Progress on trans-Tasman business practices

A new group has been established to work on measures to help trans-Tasman businesses save time and money through improvements to their invoicing and payment systems.

Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison today met business leaders in Auckland for the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum. The Prime Ministers agreed to establish an Australia New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) to advise both governments.

“The new board represents the collective interests of both countries and will set the direction for how e-Invoicing will be rolled out over the next few years,” says Ms Ardern.

“This collaboration between government and business is focussed on creating greater inter-operability for a single digital economic market. It is estimated that e-Invoicing could save trans-Tasman businesses over $30 billion in transaction costs in 10 years.

“There is great potential for e-Invoicing to be a game changer for small and medium enterprises and the wider business sector. It will improve productivity and reduce the costs of doing business by allowing the direct exchange of invoices between the financial systems of suppliers and buyers.

“The ANZEIB will have an advisory and oversight role. It will set the strategic priorities for implementation of the e-Invoicing arrangement signed by both governments in October 2018. It will oversee management of any risks and ensure trans-Tasman collaboration complies with all legal requirements.

“We will continue to keep the business sector updated on the work of the Board and look forward to seeing progress on the rollout of e-Invoicing,” Ms Ardern says.

Small Business Minister Stuart Nash confirmed an in-principle decision has also been made with Australian Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert about the inter-operability framework for e-Invoicing.

Mr Nash says the decision was made as part of a consultation with business and industry leaders at a joint ministers’ roundtable in December 2018, but is subject to further work by the ANZEIB.

“The ANZEIB will have oversight of the steps needed to adopt the Pan European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) inter-operability framework,” says Mr Nash.

“Connection to the PEPPOL network will support e-Invoicing beyond New Zealand and Australia as well. It is used in 32 countries in Europe, as well as Singapore, Canada and the USA.

“We aim to finalise New Zealand and Australian membership of PEPPOL, and associated terms and conditions by mid-2019.  This will enable the transition to PEPPOL to take place by the end of the year, with businesses able to access the e-Invoicing framework from that time. The membership of the Board will be announced shortly.

“We are committed to growing the economy and working with businesses to encourage productivity,” Mr Nash says.