What is e-invoicing, and How Can it Work for You?

Posted by Link4 Team on 12/10/2021

Take a deep dive into e-invoicing– and how it can save your business time and money.

In an increasingly busy world, we sometimes find ourselves wishing there was more time in the day. While technology can streamline a lot of clerical processes, it can also lead to trouble switching off, as clients have a direct line of communication into our inboxes and DMs, 24/7. How can you maximise the time spent running your small business? Here’s why e-invoicing is worth a glance – you may be surprised how it benefits your workflow.

The Nitty-Gritty

eInvoicingis essentially a way to process invoice data directly between a buyer and supplier’s Accounting systems. With approximately $20 saved each time compared to paper invoicing, it’s not only efficient but will help your bottom line. In fact, it can improve cash flow (and unnecessary expenses) as interest may be charged on late payments (as is the case for Federal departments), incentivising buyers to pay sooner.

Even if you already send and receive invoices digitally, such as in PDF form, e-invoicing cuts out the middleman and lets your software get straight to work processing each transaction. According to the ATO, you’ll also save up to $17 by ditching the emailed PDF approach.

With e-invoices going directly to the recipient’s Accounts payable, manual data entry (along with much of the overall cost) can simply be avoided. It is also far more secure than having sensitive information pass through an email server. The Australian Government is currently reviewing options for mandatory implementation of e-invoicing(using the Peppol framework) among businesses. This means that it is never too early to adopt e-invoicing, as it may well become a requirement for small businesses in the near future.

How to use it

E-invoicing is compatible with all Cloud Accounting systems. If selecting Link4 as your Access Point, there is a simple signup process that connects e-invoicing to your current software, be it MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks or another provider.

Once enabled, e-invoices are created in the same way as a regular invoice within your Cloud Accounting system. Based on your contacts and their ABNs, Link4 will automatically display whether each customer or supplier is connected to the network. This allows you to easily determine whom you can send e-invoices to (and vice versa), so the invoice data can be sent securely and the payment details are received instantly. You’re also able to invite your customers to join the e-invoicing network so you can send and receive even more invoices through this more secure method.

Since December 2019, e-invoicing has been more widely implemented in Australia, with providers, including Link4, offering a free or low-cost solution for businesses. Through the Trans-Tasman Arrangement, e-invoices can even be sent and received between Australia and New Zealand. In future, as the technology continues to be adopted, international invoicing to all other countries using the Peppol network will be possible (a valuable asset for remote businesses).

The Bottom Line

Overall, e-invoicing is certainly a valuable asset to any sized business looking to improve on their efficiency and time management. Small businesses (in particular) are in the unique position of being able to choose whether or not to adopt it, but the government may introduce mandatory e-invoicing for B2B services in the near future.  Whatever your situation, this is an exciting step forward for business and innovation in Australia. Further details are available on our Peppol information page. Please feel free to reach out to our team with any enquiries!

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