E-invoices are becoming increasingly popular. Why is it so? E-invoices are easy to send. They are also quickly delivered to their recipients, thanks to which time-to-payment for goods and services is shortened. No wonder that more and more companies take advantage of this solution. What if I receive an invoice via email? Does it have the same legal force as a paper invoice? You will find the most important information about e-invoices in this article.
What is an e-invoice? – table of contents:
- What if I receive an invoice via email?
- Do e-invoices have to be printed?
- Do e-invoices have the same legal force as paper invoices?
- How to check if an e-invoice is authentic?
- How not to get tricked by a fraudulent invoice?
What if I receive an invoice via email?
If you are a freelancer or run a small business, you not only sell your goods and services, but also occassionally buy something for your company. When you shop at regular stores, you will get a paper invoice. However, if you value your time, online shopping will be a better solution. In this case, you will often receive an electronic invoice.
What to do if you get such an invoice? The procedure is the same as in the case of a paper invoice. You need to pay it on time indicated by the issuer. If you use an accounting program or invoicing application, check if they offer integration with your bank. If they do, upload the invoice to the system and order a transfer.
However, if you don’t use any accounting programs, you must log into your bank account and enter all the data manually. What will you need to do so? You will need to provide a number of your electronic invoice, the issuers’s details and the invoice amount. You can also specify what the invoice is about, but it’s not necessary to make a proper transfer.
Do e-invoices have to be printed?
The days when everything had to be printed are long gone. Electronic invoices don’t need to printed. Why? Because you will always have access to them. They will be in your email. You don’t print all your emails, do you?
E-invoices have additional advantages. What are they? Such invoices can be easily uploaded to the accounting software or any other program where you save your expenses. Most of accounting software solutions allow you to save invoices in a .pdf file and even to upload invoice scans. You can do it with just a few clicks. This is a good way of keeping track of your payment deadlines since in such a program you can continuously monitor liabilities that you need to settle.
Do e-invoices have the same legal force as paper invoices?
When it comes to invoices, it doesn’t matter whether they are issued on paper or electronically. Both versions have the same legal force. Regardless of the invoice type, you need to keep it for the period required by law. In case of electronic invoices, it is much easier since you don’t need a special archive to do it.
If you use an invoicing app, you have all your purchase invoices at your fingertips. This is a very convenient solution which will save not only your paper, toner and document storage space, but also your time.
You don’t have to worry about whether your invoices are kept long enogh. A good invoicing app will tell you how much time you need to keep invoices in your electronic archive so as it is consistent with tax regulations in your country.
How to check if an e-invoice is authentic?
First check if the invoice comes from the company you have already cooperated with. If you have, make sure that it contains a bank account number that you have used for former payments. If the bank account number is different, it may have been changed. It happens. However, before you transfer any money, make sure that the company which issued the invoice really exists.
If you are in doubt whether you should pay it, it would be best to contact the company that issued it. Maybe, in the hussle and bussle of your daily life, you have forgotten about the order and now you got surprised by the invoice to pay. Check if you actually ordered such a product or service. If you did, then don’t ignore such a message. Why?
If you don’t pay the invoice on time, the seller may charge you with interest rates for an overdue payment. You may also no longer be able to buy with deferred payment from such a supplier. No wonder, nobody likes customers who don’t pay their bills.
Therefore, if you don’t remember a particular purchase, then make sure to call or email the seller in question to make sure there was no mistake.
How not to get tricked by a fraudulent invoice?
What if an invoice raises doubts? It might happen that somebody will want to extort money from you. If you share details of your company on the Internet, someone might use them to issue a fraudulent invoice and send it to your email. How not to get tricked?
If the invoice comes from the company you have previously cooperated with, try to contact them and clear things up. You might have got it by mistake. It happens. When contacting the invoice issuer, it’s best to use the information you find on the Internet. Why?
In the body of the email, the scammer may have listed your phone number as the company’s phone number. If you call this number, they can convince you that the invoice is correct and you should pay it. On the other hand, if you call a number that you find yourself, you can be sure that you are calling the right place.
Sending fraudulent invoices is a crime. You can report such an incident to the police. Fortunately, such situations don’t happen very often. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about invoices that you receive electronically, however, we suggest being vigilant.