What is an Electronic Invoice?

Definition: No longer are all invoices paper-based, some are now transmitted electronically over the web.

An electronic invoice or e-invoice is sent in electronic format rather than on paper.

Electronic Formats

Standards vary widely from country to country with regards to electronic invoicing.

These standards or 'encoding guidelines' are taken from Electronic Data Interchange standards. EDIFACT is an example of such a standard that the United Nations has created which includes details such as codes for header information and for transmitting specific line items.

Just as there are different layouts for regular invoices, e-invoices can also be found in various formats; notably OIOXML and OIOUBL. The XML message format began to be used in recent years, while the Universal Business Language (UBL) is under development.

If your business happens to provide goods or services to municipalities, regions, or departments, it is a requirement that the bill be passed in the form of an e-invoice.