# Useful to know

On this page we will address some points that are often overlooked during an implementation of a new XML standard. For example adding a PDF or adding the contact information in the XML.

# Attachments in the XML

Attachments may be used to provide additional information to support the claim represented by the invoice. Additional information can be time sheets, receipts, airfare tickets etc. Attachments are not meant for transferring a pdf-version of the invoice. However, practical cases shows that more then 80% of the Senders/Receivers will find it useful, some even mandatory, to add the original invoice to the XML.

On the page NLCIUS and Peppol BIS V3 Billing, we have some examples of invoices with 2 attachments, the element to hold the attachment information (AdditionalDocumentReference) can be repeated multiple times, thus allowing for multiple attachments.

There are two options to add attachments to the XML, the first option is to add an URL (opens new window) in the correct tag, that identifies where the external document is located. The second option is to add an attachment to the XML which is base64 encoded.

# Adding an attachment which is base64 encoded

First of all, there are only some attachments allowed as base64 encoded, which documents are allowed can be seen below and where to place this in the XML is mentioned right here (opens new window).


Second, if the "pdf-version" of the XML is supplied as an attachment, the element "DocumentDescription" must specify "CommercialInvoice". Most Access Points or Software Vendors will generate a PDF of the XML when DocumentDescription/CommercialInvoice is not available, it would be nice for your customer to see your PDF instead of a created one.

# Adding contact information in the XML

Regardless of the context, there are several use cases where it is useful to add contact information to the XML, in the AccountingSupplierParty, but also in the AccountingCustomerParty. We will describe the benefits/use cases below.

# Contact information in the Accounting Supplier Party

For the invoice you have sent, there may be a question from the customer to specify some of the costs. The Name tag can be used so the customer knows who to contact for this specific information. The Telephone tag can be used for a phone number to get in touch with the correct person immediately. The ElectronicMail can be used used for an e-mail address to get in touch with the correct person immediately. Use cases show that the ElectronicMail tag is used most often, and with an e-mail address of a shared mailbox, for example finance@econnect.eu, to contact the financial department.

There is also a possibility that your customer is rejecting the invoice because the supplied information is incorrect, for example the order number. When you are not registered for the Invoice response, most of the time an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address which is available in this section. When the ElectronicMail tag is not available in the AccountingSupplierParty, we will automatically add support@econnect.eu to the XML to be able to receive these e-mails for you, and forward them to you, so you will be notified about a rejected invoice.

# Contact information in the Accounting Customer Party

The invoice you have sent, may relate to a specific person or department, which have bought a service or items. Just as in the AccountingSupplierParty, the Name tag can refer to the person or departments who this invoices relates to. The Telephone tag is not very useful, but can point to the contact point the invoice relates to.

The ElectronicMail tag is the most useful for the AccountingCustomerParty. Our platform (opens new window) has the capability to fallback on e-mail when the customer is not registered in Peppol or another network. The e-mail will contain a deep link where the customer can see and download the invoice. Once the invoice has been seen, the status of the invoice will change to opened, which allows you to know when the invoice has been seen by the customer.

We even have the possibility to send an e-mail to multiple e-mail addresses. The first e-mail address in the ElectronicMail tag will be the To e-mail address, all the other supplier e-mail addresses are added as Carbon Copy. You can add multiple e-mail addresses by separating them with a comma or semicolon. For example:


# Sending invoices to a person instead of a company

Due to the validation artifacts of the different invoice standards, it is not possible to send invoices to persons instead of companies. Because when the customer is located in the Netherlands, it is mandatory to add a KVK number in the PartyLegalEntity/CompanyID, but persons can't have a KVK number. And for the Peppol BIS v3 Billing, it is mandatory to fill in the EndpointID, the ID where the invoice should be delivered.

We have come up with a solution to make it possible to send invoices to customers, in our lookup we have excluded the identifier 0106:99999998 to be found on any network, which means we can never send invoices to this ID, even when it is registered on Peppol or any other network. This means we will always fallback to e-mail, when the invoice is sent via our platform (opens new window).

We have a full example on our Invoice page for NLCIUS and for Peppol BIS V3 Billing, this is a snippet from the invoice on those pages.

            <cbc:EndpointID schemeID="0106">99999998</cbc:EndpointID>
                <cbc:ID schemeID="0106">99999998</cbc:ID>
                <cbc:Name>Dr. Ontvanger</cbc:Name>
                <cbc:StreetName>PC Hoofdstraat 12</cbc:StreetName>
                <cbc:RegistrationName>Dr. Ontvanger</cbc:RegistrationName>
                <cbc:CompanyID schemeID="0106">99999998</cbc:CompanyID>
                <cbc:Name>Inkoper 1</cbc:Name>
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