The Government mandate for commonwealth agencies to be e-invoicing 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 e-invoicing. Here’s how.
Educating themselves about e-invoicing
Getting your head around e-invoicing – 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 e-invoicing and its benefits:
- ATO e-invoicing: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/eInvoicing/
- MBIE e-invoicing: https://www.einvoicing.govt.nz/
Plus, companies who provide e-invoicing services, like us, generally have information available to help you through the process. Here are a couple of our resources:
- An introduction to e-invoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/resources/whitepapers/an-introduction-to-e-invoicing-whitepaper/
- A guide to adopting e-invoicing: 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 e-invoicing and what it means to their business, are better-equipped to implement e-invoicing as seamlessly as possible.
Getting internal teams on board
You might be the one in charge of implementing e-invoicing, 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 e-invoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/blog/getting-your-it-department-ready-for-e-invoicing/
- Getting your accounts payable department ready for e-invoicing: https://home.messagexchange.com/blog/getting-your-accounts-payable-department-ready-for-e-invoicing/
Integrating e-invoicing into their invoicing software
The first adopters of e-invoicing 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 e-invoicing
Many of the successful organisations have taken a staged approach to e-invoicing. Some examples we’ve seen are: governments implementing e-invoicing 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 e-invoices to suit their software’s current abilities until their software is upgraded.
Using an e-invoicing portal
Another approach when e-invoicing is time-critical is to start with a web portal separate to your e-invoicing software. This is often a good interim step for when you’re only dealing with a small number of e-invoices. Our partner, Colladium (link this to the e-invoicing page), allows organisations to get setup in just minutes and supports both the sending and receiving of e-invoices. 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 e-invoicing was still in its infancy.
We’ve come a long way since then though. Now there are a number of software packages that have e-invoicing built into them. Xero and MYOB, who cover a majority of Australian and New Zealand SMEs, allow their customers to send e-invoices 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 e-invoicing 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 e-invoicing Access Point for a large number of organisations and we’ve been privy to how they’ve gone about implementing e-invoicing. If you’re looking to get ready for e-invoicing, have a chat to our team today using the form below.