International eInvoicing – Reducing Barriers to Cross-Border Trading

Sun, 01 Jan 2021

It is by no accident that the eInvoicing Interoperability Framework (Framework) title includes the word “Interoperability”; the Framework has been developed by the Digital Business Council (Council) with both national and international use in mind. A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics found that small and medium businesses who are digitally savvy are seven times more likely to be exporting and, as a result, will need to exchange commercial data. Additionally, a survey by amr into small and medium business invoicing activity found that more than 25% of small and medium businesses do business overseas.

The eInvoicing Framework is supported by tried and tested systems and standards which means it is a robust model that will stand the test of time. The Framework minimises barriers to cross-border trading because it is based on open, established and international standards.

In particular, the 4-corner model utilised in the Framework is a well-established and internationally accepted solution based on what is used by the European Union.

One of the main considerations for international interoperability is the need to uniquely identify all parties receiving invoices. To this end, a Policy for Using Business Identifiers has been developed, which draws on various ISO standards as well as input from the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), Pan European Public Procurement Online(External link) (PEPPOL) and Electronic Simple Electronic Networked Services (e-SENS). The eInvoicing Policy for Using Business Identifiers aims to recognise existing identifier schemes (such as Australian Business Number (ABN), Global Location Number (GLN) and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)) without creating a new scheme altogether.

The Digital Business Council aims to support Australia in moving towards a digital economy, ensuring it keeps up with other nations around the world. eInvoicing is just the first step in digitising the procure to pay lifecycle and the Framework has been developed with future steps in mind. To access the full suite of published documents, refer to the Digital Business Council website.