IPA rebuffs moves to mandatory e-invoicing as ‘not a priority’
The Institute of Public Accountants has called moves from the federal government to mandate electronic invoicing as “not a priority” and distracts from accountants and business clients being able to pursue a full recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
IPA general manager of technical policy Tony Greco told Public Accountant that the accounting body supports the principles behind e-invoicing and more generally the move to a digital presence for all businesses.
However, Mr Greco said the mandating of e-invoicing is not a priority in the current economic environment when there are so many pressing issues it needs to compete with.
“We therefore do not support any mandating until the business community and its advisers has had a chance to bed down the secondary impacts of a post COVID recovery,” he said.
Mr Greco’s comments mirror those from CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) in their joint submission to the Treasury regarding the mandatory e-invoicing proposal.
As well as businesses needing to focus on business survival and recovery from COVID-19, CPA Australia and CA ANZ said businesses that do not send or receive large volumes of invoices may only see marginal benefits to adopting e-invoicing, particularly those whose customers are predominantly individual consumers.
“COVID-19 has significantly impacted businesses, with many trying to protect their day-to-day solvency while meeting their obligations as employers,” the letter said.
“Giving due consideration to possible additional mandatory requirements is an unnecessary distraction for many businesses during this time.”
CPA Australia and CA ANZ suggested the government consider incentives such as Singapore’s E-Invoicing Registration Grant.
Under the scheme, eligible businesses are given S$200 ($195) upon adopting a solution that meets required invoicing standards.
Further, Singapore has also introduced a Digital Resilience Bonus for businesses in the food services and retail sectors by providing bonus payments of up to S$10,000 ($9,750) for eligible businesses that adopt Singapore’s e-invoicing solution and other digital solutions.