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Electronic invoicing - What is electronic invoicing?

Electronic invoicing is the electronic delivery of invoices and other related details from a company to its customers

Raising a professional, custom invoice has never been easier than with Debitoor invoicing software. Try it free for 7 days.

In this day and age, invoicing is less and less paper-based, in fact many invoices can be transmitted electronically over the web.

Recently, there has been growing acceptance of online and e-billing by consumers and the business community at large. An increased concern for the environment and for higher security is speeding up the shift from paper to online or electronic invoicing.

While online invoicing and electronic invoicing might seem like one and the same, there is, in fact, a few important differences between the two that are necessary to understand if you’re planning to create an electronic invoice.

Online invoice vs. electronic invoice

An online invoice is when an invoice is raised in an online platform such as cloud-based invoicing software like Debitoor. This software gives you the tools to easily create and send invoices to your customer’s email, all directly online.

While an electronic invoice (e-invoice) is also an online invoice, an online invoice is not always an electronic invoice. An e-invoice is created and sent online, however it requires a few additional features to be considered an e-invoice.

Features of an e-invoice

As far as content, an e-invoice should include all of the information pertinent to your sale. This means that it can be identical to your online invoice. However, important differences should be noted.

An e-invoice is sent in either XML or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) format. These formats allow for a signature from the creator of the invoice, and time and date of sending is stamped on the invoice. The invoice also cannot be changed after it has been sent.

E-invoices are generally issued through forms online, providing this specific service that allows invoices to comply with standard accepted in certain industries or between businesses.

Electronic Invoice Standards

Electronic invoice standards vary widely across countries. These standards or 'encoding guidelines' are often taken from Electronic Data Interchange standards. For this reason, it’s important that your e-invoice meets the standards outlined in the documentation.

For example, EDIFACT is the standard that the United Nations has created. It includes details such as codes for header information and for the transmission of specific line items.

Invoicing in Debitoor

In your Debitoor application, you can send online invoices from your computer or smartphone instantly. Your invoice template is designed to meet all of the current legal requirements for an invoice.

To read more about online vs. electronic invoices, take a look at our blog entry: ‘Online or electronic invoice?’.