ATO on board as PEPPOL authority

Continuing the push to adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) technology standard for e-invoicing in Australia, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been formally established as the Australian PEPPOL authority.

The ATO receive $A1.3 million in 2019-20 budget to help with the move.

Solution providers that wish to connect to the PEPPOL network must go through an accreditation process, either with OpenPEPPOL directly or with a local PEPPOL Authority.

PEPPOL is in use in 28 countries in Europe plus Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and the US. PEPPOL was initiated to give public sector organizations across Europe a standardised way to exchange electronic business documents. Its use has spread to the private sector. 

PEPPOL is the infrastructure for transferring e-documents, and PEPPOL BIS is a set of rules on how to structure the information in the e-documents, similar to a template. In the latest PEPPOL BIS version 3.0, PEPPOL Authorities have been given room to introduce regional rules to the format, allowing them to adapt it to their region instead of feeling the need to add a region-specific format to the network.

Digital service providers can now apply to the ATO to become accredited and move closer to delivering e-invoicing products to businesses.

Australian government agencies are also taking steps to implement the PEPPOL framework and support faster payments through e-invoices. On November 7, the Minister for Finance announced that from 1 January 2020, Commonwealth Government agencies capable of receiving e-invoices will start paying e-invoices up to $1 million in value within five days or pay interest on any late payments.

The ATO is working in partnership with agencies to support them in developing adoption timelines and pathways so that they can become enabled for e-invoicing in the coming year.

Deputy Commissioner John Dardo has welcomed the announcement. “Australian businesses will be able to incorporate this approach into their day-to-day business activities for domestic and international invoicing.”

“Using Peppol as the basis for Australian and New Zealand e-invoicing supports more efficient processing of invoices. The aim is to encourage widespread adoption by businesses, so they can take advantage of the benefits and thrive in the economic market by focusing on their core business rather than on labour intensive manual processes.”