On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, announced the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) to set the direction of how e-invoicing will be rolled out over the next few years.
The membership of the board will be announced shortly, and the board is likely to meet for the first time in March 2019.
The Prime Ministers also announced Australia and New Zealand’s intention to adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework for e-Invoicing to increase opportunities for businesses to integrate with the global trading environment.
PEPPOL is currently used across 32 countries in Europe, Asia and North America.
Both governments intend to finalise their membership of PEPPOL, and associated terms and conditions, by mid-2019. This will enable the transition to PEPPOL to take place by the end of the year, with businesses able to access the e-invoicing framework from that time.
While e-invoicing is a broad term that gets confused with an electronic invoice like a PDF, the new solution is an automated direct exchange of invoices between the supplier’s and buyer’s software systems.
E-invoicing relies on open standards and technology solutions to exchange invoices seamlessly, without manual input. It removes the need to create paper-based or PDF invoices, scan, post or email them, or manually enter them.
Research from Deloitte Access Economics said that e-invoicing could result in economy-wide benefits of up to $28 billion over 10 years.
ATO assistant commissioner Colin Walker believes that e-invoicing is a joining together of the dots as the industry moves into a total digital environment, and accountants will need to keep abreast with the changes to respond proactively to their clients’ changing needs.
“The more we move into software and software-based products, we are going to have a total digital environment that will have all the information — that makes life a lot easier for the agent, but it also means you can focus on the analytics,” Mr Walker said last year.