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How do I write invoices for foreign customers?

You probably also want to write invoices for foreign customers. However, you need to consider a few things when doing it. Like, for example, the fact that even Austria and Switzerland may have other requirements in terms of accounting than Germany. In the European Union and foreign countries, accounting may therefore differ quite a bit from what you are normally used to, not only regarding the language.

In general, the default template changes to the right language, depending on which language you have selected for each customer individually. If, for example, you changed the locale to Brazil, the language of the default template will switch to Portuguese.

However, not only does the language often change when dealing with foreign customers, but also the taxes, which are defined by special regulations. Under “Settings > Configuration > Taxes”, you can define the tax rates and which countries do not need to pay taxes at all. This gets especially interesting in the case of the reverse charge procedure: it is not the entrepreneur performing the service who is obliged to pay the taxes, but the beneficiary abroad.

In this case, you don't need to indicate the VAT, but only the net amount, a reference to the reverse charge procedure and the VAT identification number of both you and the recipient.

In the detail view of your customers, you will find the necessary options for the language, the locale, etc. under “Edit > Settings”.

How to write an invoice for foreign customers using your own template

In case you are not using the default template but your own, you can create an individual template for every situation. Hence, when you already know that you will be attending mostly English and French customers, you can upload your template in duplicate. When completing an invoice, you just need to select the correct template with the corresponding language.

Using user-defined attributes

User-defined attributes can take a lot of work off your hands in particular cases. Let's look again at the example of the reverse charge procedure. When writing an invoice for a particular customer, you can simply create a user-defined attribute once, instead of repeatedly inventing a text for the reverse charge procedure.

You can create it under “Settings > Configuration > User-defined attributes”. Let's create a customer attribute for our case. We are choosing “Multiline text” and call it “Reverse charge”. You now have access to the attributes in the details of each customer. In the case of those customers, to whom the reverse charge applies, you can enter the desired text for the explanatory notes:

“Tax liability of the recipient of the services” or “Reverse charge”.

After entering the respective information in all the necessary contacts, we are going back to “Settings > Configuration > User-defined attributes”. Here, we can find the placeholder for our attribute in the format [Client.propertyXXXX]. Simply copy and paste this placeholder into your explanatory note.

What happens next? The reverse charge procedure applies to all those customers for whom you have filled in the text field. In case you didn't fill in anything in a customer's file, the placeholder simply stays empty and nothing else happens. This way, you can also automate partly the reverse charge procedure.

Of course, thanks to this approach, you can also manage other particularities. In case you might have an idea related to this topic, but you do not know how to put it into practice, contact us.
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