Peppol: The European standard for e-invoicing

More and more European countries are starting to use electronic invoicing. Taking into account the EU directives, from 18 April 2019, electronic invoices will be obligatory for all companies working with the public sector in any European country.

PEPPOL has been created in order to guarantee an easy communication between the sender and the receiver. It allows to unify the different systems and speeds up the exchange of electronic invoices.

Peppol, what is it and what is it for?

What is Peppol? Peppolis the acronym Pan-European Public Procurement Online. The objective of this electronic format is to enable standardised communication between European companies and any public sector purchaser during the procurement process.

Although the EU directive does not establish a specific electronic format for the Exchange of invoices, the Universal Business Language (UBL) is generally used by all states in different versions. These versions undergo some customisations, all of them adapted to the PEPPOL specifications.

There is no doubt that Peppol is one of the most common standards at European level and it is continually expanding. Some of its advantages are:

  • For public administration, it simplifies procurement and electronic invoicing. This information is also available across borders.
  • It allows companies to communicate electronically with any European government institution in the procurement and invoicing process. This increases efficiency and reduces costs. The same applies for business to business transactions (B2B).
  • For citizens, it offers greater competition in government contracts and improves efficiency. It uses automated processes that result in better value for taxpayers’ money.

New format, Peppol BIS 3:

More and more companies are integrating Peppol into their management products or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations has incorporated Peppol BIS 3, the latest update of the standard. It introduces the import of supplier invoices from the electronic format.

Although it has initially been implemented for European Union countries, the functionality will be available for any compatible country from 19th May 2019. The standard of PEPPOL BIS3 can be used without modifications or customized; depending on the specifications of each country.

B2Brouter: a certified Peppol access point

Under the Peppol acronym exists a data exchange network established in several European countries. For security reasons, the connection to this network is restricted to certified companies that work as an access point between suppliers and the Public Administration.

In Spain, B2Brouter is one of the electronic invoicing software with Peppol certification, and one of the reference companies in the development of the standard. This certification provides the capability of sending and receiving invoices from other foreign access points and the standardisation of procedures within the European perimeter.

In addition, the B2Brouter e-invoicing program is useful for different ERP, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 or SAP, and allows the exchange of electronic invoices between them free of charge in a matter of seconds.