Private Australian industry and government could adopt a unified, national standard for electronic invoicing within a year after the Digital Business Council approved the final framework for implementation. The new government and industry led group has created a set of unifying standards to ensure the various systems are able to integrate properly now and in the future.
Electronic invoicing (also called e-invoicing) is the exchange of an invoice in an electronic format. Put simply it is a way to process invoices via a system that creates, issues and reconciles transactions in an electronic environment.
Many businesses are still using invoices in a paper based system. These systems can be time consuming and prone to human error. While it is tedious to manage paper, the true strength of e-invoicing is the power to integrate with other business systems. This can include payroll, cashflow, inventory, reconciliation and preparing quotes. The tax office commissioned a report into e-invoicing last year and found a unified approach could save the economy as much as $10 billion per year, and up to $3 billion for government agencies alone.
According the Digital Business Council this framework is needed because –
- Large buyers have seen the benefit of e-Invoicing and created their own trading communities, with standards suiting their own needs, which makes it difficult for businesses who wish to trade with multiple communities.
- Some software vendors and service providers only facilitate e-Invoicing within their own communities
- Software vendors want certainty on what standards would provide the greatest benefit before making further technology investments
It is hoped that the new standards will boost the current rate of e-invoicing adoption in Australia beyond it’s current 10 and 15 percent.
The framework is not mandatory; the Digital Business Council is relying on invoicing software vendors, banks, and others to implement the standards of their own accord.
To learn more about how adapting an e-invoicing solution will create more efficiency in business please visit the Digital Business Council FAQs page for more information.