Speaking at ATSA 2017, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers executive director Matthew Addison said the government had “signed a contract with a provider” to build the central register infrastructure crucial to implementing e-invoicing.
“e-Invoicing is going to be here by February 2018 because that is the timeline that is in the contract,” Mr Addison said.
Mr Addison had previously predicted that it would have been rolled out in March 2017.
According to the Digital Business Council, e-invoicing is a “broadly used term that covers the automated exchange and processing of invoice-related documents between suppliers and buyers in a structured electronic format”.
Current solutions include PDF invoices sent to buyers via email, however these fail to automate the accounts payable process on the buyers’ side.
With e-invoicing, businesses can use their natural systems to exchange data and end-to-end processing of the invoice, according to Mr Addison.
“Whatever business you're running, whatever software you're running, your standard invoicing network, your standard set of data, goes to whoever you're sending it to, and their software can read it,” said Mr Addison.
“So it's data, it's no longer a PDF and we're moving beyond the PDF being the invoice.
“We have written confirmation from the tax office that when you say you're not going to give them a tax invoice, they will accept the proof that data is sent, not the PDF. So we are going into a very different world of bookkeeping.”
Mr Addison said bookkeepers should keep up-to-date with developments within the space because change was inevitable.
“The NSW government have ticked off and agreed on the success of their approved concept — the NSW government wants this e-invoicing model,” said Mr Addison.
“CBA, Telstra, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in providing grants, they are using e-invoicing.
“There are some very big companies that want this model in place; our world is going to adopt this e-invoicing model.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.