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Australian Digital Business Council Establishes National Framework for e-Invoicing Standards

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Richard Law
Content Executive, sharedserviceslink

The Australian Digital Business Council (ADBC) is establishing a national framework for e-invoicing standards, outlined in a consultation paper The e-invoicing Interoperability Framework. 

The paper is described as “a set of policies, standards and guidelines to provide certainty on how various technology and components should be used to extend e-invoicing to all Australian businesses.” 

The paper includes a breakdown of the motivation behind the framework and technical specifications, an outline of the interoperability framework, and different business scenarios to illustrate how the framework will work.

John McAlister, the Executive sponsor, has confirmed that the initiative's major focus is on government and that the following is already in progress:

  • The Federal Government intends to enable all its agencies to receive electronic invoices with a preferred start date of no later than July 2017
  • Governments to make a clear statement of support for e-invoicing in general and to adopt the standard and Interoperability Framework as drafted by the ADBC

The majority of Australian States also indicated to support the initiative's approach through the Council of Australian Government Senior Officials.

A 2015 Billentis report estimated that Austrailian businesses issue 1.2bn invoices a year, but found that Austrailia is lagging in the world in whole economy-based e-invoicing. The report recommended the creation of a multi-stakeholder forum to align public and private sector requirements, leading to the establishment of the ADBC. 

Using the e-invoicing framework will be voluntary for Australian businesses; the framework aims to increase adoption by creating confidence in the market and subsequently encouraging software developers to produce e-invoicing integrated software. 

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