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E-invoicing is the electronic exchange of invoices between businesses and their clients or trading partners. It eliminates the need for traditional paper-based invoices, reducing manual effort, minimizing errors, and accelerating payment processing. Electronic invoicing uses digital technologies to create, send, receive, and archive invoices in a structured electronic format. This digital format makes it easier for businesses to automate invoice processing, track payments, and maintain compliance with tax regulations.
Governments in countries like France and Germany are introducing mandatory electronic invoicing requirements primarily to improve tax transparency and efficiency. These regulations help to fight tax fraud, simplify administrative procedures, and transition to digital financial transactions.
In Germany, ZUGFeRD is the most commonly used standard to meet these regulations. ZUGFeRD, short for “Zentraler User Guide des Forums elektronische Rechnung Deutschland” (Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoices Germany), is an open standard for electronic invoices. Developed in Germany, ZUGFeRD is designed to facilitate the exchange of structured electronic invoices in a format that combines both human-readable and machine-readable data.
The core idea behind ZUGFeRD invoices is to create universally compatible invoices that can be read and understood by humans while also being processed efficiently by computer systems. It achieves this through the use of PDF/A-3, a standard PDF format, combined with an embedded XML file. This unique combination ensures that the invoice is accessible to all, regardless of the recipient’s technological capabilities, while also enabling automated data extraction and processing.
For Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users that must meet e-invoicing standards (for example, companies in Germany), Microsoft recommends turning to partner-developed apps such as ForNAV electronic invoice support for ZUGFeRD.
The ForNAV solution is easy to implement and simple to use and allows Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central clients to comply with existing and upcoming mandatory regulations.
To make your Business Central Word and ForNAV documents (for example, invoices and credit memo reports) ZUGFeRD compliant, all you have to do is install the ForNAV ZUGFeRD extension. It is that simple and you are ready to go:
Access to the ForNAV ZUGFeRD extension is included in your standard ForNAV license from version 7.2. Download ForNAV today and you will get access to it. This also means that all existing ForNAV customers automatically get access to it as part of the 7.2 update – at no extra cost.
The solution developed by ForNAV allows you to create ZUGFeRD compliant invoicing. The ForNAV ZUGFeRD solution:
Get the ForNAV ZUGFeRD solution to stay compliant and remain competitive in the evolving landscape of e-invoicing practices. Download via AppSource (for Cloud) or from our website (for OnPrem/Universal Code).
The ForNAV solution for electronic invoicing also supports X-Rechnung and Factur-X. Note that ZUGFeRD is only supported on Microsoft Dynamics Business Central version 20.3 and up, using Universal Code and Cloud.
Digital invoicing operates efficiently across borders, allowing businesses to conduct international transactions with ease. Moreover, it contributes to environmental sustainability by significantly decreasing paper consumption and the associated carbon emissions commonly associated with conventional paper-based invoicing.
E-invoicing regulations have been gaining momentum worldwide as governments aim to modernize electronic invoicing practices. Compliance with ZUGFeRD standards has emerged as a pivotal aspect of meeting these evolving regulations.
E-invoicing regulations vary from country to country, but they all share a common goal: to promote transparency, efficiency, and tax compliance in electronic invoicing practices. Compliance with these regulations is crucial for businesses to avoid penalties, streamline financial operations, and maintain a competitive edge in international markets.
ZUGFeRD standards, born in Germany but now recognized internationally, play a crucial role in achieving compliance with e-invoicing regulations. They offer a standardized approach to creating electronic invoices that are both human-readable and machine-readable. This dual format ensures that businesses can meet the diverse requirements of tax authorities while facilitating automated data extraction and processing.
As governments in countries like France and Germany move towards mandatory e-invoicing, it’s essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Understanding ZUGFeRD standards and their implications for your invoicing practices can help you adapt to changing regulatory landscapes, minimize disruptions, and continue conducting international transactions seamlessly.
In addition to ZUGFeRD, two other notable electronic invoices standards have gained prominence: X-Rechnung and Factur-X.
X-Rechnung (XRechnung) is a digital invoicing standard used primarily in Germany. Similar to ZUGFeRD, it enables the creation of structured electronic invoices. However, it differs in its approach, using a specific XML format for data representation.
Factur-X (FacturX), on the other hand, is a format used primarily in France and is designed to be compatible with both French and German invoicing requirements. While it originated in France, it has gained recognition in other European countries as well, making it suitable for international invoicing. It combines the advantages of both PDF and XML formats, making invoices human-readable while maintaining machine-readability.
Keywords: ZUGFeRD; E-Invoicing; ZUGFeRD Invoices; Electronic Invoices; Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central; ZUGFeRD Standards; ZUGFeRD Compliant Invoicing; E-invoicing regulations; Digital Invoicing; Compliance with ZUGFeRD; X-Rechnung; Factur-X; XRechnung; FacturX