The Government’s roll-out of eInvoicing started with a mandate for Federal Government agencies to adopt eInvoicing by July 1, 2022. Several State Governments have also taken the initiative to adopt eInvoicing, with one driving force being to support the Federal Government’s initiative and to help boost adoption among businesses – after all, what business wouldn’t want their invoices paid in 5 days? This has been a good step in eInvoicing adoption. In late 2021, around 10,000 businesses were registered for eInvoicing, but with over 2.4 million businesses in Australia, there’s still a long way to go.
If we rewind to November 2020, Treasury released consultation paper that looked at a possible mandate for businesses to adopt eInvoicing, suggesting three different options:
- A phased mandate for all businesses
- A mandate for only large businesses
- No mandate.
34 companies made a submission on this paper, with all of them acknowledging the benefits of eInvoicing but many of them suggesting a well-considered approach, given costs can be incurred to implement eInvoicing and the time that may be required to both implement eInvoicing and change processes around it.
Fast forward to December 2021, The Treasury released another consultation paper to the public, explaining the widespread benefits of eInvoicing if it was adopted at large. It mentioned the Budget’s inclusion of $15.3 million to help accelerate adoption of eInvoicing among Australian businesses. They sought feedback from stakeholders in the industry as to how to support business to adopt eInvoicing and to give businesses certainty that when they adopted eInvoicing, they’d be able to use it with their trading partners. This would be done through Business eInvoicing Right, or BER.
Another 39 submissions were made, many of which included the same rhetoric as the previous ones – eInvoicing has huge benefits, but the Government must support businesses and make it easier, rather than force a mandate.
Now back in late 2022, what’s happened? Well, a lot politically. We’ve had a change in Government, to start with. While eInvoicing is supported by both parties, we’ve not heard anything definitive on BER or an eInvoicing mandate for businesses. We’ve seen software companies like Xero, MYOB and Reckon all include eInvoicing in their products, which takes eInvoicing a long way – they represent a large majority of small to medium businesses, which make up a big portion of all businesses. There is a lot still happening in this space. So stay tuned.
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