Receive and Convert Electronic Documents


The content in this article is only applicable for versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central that were released before 2023 release wave 2. In 2023 release wave 2, new functionality for E-Documents is included. To learn more, see Set up e-documents.

The generic version of Business Central supports receiving electronic invoices and credit memos in the PEPPOL format, which is supported by the largest providers of document exchange services. To receive an invoice from a vendor as an electronic PEPPOL document, you process the document in the Incoming Documents page to convert it to a purchase invoice or general journal line in Business Central.

In addition to receiving electronic documents directly from trading partners, you can receive electronic documents from an OCR service that has turned your PDF or image files into electronic documents.

Before you can receive electronic documents through the document exchange service, you must set up various master data, such as company information, vendors, items, and units of measure. These are used to identify the business partners and items when converting data in elements in the incoming document file to fields in Business Central. For more information, see Set Up a Document Exchange Service.

Before you can receive electronic documents through the OCR service, you must set up and enable the preconfigured service connection. For more information, see Set Up Incoming Documents.

The traffic of electronic documents in and out of Business Central is managed by the Job Queue feature. Before you can receive electronic documents, the relevant job queue must be started.

You can either start the conversion of electronic documents manually, as described in this procedure, or you can enable a workflow to convert electronic documents automatically when they are received. The generic version of Business Central includes a workflow template, From Incoming Electronic through OCR to Open Purchase Invoice Workflow, which is ready to be copied to a workflow and enabled. For more information, see Workflow.


When you convert electronic documents received from the OCR service to documents or journal lines in Business Central, multiple lines on the source document will be summed on one line. The single line will be of type G/L Account and the Description and (G/L account) No. fields will be empty. The value in the Amount field will equal the total amount excluding VAT of all lines in the source document.

To make sure that the Description and No. fields are filled, you can choose the Map Text to Account button on the Incoming Documents page to define that a certain invoice text is always mapped to a certain debit or credit account in the general ledger. Going forward, the Description field on document or journal lines created from an electronic document for that vendor or customer will be filled with the text in question and the (G/L account) No. field with the account in question.

Instead of mapping to a G/L account, you can also map to a bank account. This is practical, for example, for electronic documents for expenses that are already paid where you want to create a general journal line that is ready to post to a bank account.

The following procedure describes how to receive a vendor invoice and convert it to a purchase invoice in Business Central. The procedure is the same when you convert a vendor invoice to a general journal line.

To receive and convert an electronic invoice to a purchase invoice

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Incoming Documents, and then choose the related link.

  2. Select the line for the incoming document record that represents a new incoming electronic invoice, and then choose the Edit action.

    On the Incoming Document Card page, the related XML file is attached, and most of the fields are prefilled with information from the electronic invoice. For more information, see Create Incoming Document Records.

  3. In the Data Exchange Type field, choose PEPPOL - Invoice or OCR – Invoice depending on the source of the electronic document.

  4. To map text on the vendor invoice to a specific debit account, on the Actions tab, in the General group, choose Map Text to Account, and then fill the Text-to-Account Mapping Worksheet page.

  5. Choose the Create Document action.

    A purchase invoice will be created in Business Central based on the information in the electronic document.

    Any validation errors, typically related to wrong or missing master data in Business Central will be shown on the Error Messages FastTab.

See Also

Managing Payables
Incoming Documents
Set Up Electronic Document Sending and Receiving
Exchanging Data Electronically
General Business Functionality

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