Soft launch planned for Commonwealth e-invoicing in 2022

The July 1, 2022 e-invoicing mandate announced by the Commonwealth Government will not force Australian businesses supplying to government to replace their existing financial systems and processes from that date. The Government will instead adopt a steady as she goes approach to the Peppol e-invoicing transition.

Responding to questions from IDM, a Treasury spokesperson confirmed that ‘The Government mandate requires that from 1 July 2022, all Commonwealth agencies must be able to accept PEPPOL e-Invoices. However, the mandate does not affect Commonwealth agencies continuing to accept paper and PDF invoices from businesses.”

“Since Australia enabled PEPPOL e-Invoicing in December 2019, the focus has been on establishing a network of accredited Service Providers. There are currently 20 accredited Service Providers with another 19 interested in joining. This provides a healthy foundation for the network to ensure sustainability and generate competition to keep costs low.

“Current invoice volumes are minimal however this is expected to gradually grow as more e-invoicing solutions hit the market,” the spokesperson said.

The Federal Government allocated $A3.6 million in the 2020 Budget to boost the rollout of Peppol e-invoicing in Australia. The funds will be allocated to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to “facilitate e-Invoicing adoption across all three levels of government (Commonwealth, state and local government).”

Treasury has not estimated the additional cost to Australian business to connect to a Peppol Access Point and configure finance systems to enable Peppol electronic invoicing. Nor has it assessed the additional Budget impact of these costs being passed onto government.

Treasury has estimated that by July 1, 2021, over 80 per cent of all invoices received by Commonwealth agencies will be able to be electronically received, if the creditor wishes to submit them in this way. 

“This will represent around a third of all agencies, with smaller agencies with less invoices having until 1 July 2022 to implement e-invoicing,” said the spokesperson.

The Treasury has been asked to consider options for imposing mandatory adoption of e-invoicing by business.

It would not offer any comment on whether this proposed mandate will extend to Australian business to business (B2B) invoicing or only business to government (B2G). Nor would it say whether it will consider making Peppol electronic invoicing mandatory for all business to consumer (B2C) invoicing.

A consultation paper will be published later this year on the Treasury’s website at The paper will invite the public to provide comments on e-Invoicing.

Australia and New Zealand are united behind the Peppol e-invoicing standard.

In October 2019, the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) became a Peppol Authority, with the responsibility of overseeing New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework, although it appears to be taking a less aggressive approach than the ATO. 

Adoption of e-invoicing by government is being encouraged to help achieve the 'pay 95% of domestic invoices in 10 days' policy, however there are currently no mandates.

This could change after election night on October 17, as the Labour Party Small Business Policy documents state: "Labour will promote the uptake of e-invoicing by requiring e-invoicing for all interactions with the state sector by December 2022."