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April 4, 2001
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Free for the asking

Standardized electronic invoicing tested at Sandia National Laboratories is now available to industry

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Although several outstanding electronic invoice solutions exist, a flexible standard for electronic invoicing that meets industry needs was not available until now. Rapid e-Invoice, the first XML (extensible markup language )-based standard for electronic invoicing via the Internet is now available for industry-wide use.

With the help of Sandia National Laboratories, RECAP, Inc., and the Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA), a group of AP (accounts payable) and AR (accounts receivable) consultants and professionals formed the Electronic Invoice and Electronic Payment Information (EI&EPI;) Task Force to increase the use of electronic invoicing throughout industry with a single-standard invoice, a new standard that developers say can be used throughout industry with vendors and suppliers sending and receiving the same information.

More than 200 organizations participated in developing the standard with the help of accounts payable organizations, standards-setting organizations, and individuals throughout industry.

Sandia National Laboratories along with Direct Commerce, Complete Business Solution, and Abba Technologies tested the standard. Along with the Rapid e-Invoice, the task force created a guide for companies implementing the standard. Sandia and Abba Technologies led creation of the guide that can be used by companies wishing to utilize the standard electronic invoice.

“Sandia’s participation in developing the Rapid e-Invoice was intended to help industry become more efficient,” says Tim Knewitz, Sandia Labs Services business manager and EI&EPI; task force co-chair. “The Rapid e-Invoice provides a mechanism for suppliers of goods or services to bill their customers electronically using the Internet and a universally understood format.”

The Rapid e-Invoice and the implementation guide are both available free. The Rapid e-Invoice home page at http://www.sandia.gov/elecinvoice/home.html gives details, lists major contributors to the task force, and links to the user manual. The website’s links page lists bill processing software companies, government sites, newsletters, consulting organizations that can help companies get started with XML and Rapid e-Invoice, standards bodies, and links to XML protocols.

To make the standard successful, the task force hopes that individual AP and AR organizations will begin working with their management and IS/IT organizations to gain a better understanding of the standard. It contains “open fields” at the invoice header and invoice line item level that allow companies to request or provide company-specific information.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Media contact:
Janet Carpenter, jacarpe@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7841

EI&EPI; Task Force contacts: Tim Knewitz, tcknewi@sandia.gov, (505) 284-5713
Terri Hinder, Complete Business Solutions, Inc., thinder@grtk.com

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