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  • Peppol

    PeppolExternal Link is an international eProcurement framework owned and maintained by OpenPeppolExternal Link, a non-profit international association. Peppol enables cross-border digital exchange of procurement documents and data. It complements Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and other electronic means for exchanging business documents.

    A new channel with many benefits, Peppol transmits data through a secure network of approved service providers, called access points. Access points connect you to the Peppol network and allow you to exchange invoices and other documents with your trading partners registered on the network.

    The government announced further investment in eInvoicingExternal Link, to increase business awareness as part of its Digital Economy StrategyExternal Link.

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    About Peppol

    The Peppol framework consists of:

    • a set of artefacts and specifications that can be used in existing eProcurement and eBusiness solutions
    • the eDelivery network (Peppol network) that facilitates the exchange of data between different systems
    • a multi-tiered structure of legal agreements and decision making that ensure proper governance.

    OpenPeppol gives the authority to manage the framework in various countries across the world to its members. In Australia, we are the Peppol Authority.

    Peppol began in 2008 and is now used in almost 40 countries in EuropeExternal Link, North America and the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand.

    The Australian Government's commitment to Peppol represents the building of a new economic digital infrastructure. It is open and available to everybody, it can work with any other system or platform (including electronic data interchange), and it's global.

    The Australian Peppol Authority

    The ATO operates the Australian Peppol Authority for the government to help businesses take advantage of the benefits of eInvoicing in the digital economy.

    The ATO does not receive a copy of the eInvoice, and we are not able to view the contents of any eInvoices being transmitted between businesses.

    In this role, we:

    • define Australian requirements for use of the Peppol standards (for example, invoice specifications support GST tax invoices)
    • administer accreditation of Peppol access points for Australia
    • educate, promote and provide support for the adoption of Peppol standards across government sectors and the business community
    • work closely with the digital service providers (DSPs) and business community to ensure the Peppol framework is suitable and implemented consistently across Australia.

    The Peppol network

    To use eInvoicing, your business and your trading partners need to connect to the Peppol network through an access point. The Peppol DirectoryExternal Link contains the list of users registered on the Peppol network and their receiving capabilities. This means you can look up if your trading partners are connected to Peppol and see what business documents they can receive via Peppol (e.g. eInvoices).

    There are many service providers available to help you connect to the Peppol network. Some larger businesses may have their own in-house solution.

    Peppol uses a 4-corner model to send eInvoices from suppliers to buyers. This is a model for making connections between 2 parties through their respective access points. Common examples are the mobile phone system/network and credit card payment system.

    4 Corner model of eInvoicing.
This image represents the model by using 4 images (one for each corner) connected by arrows. A seller (corner 1) submits an eInvoice to their access point (corner 2) in the format of their system. The access point then confirms whether the buyer can receive a Peppol eInvoice before validating the invoice against the standard and sending the eInvoice to the buyer's access point (corner 3) in the Peppol format. Finally, the receiving access point sends the eInvoice to the buyer (corner 4) in the format of their system for processing.

    Peppol and electronic data interchange

    Businesses have exchanged documents such as invoices electronically for decades via different channels, including:

    • electronic data interchange (EDI)
    • data entry portals
    • data file transfers.

    These systems are efficient and successfully streamline the buying process, but they aren't universal and are usually proprietary. This means suppliers must connect to multiple systems used by different buyers, creating inefficiencies and trading barriers.

    The Peppol framework complements EDI and other channels and represents a common global standard for exchanging business documents digitally. This helps business entities who transact with trading partners via multiple EDI networks to avoid multiple connections and high costs.

    Last modified: 20 Dec 2021QC 67570