By European law, all government and public entities must support the European standard on e-invoicing (European Norm EN-16931). The Peppol e-Delivery network enables the exchange of documents validated against that European Norm. As a result, many governments are inviting suppliers to send e-invoices through Peppol.
Has that happened to you yet? And did you know how to (re)act?
This article provides some guidance about e-invoicing and how to connect to Peppol. Axway eInvoicing is a certified Peppol Access Point (AP), offering Peppol access in the way that best fits your back-office set-up.
Why e-invoicing and what is EN-16931
Electronic invoicing is more than sending invoices digitally in PDF format. An XML e-invoice (more precisely UBL or CII syntax) contains structured data in an agreed, machine-readable way. When the recipient of the e-invoice understands the syntax of the sender, receiving, processing, and paying suddenly becomes extremely easy.
This is why many software applications and businesses actively promote and support e-invoicing standards. It allows to automatically process documents in the accounting software.
Europe has defined an e-invoicing standard, the European Norm EN-16931, and every governmental organization in Europe is mandated to support it. EN-16931 provides a good foundation for the Digital Single Market.
About e-Delivery and Peppol
While e-invoicing is mandated, there are no rules that prescribe how invoices should be delivered. However, Europe does define best practices for electronic document exchange or e-Delivery. Important elements in the European e-Delivery standard are: proof of sending and receiving, prevention of loss or theft, and preservation of the integrity of content. The e-Delivery architecture guarantees integrity and non-repudiation, so you are sure the document you receive has not changed and is genuine.
Peppol is a procurement network for exchanging and processing electronic invoices. The Peppol network has adopted the European Norm for e-invoicing as well as e-Delivery standards, and is already well-established across member states.
Peppol works with so called access points (AP) for the exchange of e-invoices. Many countries and governments have setup an access point to Peppol, and thus Peppol has become the de facto international standard. The Belgian governments named their access point Mercurius. In The Netherlands it is called SimplerInvoicing.
In the Peppol model, roaming is as easy as with mobile communication. Both the original sender and the final recipient of an e-invoice can select the service provider they prefer (as long as it is a certified access point). These trusted partners guarantee the quality and correct handling of the electronic document exchange.
Are you ready for Peppol?
If you use up-to-date accounting, billing or ERP software, chances are real that your application is ready to create UBL invoices according to the EN-16931 standard. In that case, you only need a service provider as your access point, to open the secured Peppol network for you.
What to expect from a Peppol Access Point
Selecting an access point with the correct profile is very important. Depending on your specific set-up, you should expect from your service provider to:
- Take care of your digital presence.
- Close the gap with your back office, assuring a seamless and continuous document flow, status feedback loop, and end-to-end monitoring.
- If needed, adapt or transform your document formats to the standard.
- Offer a set of API’s and back office integration tools.
- Maintain the most recent European e-invoicing and Peppol standards.
In a nutshell: Your service partner and Peppol Access Point should be the beacon in your digital journey.
e-invoicing and e-Delivery powered by Axway eInvoicing
As a certified Peppol Access Point, Axway eInvoicing offers 3 service packages to help you implement an e-invoicing and e-delivery strategy:
- You can opt for self-service and use us only as a messaging gateway for your Peppol connection. No start-up cost, only a monthly fee. Documentation and samples are available for you, as well as a rich API or client software.
- You implement e-invoicing solution blocks (optional modules) that fill the digital gap with your back office. Such as transformation services, e-invoice templates, additional connectivity options, document monitoring services, legal archive, etc.
- You can outsource your e-invoicing and printing process to us (regardless of the document formats), and we take care of the end-to-end solution.
Axway eInvoicing enables companies to comply with an evolving list of B2B and B2G invoicing requirements around the world.
Fully integrated with existing e-invoicing regulations, this cloud-based solution allows for continuous compliance and the agility to meet diverse and evolving national and legal requirements, now and in the future.
A common standard for both your B2G and B2B exchanges? Once you’ve implemented the mandatory B2G approach, you might consider the opportunity to promote this e-invoicing standard for all your business relations: Making use of the European Norm for all your document exchanges? Smart!
Handle e-invoicing in a global, standards-driven, and always up-to-date manner. Learn more about Axway eInvoicing.