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  • E-invoicing for businesses

    E-invoicing has many benefits for every business by simplifying and automating the exchange and processing of invoices.

    Digital service providers will be rolling out e-invoicing solutions in the second half of 2020. Contact them to find out what e-invoicing options are available, so you can enjoy the benefits of e-invoicing.

    On this page:

    Benefits for businesses

    E-invoicing provides many benefits for business, including:

    Cost savings

    It costs businesses around $30 to process a paper invoice and $27 for an emailed PDF invoice. In contrast, it costs less than $10 to process an e-invoice. The difference is due to the time saved not having to manually handle each invoice.

    Figure 1: Processing costs

    An infographic showing the estimated processing costs of an e-invoice ($9.18), compared with a paper invoice ($30.87) and a PDF invoice ($27.67).

    This means an estimated shared saving (between the sender and receiver of the invoice) of around $20 each time e-invoicing replaces a paper invoice.

    Figure 2: Shared transaction savings (to sender and receiver)

    Infographic showing the shared transaction savings (sender and receiver). In this example, you can save $21.69 by not using paper invoices and $18.49 by not using PDF invoices.

    Less time and errors

    E-invoicing can help you save time by not having to:

    • re-key or scan invoices
    • make corrections
    • chase missing information.

    Data will be more accurate and complete as it travels from system-to-system.

    A common standard for e-invoicing ensures:

    • important data is entered accurately before an invoice is sent
    • consistent exchange of invoice information.

    E-invoicing reduces manual handling and reduces the number of systems you use. Not having to re-key information means fewer mistakes. Not having to mail invoices lowers the chance of them being lost in transit.

    While you still need to apply your internal assurance processes before paying your invoices, the time you save in administration can provide opportunities for you to focus on growing your business.

    Reliable and secure

    The e-invoicing network provides a safer and more secure channel than email. E-invoices are received directly into your business's financial systems. They are sent through the e-invoicing framework via approved and authenticated participants. Therefore, the risk of fake or compromised invoices is lower.

    The only parties that will see the e-invoices are the software providers, buyers and suppliers. E-invoices will not go through or be viewed by the ATO.

    Accreditation

    To be accredited for e-invoicing, Australian service providers must carry out appropriate validation checks and apply integrity measures. For example, they must check Australian business numbers (ABNs) to ensure they are active and valid for use in the e-invoicing environment.

    Validating ABNs provides you with greater assurance of the identity of the sender and increases protection against the fraudulent misuse of a business’s ABN.

    Reduced payment times

    The Australian Government is supporting small business by offering improved payments times. Since 1 January 2020, Australian Government agencies have begun:

    This applies to contracts up to $1 million where both the buyer and supplier use Peppol e-invoicing systems.

    Some state governments are also encouraging e-invoicing. For example, NSW has announced their Faster payment terms policyExternal Link. Other states are reviewing their payment terms.

    Connect once, trade with many

    Our approach to e-invoicing means that all businesses, in all sectors, can open their networks and trade with many partners, regardless of their size or the financial software they each use. Whether you are a private business or a public organisation, e-invoicing is your gateway to fast, secure, and borderless trade.

    Environmentally friendly

    E-invoicing is eco-friendly as it eliminates paper and requires less energy, resources and physical space. By not using paper you can save on material costs and reduce your environmental impact through less paper, printing and delivery costs. You don't have to worry about losing invoices in the mail or in your office as invoices are stored in the system.

    Getting your business started with e-invoicing

    To find out how to start e-invoicing, contact your software provider to see:

    • if you are digitally ready
    • how and when they can help
    • what you need to do.

    You may need to update your existing software or add an extra service.

    Steps to help you prepare for e-invoicing in your business

    How do you process invoices now

    Review your business processes and requirements to understand your current state of invoicing, including:

    • how many invoices you send and receive, and how often
    • how you send, receive and process invoices and if you use purchase orders
    • identifying your top suppliers and buyers (by number of invoices)
    • if you use software and scanning tools to manage your accounts payable and receivable.

    How you could implement e-invoicing

    • Talk to your software providers to understand your existing software and tools, and whether they are or will be e-invoicing enabled.
    • Talk to different e-invoicing service providers.
    • Establish your return on investment (ROI) and other considerations to support your investment decision.

    How to get ready for e-invoicing

    • Understand and manage changes in business processes within your organisation.
    • Get your trading partners ready for the upcoming change.

    How to onboard your suppliers

    • Test your solution with your trading partners.
    • Progressively onboard your trading partners focussing on those with most benefit to your organisation, for example, high volume suppliers or high error rate invoices.

    How to get the most out of e-invoicing

    Transition as many of your trade partners to the e-invoicing channel to maximise your benefits.

    Last modified: 06 Nov 2020QC 57984