14 May. 2024 | MARIProject

E-invoicing becomes mandatory in Germany

On March 22, 2024, the Federal Council approved the Growth Opportunities Act. Among other things, it obliges companies in the B2B sector in Germany to gradually switch to e-invoicing (electronic invoicing). This obligation is not new. It has already applied to federal vendors since November 2020.

As the name suggests, the declared aim of the Growth Opportunities Act is to promote business growth and reduce bureaucracy. The bureaucratic simplifications include enabling the quick, simple, and location-independent creation and processing of invoices nationwide and even Europe-wide. Among other things, this measure is intended to make both larger and smaller companies in Germany more competitive again.

In this context, many companies have questions:

• Does this regulation apply to my company?

• Where do I have to invest now?

• Is implementation possible within the specified time frame?

You need to know the following:

What is an e-invoice?

An e-invoice is an invoice in electronically readable form that can be transmitted electronically and processed automatically. For automated processing to be possible, the invoice information must be available in a structured, machine-readable form. A scanned document (image) or a PDF file does not meet these requirements. This is because the information is neither standardized nor can it be processed automatically. Neither are therefore e-invoices.

An e-invoice, on the other hand, must first be generated in a uniformly readable format so that it can then be sent and processed automatically. This data should also be protected against unauthorized access.

Text source ► BMI

The XInvoice format

A standard format was created to enable uniform creation, transmission, and further processing: “Standard XInvoice.” The format has existed since January 2019 and is constantly updated. The XML formats “Cross Industry Invoice (CII)” or “Universal Business Language (UBL)” and “XInvoice/Factur-X/ZUGFeRD” correspond to this standard.

You can find more information on the “Standard XInvoice” format at ► KoSIT / XStandards Purchasing

This means that companies need software that can both generate and encrypt e-invoices, i.e., correctly assign the business partner data and the corresponding amounts.

The e-invoice will be introduced gradually

In the first step, companies in Germany will be obliged to accept e-invoices from their business partners in Germany from January 1, 2025.

In the second step, companies will be required to send only e-invoices to their business partners within Germany from 2027.

This obligation will also apply to small companies from 2028 at the latest.

It remains to be seen whether this timetable can be adhered to because of the high implementation costs.


Soon, companies that issue invoices to their business partners (B2B) in Germany will need software that enables them to generate e-invoices in the valid X-Invoice format.

The decision also means that the digitization of companies is no longer an optional extra, but an obligation, because without the right software, the requirements of the Growth Opportunities Act cannot be met.

MARIProject makes it possible to generate e-invoices

The project management software, MARIProject, has long offered smart and time-saving functions for project invoicing.

With the additional module “ZUGFeRD and XInvoice,” users can already generate invoices in ZUGFeRD or XInvoice format and send them by email.

MARIProject 7.4 supports the further processing of e-invoices

The “Inbox Book” module extends the existing functions about the organization and approval of incoming documents. The XML file is extracted and processed from ZUGFeRD documents. For files in “XInvoice” format, MARIProject extracts the visible PDF part and displays the PDF while the XML file is being processed. During processing, the software searches for the company and the creditor number. This data is further processed together with the invoice date, the invoice number, and the amount in the “Prerecorded A/P Invoice.”

The “A/P Invoices” module also enables scanned invoices and invoices in PDF format to be analyzed via “Azure AI Document Intelligence”. The electronic information obtained in this way is then processed further in MARIProject.

With the new MARIProject version 7.4, the “Inbox Book” will become part of the existing “ZUGFeRD and XInvoice” module. Version 7.4 will be released in June 2024.

Accordingly, MARIProject users can implement the requirements of the Growth Opportunities Act with MARIProject on time.

Here you can find more information about ►MARIProject and ►SAP Business One.

Do you have any questions about implementing e-invoicing with MARIProject?

Please contact us:
by phone: +49 (0) 221– 94 90 58-0 or
via email: info@maringo.de.