sent the invoice, the invoice is frozen;
- If you change the master data afterwards, old invoices will NOT take on this master data change;
- If you decide to resend an invoice, the incorrect invoice will be resent.
You have to release the old invoice first, then the invoice automatically takes on the updated master data.
Only then can you resend the invoice (which is saved automatically) or save and send it.
I have created my first invoices and added an attachment per invoice. However, when sending the invoice to the customer, the attachment was not sent. How does this work?
The attached files are encrypted and embedded directly into the XML file.
I need to balance a previous down payment. How does this work?
For this purpose we have implemented a field “Already paid.”
Additionally, you can refer to previous invoices under “Reference for Previous Invoice.”
For our invoices, we have to issue summary (progress) invoices in order to show the increase in services. How can I use your web mask to deduct invoices that have already been issued?
For this purpose we have implemented a field “Already Paid.”
Additionally, you can refer to previous invoices under “Reference for Previous Invoice.”