Hybrid Invoices

India is moving towards a mandatory e-invoice model. In practice, this means that e-invoice will already be used voluntarily by 2020. This was confirmed by the Indian Goods and Services Tax Network (GST). GST is the competent authority that enables countries to use e-invoice standards to ensure interoperability in all networks of e-invoice.

E-Invoice plan of Germany and France

Hybrid invoices; Germany and France do not share much about E-Invoice. Perhaps the common denominator between both countries is that they are both large economies. However, these two countries have one thing in common. It seems that both countries have a joint effort for hybrid bills. The standard of hybrid invoices in Germany is called ZugFerd and in France it is called Factura-X.

Hybrid invoice is ‘the method of embedding structured electronic invoices in PDF’. The hybrid name is due to the fact that the invoice contains both structured data that the machines read to automate billing workflows, and what we know as an image or PDF, what we can quickly review about the invoice. Having xml data and invoice image in the same file is nothing new as invoice images are usually embedded in XML files invoice, but this time the order is different – PDF is carrier container and XML is inside.

It is a model that makes it easier for SMEs to deal with invoices because it may not be an on-site billing tool, but they can still look at the bill and pay. And ultimately, this is the whole billing issue, not the format that is about making sure that businesses dealing with each other are getting paid. At the same time, the hybrid invoice can be sent very well to a global company, because it contains all the XML data that can be processed by the billing workflows, which may then be in place of the invoice recipient.

E-Invoice Solution

This differs from structured PDF because they usually contain data that needs to be interpreted explicitly. Hybrid invoices are fully structured and there are rules about what data should be, as there is of course a German innovation. There are different levels of data they can turn off – pointed out compulsory data from very basic VAT directives, but also fully EN compliant XML, so something for everyone.

France has released a new version for Factur-X, which fully supports the new EU e-invoice standard. As mentioned, Factur-X is a German / French combined standard for hybrid invoices. It also uses a unique national e-invoice portal called Chorus Pro, developed by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of France. Chorus Pro allows all public sector suppliers to send their invoices through the portal and check their status.

Enabling hybrid invoices makes it easy for French and German SMEs to send their invoices and follow essentially the instructions for using e-invoice. Germany and France are two countries with a strong SME sector. It is probably because these countries have more SMEs than, for example, Scandinavian countries. Countries adapt to EU-wide practices according to their national needs, but still have a network. While targeted for SME suppliers, benefits are also visible for global companies – if the hybrid invoice is widely accepted, the major supplier can use an output for all buyers.

We cannot know exactly what a future is waiting for us, we will see together how the development of Germany and France will be thanks to the invoice models. Maybe we can all become a hybrid invoice user soon. Melasoft SAP Smart Document with you in your e-invoice solution…