Electronic invoicing

What is electronic invoicing?

An electronic invoice, or e-invoice, is an invoice sent and received in electronic or digital form.

There are two types of e-invoices:

  1. Human-readable PDF invoices
  2. Machine-readable EDI invoices

Types of electronic invoices

Human-readable PDF invoices 

  • These e-invoices are sent and received digitally, but in most cases processed manually. 
  • A common example are PDF invoices that are sent and received by e-mail, but which have to be typed manually in the accounting system. 
Mensleesbaar invoice

Machine-readable EDI invoices 

  • These e-invoices are not only sent and received digitally, but also processed digitally. 
  • They are created according to a fixed structure (standard), which allows software packages to process them automatically. 

Given that GS1 only supports standards for machine-readable EDI invoices, the term 'e-invoice' below should always be regarded as 'machine-readable EDI invoice'. 

Different standards of e-invoices 

There are various different standards for e-invoices. This also applies to other machine-readable EDI commercial documents such as electronic orders or delivery notes. This is because each sector may have its own specific requirements.

At GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg we support 2 commonly used standards: Harmonized Order to Cash & Peppol. Depending on the sector in which you are active, it is best to use a different standard. Take a look at the table for more information.

Harmonized Order to Cash Peppol
Only for FMCG & Foodservice within Belgium or Luxembourg Developed with cross-sector messaging in mind
Can be converted into a Peppol invoice for the government via GS1 Belgilux. Consult this document and contact our helpdesk to set up the connection. Accepted for billing to the public sector and governments
Harmonized Order to Cash is designed as a subset of the GS1 EANCOM standard. This means that your HO2C message can always be read by a (foreign) partner that follows the EANCOM standard. It remains possible that your partner expects elements that are not documented in HO2C. Peppol e-invoices can only be sent and received via an Access Point of the Peppol eDelivery Network. Ask your software supplier whether it is connected to the Peppol network or can send/receive e-invoices via the Peppol network via a third party.
Manual Manual


Follow the basic EDI training

Follow the advanced EDI training

Follow a Peppol training

Follow a Peppol training

There are different types of Peppol training at GS1. You can find the catalogue of the Peppol training courses of GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg here.