Date posted: 02/09/2021 3 min read

E-invoicing: lessons and insights from the ATO and MBIE

The ATO and the MBIE came together in a Trans-Tasman presentation to raise awareness of the benefits of e-invoicing

In Brief

  • 80% of small and medium businesses still operate in a manual invoice environment
  • E-invoicing has many advantages and is better for the environment
  • The ATO and MBIE have a vast range of resources to help support businesses

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) held a Trans-Tasman presentation on 26 August to raise awareness of the benefits of e-invoicing for small to medium companies and to dispel any myths about the method. 

Did you know?

  • Current invoicing practices involve a high cost of manual processing, which may contain errors.
  • 80% of small and medium businesses still invoice manually. 
  • Paper and pdf invoices are estimated to cost between A$30.87 and A$27.67 per invoice to process manually versus A$9.18 to process an e-invoice. 
  • E-invoices can contribute to more timely payments, improving recoverability and cash flow.
  • The e-invoicing process is better for the environment, cutting down on unnecessary paper and manual delivery/postage of invoices. 

What resources are available to small businesses and your small business clients? 

In Australia, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has put together content tailored to small business, including where to get started. Based on research with 100 small businesses, the business.gov.au website outlines the information small businesses can use to get up to date with e-invoicing. 

In New Zealand, MBIE has provided resources on e-invoicing that include seminars and webinars to help government and businesses implement and achieve the full benefits of e-invoicing. The MBIE website includes resources for small and medium businesses, large businesses and government and software providers. 

Key lessons from the Trans-Tasman webinar:

  • It takes two to tango – both organisations (the invoice issuer and the invoice receiver) need to be on the PEPPOL platform.
  • Costs to implement will vary and will depend on whether your organisation is using a standard software package such as Xero or if a customised system is required. Find out and do the math, it costs less than people think. 
  • Small businesses that may not have a dedicated accounting package can also consider the free portals available for e-invoicing with large businesses. 
  • Consider the opportunities e-invoicing provide to improving internal business processes. 
  • The PEPPOL platform allows you to exchange invoices with overseas businesses (same as domestic processes) – both parties will just need identifiers. 
  • E-invoicing is not just for business to government, it’s also for business to business. The aim is to get paid faster and get efficiency benefits from streamlining. 

View a recording of the webinar

View a recording of the webinar - E-invoicing: How it can benefit your business and your clients

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