An e-Invoicing Standard Rises in Europe

Developed by the Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany, ZUGFeRD allows data to be structured in an XML file and then exchanged in a PDF format for easy extraction and processing.

Suppliers and customers participating in electronic data interchange (EDI) for digital invoicing must communicate carefully on what type of format they use to securely exchange and organize data. Now, more European entities in public and private sectors are adopting the ZUGFeRD as a standardized approach to EDI invoicing.

ZUGFeRD is a German acronym for “Central User Guide for Electronic Invoicing in Germany”. It offers a uniform data format built on core invoices that is structured in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file and integrated into a PDF for easy exchange and data extraction.

ZUGFeRD’s simplicity makes it an attractive solution for small to medium companies that don’t want to invest in custom software for EDI with non-standardized data formats. It also offers a standard that meets international requirements to enable overseas transactions.

The standardized approach is also becoming more widely used in business-to-government (B2G) transactions. Image and Data Manager speculates that it could answer the European Union’s call for a standardized approach to e-invoicing between EU state members and suppliers starting this November.  Policymakers in Australia may also be considering it as part of a national framework for eInvoice standardization that could save both public and private entities up to $3 billion per year.

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