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Adopt e-invoicing to cut fraud risk, says ATO  


It adds a layer of security compared with traditional emails or printed invoices.

By Reporter 11 minute read

The ATO said businesses can minimise the risk posed by emailing invoices by adopting e-invoicing. 

At the same time, they can ensure greater security for their cash and ability to fulfil their reporting obligations. 

The Tax Office said e-invoicing would help businesses protect against fraud, with millions of dollars lost each year through email false billing scams.


According to the ACCC’s ScamWatch, Australian businesses lost nearly $128 million to email scams in 2020.

E-invoicing can help keep businesses safe by using a channel that offers stronger security controls than email, such as encryption and reducing the risks of fake, unsolicited or compromised invoices and other false billing scams, the ATO said.

The ATO said the security benefits of e-invoicing over traditional printed or PDF email invoices not only help protect businesses from external threats, but also offer an added layer of security to internal checks and controls.

It would also allow the exchange of e-invoices through the network of approved service providers, called access points, who implement security controls to prevent, detect and mitigate the risk of invoice fraud, the ATO said.

Businesses can also be protected by using trading partners’ ABNs, which are validated, to ensure invoices are sent to legitimate businesses while preventing lost or delayed invoices.

“The ATO manages the Peppol standard and network in Australia but we have no access or visibility of e-invoices transmitted via the Peppol network,” the ATO said.

“With more Australian businesses choosing e-invoicing every day, and businesses in 40 countries around the world also connected to the network, it’s a good time to give e-invoicing a go.

“Talk to your trusted business advisers and software providers about how to get started.”

Security payments provider eftsure said given the rapid expansion of digital business-to-business payments, the use of e-invoicing was both timely and necessary.

It could also address the exponential rise in invoice fraud from the inherent vulnerabilities in current invoice delivery and handling practices.

“However, whilst the adoption of Peppol-compatible EDI networks, including the use of e-invoicing, will undoubtedly result in higher levels of security, it should not be viewed as a panacea that will eliminate all instances of invoice fraud,” eftsure CTO Mark Chazan said.

“Integrating e-invoicing with payments has the potential to facilitate a significant increase in payments security. It is a trend that should be encouraged. 

“However, it also demands caution, as sophisticated cyber-criminals will still identify opportunities to manipulate invoice data, even following the widespread adoption of eInvoicing.”

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