Government consults on a Business e-Invoicing Right

  • By Zilla Efrat

The government has called for submissions on its plans to introduce a Business eInvoicing Right (BER) to accelerate e‑invoicing.

A BER would mean that businesses are legally obliged to adopt and send e‑invoices if one is requested by an e‑invoicing‑enabled trading partner.

“If adopted, this change will accelerate e‑invoicing by ensuring when businesses invest in e‑invoicing, they will be able to use it with their trading partners,” says Jane Hume, Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy

It's estimated that every time an e‑invoice replaces a paper or emailed PDF invoice, the businesses involved in the transaction can share more than $20 in cost savings per invoice.

More than 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged in Australia each year yet around 90 per cent still involve some manual processing. E‑invoicing allows the digital exchange of invoices directly between suppliers’ and buyers’ financial systems.

Hume says widespread adoption of e‑invoicing can deliver significant benefits by reducing the costs of doing business, improving payment times for businesses, promoting eCommerce and broader business digitalisation.

E‑invoicing also minimises opportunities for fraud and enhance business cyber security.

The government’s consultations will explore whether a BER should be implemented in phases, starting with large businesses before expanding to medium and small businesses.

The consultation follows on from the government’s 2021‑22 Budget investment of $15.3 million to enhance the value of e‑invoicing for businesses, improve business awareness and accelerate adoption, as well as the government’s commitment to adopt e‑invoicing to help SMEs trading with government to enjoy these savings and faster payment times.

In addition to the proposed BER, the consultation will take stakeholder views on further measures to support business adoption of e‑invoicing and integration with existing business processes.

Submissions close on 25 February 2022.