e-invoicing: ZUGFeRD invoices in SAP

What’s ZUGFeRD?

ZUGFeRD is a new file format for e-invoices that is based on PDF/A-3 and contains structured data in XML. The hybrid approach enables the PDF to be used as a “container” and present the invoice data in a fixed-layout PDF that is also machine-readable through the incorporated standardized XML format. Because the ZUGFeRD XML format is based on the international standard UN CEFACT, it can also be used outside of Germany.

Why should ZUGFeRD be used?

As a result of PDF/A standardization, the ZUGFeRD format is an open format usable by anyone independent of the manufacturer and allows voting without bilateral exchange of electronic invoices: A standardized accounting format for the exchange of electronic invoices between companies, enterprises and public administration is both faster and easier. Because the ZUGFeRD receipts always contains both PDF and XML encryption, the recipient can decide which format to process. The profile of the user dictates the behavior of the ZUGFeRD receipts.


The Basic Profile – simple calculation data (header and footer, reduced position data) are provided in a structured form, as they are required for booking and initiation of payments. Other account information is displayed in free text form.

With the Comfort profile, more structured data can be forwarded to the recipient. This allows the receiver to automate the invoice processing more optimally, because the information that is necessary for processing is received in a structured form, respectively as a qualified text.

With the Extended profile, all data is displayed in both structured form and pre-defined text boxes. The receiver decides which of the extractable data is necessary for further processing as dictated by the user’s specific business needs/processes.  Furthermore, additional data that are not relevant to the invoice processing can be added as text.

ZUGFeRD 2.0* or Factur-X

The ZUGFeRD format also had to be adapted in the course of the e-Invoicing low and the associated European Norm EN 16931, which was defined as the new standard for electronic invoices in public administration. The result is ZUGFeRD 2.0 or “Factur-X” at the international level. Just like ZUGFeRD 1.0, ZUGFeRD 2.0 is also based on UN/CEFACT.

ZUGFeRD 2.0 or Factur-X is a package consisting of four parts:

  • Part 1: ZUGFeRD 2.0 Profile EN 16931 (standard)
  • Part 2: ZUGFeRD 2.0 Profile Extended
  • Part 3: ZUGFeRD 2.0 Profile Basic
  • Part 4: ZUGFeRD 2.0 Profile booking help

Part 1 (ZUGFeRD 2.0 profile EN 1693) is the direct successor of the ZUGFeRD 1.0 profile “Comfort” and corresponds exactly to the European standard. This means that invoices in the ZUGFeRD 2.0 profile EN 16931 can be received and processed by all European administrations in accordance with EU Directive 2014/55/EU. Part 2 (Profile Extended), Part 3 (Profile Basic) and Part 4 (Profile Booking Help) have been harmonised with the French Forum. Public administrations in France accept the profile EN 16931 as well as the other Factur-X profiles (Basic, Extended and Booking Help) if they are connected to the central e-invoicing Portal “Chorus” (the Public Sector e-invoicing hub).

*The current version of ZUGFeRD 2.0.1 was published on October 15, 2019. The version contains corrections to ensure the conformity of ZUGFeRD 2.0 with EN16931.

ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 or Factur-X 1.0

In this new version of ZUGFeRD (from July 1st, 2020) another profile is made available, namely the XRechnung profile (only to be generated as an XML file), which also meets the specific requirements of the public administration in Germany. Thus it will be possible to send electronic invoices to the invoice recipients in the federal administration.

Please contact us if you want to switch to ZUGFeRD 2.0.1 or 2.1.1, we are happy to support you!

How does ZUGFeRD function with inPuncto?

Users of our inbox-processing server biz²ScanServer can process ZUGFeRD  (Format 1.0, 2.0.1 or 2.1.1) invoices via the inbox for electronic receipts and transfer them to the SAP system as usual, either automatically or manually.

The XML file is then analyzed and read out in accordance to the ZUGFeRD profile. Then, SAP initiates the workflow which is governed by our workflow tool biz²DocumentControl. Using the tool, you can have the PDF visualized, review the receipts, re-assign them, release them, etc.


Video Tutorial: invoice workflow of ZUGFeRD receipts: English version coming soon. Thanks for your patience.


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Processing ZUGFeRD invoices with inPuncto software

Processing ZUGFeRD invoices with inPuncto software


Benefits of ZUGFeRD invoices as a Sender

  • Reducing/eliminating of high postage and paper costs
  • Saving time in obviating the need for processing paper receipts.
  • Electronic invoices also free up physical space while at the same time being more accessible.
  • The standardized format contributes to speed up the processes for the recipient, since ZUGFeRD invoices are processed and paid faster
  • Improvement of your liquidity

Benefits of ZUGFeRD invoices as a Receiver

  • Fully automated and error-free filing of invoices
  • Save paper and time whilst easily storing all of your receipts
  • Invoices can be found faster
  • Streamline your approval and release processes
  • Easily comply with discount periods
  • Speed up your processes through the automatic comparison with the order and automatic transfer of the invoice data

What does the abbreviation “ZUGFeRD” mean?

The acronym stands for “Central User Guide of the Forum of electronic invoice Germany”.

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Supports ZUGFeRD!

ZUGFeRD format for electronic invoices

We support the FeRD e-invoicing initiative

Further solutions for process optimisation in SAP: electronic document receipt & release workflow

Further solutions for process optimisation in SAP: electronic document receipt & release workflow