Knowledge & skills

Peppol: What is the difference between evidence files and IMRs?

Of course, when you send structured electronic invoices via Peppol, you want to know whether they have actually been delivered to your recipient — and when exactly. The Peppol network makes this possible with evidence files. This blog explains the difference with other return receipts, such as IMRs. Read on to find out …

Peppol IMR

Not a new concept

Return receipts have been around for a long time in digital communications. However, there is also such a system for conventional paper-based communications. For instance, when you hand in a registered letter at the post office, you will be given a paper receipt. This serves as evidence of when you sent your registered letter. Although you won’t know whether the addressee has actually read it, you will have proof that you delivered the letter to the post office and that you took the necessary steps to send the letter correctly by registered post.


Evidence files: proof of proper delivery

Evidence files (also called proof-of-delivery messages) have exactly the same function when sending documents via the Peppol network. They provide you with the evidence that your invoice was sent correctly and that you have therefore done everything necessary to deliver your invoice to your client. You will usually receive an evidence file a few seconds after sending your document via Peppol.

However, there is a snag, because this does not mean that your document has also been actually delivered to your recipient. That is because you will receive an evidence file the instant your document has been correctly delivered to your recipient’s Peppol Access Point. Therefore, there may still be a technical problem when sending the document from that Access Point to your recipient’s invoicing software. However, in that case, the fault lies not with you, but with your recipient’s Peppol service provider.


IMRs: client gives feedback

An evidence file is therefore a purely technical message about the transmission of your document. It does not tell you whether your client will actually deal with your invoice. The Peppol network sends different types of messages for that purpose, namely status messages.

A status message is officially called an Invoice Message Response, or IMR (sometimes also: Invoice Response). An IMR allow your recipient to give detailed feedback on your invoice in the form of various statuses. Therefore, it is your client who will trigger these messages by taking certain actions in their invoicing software.

IMRs can display the following statuses:

·        Message Acknowledgement - AB

·        In Process – IP

·        Accepted – AP

·        Rejected – RE, with the reason for rejection, e.g. incorrect order number

·        Under Query – UQ

·        Conditionally Accepted – CA

·        Paid – PD

Tablet Messageimr ENG

Evidence files and IMRs in Billit

Billit supports evidence files as well as IMRs (except UQ and CA). You will find these under ‘Messages’ under each sales invoice you have sent via Peppol. This shows you immediately when your invoice was sent correctly and whether your client is processing it.

In the case of purchase invoices, Billit automatically sends the correct status depending on the actions you take (e.g. setting the invoice to ‘Paid’). Therefore, you won’t have to do anything else in Billit, provided the invoice sender has entered the receipt of these status messages in the Peppol address book.

You can find more information on this in our help article about invoices.

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