10 Years of PDF/A-3 Based Electronic Invoicing

Almost 10 years ago, ZUGFeRD 1.0, the first invoice data format based on the public standards UN/CEFACT CII and PDF/A-3, was published. The stated intention was to digitize invoice exchange and make the transition from paper to data for SMEs and single users as smooth as possible without losing efficiency.

The idea of using PDF/A-3 as a carrier format and wrapper for the XML-based invoice data laid the foundation for the success of hybrid documents. The idea of “visualization” and “machine-readable data” in one file is so convincing that it is now also being used for other business documents such as orders or delivery notes.

This presentation will look at the development of the various standard versions such as ZUGFeRD, Factur-X, Order-X and Delivery-X, and will describe the experience gained in this context with PDF/A-3, XMP and file attachments in practical use with millions of invoices.