From the Deputy Registrar
Since our last edition, a lot has been happening in the e-invoicing space and this is a special edition focusing on the Australian and New Zealand Governments’ work to deliver e-invoicing.
‘There is great potential for e-invoicing to be a game changer for small and medium enterprises and the wider business sector. It will improve productivity and reduce the costs of doing business by allowing the direct exchange of invoices between the financial systems of suppliers and buyers.’
The Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers
On 22 February 2019, Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers, Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern, announced the:
- establishment of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB)
- intention to adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework.
We have commenced consultation with industry and software developers on the implementation of the PEPPOL framework in Australia. We hope to finalise the outcomes from this consultation by the end of May to allow software developers to commence or update their implementation plans.
I would like to thank the Digital Business Council (DBC) who’ve been instrumental in bringing us to this point, and on their continued advocacy of e-invoicing.
I will continue to keep you updated throughout the year as we progress with the trans-Tasman e-invoicing program.
In our next edition I look forward to sharing any relevant outcomes with you from tonight’s Federal Budget.
Please let me know if you have any particular topics you’d like to hear more on. Your feedback continues to help us improve so I encourage you to contact us.
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What is e-invoicing?
It is the automated direct exchange of invoices between a supplier’s and buyer’s software systems. It should not be confused with the existing practice of exchanging invoices in an electronic format such as PDF via email.
e-invoicing relies on open standards and technology solutions to exchange invoices seamlessly removing the need for manual intervention.
It will not be mandatory but offers a number of benefits to businesses such as:
- improved cash flow through quicker payments
- easier processing resulting in time and cost savings
- fewer errors
- direct and secure transactions minimising the risk of fake or compromised invoices.
These benefits are expected to save businesses an estimated A$30 billion in transaction costs in the first 10 years, according to an estimate provided by Deloitte Access Economics.
The newly established Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) provides an advisory role to Government in overseeing the implementation and success of the trans-Tasman initiative.
The ANZEIB met for the first time on 14 March 2019, where it established and endorsed the committee charter. The Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert issued a media release following the meeting and announced the Board members.
The Prime Ministers announced that Australia and New Zealand intend to adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework for e-invoicing which will increase opportunities for businesses to trade internationally.
PEPPOL is the public procurement standard across most of Europe and is now also being adopted for business-to-business procurement. It is currently used across 32 countries in Europe, Asia and North America.
The ATO is working with industry partners and our New Zealand colleagues to develop our local jurisdictional requirements.
Pending our transition to PEPPOL, we ran a series of e-invoicing pilots with a group of digital service providers (DSPs) who had trans-Tasman production-ready capability.
The pilot team successfully tested the transmission and processing of an e-invoice with the first live invoice exchanged between a small business and the Department of Human Services.
We will continue to work with industry to capture and share the pilot learnings as we transition to PEPPOL.
The current trans-Tasman infrastructure, framework and associated governance arrangements will remain in place until PEPPOL arrangements are established.
PEPPOL e-invoicing DSP engagement forum
We are hosting a PEPPOL e-invoicing engagement forum on 10 April 2019 at Rydges Sydney Central.
This forum will be an opportunity for DSPs to:
- build on the momentum created by our key milestones including the above announcements
- demonstrate government commitment to e-invoicing and focus on supporting DSPs transition to PEPPOL
- highlight industry support for e-invoicing and the transition to PEPPOL.
Speakers will include industry, Government and PEPPOL experts:
- Ramez Katf, ATO Chief Information Officer
- John Dardo, ATO Chief Digital Officer
- the Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA), Ozedi, Basware and Qvalent/Westpac Group.