What is EN Standard for Invoicing?
In 2017, the European Commission introduced what is known as European Norm (EN 16931-1:2017) or EN Standard for e-invoicing.
At the same time, the commission introduced a technical specification for e-invoicing (CEN/TS 16931-2:2017).
The idea was to eliminate the vast array of electronic invoice formats and have one standard format acceptable across Europe.
Further, with the harmonization of e-invoicing practices, cross-border trading would become more straightforward.
The European Standard outlines the key features of an e-invoice within a specific model.
The model captures a list of all business terms that may appear in a compliant invoice. It also explains how to use these terms and in what context.
Electronic invoices that meet the EN standard ensure both legal and fiscal compliance. On top of that, these invoices are acceptable for the cross-sector, cross border and domestic trade.
This invoice model is usable by the public and private organizations for procurement invoicing. It can also be used for invoicing between trading partners in the private sector.
What is the Technical Specification for E-invoicing?
The European Commission issued the European Norm and the Technical Specification (CEN/TS 16931-2:2017).
The CEN/TS 16931-2:2017 outlines syntaxes within the invoice model outlined in the EN standard.
The Technical Specification considered and assessed four syntaxes in line with the formula recommended by the Standardization Request.
EN Standard for Invoicing
What Does it Mean for your Organization/Business?
Adopting and implementing the European Norm for invoicing offers a host of benefits for public and private organizations, including;
The use of EN Standard goes a long way to reduce costs by enhancing efficiency and extending the quality of business processes between trading partners.
Promotes Cross-border Trade
European Standard for electronic invoicing comes in handy for the export and import economy. More specifically, it allows for a smoother exchange of goods and services.
The European Norm facilitates the spread and adoption of technologies. It allows organizations to leverage innovation without breaking the budget.
Better Customer Satisfaction
As mentioned, the application of EN standards improves the delivery of services and the quality of goods. That way, trust and satisfaction increase between trading partners.
The European Norm is about keeping the environment clean, safe, and sustainable.
Is the European Norm Applicable Only in Europe?
The European Standard for electronic invoicing is the brainchild of the European Commission.
Still, the world is edging towards digital technology as organizations seek to make transactions easier.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense for businesses and organizations to adopt the idea of e-invoicing as envisioned by the European Commission.
One of the European Norm’s primary goals was to harmonize electronic invoices to allow faster and stress-free cross-border trade.
The success of the EN Standard led to the establishment of PEPPOL, a network that allows organizations and businesses to exchange electronic invoices from anywhere on the planet.
At Unimaze, we’re working on an EU project dubbed ICELAND-INV18 to help organizations and businesses in Iceland realize the benefits offered by the European Norm.
While there’s no legal obligation to use electronic invoices, the advantages of e-invoicing are far-reaching for any severe business or organization to ignore.
With projects such as ICELAND-INV18, it is evident that the European Norm is acceptable and usable not just in European but in other countries of the world.
The European Norm offers a framework for IT departments to develop an electronic invoicing system that meets their organization’s specific needs.
When combined with complementary, legal, and technical agreements, the EN enables organizations to generate e-invoices in large quantities at competitive costs.
The EN Standard Seeks to Supplement, Not to Replace
The European Standard's purpose is not to replace the existing structured e-invoicing formats.
On the flip side, however, it allows businesses and organizations that serve a common language to use a standardized e-invoicing format.
Put differently, the EN adheres to the specific invoicing requirements of contracting authorities and helps resolve cross-border and transactional invoicing challenges that businesses and organizations face from time to time.