What is the electronic invoice

It is now months that we hear so much about electronic invoices, in relation to the legal obligations that have come into force since January 2019.

But apart from all the discussions what is actually an electronic invoice?

An electronic invoice is nothing more than a file in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format that contains invoice data.

The XML file stores data and information and makes it accessible to other programs.

To be able to read these files and therefore to be able to correctly display an electronic invoice it is necessary that these are converted through specific software that makes them readable. In some cases it is simply a PEC box.

Electronic invoicing is therefore a system of creating, issuing and receiving invoices which, unlike what has happened up to now, are in this particular digital format.

According to its creators this system aims to digitize and dematerialize the billing process between companies, professionals and the public administration, so as to allow companies to improve their efficiency, optimize business processes and reduce the costs of management.

To summarize all these beautiful words, the invoices that are issued are sent and verified by the Interchange System (ES), which was specially designed by the Inland Revenue.

In addition, the new budget law provides that electronic invoicing is mandatory for all holders of VAT numbers and this therefore also affects all transactions that are made against private consumers and not just companies.

On the market there are programs and applications designed specifically for the management of the process from creation, to sending and ending with the conservation of accounting documents.

The use of a dedicated program is the ideal solution for companies and freelancers who can therefore manage the whole process with greater simplicity.

For consumers interested only in receiving invoices, there are similarly simple reception methods, in most cases it is enough to have a certified e-mail box that now, in most cases, has an integrated function for reading invoices.

In my opinion the basic idea of electronic invoicing is interesting, the real problem seems to be the implementation and application of the rules of use of this system, as it happens very often in Italy things are always done in little way clear and without a long-term vision.

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