Australia and New Zealand have announced that they are both adopting the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) interoperability framework for eInvoicing. Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the news at the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders Meeting in Auckland on Feb. 22.
According to Technology Decisions, PEPPOL is currently used in 32 countries across Europe, Asia and North America. With Australian and New Zealand businesses currently processing around 1.3 billion invoices per year, implementing the framework aims to save them more than $30 billion in transaction costs over the first decade.
The Prime Ministers also announced the creation of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) to create and implement a plan on how eInvoicing will be rolled out over the next few years. The board will meet for the first time this month, with the aim of transitioning to PEPPOL by the end of 2019.
This is a plan that both countries have been working on for years, after the Australian Tax Office began pushing for a nationwide eInvoicing standard in 2016. The retail sector’s adoption of standards was followed by the launch of the Digital Business Council, which was developed to create a national framework of standardizing eInvoices.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said last year that 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.
Two other benefits include 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 last year.