eInvoicing is a new way to send and receive invoices electronically directly between accounting systems. How? It’s all done via a secure platform called the Peppol network. Not only does eInvoicing help facilitate faster payment times, but it’s also more efficient, accurate and – importantly – safer. In fact, everyone from enterprises (like Bunnings) to software providers and government agencies are jumping on board. And it’s easy to understand why.
Here in Australia, eInvoicing represents a $28 billion opportunity (and a $4.4 billion opportunity in New Zealand) thanks to increased efficiencies. What’s more, its security features make it a no-brainer for businesses of all sizes, particularly in today’s climate where cyber safety is a top priority. So to help you learn more (and maybe even convince you to try it out for yourself), we sat down with Xero advisors Caryn Hill of CHill Out! Bookkeeping and Gabrielle Crooke of Invert You to discuss their experiences and the benefits they’ve seen for small businesses.
What convinced you to look into eInvoicing for your practice and clients?
Caryn: What excited me most about eInvoicing is the security aspect. Invoices travel straight from one accounting software to another via the Peppol network, meaning an email or PDF can’t be lost or tampered with. Everyone who uses it also has to register for the network (as eInvoices can only travel between registered entities), which offers peace of mind in knowing all the information is verified.
Gabrielle: I have a few clients with quite a high turnover of Bunnings invoices. After I learned that Bunnings is a Peppol registered company, I talked to my clients about eInvoicing as a potential solution. It’s awesome to see companies like Bunnings leading the way. Especially as research shows that more small businesses would register for eInvoicing if big business suppliers (e.g. Telstra, Woolworths, Officeworks) sent invoices directly to their accounting systems.
Why should small businesses embrace eInvoicing? Tell us about the benefits.
Gabrielle: Alongside the security features already mentioned, the greatest benefit I’ve seen for small businesses is how quickly invoices appear in their accounting software. It’s faster and more accurate than any other system I’ve seen before, which makes reconciliation and paying bills easier for clients. As a Xero advisor, this reduces manual processing errors like double-ups or wrong dollar amounts – I have complete confidence that all the data coming through is correct.
Caryn: In all my years as a bookkeeper, I don’t think I’ve ever had a month where every single invoice is just there. But eInvoicing has changed this. Clients no longer have to scroll through their phones to find a blurry photo from weeks (or even years) ago or try to decipher the numbers on a faded receipt. It’s so easy to verify, reconcile and approve everything at the end of the month because it’s guaranteed that the data has been exchanged. This minimises processing time for me, as an advisor, and my clients, meaning we can both focus our energy on more important tasks.
Walk us through the registration process in Xero.
Caryn: It was amazing how quick the registration process was for my clients. Boom! Everything was just there. For those with a Bunnings Trade account, we didn’t even have to notify them – the invoices immediately started coming in, which was fantastic to see.
Gabrielle: I found the registration process in Xero to be super self-explanatory. After I had authorisation from my clients to sign them up, I followed the prompts; it was as simple as that.
Where can small businesses go to learn more about eInvoicing?
Gabrielle: My tip for anyone interested in eInvoicing is to do your research. According to Xero’s data, one of the top barriers to adoption for small businesses is not knowing enough about it. Which is why Xero has an excellent Resource Hub with plenty of helpful information to get started. And there’s always us – Xero advisors – who can guide you through the process.
Caryn: Advisors can be a great source of knowledge when it comes to eInvoicing – after all, many of us are big advocates as it makes our job easier. I’d also recommend talking to your small business peers. If we can get the word out there, we’ll see more registrations which means more people will benefit!
Gabrielle: Ultimately, eInvoicing reduces stress. We all have busy lives, and no one needs more to do. So be sure to register now and thank yourself later.
Want to try eInvoicing for yourself? Head to Xero Central for a step-by-step guide on how to register in Xero with just a few clicks. And remember, your advisor is always there to answer any additional questions you might have.