What is PEPPOL? The Complete PEPPOL E-Invoicing Guide

The Peppol network has an important role in the e-invoicing process. But what is this network actually? And why should you use it?

In this article, we'll address the following concerns:

  1. What is PEPPOL?
  2. Why use the PEPPOL network?
  3. What is a PEPPOL ID?
  4. How do I connect the PEPPOL network?
  5. Which documents can be exchanged on PEPPOL?
  6. Which companies are already connected to PEPPOL?
  7. Sending e-invoices to other countries
  8. Establishment of the PEPPOL network
  9. Bottom line

Want to send e-invoices on the Peppol network? Sign up here to connect to Peppol.

What is PEPPOL?

PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine. The network was established as a test project by the European Commission in 2008. Organizations that are now connected to PEPPOL can exchange business documents, such as various electronic formats, through the highly secured and safe international network.

You can see the PEPPOL network as some kind of telephone network for invoices. When somebody sends you a text message you can immediately recognize that person by their phone number.

The same applies to receiving invoices through the PEPPOL network. The receiver can easily identify the person - or company - that sends the invoice by their so-called 'PEPPOL ID'.

In other words: PEPPOL is an international e-invoicing network that allows you to safely send e-invoices to companies and governments worldwide.

Why Use The PEPPOL Network?

There are good reasons as to why the PEPPOL adoption is increasing each day. Here's why:

  1. PEPPOL e-invoicing is much faster than delivering paper invoices which can take days to get through compared with just a couple of seconds.
  2. Compared with mail invoices (PDF), e-invoices are much safer.
  3. Many European and Asian suppliers are obligated to send sales invoices through PEPPOL.
  4. The PEPPOL ID is unique to every user, and thus there are no chances of mix-ups like ghost invoices and (un)intentional payments to criminal parties.
  5. PEPPOL e-invoicing is also much cheaper, at least 80% less costly, than mailing someone a paper invoice.
  6. Lastly, PEPPOL  e-invoicing can be automated, which will take a massive workload off your administrative team

In short, PEPPOL is overall much more efficient and secure than the other options available in this capacity. Plus, when using PEPPOL you will automatically comply with the latest European and Asian e-invoicing regulations.

Register on PEPPOL

PEPPOL Safety & Compliance

The number of businesses asking for e-invoices through the PEPPOL network is strongly increasing. Mainly because this network is extremely safe, much safer than sending invoices by mail.

This is because the PEPPOL network, as mentioned before, provides its users with a unique ID that can be used as a point of recognition, resulting in an automatic recognition process in every transaction.

This is why many European & Asian governmental institutions are increasingly asking suppliers to send invoices through PEPPOL. As such, many European and Asian suppliers are now, when doing business with governmental institutions, obligated to send e-invoices through PEPPOL.

Below you will find an overview of the countries that have adopted PEPPOL as their primary e-invoicing framework. Some countries, such as Malaysia and Japan, have confirmed the future usage of the network and are currently in development.

What is Peppol and where is it used. A full Peppol map.

In order to get access and send invoices through the PEPPOL network, you need to have a PEPPOL ID. You can read more about that in the paragraph below.

What is a PEPPOL ID?

As we previously mentioned, companies and governments can automatically identify each other with a PEPPOL ID.

A PEPPOL ID consists of a unique number, such as:

  • A Chamber of Commerce number;
  • A VAT number;
  • The companies bank account-number
  • The government identification number of the relevant government agency.

Thanks to these unique identification numbers, there are no more misunderstandings about the identity of the senders and recipients of invoices. Because of this, ghost invoices and typing errors are no longer possible.

How do I connect to the PEPPOL network?

To be able to send e-invoices via the PEPPOL network you must first be connected to a Peppol Access Point. These Access Points fulfill a similar role as Vodafone and T-Mobile do for mobile users.

Following the "connect once, connect to all" principle, once registered you can reach all PEPPOL users, regardless of which access points they are connected to.

How Does The PEPPOL Access Point Work?

So basically, your PEPPOL Access Point is your gateway to the whole network. They will give you international access to all other parties using the PEPPOL network, and you'll have your own unique PEPPOL ID (like your mobile number) while on the network.

You can sign up with one of the over 200 certified Access Points available internationally to gain complete access to the PEPPOL network.

The whole system involves the following four parties:

  • The sender
  • The recipient party
  • The Access Points of both parties
Peppol Access Point 4 Corner Model Storecove

Which documents can be exchanged on PEPPOL?

Countries from all over have set up their own unique e-invoice systems, which means that sending an e-invoice across borders can be troublesome for companies. For instance, Sweden uses Svefaktura, EHF is Norway's e-invoice format, and NemHandel is used in Denmark. To send an e-invoice from one of these countries to the other would require the sender to convert to the recipient's format.

This is both time-consuming and can lead to a financial loss for the sender.

But for the public sector, the EU has mandated the use of PEPPOL invoices as standard. Thus, in essence, PEPPOL replaces national standards with a multinational/international standard.

This not only streamlines trade all across Europe but makes the e-invoicing proves much simpler than it would've been otherwise.

Besides sending and receiving PEPPOL e-invoices, you can use the service to:

  • Exchange electronic orders;
  • Confirm orders;
  • Catalog goods;
  • Ship documents;
  • Exchange timecards;
  • Receive invoice responses.

Which companies are already connected to Peppol?

Want to know if your customer/suppliers are already connected to the PEPPOL network? Fortunately, there is an easy way to find out.

Simply navigate to the new PEPPOL Search Portal on our Storecove website and enter the company name / BTW number / KvK number / OIN number of your customer/supplier.

If the company is registered on PEPPOL, it will immediately appear in the listed results (including PEPPOL ID).

Peppol directory search box tool

Sending PEPPOL e-invoices to other countries

Need to send e-invoices to other countries? Many companies have difficulties with this process. It doesn’t help that almost every country created their own e-invoicing format, such as UBL, ZUGFeRD, Factur-X, FatturaPA, Finvoice, EHF, Svefaktura, BIS V2, and many more.

If, for example, you are a German company that needs to send an e-invoice to the Italian government, you need to send FatturaPA invoices. Germany, however, has a different e-invoicing standard, called ZUGFeRD. This forces companies to find a way to create these invoices, which causes them to lose time and perhaps even money.

With Storecove however, you don’t need to worry about the other formats. We automatically convert your invoice format to the format required by the receiver.

Because of this, you can easily send e-invoices to companies and governments in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, regardless of their e-invoice format.

For Large Enterprises & Software Providers: Need help with connecting to PEPPOL? Or do you want assistance with automatizing your invoicing process? You can schedule a free video call with one of our e-invoicing experts.

Establishment of the PEPPOL network

The purpose of PEPPOL was to make foreign purchases easier for European governments. To this end, technological standards were developed that all governments in Europe could implement. Before the arrival of PEPPOL, international companies and governments used different networks to send and receive invoices.

The PEPPOL test project ended in 2012, but the developed components and responsibilities were taken over by the non-profit organization OpenPEPPOL. The network is now being used by various European governments, service providers, and private companies and can also count on interest from outside the EU.

PEPPOL is not an eProcurement platform. It built on the already existing eProcurement systems - which were previously unable to communicate with each other - by linking them to each other with a new IT infrastructure.

Bottom Line

PEPPOL has brought trading parties together like never before. It has revolutionized the way people across the world, specifically in the EU, do business.

The e-invoicing mechanism created by the PEPPOL network is safer, more efficient, and less expensive than conventional options.

Many see it as the next step towards establishing a truly globalized economy where every party can trade freely without border constraints and invoicing troubles.

If you want to set up your PEPPOL account or create an automated invoicing system, feel free to reach out to us at Storecove!

Schedule a Free Video Call

For Large Enterprises & Software Providers: Need help with connecting to PEPPOL? Or do you want assistance with automatizing your invoicing process?

Schedule a free video call with one of our e-invoicing experts: https://meet.intercom.com/dkars

More information about PEPPOL

Do you want to know more about sending UBL invoices via PEPPOL?

Call us on: +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to: helpdesk@storecove.nl

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