The usual paper documents have a lot of disadvantages and gradually has been forced out of business practices because of their inefficiency and high maintenance cost. This is especially evident in foreign trade activity when the cost of invoice processing can reach tens or even hundreds of euros.
Paper invoices have been replaced by their scanned copies that are transmitted by means of electronic communication. It has allowed to solve part of the problems, but not all. These invoices were poorly recognised by both counterparties and inspecting authorities and were used as additional information to the paper originals.
Preparation of the invoices in the form of PDF documents and signing them with an electronic digital signature or an authorized electronic signature (EDS/AES) has partially improved the situation. But the problems from entering data from these invoices to the information systems of parties to a transaction, errors in filling and processing has been remained.
In a number of industries, internal standards for the transmission invoices in machine-readable format have begun to emerge, including their use of instruments such as EDI. However, the technical complexity of their implementation, the lack of unified generally recognized standards for the format, structure, transmission protocols and visualization of invoices haven't allowed these solutions to extend beyond a number of specific industries.
The emergence of international standards (EN 16931, UBL, UN / CEFACT CII) has enabled to implement a mechanism that does not depend on the specific specifics of the seller or buyer. Once connected to the e-invoicing system, you could be able to receive and accept invoices from any member of this system both within the country and abroad.