More than 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged in Australia every year, with around 90 per cent of invoice processing still partly or fully manual. Every time an eInvoice replaces a paper or email invoice, the businesses involved in the transaction can save up to around $20 in cost savings.
Widespread adoption of eInvoicing will help unlock the significant potential benefits for Australian businesses, given that businesses can only use eInvoicing if their trading partners also use it.
The Government has taken a series of actions to accelerate business adoption of eInvoicing.
In the 2020-21 Budget, as part of the JobMaker Digital Business Plan, the Government invested $3.6 million to facilitate eInvoicing adoption across the public sector, which in turn can drive adoption by businesses that supply to governments and others in their supply chains. Currently, all Commonwealth agencies are on track to have the capability to receive eInvoices by 1 July 2022, with over 80 per cent of Commonwealth invoices able to be received electronically.
In the 2021-22 Budget, as part of the Digital Economy Strategy, the Government invested a further $15.3 million to enhance the value of eInvoicing for businesses, improve business awareness and accelerate eInvoicing adoption. This measure was directly informed by feedback from stakeholder consultation in 2020‑21, which indicated that while there is strong support for the Government taking actions to accelerate business adoption, eInvoicing is still at relatively early stages of rollout in Australia and that business awareness and adoption of eInvoicing remained low.
The Government is now seeking stakeholder views on further ways to support business adoption of eInvoicing, including by consulting on the idea of a Business eInvoicing Right (BER). A BER could support business adoption by giving businesses the certainty that when they invest in eInvoicing, they would be able to make use of it with their trading partners.
In addition to the BER, the Government also seeks stakeholder views on further measures to support business adoption of eInvoicing via the integration of eInvoicing with existing business processes.