E-invoices are a type of invoice sent via the Internet. In practice, e-invoices are prepared using invoicing software, an online banking service or a web portal. From there, the invoices are transferred, via an intermediary, to the recipient for approval. The Introduction of electronic invoicing page provides you with step-by-step instructions-
An electronic invoice in structured format, and an electronic invoice, are not the same. An electronic invoice is sent by email to the recipient, who must pay and archive the invoice using traditional methods. The aim of electronic invoice in structured format (e-invoice) is to maintain the invoice in machine language throughout the invoicing process. This allows both the sender and the recipient to achieve savings both in terms of time and money.
Remember to inform your clients and partners that you have introduced electronic invoicing in a structured format.
Contents of an e-invoice
Not all software for the creation of e-invoices will check that your invoice contains the required information. The Value Added Tax Act specifies the minimum information to be provided on invoices:
- date of issue of the invoice
- identifier for individualising the invoice
- the seller’s VAT ID (Business ID)
- the purchaser’s VAT ID in cases of reverse charge in value added taxation and in intra-Community trade
- the seller’s and purchaser’s name and address
- the quantity and nature of the goods, and/or the extent and nature of the services
- the delivery date for the goods and/or date of providing services or the date of advance payment
- tax basis, tax-free price by tax rate, unit price excluding tax and refunds and discounts, if not taken into account in the unit price
- the tax rate
- the amount of tax to be paid
- reason for tax exemption or for reverse charge in value added taxation.
In special cases, the invoice must also contain other information. If you are unsure, consult your accountant or the Value Added Tax Act (finlex.fi) to check the issue.
An e-invoice must also include the electronic invoicing addresses of the invoice issuer and the invoiced company, used for identifying the sender and recipient. The address may be an EDI code or IBAN account number, for example. An electronic invoicing address will be allocated to you when you conclude an agreement on electronic invoicing.
For the invoiced company, the intermediary’s information and intermediary’s identification number inform the invoice issuer of which intermediary the invoice recipient is using.
Consult your intermediary to find out whether you can send e-invoices abroad. You should additionally ensure that your e-invoices are recorded in accounting. As an electronic receipt is sufficient, electronic invoicing facilitates totally paperless accounting and archiving.
The accounting guide (Kirjanpidon ABC) published by the Association of Finnish Accounting Firms is a comprehensive guide on how to organise accounting. You can find it on our web page under Other useful information.
The E-invoice glossary provides definitions for different concepts.