B2B Payments

Australia Moves To Standardize eInvoicing

Australia and New Zealand are planning to create trans-Tasman standards for electronic invoicing in an effort to save $30 billion over 10 years.

In 2016, the Australian Tax Office pushed for a nationwide standard of electronic invoices. The retail sector’s adoption of eInvoicing standards was then followed by the launch of the Digital Business Council, which was developed for the sole purpose of creating a national framework of standardizing eInvoices.

Now, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, a Treasury discussion paper released this week outlines a plan that would have Australia and New Zealand creating a cross-Tasman body that will oversee digital invoices across both countries.

The paper revealed that the Australian Taxation Office is creating a centralized look-up facility for businesses in both countries so they can find the “digital address” of suppliers and send invoices to them directly. In addition, the Treasury paper supports the creation of “an industry-led, not-for-profit body to oversee eInvoicing in Australia and New Zealand. The organization would include a board of directors appointed by industry groups and governments” to help advance the use of digital invoicing.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said the increased use of eInvoices will save businesses both time and money.

“Research shows it costs $30.87 to process a paper invoice, $27.97 per PDF invoice and only $9.18 per eInvoice  a significant saving,” she said.

In addition, the Treasury noted that two of the potential benefits for small businesses using eInvoicing is a decrease in both error and fraud. In fact, the high incidence of scam activity related to paper and email invoices has been a major point of discussion, with more than $3.5 million lost to “false billing” scams in Australia this year.

“Paper and email-based invoicing is manually intensive and prone to human error, resulting in increased processing costs and payment times for businesses,” the Treasury said.

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