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Cut costs, time and scams with e-invoicing, SMEs urged


The ATO will host five days of events next week to encourage adoption of the technology.

By Philip King 13 minute read

Small businesses are being urged to embrace e-invoicing to cut costs by two-thirds and reduce error rates, with one in five traditional bills going to the wrong person.

Research showed awareness of the technology has risen hugely in the past 18 months and most businesses believe they would save time, but more than half of those hesitating said they need more information.

Next week the ATO kicks off five days of events to promote the technology with involvement from key accounting software suppliers including Reckon, Xero, Link4, Intuit QuickBooks, Access Group and MYOB.


Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson, who is among the presenters next week, said SMEs would quickly realise benefits from the technology.

“It is a great way to enable faster payment, it cuts the administrative burden and is more secure than posted or emailed invoices so it reduces the chance of invoice fraud or scams,” Mr Billson said.

“About 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged in Australia every year but 20 per cent are sent to the wrong person and 30 per cent have incorrect information. It costs around $30 to process a paper invoice while an e-invoice costs less than $10.”

E-invoicing avoids the need to create a PDF and send an email and research by MYOB showed 62 per cent of small businesses believe that could save up to 10 hours every week, equivalent to an annual saving of up to $11,000.

MYOB chief employee experience officer Helen Lea said 64 per cent of SMEs responding to the survey had heard of e-invoicing versus just 43 per cent in January 2021 and it was time to turn awareness into action.

“Saving just five of the hours spent invoicing every week is equivalent to 260 hours – or 10 full days – each year. That’s a lot of time SMEs could be spending on other activities that’ll grow their business.”

The research showed three-quarters of respondents issued invoices at least weekly and one in 10 said invoicing takes between 20 and 49 hours of their time every month.

Awareness of the advantages was high among respondents, with 58 per cent nominating faster processing, 51 per cent a reduction in admin time, and 44 per cent a reduction in time to payment.

Cloud service provider MessageXchange, an MYOB partner also involved with e-invoicing week, said the event was an opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps on the technology and give it a try.

“For more than half of those who are yet to make the switch to e-invoicing it’s because they don’t feel they know enough about it,” said MessageXchange managing director John Delaney.

“E-invoicing week is all about the small business support community coming together to offer information and advice that will demystify e-invoicing and make the process of getting online as simple as possible.

“E-invoicing takes no more than a couple of hours to explore the options and get set up … [it] could end up being one of the best business decisions a small business can make this year.”

The MYOB research was conducted on 18–26 July 2022 and involved 1,007 Australian SME owners and operators.

For a calendar of events during the ATO’s e-invoicing week go to

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Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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