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Electronic invoice

Factur-X: THE dematerialized invoicing solution

Factur-X is the new standard for electronic invoicing. It will be used by many companies from 2024, as part of the generalization of the dematerialized invoice.

Use of the Factur-X standard in companies

Factur-X: THE dematerialized invoicing solution

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The shift to digital within French companies has taken a significant turn in recent years. Since 2020, private sector companies working for public sector clients have been required to send their invoices via the Chorus-Pro platform. Two years later, dematerialization is becoming more widespread. A governmental order plans to extend it to B2B exchanges. And all French companies concerned will have to get up to speed. This will be done gradually, between 2024 and 2026.

As the deadline approaches, your accounting departments can already count on innovations to implement these new e-invoicing rules. Factur-X is part of the solution. But what is so special about this format and what are its advantages? That's what we want you to find out.

What is Factur-X?

Factur-X is an invoice standard created in the continuity of the European semantic standard EN16931. This standard specifies the type of data that must be included on invoices in electronic format. This ordered and hierarchical repository includes 165 data fields. The implementation of Factur-X is the operational translation of this European regulation.

The hybrid format of this digital document mixes several characteristics from different models. First, those of the classic "unstructured" invoice, generally issued in PDF. Then, those of the so-called "structured" invoice, elaborated thanks to applications linked to the accounting software, under cover of EDI (electronic data interchange).

The Factur-X is recognizable because it is in PDF/A-3 format. The visual presentation is in non-editable PDF format. An XML file is attached to the document. The document is sent by e-mail, via a secure platform such as PDP (partner dematerialization platform).

Why use the Factur-X?

This new invoice format allows companies to comply with certain regulatory obligations. Indeed, by 2026, electronic invoices will be the only invoices with legal value for companies. Moreover, the possibility of affixing an electronic signature guarantees the authenticity and the identity of the issuer.

As we said in the introduction, e-invoicing is now essential for anyone wishing to work with the authorities. It allows you to submit your dematerialized invoices on the public invoicing portal.

Moreover, the DGFIP is in favor of electronic invoicing for several reasons. The widespread adoption of these standardized documents by French companies will simplify the task of public finance departments, as well as users. In the long run, it will help fight fraud and simplify VAT returns.

What are the advantages of the X-bill?

The hybrid nature of this document offers only advantages! Factur-X can be used by both humans and machines.

First of all, the Factur-X format offers great readability. Since the content is largely automated, it offers structured and clear data. Factur-X is presented in the same way as a PDF invoice, but linked to an XML file. The XML file contains all the information required for the document to be compliant. Importantly, the attached XML file can be read and understood by compatible accounting applications and software.

You can imagine how much time (and money) is saved by automation: the risk of errors is reduced, the processing is streamlined, double data entry is non-existent and cross-checking is virtually unnecessary. In addition, the integration of electronic invoices with the accounting software allows the automated transmission of certain data to the tax authorities. Finally, the archiving function integrated into your SaaS management and payment platform secures the storage of your data.

How do I create an X-Factor?

The EN16931 standard proposes 165 data fields for the elaboration of electronic invoices. The associated management rules are also stated.

The degree of completeness of the data you enter on the Factur-X allows you to generate several document profiles. These profiles depend on your company's invoicing requirements. These requirements are themselves linked to the regulatory requirements and the type of business carried out.

You will encounter five Factur-X profiles:

  • "Minimum": it includes 18 data fields, located in the header and footer. This corresponds to the minimum panel of information requested on the Chorus-Pro platform deployed by the AIFE.
  • "Basic WL": it contains the minimum data required, plus business rules (e.g. VAT liability).
  • "Basic": this corresponds to the "Basic WL" profile, to which the details of the invoice lines are added.
  • "EN-16931": it includes all the data of the standard.
  • "Extended: This model details the nature of the transaction by adding additional information to the 165 data fields.

Regate and the electronic invoice

The deployment of electronic invoicing and the Factur-X standard will require the adaptation of existing tools. It will therefore be necessary to choose the right solution before the upcoming deadlines. As an all-in-one accounting and financial management platform, Regate has chosen to be heavily involved in the implementation of this reform, by taking the necessary steps to be labeled PDP (partner dematerialization platform). Regate users will thus be able to switch to electronic invoicing without pain and adopt Factur-X on time.


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