e-Invoicing with ZUGFeRD 2.1 in GEFEG.FX

For many companies and organizations, digitization means a change or at least a reflection of their business processes. On the one hand, work processes are technologically more strongly supported. On the other hand, business documents are becoming increasingly digital, for example with eBilling. The increased use of information technology is becoming one of the biggest challenges – but also one of the biggest drivers.

On the way to eBilling

Many business units recognize the advantages of the technological possibilities and rely on global or national standards. This also applies to invoice processing. The paper-based sending and receiving of invoices is increasingly being replaced by electronic media. Here, ZUGFeRD as an invoice format is particularly suitable for billers who do not use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) in the sense of EDIFACT or XML schema. The development of ZUGFeRD is supported to a large extent by federal ministries in order to implement the requirements of the federal authorities. ZUGFeRD 2 technically corresponds to the Factur-X format used in France. Factur-X as well as ZUGFeRD are technical specifications in the sense of the EN16931 standard, which are called Core Invoice User Specification (CIUS).

Invoices in ZUGFeRD 2.1 format

Now available in version ZUGFeRD 2.1, users have five profiles at their disposal to reproduce their invoices in a structured PDF A/3 file. One of the goals of ZUGFeRD is to create, send and receive invoices electronically. A valid ZUGFeRD invoice ensures that a standardised format is used that complies with the legal accounting regulations. ZUGFeRD2.0 conforms to the European standard EN16931 and is therefore a format that can be used throughout Europe.

Profiles of the ZUGFeRD 2.1 format

Five ZUGFeRD profiles are used to cover invoices of varying complexity: Users have the option of selecting the profile that matches the scope of the invoice.

Simple taxi invoices can be depicted in the same way as highly complex invoices with discounts and credit notes. The profiles are sorted according to higher complexity:

  • Minimum
  • BasicWL
  • Basic
  • Comfort
  • Extended

Since the legal requirements for invoices are clearly defined, the profiles Minimum and BasicWL do not represent invoices in the sense of German legislation, but are rather considered as an accounting aid. The Basic, Compliant and Extended profiles are fully-fledged invoices.

In accordance with the e-bill law, the public administration of the federal government and some federal states in Germany will only accept electronic bills from 27.11.2020. This means that companies must be in a position to send electronic invoices to certain public-sector customers by this date at the latest. Similar to the ZUGFeRD profiles, the public administration in Germany has also developed a profile called XRechnung.

The requirements of the Xinvoice can be completely mapped in a ZUGFeRD file of the Comfort profile. Some authorities have exclusively provided the XML file as transmission format for certain access channels. In this case, transmission of a hybrid invoice is not possible. Since ZUGFeRD 2.0 with the Basic, Comfort and Extended profiles meets the requirements of the EN16931 standard, valid invoices in this format are accepted by the other public invoice recipients.

ZUGFeRD 2.1 in the GEFEG portfolio

GEFEG supports you to use the ZUGFeRD 2.1 format with a data package for GEFFeRD.FX, which contains all profiles and allows you to make further functions and adjustments.

As part of the validation in GEFEG.FX, you can test invoices against any of the ZUGFeRD profiles and thus ensure before sending them that your invoice is an error-free e-invoice as defined by standard 16931 and must be accepted by federal authorities. You can also create your own company-specific documentation in GEFEG.FX to store it for archiving purposes or share it with business partners.

The portal “invoice.fans” provides a platform for knowledge transfer and validation of invoices against selected e-invoice standards, including ZUGFeRD 2.1. After registering on “rechnungs.fans”, the ZUGFeRD profiles are available for checking sample invoices.