The Dutch government proposed switching to electronic invoicing on January 1, 2017, for the usual reasons:
E-invoicing is the future, quicker, easier, more accurate and saves entrepreneurs on administration.
Who doesn’t like it when the government says they will diminish bureaucratic processes for companies?
Parties soon came to the table.
These parties have each had their own variation of the UBL standard, SI-UBL and UBL-OHNL, accepted.
Organisation-specific integration can be realised through various portals and accounting systems.
This way, digital invoicing requirements of the government can be met.
Whoever wishes to send digital invoices autonomously ends up at various providers.
In Belgium, they first promoted their ‘own’ e-fff UBL 2.0 format, but has since been overtaken by the http://peppol.eu/ portal. Likewise a slightly deviating standard and more importantly, you require a third party in order to send an invoice. Interesting fact is that the Belgians suggest that this will become the standard. There is a European norm being prepared by the CENBII working group.
Our other neighbour, Germany, has a completely different system that they say will become the standard. In summary, the Germans wrap the XML within the PDF. They send a document that contains both the PDF and the XML. Not a new technology for EasyData; we have applied this XFA technology for over 10 years, especially for archive applications.
The German government has elected to require this invoicing acceptation technology through an open standard.
As can be read on the website http://www.ferd-net.de:
the basic idea of ZUGFeRD is that everybody should be able to exchange electronic invoices without consultation or agreement in advance. The ZUGFeRD data format for electronic invoices is available for free.
As shown by the above, this way of working differs considerably from what we use; the separate XML and PDF.
The Germans are now planning to get their combined XML/PDF file accepted Europe-wide through standardisation. Firstly through a DIN (German Industry Norm) and then converting it to a CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). The result of this multi-stage standardisation is how Germany thinks to obtain European adaptation of their standard. Each country is trying to reinvent the wheel and export their solutions to other European countries through their own cultural habits.
What is new? Each country thinks their solution will be elevated to European standard.