The Government mandate for commonwealth agencies to be eInvoicing enabled was introduced a year ago now. Since then, as an Access Point provider, we’ve seen agencies scramble to get on board and businesses are starting to follow suit. For many, it’s a completely new concept. Their people have needed to get up to speed, their invoicing software hasn’t always been ready, and they’ve had to engage their customers and suppliers to get onboarded.
As an Access Point provider, we’ve been privy to how leading organisations have managed the transition to eInvoicing. Here’s how.
Educating themselves about eInvoicing
Getting your head around eInvoicing – what it is and what it means for your business – is one of the most important steps. It’s a new concept for a lot of people, but there are some fantastic resources out there. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), as the Peppol authorities, have some great information aimed at businesses and Government explaining eInvoicing and its benefits:
- ATO eInvoicing: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/eInvoicing/
- MBIE eInvoicing: https://www.einvoicing.govt.nz/
Plus, companies who provide eInvoicing services, like us, generally have information available to help you through the process. Here are a couple of our resources:
- An introduction to eInvoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/resources/whitepapers/an-introduction-to-e-invoicing-whitepaper/
- A guide to adopting eInvoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/resources/whitepapers/a-guide-to-adopting-e-invoicing/
We’ve found that the organisations who educate themselves well on the concept of eInvoicing and what it means to their business, are better-equipped to implement eInvoicing as seamlessly as possible.
Getting internal teams on board
You might be the one in charge of implementing eInvoicing, but there’s no doubt that it involves a number of teams from IT to accounts payable and accounts receivable and beyond. It’s important you get all the relevant teams involved to make sure their needs are met, so they know how it will impact them and so they can answer any questions they get from others internally or even customers and suppliers.
Here are a couple of resources that might help:
- Getting your IT department ready for eInvoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/blog/getting-your-it-department-ready-for-e-invoicing/
- Getting your accounts payable department ready for eInvoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/blog/getting-your-accounts-payable-department-ready-for-e-invoicing/
Integrating eInvoicing into their invoicing software
The first adopters of eInvoicing here in Australia has been Government agencies. With the mandate in place and a fast-approaching deadline, we’ve seen a number of approaches to get themselves up and running.
Taking a staged approach to implementing eInvoicing
Many of the successful organisations have taken a staged approach to eInvoicing. Some examples we’ve seen are: governments implementing eInvoicing with one agency first then rolling it out to others, starting with a pilot group of suppliers first then rolling out to others, and we’ve even seen some have their MessageXchange Gateway transform eInvoices to suit their software’s current abilities until their software is upgraded.
Using an eInvoicing portal
Another approach when eInvoicing is time-critical is to start with a web portal separate to your eInvoicing software. This is often a good interim step for when you’re only dealing with a small number of eInvoices. Our partner, Colladium, allows organisations to get setup in just minutes and supports both the sending and receiving of eInvoices. Check it out today.
Onboarding their suppliers and customers
Even the most advanced organisations have struggled when it comes to onboarding customers and suppliers. The main reason is that eInvoicing was still in its infancy.
We’ve come a long way since then though. Now there are a number of software packages that have eInvoicing built into them. Xero and MYOB, who cover a majority of Australian and New Zealand SMEs, allow their customers to send eInvoices free or at a low cost.
The most successful organisations who’ve onboarded their suppliers have been very clear with how the supplier can get eInvoicing ready. They hold webinars, send instructions and make it as easy as possible for suppliers. Many also offer incentives, like five-day payment terms, which is a sweetener for suppliers to get on board.
We’re lucky to have been chosen as the eInvoicing Access Point for a large number of organisations and we’ve been privy to how they’ve gone about implementing eInvoicing. If you’re looking to get ready for eInvoicing, have a chat to our team today using the form below.