What is UBL?

Universal Business Language (UBL)

Billit was one of the first billing software in Belgium that since February 2015 gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to send UBL invoices and process them automatically.

UBL stands for Universal Business Language. This is a standard format introduced by the industry as a solution to simplify invoice processing. A UBL file is an invoice in the form of an XML file. This XML file contains all information that contains a normal PDF invoice, but in a structured and fixed format. Tools that support UBL can import these documents after which all billing information such as amount, date and VAT is automatically loaded. With UBL you never have to retype receipts and invoices!

Governments require e-invoicing in the context of the European Directive 2014/55 / ​​EU. The Flemish government requests e-invoices from its suppliers for all assignments since 1.1.2017. This obligation is an opportunity for you as a company. Use this to digitize your entire invoicing process and thus take an important step towards further digitization.

How does UBL work?

As previously indicated, a UBL file is actually an XML document. The image of the invoice is included in this XML file, but all textual parts are also provided with labels in the form of XML code. Because of this coding, computer programs can quickly recognize what each part of an invoice is and use it in the right way. Because although that is easy for people, computers are not good at understanding natural language. We therefore solve this by classifying the entire document with XML codes according to the UBL protocol.

what is ubl

What are the advantages?

There are various advantages for both the sender and the recipient of UBL invoices.

As a recipient, you don't actually have to do anything special to benefit from UBL. All you need is an accounting package that supports UBL. This can be accounting software, but Billit also supports UBL documents. These are the benefits for the recipient:

✔ No manual work required for processing invoices. The invoice data is automatically taken from the XML.
✔ Risk of human error reduced to a minimum. No one needs to re-type the invoice, so no more typos.
✔ Cheaper to process invoices, after all it's faster and time is money.

As a sender you must ensure that you use a program that supports UBL. Creating a UBL file yourself is not that easy. If you invoice from, for example, Billit, UBL is automatically available. As a sender, the benefits are somewhat smaller than as a receiver

✔ Higher customer satisfaction because they can easily process your invoices.
✔ Faster processing and therefore payment of your invoices. UBL invoices are on average paid 16 days faster than normal invoices.

Billit is at the forefront of automation. We believe that the manual processing of receipts and invoices should be a thing of the past. That is why in Billit we support both receiving and sending UBL documents. Because Billit has its own scan and recognition system, we can also convert documents that have not arrived as UBL, but as Image or PDF for example, and export them as UBL to accounting software or other systems. We can convert your own photos from receipts to UBL!