The investment is part of a $1.2 billion package unveiled by the Morrison government on Thursday, aimed at accelerating Australia’s digital adoption.
As part of its continued push towards e-invoicing, the government will provide both the Treasury and the ATO — operating as the Australian Peppol E-Invoicing Authority — with $15.3 million to improve business e-invoicing awareness and adoption.
This is set to include working with payment providers such as eftpos, Visa, Mastercard and New Payments Platform Australia to integrate e-invoicing into the main payment methods used by businesses.
Educational activities will also be conducted to raise business awareness of the benefits of adopting e-invoicing, and are likely to include cost savings, reduction in errors, faster payment times, and a secure and reliable transaction of data.
The government will also conduct supply chain pilots with large businesses and work with states and territories to extend public sector e-invoicing adoption.
“So many Australians are already participating in the digital economy, some without even realising it. Every contactless purchase, e‑invoice, business website or small business going online — it’s all part of it and it’s growing rapidly,” said Minister for the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume.
“This is a really exciting announcement, which will drive investment and uptake of emerging technologies, unlock the value of data, build skills for a modern economy, and enhance government service delivery.”
The latest e-invoicing development comes as the government considers the best option for rolling out e-invoicing across Australia.
A consultation paper released by the Treasury has signalled three possible approaches, including a mandatory adoption requirement for all businesses phased in over time, a mandate for large businesses only, and a flexible non-regulatory approach so businesses can choose when they adopt e-invoicing.
Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants have since urged the government to resist mandating e-invoicing in light of the current economic conditions, arguing that a mandatory approach will be an unnecessary distraction for businesses at a time when many are trying to protect their day-to-day solvency.
KPMG believes the adoption of e-invoicing will be inevitable but has called on the government to slow down its push until at least 2023.
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.