The Difference Between Digital Invoicing and e-Invoicing

Invoices can be sent and received in several ways, such as paper, email, portable document format (PDF), or electronic invoicing. Interestingly, there is much confusion between digital invoicing and electronic invoicing, even though they are fundamentally different. If you think they are the same, you may have to think again. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the details to help you figure it out.

Digital invoices can be viewed and processed digitally. They usually exist as a physical document, PDF, Word file or a scanned paper invoice. A digital invoice is easy for a human to read. With optical character recognition (OCR), digital invoicing is recognized and transmitted to accounting software. Digital invoicing is still a semi-automatic online invoice process that requires invoices to be manually sent into boxes or accounting software.

Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) can exchange the invoice information automatically and directly between buyers and suppliers. The standard formats of e-invoicing contain structured data that makes it easy for a computer to capture and operate automatically.

Therefore, when you send an invoice by email, you are doing digital invoicing. It is not real-time, whereas e-Invoicing is instant. And Digital Invoicing is still prone to errors, yet e-Invoicing does not require human intervention, making it more reliable and accurate.

 Key Differences

               Digital invoice                  e-Invoice
  • PDF, Word, Scanned paper invoice
  • CSV, EDI, UBL, XML formats
  • People could read
  • Need processing to go into accounting software
  • Easily machine-readable
  • Transmit between software
  • Semi-automatic
  • Fully automatic
  • Can not reduce your labor cost
  • Saves time and money for your business


The benefit of electronic invoicing- the most advanced way of invoicing


e-Invoices can be sent directly between buyers’ and suppliers’ software if both systems are using the same standards, even if they are using different software. In Australia, the government is working with the software industry to use the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) standard which is internationally recognized. This will be generally available early in 2020.

  1. Save Time- All the procedures are digital and automatic
  1. Save Money- Reduce labor and printing costs
  1. Environmentally friendly- less printing and paper wastage
  1. Get Paid Faster- Increase cash flow for your business

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