Posted by Link4 Team on 11/10/2021
E-invoicing is an innovation that provides benefits for every business. It is simple to get started and works seamlessly in the background for most organisations. But less than 1% of businesses in Australia use this tool. Why is adoption so low?
Here are 4 factors that are slowing the adoption rate of e-invoicing in Australia:
When hearing about e-invoicing, many people think of emailed PDFs. They may not realise that e-invoicing is something new and unique – the instant delivery of invoice data between Cloud Accounting systems.
A Peppol e-invoice can be processed in under 2 minutes, eliminating the stress and fuss of manual data entry and speeding up payment times. Business people simply need to know what e-invoicing is and how it works, as it is a great asset to any level enterprise.
Australian Federal government departments are mandated to receive e-invoices. While this is certainly a positive step, the sending of e-invoices will not be mandatory for all of these agencies until July 1, 2022.
Those federal departments who have met the initial deadline still face the challenge of communicating their adoption to trading partners. Buyers who can send e-invoices need to know if the supplier is enabled to receive them.
For state and local government in Australia, there are few directives for starting the process. New South Wales appears to be leading the way, with e-invoicing to be mandatory for NSW government agencies by January 1, 2022 (for all goods and services up to $1 million). It is hoped that other states and territories will set their own target dates.
The recent 2020–21 Federal Budget, announced in May, allocated $15.3 million towards encouraging the uptake of e-invoicing. This gives hope for Australia-wide adoption in the near future, at all levels of government, and for SMEs who are digitally ready.
Large organisations have ERP systems in place, which often include Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capabilities. EDI is the forerunner to e-invoicing and was the first step in replacing paper methods with digital options for creating purchase orders and invoices.
Companies using these processes may not see the benefit of switching to e-invoicing, and it is not yet mandatory for them to do so. However, aside from vastly improving workflow efficiency, adopting e-invoicing will have positive effects on the Australian economy at large.
While e-invoicing has been shown to boost business, increase cash flow, and protect against payment redirection scams, it needs support from the entire business ecosystem. Until adoption rates increase, possibly through further mandates, e-invoicing will be limited by the number of trading partners on the network.
Some Accountants may feel that their workload would be unfairly reduced if processes were streamlined through e-invoicing. This has caused some pushback from the industry; however, increasing productivity by removing the need for manual tasks such as data entry will have a positive flow-on effect for all involved.
E-invoicing is good news for Accounting and is one of many digital tools to help businesses thrive.
Link4 is an award-winning, Peppol-certified Access Point that provides seamless e-invoicing services throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.