Times when accounting departments of enterprises collected stacks of printed invoices and conversations concerning “disappeared” invoices took place on regular basis, slowly become history, since more frequently invoices are prepared and sent electronically, thus saving time and resources for both parties. Popularity of electronic invoices has grown especially rapidly in the recent years, when many enterprises operate remote working because of the emergency situation.

What is the required format of invoice?

Actually, question about format of electronic document is simple, since electronic documents may be of various type, as stipulated by the Cabinet Regulation No. 473 “Procedure for Development, Presentation, Storage and Circulation of Electronic Documents in Public and Municipal Institutions, and Procedure for Circulation of Electronic Documents between Public and Municipal Institutions or between such Institutions and Individuals and Legal Entities”.

This norm states that electronic invoice may be prepared both in simple text format, in open document format for office applications “Excel”, PDF, as well as in digitally compressed or encoded image format.

Is it always allowed?

Cases, where document may not be electronic, are stated in the Cabinet Regulation No. 585 “Regulation Regarding the Conduct and Organisation of Accounting”. Substantially, any document submitted for payment to the accounting department may be electronical.

How to sign an invoice?

It is clear that every document must be signed to vest liability in specific persons. However, product delivery document may be unsigned, if it has been prepared electronically and both parties have certified in advance that invoices will be received electronically in the future.

Frequently, electronically prepared invoices contain a disclaimer that the invoice has been prepared electronically and is valid without a signature, but it does not exclude the fact that the contract must contain a condition on the procedure of recognition of issuer and recipient of the document.

Was the invoice received?

How can a sender of the invoice verify, if the sent document has been received? Today, many enterprises ensure exchange of documents through accounting software without any interference of humans. In such cases, user of the software must pass authorisation to log in to the software, and it serves as a confirmation that the invoice has reached its addressee. Situation related to exchange of invoices via e-mail is a bit more complicated – it requires a prior agreement (in the best case – in writing) on what documents will be sent electronically, in what format and how will the sender be able to verify that the document has reached its addressee.