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 various ZUGFeRD profiles

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.

 How does ZUGFeRD function with inPuncto?

Users of our inbox-processing server biz²ScanServer can process ZUGFeRD 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

Senders of ZUGFeRD receipts have the advantage of reducing/eliminating high postage and paper costs whilst 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, which ultimately improves your liquidity..

As a receiver, you benefit from the fully automated and error-free filing of invoices and also save paper and time whilst easily storing all of your receipts.

The automatic electronic forwarding enables you to streamline your approval and release processes, thereby helping you to easily comply with discount periods. Thus, order reconciliation and automatic transfer of data not only help businesses reduce spending and effort, but also speed up your processes..


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