November 9th, 2021

Maybe you’ve never heard of an EDI 810, but you’ve certainly heard of an invoice. In a basic sense, an EDI 810 document is an invoice. An electronic invoice in accordance with the ANSI X12 standard for EDI, that is. 

Why Use the EDI 810 Format?

As a supplier, if you’re not sending paper invoices to your customers or relying on email communication, you’re probably working with EDI. Maybe your customer requires you to log in to their supplier portal to submit your invoices, or maybe you have a direct connection that enables you to send your invoices automatically. Either way, when you’re dealing with EDI, you’re dealing with data in a structured format. 

There are, of course, many ways in which data can be structured. But for EDI exchanges to work, the data contained within your invoices has to be formatted in a way that your customers’ systems can understand. That’s why EDI standards have been developed; the most common in North America just so happens to be ANSI X12. Hence, the EDI 810 document (also referred to as an EDI 810 transaction) is often the preferred format for electronic invoicing. 

EDI 810 Specification  

According to X12, the EDI 810 Invoice Transaction Set can be used to provide for customary and established business and industry practice relative to the billing for goods and services provided.

That’s basically a more technical way of saying an EDI 810 contains the same information as an old-school paper invoice. That includes, but is not limited to, the following details:

  • Business information (address, phone number, etc.) for both you and your customer
  • Line items that clearly list the goods and/or services charged
  • Date of issue
  • Payment terms (e.g., must be paid within 30 days)
  • Total amount owed
  • Sales tax if applicable (or VAT for international transactions)

What Comes Before & After the EDI 810?

If you’re new to the EDI scene, you’re probably used to talking about your business transactions in a literal sense. Meaning, you receive purchase orders, you confirm receipt, you send shipment details, you send invoices, your customers confirm receipt of your invoices, and you get paid. 

Although the language is something to get used to, your larger customers refer to the same exact business processes when they talk about sending EDI 850s, receiving EDI 855s, EDI 856s, and EDI 810s, and sending EDI 997s and EDI 820s. This might seem confusing now, but it doesn’t take long to catch on. 

Here’s a little cheat sheet that will have you speaking ANSI X12 in no time: 

  • A customer sends you a purchase order (EDI 850).
  • You confirm receipt of your customer’s PO (EDI 855).
  • Your customer’s order is out the door, and you share the shipment details (EDI 856).
  • You send an invoice for the order (EDI 810).
  • Your customer confirms receipt of your invoice (EDI 997).
  • Your customer provides you with payment details (EDI 820). 

Check out our glossary for more helpful definitions.