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Getting started with eInvoicing

Find out how the European Directive on electronic invoicing could impact your adminstration, and what you need to do about it.

1. Understand how it works in your country

How you need to implement eInvoicing depends on your country's policy framework. Use our country sheets to understand the state of einvoicing in your Member State.

2. Assess your organisation's readiness

You can assess your readiness by using the Self-Assessment tool provided as part of the eInvoicing Readiness Checker.

After filling in the form you will receive a recommendation report on the path to take to reach a higher eInvoicing compliance level. For further elaboration on this result you can contact our CEF eInvoicing service desk.  

3. Attend a training session

We run informative webinars, on-site workshops and remote training to help people in public procurement prepare for the changes coming.

Find an upcoming webinar or request your own training session.

4. Adoption strategy - When does a Puplic entity have to accept invoices?

Exchange of invoices by using a European eInvoicing standard involves an agreement between the buyer and the seller. This agreement can be either direct or indirect.

  • In a direct agreement the buyer and seller can agree (as part of a contract) to use the EN for exchange of invoices.
  • In an indirect agreement a buyer may declare that he will receive and process all electronic invoices that comply with the standard and thus anyone who does so indirectly enters an agreement like accepting an open offer.
    • Public authorities who must comply with directive 2014/55 are being required to make such an declaration and to support it with sufficient processing.
    • Joining a network where the ability of receiving electronic invoices is mandatory (as example OpenPEPPOL).

If a seller sends an invoice that he states is according to eInvoicing standard, but it does not comply with the standard he has failed to fulfill his part of the agreement and the buyer can refuse to receive and process this electronic invoice. Such a refusal is restricted to the electronic format of the invoice and does not apply to its business content or the underlying trade.

Rejecting invoices that do not comply to the agreed standard specification can be important for the buyer, to avoid cost and expenses involved in processing such invoices in a manual way or in some other way to resolve the technical problems imposed by the non-compliant invoice. To facilitate this, the invoices can be automatically validated by using technical validation artifacts that are published as part of the syntax mapping of the EN. Buyers can carry out such validations them selves or have that done as part of the ERP solution or transport service they are using.

It is recommended that when a buyer receives an invoice that fails validation, then he immediately rejects it and notifies the seller before the invoice is read into his ERP systems. By notifying the seller the buyer instructs him to correct the invoice so that it does not fail the validations and send again. Since the seller has access to these same validation objects as the buyer does the buyer does not have to inform the seller on what is wrong and how to correct it.

5. Prepare for implementation

We’ve produced a summary on our website to help you understand what factors need to be considered when preparing for your eInvoicing implementation.

View the eInvoicing Implementation Checklist.

A guidance paper for public entities was endorsed on the 21 March 2016 by the European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on eInvoicing.

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