Get ready for e-invoicing

Doctor Digital, I heard that e-invoicing is being encouraged for all small businesses in Australia. What do I need to know as a business owner?

Doctor Digital Says


E-invoicing is a new process of business-to-business (B2B) invoicing that is being promoted by the Australian Government to all businesses. Much like when single-touch payroll (STP) was brought in, e-invoicing is designed to streamline and simplify the invoicing process for small to large businesses, eliminate error, and most importantly, significantly improve security and reduce vulnerability to scams.

The process of e-invoicing isn't just using an email to send an invoice. It is sending invoices directly from one business’ accounting system into another via a secure e-invoicing network called PEPPOL which stands for Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine. PEPPOL is an international e-invoicing network that allows you to safely send e-invoices to companies and governments worldwide.

There are plenty of benefits to moving your business to e-invoicing, including:

  • more accurate invoices, resulting in less mistakes to chase up and correct
  • reduced time and costs dealing with manual processes including fixing invoice errors
  • no more lost invoices - save time by getting the right information to the right contact on time
  • confidence in the security of the PEPPOL network – less chance of invoice fraud or scams
  • faster payments
  • better business decisions, based on correct, real-time financial information.
  • as a supplier, you will no longer need to create paper or PDF invoices to print, post or email
  • as a buyer, you won’t need to scan and manually enter invoices into your software
  • you can automate processing of invoices through e-invoicing
  • you can save on material costs and reduce your environmental impact through less paper, printing and delivery costs.

One of the main benefits aside from those listed above, is the savings to your business. Deloitte estimated these to be around $11 000 per business per year, or a time saving of a whole week. But what about the mandate aspect?

The Australian and New Zealand governments signed a Trans-Tasman agreement in 2018 to implement e-invoicing and commit to a standardised approach to exchanging invoices over the secure PEPPOL network. Australian Government departments will implement the PEPPOL system by July 2022, which means if you do business with government agencies, you will be transacting using e-invoicing.

Setting up PEPPOL e-invoicing for your business is easy. It doesn’t matter how you currently manage invoices, there’s an option that will work for you. Most major accounting software products can already e-invoice.

If you create invoices manually or use a mix of manual and digital invoicing, talk to your accountant and your Digital Ready Coach about how to get your invoicing systems online and what systems are best for you and your business.

For more information on how to get started with e-invoicing, you can check out our comprehensive factsheet.

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