There are several models and methods of application of electronic invoices, and at this point it is important to know only the most commonly used models. Essentially, there are two basic models of electronic invoices:
Direct model (includes the exchange of electronic invoices without intermediaries)
Indirect model (broker is involved in the exchange of electronic invoices)
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The direct model varies directly with the supplier model, the supplier from whom it sends information through various channels, such as web, e-mail, SMS, electronic invoices to their customers or providing a portal through which customers can view and download invoices in the formats provided by the supplier. These formats can be PDF, EDI, XML and others. This case is typical for large invoice issuers, such as, for example, internet and hosting providers, telecommunications operators and public companies. Also, on the other hand, there is a situation when a large recipient of invoices provides a system for the electronic receipt of invoices in a defined format. With the help of this system directly enters incoming invoices, which greatly saves time and, most importantly, avoiding entry errors.
Characteristically for the indirect model is that, the issuer and recipient use a unique specialized service for the exchange of electronic invoices. This model is known as the network model. It provides secure sharing, sending and delivery, archiving, authenticity and integrity. The authenticity is achieved through a qualified electronic signature. In this case, both parties have the task, regardless of their size, provide integration of its existing business system with a format that requires specialized service.
Regarding the formats of electronic invoices, here are the most abundant PDF, EDI and XML, which are electronically signed. They may be used, in other formats, but not all fit into the definition of electronic invoices. In practice we can find various formats, but is essential to understand the criteria of electronic invoices.
What to Look for when Working with e-invoices?
First and foremost, is whether your software supports the use of electronic invoices? The answer to this question cannot be reduced to a single word, because it primarily depends on which model of electronic invoices the company wants to apply. Then one must take into account whether the business is already using some software to create invoices. They are mainly accounting or ERP programs. Next you need to pay attention to how much the company itself is ready to invest in electronic invoice, and whether the company and its business partners can exchange such invoices. These are just some of the questions that all companies need to answer before they decide to work with electronic invoices.
In any case, there are numerous advantages of electronic invoices in the company’s operations. As for issuers and for the recipients of such invoices. Starting from the time savings when processing invoices, reducing the number of errors in operation and data entry, more efficient internal processes, automation of administrative activities and many others.