An electronic invoice (e-invoice) is an invoice issued in a structured format in compliance with the EU standard, which is submitted and received electronically and enables seamless automatic and electronic processing.

  • Designed as a purely semantic data format, e-invoicing enables invoice data to be imported into the processing systems directly and seamlessly.
  • It is based on a structured XML format, which primarily only facilitates machine readability.
  • By using display programs (so-called visualisation programs), the XML data set can be displayed in a way that is readable for humans.

There are various standards or specifications that enable electronic invoicing, e.g. XRechnung standard .

  • The XRechnung standard represents a national version of European standard EN 16931, a so-called Core Invoice Usage Specification (CIUS).
  • To ensure that every Member State can implement the European standard EN 16931 with its own country-specific requirements, each country defines its own specific CIUS.
  • In Germany, the national version of the standard is called XRechnung. It is used for the standardised implementation of the requirements of public contracting authorities within the Federal Government in the majority of states and local authorities.