E-Invoicing confidence woes could see SMEs miss out on significant time savings

16 Apr 2021

A lack of confidence and knowledge around e-Invoicing could hold nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s SMEs back from potentially saving nearly 400,000 hours* combined each month on invoicing, massively impacting productivity, according to research from MYOB.

The latest insights highlighted that an estimated one-in-five SMEs spend more than six hours per month on invoicing – valuable time that could be freed up with the adoption of e-Invoicing solutions. However, more than a third (37%) of New Zealand SMEs haven’t heard about e-Invoicing and 35% admit they’re not confident in their knowledge of how e-Invoicing works.

The findings from MYOB’s poll have been revealed as the leading business management platform announces the release of its own e-Invoicing solution, which will launch next week to local small businesses using the latest version of MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight Browser.

MYOB Senior Sales Manager – SME, Krissy Sadler-Bridge, explains that overcoming a lack of confidence to embrace digital solutions like e-Invoicing, will play a pivotal role in helping achieve and maintain positive cashflow.

“We know that time is money for our SMEs, and now more than ever, having the ability to focus on their business and plan for growth is key to their survival and success.

“Our last Business Monitor highlighted that nearly half (46%) of SMEs have struggled with late payments from customers. Following up these payments not only creates extra work for many of these smaller operators, but the subsequent financial impact of late payments can be a huge burden.

“A strong enabler for a digital economy, there are a number of ways e-Invoicing can help ease payment delays that put a strain on cashflow, and we’re ready to help New Zealand’s SMEs save time, improve their e-Invoicing confidence and continue to lead our economic recovery,” says Krissy.

While knowledge appears to be stronger amongst SMEs with more than 10 employees, the findings revealed that nearly half (49%) of sole traders and a third of those with between 5-9 employees feel they have no knowledge around e-Invoicing.

Given this, it’s perhaps not surprising that a similar trend shone through around e-Invoicing confidence - with 45% of sole traders and more than a third (38%) of small businesses with 2-4 employees admitting they were not confident about e-Invoicing or how it works.

Despite there being room for a boost in confidence, overall, SMEs are feeling good about the introduction of e-Invoicing. Half of those polled say they feel positive about the roll-out of e-Invoicing solutions and more than a third (37%) believe it should be mandatory for government departments and businesses to use e-Invoicing.

There is also strong recognition of the major benefits of e-Invoicing amongst local SMEs – cost savings due to smoother invoice processing, faster payment times, better visibility of financial information and more accuracy in reporting, were considered the top benefits by those surveyed.

Additionally encouraging, a number of New Zealand SMEs are also starting to think ahead when it comes to their adoption of e-Invoicing. Nearly a third have started to plan around implementing e-Invoicing in their business, with more than half (54%) of this group discussing their plans with their accountant and more than a third (38%), with the owner or manager of the business. 

“Planning ahead will be key to ensuring a smooth transition to e-Invoicing for local businesses. Not only will this minimise any potential teething problems, but it will also allow SMEs to be truly ready to take advantage of the benefits of e-Invoicing,” explains Krissy.

“This preparation should include taking the time to improve any gaps in knowledge of how e-Invoicing works and learning more about the digital tools available to facilitate the processing of e-Invoices, sorting an NZBN if needed, checking access point providers are PEPPOL certified, and ensuring that the chosen e-Invoicing solution meets your business needs.”

To deliver flexible e-Invoicing solutions for New Zealand SMEs and offer a range of options that meet their needs, MYOB has partnered with four PEPPOL-certified access point providers, including LINK4, LUCA Plus and MessageXchange, for the roll out of its e-Invoicing offer. For SMEs eager to start sending e-Invoices, a quick and easy sign-up process for e-Invoicing will feature within the latest version of MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight Browser.