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Subject: SV: [ubl-dev] Best practice for timezones in invoices?

Hi Mikkel,


I’ve got the following response on the subject from my colleague Sören Lennartsson;


Generally I would say the sender's time zone should apply, it is an unnecessary complication to keep track of all partner's time zones (even more so as many suffer from temporary adjustments like summer/winter time).


Dates in commercial documents would likely have to satisfy business requirements on two levels:

- legal requirements (e.g. auditing and tax payment - on seller's side I would expect that authorities wish to read dates as "local"; on buyer's side, buyer's "local" date information is added/recorded in the process for audit purposes), and

- commercial practices/requirements (these might potentially be negotiated; and may be even mixed - e.g. despatch time and estimated arrival time may be expressed in local time). As your example concerns payment terms: this is part of the commercial arrangements between seller and buyer, it is up to them to select/define workable ones. However, some of these terms are less appropriate because they are not 100% clear to all involved, but they seem to be still favored for unclear reasons (possibly historic ones?). In e-commerce, with the potential for automated processing, it becomes even more obvious that ill-defined terms should not be used. As an example, in Sweden we have the use of terms like "30 days after receipt of invoice" which is not helpful to the sender's follow-up system. This is leads over to educating the community of users, instead of mirroring the paper world.


But in a global economy "sender's time zone" may still not be precise enough - is it the sender's time zone where the operations took place, or where the company is officially registered (or, even, where the outsourced invoicing service is located)? I don't know any details, but for commercial dates there must be international commerce law governing interpretation of such dates.


/Martin Forsberg

Single Face To Industry, Sweden


Från: Mikkel Hippe Brun [mailto:mhb@tradeshift.com]
Skickat: den 28 april 2010 09:02
Till: ubl-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
Ämne: [ubl-dev] Best practice for timezones in invoices?


Hi all,


Whats best practice in terms of timezones on invoices and other business documents?



A US based company invoices a European company at 11pm EST on April 30th. Thats actually 5am CET on May 1st in Europe. Some European companies have payment terms stating that an invoice will be paid "at the end of a month plus thirty days". 


I am assuming that it is the timezone of the sender which counts and that you would not "normalize" the view of an invoice to your own timezone.

Best regards,

Mikkel Hippe Brun
Chief Technology Officer, Cofounder

Voice: +45 3118 9102
Skype: hippebrun
Twitter: @hippebrun  @tradeshift
Mail: mhb@tradeshift.com
Web: http://tradeshift.com

Tradeshift Network Ltd / 9 Devonshire Square / London / EC2M 4YF / UK

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