DATEV transmission


this is going to be about a Germany specific problem.

In Germany, we have a company called DATEV. They produce software. They are the defacto monopolist in the realm of finance software because as far as I know nearly every (or every?) tax consultant is using their software. So it is important, if you want to use a tax consultant, to somehow get the data from inside InvoiceNinja to the tax consultant. Because I already did a lot of work of digitalizing data and don’t want to pay them to redo that work for no reason.
DATEV offers various possibilities to transmit data to their products.
A) Online-APIs. Only available for money, so would have to be offered via InvoiceNinja. Unlikely to happen in my opinion.
B) CSV: Can be done offline, can transmit everything required. BUT can’t import documents. Tax Consultant wants to double-check my bookings with the documents. Can’t do that if they are not attached.
C) XML: Can transmit required data AND corresponding documents. Can NOT be done offline. Needs to be uploaded to DATEV servers to then be downloaded by the tax consultant. This service requires a separate subscription. Contract runs at least a year and costs 10-12 € a month. It also includes a lot of other stuff that you may or may not find useful (I don’t). A version of the subscription to only be able to upload data is not available.

I am quite sure about this information, because of research in the way of mailing and speaking to their support and sales team.

Summarizing. I know of no way to transmit my data to my tax consultant without either paying ridiculous amounts of money (120€ per year? For data transmission???) or switch away from InvoiceNinja to a software product that offers DATEV integration.

I have written the German antitrust agency. They don’t see a reason to get active here which I find very… disappointing because this is clearly an issue for the free market.

So my question - does anyone else has these problems? Did you solve them? How?

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I’ve been wondering the same thing. Since I currently use Invoice Ninja only for my freelancing work alongside my studies, I can do my taxes alone without a tax advisor.

I just checked out this article (DATEVconnect / Kosten / Abfrage der Zusfändigkeite... - DATEV-Community - 357007), and DATEV says that the DATEVconnect interface is free.

I found the following APIs (accounting:dxso-jobs - DATEV Developer Portal | DATEV Developer Portal and accounting:documents - DATEV Developer Portal | DATEV Developer Portal) that seem to be responsible for it, or am I misunderstanding something?

And in the price details (DATEV Preisliste für Unternehmen), it says: “DATEV Unternehmen online can be used for free. When setting up a client base, additional costs for DATEV Belege online per client base arise (see DATEV price list under DATEV Belege online, Art.-Nr. 95157).” I understand it as your tax advisor pays for the submitted documents, or am I completely lost?

According to their technical support team the file format to use would be the XML based archive. Dateiformate | DATEV Developer Portal

To upload this you need Unternehmen Online + (maybe) Belege online.

DATEVconnect seems to be a way to use their APIs without their servers but by doing it locally… I can’t grasp how much work that would be to do. Plus I would need to install a program on the device of my tax advisor, which may or may not be possible/allowed. I mean that would require that I export my data out of invoice ninja, build a new program that communicates with Kanzlei-Rechnungswesen, install that on the PC of the tax advisor and use it to upload my data… That sounds quite complicated.

I believe it is already possible in Invoice Ninja, as they support the German e-invoice standard.

There is also the DATEV connect online interface, which is based on the XML online interface, if I understand correctly. The question here is whether, as a small business/sole proprietorship, you can enter into a contract with DATEV to enable authentication. Then, the Invoice Ninja community could take over the development, similar to what has been done with Stripe, Mollie, or GoCardless/Nordigen. You would then register your instance with DATEV.

I just took a closer look at the following YouTube channel. They’ve created several videos on this topic and often illustrate it with examples. You probably already know it since you came across it during your research.

The XML archive required by DATEV is entirely different from the e-invoice stuff.
It’s basically a zipped folder of all PDFs for your income and expenses and an XML file that lists all transactions and names the corresponding PDF for each transaction.

Regarding DATEV connect online. That doesn’t exist anymore apparently DATEVconnect online umbenannt – DATEV magazin
What would be needed, if you wanted to do this via the internet, would be to use their Online APIs Online APIs | DATEV Developer Portal
I believe the appropriate API for my use case would be accounting:documents accounting:documents - DATEV Developer Portal | DATEV Developer Portal.
BUT the problem again is that these APIs are, as far as I understood, intended to transmit data to Unternehmen online. Which is a separate service with separate costs that have to be paid by the customer (me). I do not see an API intended for direct transmission to Kanzlei-Rechnungswesen.

I had a (brief) look at the youtube channel you linked but couldn’t find anything of interest for my problem to be honest. Did you have a specific video in mind?
To repeat - I do know what DATEV offers as a path for me to get my invoice data to my tax consultant but I want to avoid paying an additional 120€ per year just for transmitting data.

Thanks for clarifying. I didn’t know that… Why make it simple if I can complicate it? :joy:

To be honest, I haven’t looked at DATEV for over 2 years because it’s not working great with Mac if you want to use their software. It was about the DATEV Connect Online, but if they closed that API, we can’t use it anymore.

Right, every other API wants the paid subscription level, Unternehmen Online.

That would be the Unternehmen Online basic account, I think. But if you use another service, most of them will also require that account, or if not, they charge around the same for that connection.

Question: Do they have a “Local” Installation, then you could send them the data via a VPN connection via the API. But that would mean they would give you access to all other Mandates if I understand that correctly.

I will have to have a chat with the IT support of my tax consultant… Can’t be the only one who has that problem, right?

Nope, you won’t be the only one. I hope it will simplify things a bit here. I will soon finish my studies, and when I start to have more and more clients, I’ll need to find a tax consultant, and unfortunately, DATEV is the standard in 95% of cases.

Certainly, I would appreciate it if you could keep us updated. I’ll take a closer look over the weekend and may write to DATEV Support for further clarification if needed.