The investment is part of a $1.2 billion package unveiled by the Morrison government on Thursday, aimed at accelerating Australia’s digital adoption.
As part of its continued push towards e-invoicing, the government will provide both the Treasury and the ATO — operating as the Australian Peppol E-Invoicing Authority — with $15.3 million to improve business e-invoicing awareness and adoption.
This is set to include working with payment providers such as eftpos, Visa, Mastercard and New Payments Platform Australia to integrate e-invoicing into the main payment methods used by businesses.
Educational activities will also be conducted to raise business awareness of the benefits of adopting e-invoicing, and are likely to include cost savings, reduction in errors, faster payment times, and a secure and reliable transaction of data.
The government will also conduct supply chain pilots with large businesses and work with states and territories to extend public sector e-invoicing adoption.
“So many Australians are already participating in the digital economy, some without even realising it. Every contactless purchase, e‑invoice, business website or small business going online — it’s all part of it and it’s growing rapidly,” said Minister for the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume.
“This is a really exciting announcement, which will drive investment and uptake of emerging technologies, unlock the value of data, build skills for a modern economy, and enhance government service delivery.”
The latest e-invoicing development comes as the government considers the best option for rolling out e-invoicing across Australia.
A consultation paper released by the Treasury has signalled three possible approaches, including a mandatory adoption requirement for all businesses phased in over time, a mandate for large businesses only, and a flexible non-regulatory approach so businesses can choose when they adopt e-invoicing.
Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants have since urged the government to resist mandating e-invoicing in light of the current economic conditions, arguing that a mandatory approach will be an unnecessary distraction for businesses at a time when many are trying to protect their day-to-day solvency.
KPMG believes the adoption of e-invoicing will be inevitable but has called on the government to slow down its push until at least 2023.
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Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.