The development of the BER would mean businesses are legally obliged to adopt and send e‑invoices if one is requested by an e‑invoicing‑enabled trading partner.
If adopted, this change will accelerate e‑invoicing by ensuring when businesses invest in e‑invoicing, they will be able to use it with their trading partners.
“It is estimated that every time an e‑invoice replaces a paper or emailed PDF invoice, the businesses involved in the transaction can share more than $20 in cost savings per invoice,” superannuation and financial services minister Jane Hume said.
“More than 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged in Australia each year yet around 90 per cent still involve some manual processing. E‑invoicing allows the digital exchange of invoices directly between suppliers’ and buyers’ financial systems.
“Widespread adoption of e‑invoicing can deliver significant benefits by reducing the costs of doing business, improving payment times for businesses, promoting e-commerce and broader business digitalisation, and supporting Australia’s economic recovery from the impacts of COVID‑19. They also minimise opportunities for fraud and enhance business cyber security.”
The consultation will explore whether a BER should be implemented in phases, starting with large businesses before expanding to medium and small businesses.
It follows the government’s 2021‑22 budget investment of $15.3 million to enhance the value of e‑invoicing for businesses, improve business awareness and accelerate adoption, as well as the government’s commitment to adopt e‑invoicing to help SMEs trading with the government to enjoy these savings and faster payment times.
In addition to the proposed BER, the consultation will take stakeholder views on further measures to support business adoption of e‑invoicing and integration with existing business processes.
The consultation paper can be found on the Treasury website. Submissions close on 25 February 2022.