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Electronic invoices: New uniform data format ZUGFeRD saves money and helps SMEs 

Eschborn/Germany, January 12th, 2015

In order to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from the advantages of e-invoicing, the German Forum on electronic Invoicing (FeRD) has developed a uniform data format called ZUGFeRD, the "Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing in Germany" which is freely available to all interested companies and organisations since 25th June 2014.

The ZUGFeRD 1.0 specification is now also available as an English version for download.

Providing invoice data digitally has fundamental benefits for both the business sector and public administration: quicker and more efficient work processes, fewer late payments as well as lower printing and postage costs. This in turn reduces errors and improves transparency, while the procedural steps involved in processing invoices are made quicker overall.

ZUGFeRD 1.0 is designed to achieve these objectives, most notably for those parties which only issue a small number of invoices to one partner each year or for parties which sometimes or even exclusively deal with partners without a regular business relationship. To achieve this aim, electronic invoices should be just as easy to send and receive as paper invoices. Therefore, ZUGFeRD 1.0 combines structured XML data and PDF/A as visualization to a hybrid electronic invoice. Both the structured XML file and the PDF visualization represent the complete invoice, and the receiver can choose what he processes, be it XML, PDF or both. Eventually this means that it is possible to exchange structured invoices without any prior consultation or agreement between the involved parties and without any agreement on the transmission itself.

The objective that ZUGFeRD 1.0 can be used on an international scale is a key aspect: ZUGFeRD 1.0 can be used in non-German-speaking countries – both in Europe and beyond.  ZUGFeRD 1.0 is based on the regulations of the Cross Industry Invoice (CII) standard developed by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) as well as on the European Committee for Standardization’s (CEN) Message User Guides (MUG) for a core invoice, for which the CII serves as a basis. This means that the foundation for establishing ZUGFeRD as a uniform European format has already been laid.

The full press release can be downloaded here.

Press Contact:
AWV e.V. – Working Group for Economic Administration
Mr. Hendrik Leue
Phone: +49 (0) 6196 -7772631
Email: leue@awv-net.de





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