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Australia Pushes For eInvoicing Standards

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Australia is moving to standardize electronic invoices submitted and sent throughout the country.

The Australian Tax Office has pushed for a nationwide standard of electronic invoices after a private-public council approved of the framework for implementing the guidelines, reports said on Monday (Aug. 1). The Australian government is likely to follow suit by adopting the guidelines that have already been adopted by the retail industry.

The retail sector's adoption of eInvoicing standards was followed by the launch of the Digital Business Council, which was developed for the sole purpose of creating a national framework of standardizing eInvoices, reports explained. Tax officials soon after commissioned a report into eInvoicing, concluding that standardized invoices could yield $10 billion a year in savings.

For government agencies, the savings could top $3 billion, analysts found.

While a framework for eInvoice standardization implementation was approved by the council last week, policymakers say there is much to be done for a smooth rollout of the standards across Australia.

The nation's current eInvocing use stands at between 10 and 15 percent, reports said. Adopting eInvoice standards would aim to boost those levels.

First, however, eInvoices need to be sent using ISO-approved universal business language specifications and other transport standards, according to reports.

The Australian government has not yet committed to adopting the standards but did say that it has set funds aside in its recent federal budget to explore whether adopting the standards would be feasible.

Adopting the framework would not be mandatory for the public and private sector, however, and reports said software providers and banks would be responsible for adopting the standards themselves.

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