REVIEW REQUEST: Glossary of Electronic Invoicing Terms

April 5, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing

Underneath are some recommendations of what terms could be included into a CEN Electronic Invoicing Glossary. The recommendated items stem from Phase II CWA’s, the Final Report of the Expert Group on Electronic Invoicing and the -new- VAT Directive.

It is expected that there will be modifications or additions to the glossary or terms in this glossary from the community around the EEI Platform.

To support the CEN E-invoicing Phase III in its efforts to create a uniform glossary on e-invoicing, we’ve put the concept glossary underneath. You can send your proposals for modification/additions/removals to:

- Tim Kniep: tim.kniep[at]nen[dot][nl
- Phillip H. Schmandt: pschmandt[at]mcginnislaw[dot]com




3-Corner Model

An exchange model where senders and receivers of invoices are connected to a single service provider for the dispatch and receipt of messages.

EU Expert Report

4-Corner Model

An exchange model where senders and receivers of invoice messages are supported by their own service provider..

EU Expert Report
Advanced electronic signature (AES)

Advanced electronic signature (AES) means an electronic signature which meets the following requirements:  a) it is uniquely linked to the signatory; b) it is capable of identifying the signatory; c) it is created using means that the signatory van maintain under its sole control; and d) it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change of the date is detectable.

Authentication The process of verifying the identity of a person or system. CWA 16049

Authenticity of origin

Means the assurance of the identity of the supplier or the issuer of the invoice.

Article 233(1) Council Directive, 2010/45/EU


Business Interoperability Interfaces on public procurement in Europe (BII) is CEN Workshop providing a basic framework for technical interoperability in pan-European electronic transactions, expressed as a set of technical specifications that in particular are compatible with UN/CEFACT.

EU Expert Report
Bilateral exchange model A model for the exchange of information directly between a buyer and a seller in a one-to-one relation. CWA 16049


The European Committee for Standardization (ISO’s counterpart and the European entry point to UN/CEFACT). CEN Workshops are open consensus building platforms for contributing to standards, especially in the ICT area, and their product is a CEN Workshop Agreement.

EU Expert Report

Certification Authority (CA)

A CA is an entity which issues digital certificates identifying other parties.

EU Expert Report

The act of automatically converting the format of an electronic invoice from the format of the sender to the format of the recipient (Format Conversion), or converting the encoding of content (e.g. different code list or units of measure), using agreed mapping processes that do not alter the information represented by the document (Content Conversion).

CWA 16047CWA 16049
Credit Note Sent by the supplier to the buyer confirming that the supplier owes him money. It is an advice of a credit to be compensated against account balances payable as a result of a previous invoice. CWA 16049

Cross-Industry Invoice (CII)

The CII is the term for the UN/CEFACT standardised invoice, which is the standardized format proposed by the Expert Group for automated invoice exchange.

EU Expert Report
Debit note A reminder of an outstanding amount due under a previous invoice. CWA 16049

Digital certificate

A set of structured data that has been electronically signed by a ‘certification authority’ to ‘bind’ the identity of a legal or natural person to a ‘public key’ that can be used e.g. to verify electronic signatures created by that person.

EU Expert Report
Digital signature See Advanced Electronic Signature. CWA 16049


Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) is the electronic presentation of statements, bills, invoices, and related information sent by a company to its customers, and corresponding payment for goods or services.

EU Expert Report


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) refers to the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents from one computer system to another (i.e.) from one trading partner to another trading partner.

EU Expert Report
EDI message An electronic data interchange message (EDI message) consists of a set of information, structured using agreed formats, prepared in a computer readable form and capable of being automatically and unambiguously processed. CWA 16049
E-Invoicing Service Provider or Service Provider

An organisation that, based on a contractual agreement, performs certain processes in relation to the Electronic Invoice life cycle on behalf of a Trading Partner, or that is active in the provision of support services necessary to realise such processes.

CWA 16047CWA 16049
Electronic invoice

Means an invoice that contains the information required by Council Directive 2010/45/EU  and which has been issued and received in any electronic format.

Council Directive 2010/45/EU

Electronic Signature

Electronic signature means data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other electronic data and which serves as a method of authentication.

EU Expert Report

Expert Group

The Group created under A Commission Decision of 31 October 2007 to make recommendations on e-invoicing, jointly sponsored by DG Enterprise & Industry and DG Internal Market & Services.

EU Expert Report

The method of presentation of electronic data in an electronic document.

CWA 16047

Integrity of content

Means that the content required according to Directive 2010/45/EU has not been altered.

Article 233(1) Council Directive, 2010/45/EU
Interchange Agreement The provisions of Interchange Agreements are intended to govern the rules of conduct and methods of operation between the Parties in relation to the interchange of data by EDI. Several models of Interchange Agreement have been developed by European and International bodies. CWA 16047CWA 16049


A property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate). The term is often used in a technical systems engineering sense, or alternatively in a broad sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance.

EU Expert Report

Invoice data

Data relating to an invoice, provided prior to the creation of original tax invoice or provided after its creation for other purposes.

EU Expert Report
Invoice header data Data that relates to the whole invoice, e.g. invoice date, invoice number, seller and Buyer identification, name and address, bank account details etc. Some data is typically made available at header level in an invoice because it may be valid for all detail lines, but may be over ridden as necessary by making the data available at detail line level, e.g. discount, currency code, VAT rate, delivery address, tax point, etc. CWA 16047CWA 16049
Invoice issuer The person or organization making the invoice, claiming payment for the goods or services rendered to the customer. CWA 16049
Invoice line data Data that relates to the goods item or service being invoiced, e.g. goods item identification, quantity, price, description, etc… Some invoice line data may be made available in the header if it is valid for several invoice line items, but may be overruled at line level. CWA 16047CWA 16049

IP Network

Internet Protocol is a series of standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force for exchanging data over the internet, a network of inter-communicating parties may agree to use it. Such networks may be publicly accessible or private.

EU Expert Report


The International Organization for Standards (ISO).

ISO develops International Standards and other types of normative documents. ISO’s work programme ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as a Recommendations culture and construction, through mechanical engineering, manufacturing and distribution, to transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, and to standards for good management practice and for services.

ISO Technical Committee 68 ‘Financial Services’ is responsible for the ISO22022 standard.

EU Expert Report

ISO 20022

ISO 20022 is an International Standard from ISO. It constitutes the financial industries common platform for the development of messages in a standardised XML syntax, using a modelling methodology (based on UML) to capture in a syntax-independent way financial business areas, business transactions and associated message flows.

EU Expert Report
Issuer of an E-Invoice

The party issuing the electronic invoice (the Supplier or a party – a Service Provider or, in the case of Self-Billing, the Buyer – issuing the e-invoice in its name and on its behalf).

CWA 16047CWA 16049
Issuing an E-Invoice in name and on behalf of the Supplier

The process whereby a party other than the Supplier issues the invoice in the Supplier’s stead without taking over the Supplier’s accountability for that invoice vis-à-vis the Tax Administration. The issuing third party may be a Service Provider or, in the case of Self-Billing, the Buyer or its Service Provider.

CWA 16047


See UBL.

EU Expert Report
Ordering Ordering is the collaboration that creates a contractual obligation between the Seller Supplier Party and the Buyer Customer Party. CWA 16049
Order-to-cash process / Order-to-cash cycle The combined ordering-delivery-invoicing-payment process as part of the end-to-end trade process, from the seller’s perspective. CWA 16049
Payment The process in which the buyer ‘pays’ to the seller the agreed monetary value (as the contra-performance) through their respective payment service providers or banks. The result of this process is an exchanged and agreed payment (transfer of monetary value), including the applicable tax. CWA 16049


The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. PDF is used for representing two-dimensional documents in a device-independent and display resolution-independent fixed-layout document format.  PDF is an open standard, and recently took a major step towards becoming ISO 32000.  Check for updates.

EU Expert Report


Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) is a consortium project, with the objective to pilot solutions to make it easier for European economic operators, in particular SMEs, from one country to respond electronically and in an interoperable way to public procurement opportunities and carry out the subsequent business transactions, including invoicing.

EU Expert Report
Public key (1) the key of a signature key pair used to validate a digital signature or (2) the key of an encryption key pair used to encrypt confidential information. CWA 16049
Purchase Order (PO) Sent by the buyer to the supplier to inform him that he wishes to purchase goods, services or works. CWA 16049
Purchase Order (PO) Change Purchase order change, sent by the buyer to the supplier to inform him that he wishes to modify or cancel a previous order. CWA 16049
Purchase Order (PO) Response Purchase order response, sent by the supplier to the buyer (who has previously sent him an order) to accept the order fully or partially or to reject the order. CWA 16049
Purchase portal Portal of specific large procurer (receiver) to which his providers (senders) have to be connected to be able to deliver and bill to the procuring party. CWA 16049
Qualified Electronic Signature A Qualified Electronic Signature is an Advanced electronic signature which uses in addition a Qualified Certificate issued by a Certification Authority.
Qualified Electronic Signature An advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate and created by a secure signature-creation device CWA 16049
Receipt Advice Sent by the buyer to the supplier to acknowledge receipt in full or in part and notify when necessary of under/over-delivery, error or damage in the delivery. CWA 16049
Receiver The party receiving the invoice, usually the buyer or purchasing party. CWA 16049
Remittance advice A notice by the payer to the sender of the invoice that a payment has been made. CWA 16049
Remittance data Data containing payment details, used for reconciliation of payment data. CWA 16049
Secure-signature-creation device A signature-creation device which meets the requirements laid down in Annex III of DIRECTIVE 1999/93/EC CWA 16049
Self-billed invoice Invoice originated by the buyer and sent to the seller to cover goods or services supplied by the seller. CWA 16049

A method of invoicing whereby the Buyer issues the invoice in name and on behalf of the Supplier.

CWA 16047
Sender The party submitting the invoice, as a rule the Seller or selling party. CWA 16049

Service Level Agreement

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a negotiated agreement between two parties where one is the customer and the other is the service provider. This can be a legally binding formal or informal ‘contract’.

EU Expert Report


Small and Medium-sized Enterprise(s).

EU Expert Report
Storage format The storage format is the format in which the invoice is stored and accessible for auditing reasons. The storage format is mainly subject to tax regulations, since the invoice receiver must be able to hand over the stored invoices in the case of a tax audit. CWA 16049
Storage period of an electronic invoice The amount of time that applicable law requires the electronic invoice to be stored and available for audit. CWA 16047CWA 16049
Structured invoice document (e.g. EDI or XML) Creation of a structured invoice document consists of the compilation of the required data into an agreed e-invoice message with a known structure, format and content such as is the case with EDI and XML messages. This means that contrary to the case with a paper document, where the receiver may well be unfamiliar with the format, with a structured invoice message the format is pre-defined and known to the parties involved. CWA 16049
Tax Representative Supplier party responsible for keeping VAT records and accounts for taxable transactions in another Member State. CWA 16049
UN/Edifact The United Nations / Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport rules for electronic data interchange for administration, commerce and transport, comprise a set of internationally agreed standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data. CWA 16049
Universal Business Language (UBL) A library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices developed by a Technical Committee in OASIS (an industry standards consortium) with participation from a variety of industry data standards organisations. CWA 16049
Unstructured invoice document (e.g. PDF, JPEG, HTML or email) is an invoice that is created manually or automatically from a system and instead of printing it for submission on the spot or sending out, it is compiled into an electronic document. As an alternative, a traditional invoice can also become electronic by scanning the paper invoice into an electronic document. CWA 16049
Value Added Network (VAN) Third-party network service provider that offers specialised trade related services to trading parties connected through the VAN. CWA 16049
VAT or Value-Added Tax A consumption tax that is levied at each stage of production based on the value added to a product or service at that stage. CWA 16047CWA 16049
Web Publication / Web Presentation In the context of e-invoicing, a method of exchanging invoices with the Buyer by placing the original electronic invoice on an agreed web site, but where the original electronic invoice never leaves the secure closed environment operated by the Supplier. CWA 16049

Related Posts

Comments are closed.