eInvoicing with MessageXchange in a nutshell

If you’re just starting out with eInvoicing, or looking for an eInvoicing provider, the process can be pretty daunting and confusing. The good news is, this blog is just for you. Keep reading to find out the A to Z of eInvoicing with MessageXchange.

What is eInvoicing?

For those really new to eInvoicing, have a look at this whitepaper that explains in layman’s terms what eInvoicing is, how it’s used, its benefits and more.Ok, now you’re all up to speed with the basics…

It doesn’t matter what software you use for invoicing

The good news with our eInvoicing service is that it doesn’t matter what invoicing software you use. Our service is software-agnostic, which means we can connect to any software. In the diagram above, your software will be corners 1 or 4. We’ll handle all the nitty gritty between corners 1 and 3 (for sending invoices) and corners 4 and 2 (for receiving invoices) so you don’t have to worry about any added stress of finding new software. After all, we all know what a process and investment changing software can be.

Your software doesn’t support UBL files? No worries

Now that you’re all up-to-date with eInvoicing, you’ll know that UBL is the file format used between Access Points (corners 2 and 3) to exchange eInvoices. In reality, many software packages don’t support this file format. And this is something we’ve catered for. We can take your software’s native file format and translate, or map, this to and from the eInvoicing UBL file. For those non-technical people reading this – usually a software package exports an imports one specific file format, like XML or JSON.

MessageXchange provides both Access Point and SMP services

The introduction to eInvoicing whitepaper describes how the eInvoicing process works. When an eInvoice is received at the sender’s Access Point, it looks up where to send the eInvoice to. This lookup is done in an SMP, or service metadata publisher. So, when you register to receive eInvoices, you’ll need to register your ABN, NZBN or whatever identifier you use, in an SMP. MessageXchange provides this service for free for all its eInvoicing customers so it’s one less thing you need to worry about.

Options to suit every business

We offer a couple of different eInvoicing options, which should suit most, if not all businesses out there.

eInvoicing Connect

This is the perfect option if you want to get up and running quickly and cost-effectively. This product can be used for sending and receiving eInvoices, or just one or the other. It also caters for business response messages, which is sent from a recipient of an eInvoice to a sender to update them on the status of the eInvoice, for example, whether it’s been accepted, rejected, paid and more. We’ve got an existing integration with TechnologyOne CiAnywhere, but if you’re not using that software, you can connect to MessageXchange via SFTP or our AS2 to exchange UBL, XML or CSV files. We have a message implementation guide for our XML and CSV files so you can familiarise yourself with the structure. When it comes to pricing, get setup for as little as $950, which includes registration of one ABN or NZBN. Then it’s just $50 per annum (this covers the subscription to our Access Point) and $50 for a pack of 1,000 credits. One credit covers 1MB of data or part thereof of a single message, including attachments. eInvoicing Connect users get access to a portal, which allows you to view a log of the invoices you’ve sent and received and you can see your credit balance too. Find out more about eInvoicing Connect here.

eInvoicing Gateway

If you’re going to be an eInvoicing power user, or are looking at eInvoicing more strategically, our eInvoicing Gateway is for you. It’s got much more flexibility in that we can connect to any software using any secure connection protocol to exchange any file format (MessageXchange configures maps to translate your format to/from the UBL format). Plus, it’s got additional functionality. Our Gateways allow you to implement business rule validation, which can do things like reject an invoice if it doesn’t have the data you need. It can also enrich invoice data, like adding an internal vendor number based on the ABN it’s sent from, to make sure the invoice data your software receives is what you need. The data enrichment can also cater for outgoing invoices. This helps if your software doesn’t populate all the mandatory eInvoicing information, or the information that your customers require from you. Another benefit of our eInvoicing Gateways is it’s reporting and analytics functionality. Get access to custom reports based on any data in the invoices and even call on data from other sources. One case we’ve seen is top-level reporting on multiple business units. The functionality is all there, but how you use it is really up to your imagination and your business’ needs. Find out more about our eInvoicing Gateways here.

Onboarding suppliers

Yes, getting setup for eInvoicing is the thing we think about first, but onboarding your trading partners is what you’ll turn your attention to once that’s done. With our 20+ years in supply chain trading, we’ve got a few tips at the ready. We’ve developed a guide to help you engage and onboard your supply chain. Plus, we’ve got no- and low-cost solutions for your trading partners to send and receive eInvoices. Just ask us more.

Security is a top priority

We know invoice data is commercially sensitive and that’s why we do everything within our power to keep it secure. We’re ISO27001 accredited, we use encryption in transit and encryption at rest plus a range of other security, DR and BCP processes. Have a look here for more info.Ready to find out more? Have a chat with one of our eInvoicing experts.

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Could mandatory eInvoicing be on the cards? Business eInvoicing Right (BER) explained

The Government’s roll-out of eInvoicing started with a mandate for Federal Government agencies to adopt eInvoicing by July 1, 2022. Several State Governments have also taken the initiative to adopt eInvoicing, with one driving force being to support the Federal Government’s initiative and to help boost adoption among businesses – after all, what business wouldn’t want their invoices paid in 5 days? This has been a good step in eInvoicing adoption. In late 2021, around 10,000 businesses were registered for eInvoicing, but with over 2.4 million businesses in Australia, there’s still a long way to go.If we rewind to November 2020, Treasury released consultation paper that looked at a possible mandate for businesses to adopt eInvoicing, suggesting three different options:
  1. A phased mandate for all businesses
  2. A mandate for only large businesses
  3. No mandate.
34 companies made a submission on this paper, with all of them acknowledging the benefits of eInvoicing but many of them suggesting a well-considered approach, given costs can be incurred to implement eInvoicing and the time that may be required to both implement eInvoicing and change processes around it. Fast forward to December 2021, The Treasury released another consultation paper to the public, explaining the widespread benefits of eInvoicing if it was adopted at large. It mentioned the Budget’s inclusion of $15.3 million to help accelerate adoption of eInvoicing among Australian businesses. They sought feedback from stakeholders in the industry as to how to support business to adopt eInvoicing and to give businesses certainty that when they adopted eInvoicing, they’d be able to use it with their trading partners. This would be done through Business eInvoicing Right, or BER. Another 39 submissions were made, many of which included the same rhetoric as the previous ones – eInvoicing has huge benefits, but the Government must support businesses and make it easier, rather than force a mandate. Now back in late 2022, what’s happened? Well, a lot politically. We’ve had a change in Government, to start with. While eInvoicing is supported by both parties, we’ve not heard anything definitive on BER or an eInvoicing mandate for businesses. We’ve seen software companies like Xero, MYOB and Reckon all include eInvoicing in their products, which takes eInvoicing a long way – they represent a large majority of small to medium businesses, which make up a big portion of all businesses. There is a lot still happening in this space. So stay tuned.Interested in learning more about eInvoicing? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Accounts receivable automation using eInvoicing

Getting bogged down in manual processes can really hurt an accounts receivables team. After all, invoices that take a long time to process cost a business and make for an underperforming team. Thankfully there’s technology out there to deal with this. eInvoicing automates the exchange of invoices directly from your software to your customers’. eInvoicing works like this:
  1. You find your customer’s purchase order (PO) in your software and create an invoice from it. Your team then sends the invoice electronically from your software. The invoice is sent, almost magically, through the Peppol network directly to your customer’s software. They don’t need to scan it, type it in or anything.
  2. Your customer’s software may then be able to match the received invoice against the PO for payment authorisation.
Here are some of the benefits of using eInvoicing in your accounts receivable team.

Get paid faster

If you’re in accounts receivables, you want to send out invoices and get paid as quickly as possible. That’s where eInvoicing comes in. Studies have shown eInvoicing can reduce processing cycle time by up to 65%. Some government agencies even promise to pay their suppliers’ eInvoices in just five days.

Reduce disputes

The automation of eInvoicing also makes it very unlikely for any errors to show up on invoices when your customers get them into their software. This reduces the chance of your customers ringing you up asking about invoices with the wrong quantities or costs… yikes!

Get more visibility

Typically when you email an invoice, you only know it's approved once you receive the payment into your bank account. Or sometimes your customers might be nice enough to send you a remittance advice. The eInvoicing model supports eInvoice responses, which can tell you when an invoice is acknowledged, approved, paid, rejected and more. It can even tell you why it's been rejected.

Reduce invoice processing costs

eInvoicing digitises the whole invoicing process so it’s one less thing you need a printer for. Plus, an added bonus of eInvoicing is less need for archiving invoices, which reduces costs by up to 32%. Overall, studies have shown it costs $30.87 to process a paper invoice, $27.67 a PDF invoice, and only $9.18 to process an eInvoice.Interested in learning more about eInvoicing for your accounts receivable team? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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What’s next for eInvoicing?

eInvoicing continues to grow in popularity and it’s expected to expand further. There’s a lot coming to eInvoicing in the future so we thought we’d look at some of the developments.

More message types on the Peppol network, not just eInvoices

Studies have shown that 72.5% of invoices globally are paid late . In 2016, Australian companies were an average of 26.4 days overdue on their invoice payments. With the help of eInvoicing, we’re seeing sellers being paid in less time. This improves cash flow and allows businesses to use their funds more strategically.

Could there be a business mandate for eInvoicing?

In 2020, the Commonwealth government’s Treasury sent out a request for feedback from businesses on options to accelerate the adoption of eInvoicing an. One option involves requiring all businesses to have the capability to send and receive Peppol eInvoices, with large businesses being the first. Another option would be to require only large businesses to have the ability to send and receive Peppol eInvoices. The last option is a non-regulatory option that offers more flexibility for businesses to choose their own pathway to adoption. This is by no means a mandate for eInvoicing at the moment, but some of the options, if implemented, could bring a mandate.

We’ve also seen the Government push the Business eInvoicing Right (BER) initiative to encourage the adoption of B2B eInvoicing. The BER allows companies to request their trading partners to send them eInvoices in the Peppol format. The objective of the BER initiative is to gradually introduce the obligatory use of eInvoicing among Australian companies, based on their size.

Push by government to get suppliers onboard to eInvoicing

With government agencies and departments going through mandatory implementation of eInvoicing, it’s only a matter of time before their suppliers follow suit. There’s already been talk about government agencies mandating their suppliers to implement eInvoicing. The ATO is currently focusing on a push to large businesses, particularly in the utilities and telecommunications sectors, to support eInvoicing.Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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5 reasons why companies are choosing eInvoicing

We continue to see eInvoicing gathering momentum. Here in Australia, the number of companies registering for eInvoicing is growing hugely. Here are five of the reasons companies are choosing eInvoicing.

They’re getting paid faster

Studies have shown that 72.5% of invoices globally are paid late . In 2016, Australian companies were an average of 26.4 days overdue on their invoice payments. With the help of eInvoicing, we’re seeing sellers being paid in less time. This improves cash flow and allows businesses to use their funds more strategically.

They’re saving time by reducing manual processes

With an outdated system, processing invoices involves lots of steps. With eInvoicing there’s no need to enter invoice data, saving you time. MessageXchange can even automate more processes such as matching invoices to PO numbers and more. All these things let your staff focus on more important tasks.

They’re saving costs and reducing errors

The ATO estimates paper and PDF invoices can cost between $27 and $30 to process. eInvoicing reduces the costs to less than $10. In Australia alone, 1.2 billion invoices are sent each year, so you can already see the savings that are to be made. You can save on:

  • paper costs
  • printing costs
  • additional scanning equipment costs.

Manually inputting invoices exposes businesses to human errors. The automation from eInvoicing can reduce errors by up to 37%. Errors can be costly for any business, and especially the costs involved to rectify them.

They’re using a more secure way to exchange invoices

Invoices are often a targeted way for scammers to commit fraud. A recent study by XERO found 18% of Australian SMEs have fallen victim to invoice fraud and this costs a business an average of $15,500. This number has only grown with the increase of scams during the pandemic. To avoid this, eInvoicing messages go through the secure Peppol network, which has processes in place to reduce the risk of fake or comprised invoices.

They’re on a digital transformation journey

Digital transformation is the move to digital technology to improve existing processes. eInvoicing does exactly that and is a great starting point. Can you imagine if you were still issuing invoices by fax? We’ve well and truly moved on from that, and eInvoicing is the new way.

Getting started with eInvoicing

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Check your software

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Our team connects you to the Peppol eInvoicing network

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Go live!

Want to get started with eInvoicing? Get in touch with our eInvoicing team below to learn more.

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The future used to be paperless. Now it’s PDF-less.

Not too many moons ago, there was a big push towards a paperless office – everything needed to be digital. No more faxes and no more mail – email was the new hero. This was a big progression at the time. It was more sustainable, there was less chance of things going awry and it was just more efficient. But times have changed.Nowadays, technology has advanced a lot more. And yes, while emailing PDFs is still much more efficient than snail mail or faxes, there are still downfalls. Many companies ‘scan’ or use optical character recognition (OCR) to truly make their invoices digital. However, many companies who come to us report only a 70% accuracy rate with OCR. Imagine then having to find the errors and on top of that, fix them. No thank you! And companies who don’t use this technology are still typing invoices in letter-by-letter, number-by-number. Yikes! We’re lucky to be in such a time where we now have better options. You might have heard of electronic data interchange, or EDI. It gets data from a supplier’s software to their customer’s software. Instead of the customer having to scan (or OCR) a PDF invoice or manually type it in, a machine-readable file is sent to the customer’s software. There’s no manual intervention required and it just appears, almost like magic. This also happens for other procurement documents like purchase orders and shipping notices. The Australian and New Zealand Governments have also identified that going truly digital brings massive benefits. $28 billion in benefits to the Australian economy over the next 10 years, to be specific. Because of this, the Australian and New Zealand Governments have worked collaboratively to bring an electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) standard to businesses: Peppol. This works in a similar way to EDI – it sends invoices from the supplier’s software straight to the buyer’s software. No typing, no scanning, no nothing. And major accounting software providers are onboard too. Both MYOB and Xero allow their customers to send and receive eInvoices. How good is that. So next time you find yourself typing another invoice into your software or fixing up an invoice mistake, have a look into eInvoicing or EDI. After all, the future is no longer paperless, it’s PDF-less!

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How eInvoicing delivers a better procure-to-pay (P2P) experience for your suppliers

eInvoicing is strongly emerging here in Australia and New Zealand as one of the key digital transformation activities in 2022. Its dominance is being led by the Government because of its massive benefits to the economy (think $10 billion to the Australian and New Zealand economies). But that’s not its only benefit – it can deliver a much better procure-to-pay (P2P) experience for suppliers too.

What is eInvoicing?

In short, when your suppliers create an invoice in their invoicing software, it’ll almost ‘magically’ appear in your accounting software. To find out the nitty gritty, have a look at our whitepaper, an introduction to eInvoicing.

So how does it benefit your suppliers?

It’s sent directly from the supplier’s software into the customer’s software

Once your supplier enters it into their software, they can be rest assured that it’ll be delivered straight into their customer’s software. And if, for whatever reason it can’t be, the supplier will be sent a notification, so they’re always in the loop. This means their invoice will be received in record time, and the payment process can begin. Winner!

It doesn’t get lost among emails or people forgetting to forward it on

Gone are the days of emailing a PDF invoice, waiting for the person the supplier deals with to approve it, pass it onto the accounts payable team for processing and then joining the payments queue. eInvoices go straight into the customer’s software, so there’s not getting lost in emails – it joins the queue, which is often automated by the customer, to speed up the process.

Suppliers can get notified of the status of an invoice

One of the real benefits for suppliers is getting notifications of the invoice status. The eInvoicing network (Peppol here in Australia and New Zealand) has a ‘response’ message that goes back to the eInvoice sender to let them know if the eInvoice has been received (or failed or rejected for whatever reason) and can also update the supplier on things like whether it’s been approved for payment, whether it’s been paid, and more. eInvoicing has heaps of benefits for you too, not just your suppliers. You can have peace of mind invoices won’t go missing, plus you don’t have to worry about entering the data incorrectly into your software.

Ready to get yourself or your suppliers onboard to eInvoicing? Here’s how…

First, get yourself eInvoicing-enabled

You’ll need an eInvoicing service provider. This is called an ‘Access Point’. The Access Point gets the invoices into your software (and also out of your software if you’re using it for accounts receivable invoicing too). It’s your gateway to the eInvoicing network. Get in touch with us to find out what the best option is, or have a look here.

Then get your suppliers onboard

Depending on our suppliers, it could be worth breaking them down into groups to get them onboard. This is handy so that you’re not overwhelmed with the task, but also allows you to tailor your communications, depending on your suppliers. Take a look at our whitepaper, a guide to successfully onboarding trading partners to eInvoicing.

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eInvoicing around the world: A March 2022 update

eInvoicing is continuing to gain momentum here in Australia. More incentives are being offered, with businesses with a turnover of up to $50m now eligible for a $120 tax deduction on every $100 spent on digital technologies, including eInvoicing. And don’t forget the Federal government mandate is set for July this year, so all Federal government agencies will be able to receive eInvoices. NSW has followed suit too, requiring all state agencies to be able to receive eInvoices by July 1 this year. There’s also talk of a possible mandate for B2B transactions, so stay tuned on that one. The Federal government made the promise to pay eInvoices from suppliers with contracts under $1m within five days. And come the 1st of July, this will apply to all suppliers, regardless of their contract size. But Australia isn’t the only place where eInvoicing is gaining momentum. Let’s have a look at where the rest of the world is at…

Europe

Poland

The Polish Government is mandating B2B eInvoicing countrywide by 2023 through their national eInvoicing system (KSeF). All suppliers will be required to issue eInvoices and all buyers will be required to receive eInvoices via KSeF.

France

In France, mandatory B2B eInvoicing will begin from 1 July 2024 for the 300 largest enterprises. All large enterprises will be required to receive eInvoices from the 1 July 2024. 8,000 medium-sized enterprises will need to be able to receive eInovices from 1 January 2025 and remaining businesses will need to have the ability to receive eInvoices by 1 January 2026.

Portugal

The Portuguese Government is implementing mandatory B2G eInvoicing from 1 January 2022.

Cyprus

The Cyprus Government is also implementing mandatory B2G eInvoicing from 1 January 2022.

Spain

Spain has planned to pass law to mandate B2B eInvoicing from 2023.

Belgium

Belgium has also planned to pass law to mandate B2B eInvoicing from 2023.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

Saudia Arabia are in progress with their two phase implementation of eInvoicing applicable to all B2B, B2C and B2G transactions:
  • Phase 1: Suppliers can no longer generate or store paper, picture format or PDF invoices.
  • Phase 2: Mandating eInvoicing countrywide using Saudi Arabia’s eInvoicing platform (ZATCA).

Asia

Japan

Japan has joined the PEPPOL network and will look to implement with B2B and B2G transactions but no mandate is in place at the moment.

Philippines

A pilot scheme for B2G eInvoicing will start in the Philippines on 1 July 2022.

Vietnam

A mandatory B2B electronic invoicing in Vietnam for companies in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Phu Tho and Binh Dinh by March 2022. The other provinces will do the same by July 2022.

Americas

United States

The Government are commencing a pilot program to standardise the use of B2B electronic invoicing in the United States to start in the coming year.

Panama

Electronic invoicing will be mandatory in Panama in 2022
  • As of 1 January 2022, it will be mandatory for taxpayers registered with a tax identification number (RUC).
  • And as of July 2022, it will be mandatory for all other companies.
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Keep up to date with all that’s new and get some helpful tips about eInvoicing

Tips for writing a tender document to find an eInvoicing provider

Many organisations are starting to go through the process of finding an eInvoicing provider. Some, particularly larger, organisations need to go through a formal procurement process to find a supplier. Given eInvoicing is a new area for a lot of people, here are some tips to help you write your tender document.

Get to know the ins and outs of eInvoicing

The last thing you want is to be unprepared. Getting to know the basics of eInvoicing makes this process much easier. Make sure you get to know what eInvoicing is and how it works. Learn about the use cases, the benefits, what it will mean for each of your teams (like accounts payable, accounts receivable, IT and others), what it will mean for your customers and suppliers, find out how others have used it as a start.

Get to know what eInvoicing providers provide beyond just eInvoicing

Just like most industries, there are some eInvoicing providers who merely pass the invoice from A to B. But there are others who have capability to do much more. Here at MessageXchange, our powerful software can insert missing information, check the information you require is on the invoice and perform complex lookups, workflows, rules and more. This functionality is particularly useful for organisations who have complex business rules, automated payments and integrations with multiple systems.

Have a clear view of how eInvoicing will fit into your architecture and processes

For smaller organisations, it can be as simple as eInvoices coming in and out of your software. Even in this simple case, you’ll need to know how they will come in and out – through an API, can it drop and pickup files from an SFTP folder or does it need to use another method – and what format they will come in and out in – will it be an XML format, a CSV or something else? For larger organisations, accounts receivable invoices may come out of one system and accounts payable invoices may go into another. You may have a single integration point for any data coming from the outside world, rather than connect to your systems directly. Be very clear on what this process will look like for your company. On the accounts payable side, many organisations have automated matching against an order, or checking the vendor number or ABN or other data. Make sure you know how eInvoices will fit into this process.

Get familiar with your company’s IT policies for external vendors

Some companies require IT vendors to have backup, redundancy and service SLAs. Make sure you’re familiar with what your company requires so you can be clear about this in your tender.

Start writing!

  • Document your setup and key information like:
    • The software you use (and go into detail if your setup isn’t straightforward, for example if you have multiple systems)
    • Whether you want to send and/or receive eInvoices
    • How many eInvoices you expect to send and/or receive
  • Break it down into sections. Example:
    • Company information
    • Technical requirements
    • Business process requirements
    • Procurement requirements
    • Contract
    • Pricing
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Don’t think you’re ready to use eInvoicing? It’s not as difficult as you might think

eInvoicing is gaining momentum with all the benefits it is bringing to businesses around the world. But change is difficult and implementing eInvoicing can seem more daunting than it should be. We’re clearing the air and are here to show just how easy implementing eInvoicing can be.

Get started with a web portal

Did you know you don’t need to spend time and resources integrating eInvoicing into your software? If you’re looking for something quick and easy, all you need is internet access – and if you’re reading this, you’ve got that. Basically, you can login to a web portal like Colladium to send and receive eInvoices using an easy-to-use interface. It’s one of the simplest and most cost-effective options to start eInvoicing. Colladium only takes minutes to sign up and it’s free to use. All you need to do is register and get started!

Plug and play software integrations

Your existing software might have some plug-and-play style integrations to start eInvoicing. These allow you to send and receive eInvoices using your own software, and setup is quick and easy. MessageXchange has an easy option for MYOB Account Right and New Essentials users. Send invoices directly to your customers’ software and receive bills directly into your In Tray. Plus, Technology One Ci Anywhere and Oracle Financials Cloud users can take advantage of our eInvoicing Connect product to start receiving eInvoices in just days.

Ask your existing Invoicing/ERP software provider

You may not know it, but your current software may be eInvoicing capable. You should ask your provider if eInvoicing is already enabled or whether they plan to make it available.

Find an eInvoicing service provider

If you’re working with software that isn’t enabled for eInvoicing you can get easily set up with an eInvoicing service provider, like MessageXchange. We’re able to help you send and receive eInvoices directly from your software. Even if your software doesn’t export or import the Peppol standard file we can translate the files to whatever your software needs. Want to get started with eInvoicing? Get in touch with our eInvoicing experts by filling the form below.

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How leading organisations are managing the transition to eInvoicing

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: 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: 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:

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.

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How to use eInvoicing when your software isn’t capable

eInvoicing may be a relatively new concept for a lot of businesses. Government has led the way on its adoption, but the real benefits are going to be for businesses. In fact, the ATO has estimated that one eInvoice can be processed for up to $20 less than a paper invoice. And if we look at the accumulated costs, this could give an economic benefit of $28 billion over ten years. There’s little wonder we’re seeing interest now from businesses. The ability to create invoices in your accounting software is usually there off the shelf. But that’s not always the case for eInvoicing. If it’s not, there’s no need to stress. This is where we come in. Just a side note – if you’re not yet familiar with how eInvoicing works, check out our whitepaper, an introduction to eInvoicing, here. It explains the whole thing in layman’s terms.

Importing and exporting data from your software

Most software can import and export data. And that’s all we need. You might already be using this sort of functionality today – exporting data in a CSV or XML format to load into other software, to change the data in bulk, or to make some pretty graphs in Excel. If you want to automate the export and import, most software is capable of this too. This means it’ll be done without anyone physically pressing buttons – it’s a task that will run on schedule. Just chat to your software consultant or IT team about this. It should be pretty straightforward though.

Converting your exported file to the Peppol eInvoicing format

As we mentioned above, your software might export a CSV or XML file, or perhaps something else. Unless your software has some sort of eInvoicing capability build in, it’s unlikely to handle the format required by the eInvoicing network (the format is called a UBL, by the way). It’s fine if your software doesn’t though – MessageXchange can convert your file, whatever that might be, to and from the Peppol UBL.

Getting the data to your Access Point

So, your software can import and export invoice files. Now we need to exchange them. The simplest way to get them to MessageXchange will be through an sFTP folder. We mentioned this at the end of the importing an exporting data from your software section. Your IT team can drop your exported files into an sFTP folder, and for incoming eInvoices, they can pick them up and import them into your software. It’s a pretty basic process. If sFTP doesn’t work for you, there are also other options like API, AS2 and more.

Following the same approvals process in your accounts payable software

Many businesses, particularly larger ones, have automated processes in place for approving invoices. If you’re looking to use eInvoicing for accounts payable invoices, there doesn’t need to be any changes to your approvals processes. Just like regular invoices start the process when they’re entered or scanned into your software.

Catering for business rules in your accounts payable software

Some software or approvals processes require certain information on invoices like purchase order number or bank details. MessageXchange’s sophisticated software can cater for this. We can make sure invoices have this information on them before they’re imported into your software. If they don’t meet your criteria, MessageXchange can reject them and notify your supplier. Our software can also check for duplicate invoices, to ensure it doesn’t already exist before it’s ingested, to make sure you don’t pay it twice.

And if all else fails, use a web portal

We’ve seen organisations who need to get eInvoicing-enabled quickly turn to a web portal. 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. Interested in learning more about how you can get eInvoicing ready? Have a chat to our team today by filling in the form below.

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