e-invoicing

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21st April, 2021

Implementing e-invoicing will have a huge impact on NZ small business efficiency

A lack of awareness and understanding of e-invoicing could be costing New Zealand’s small business community up to 400,000 hours in admin time each month.

A quarter of New Zealand’s SMEs could be holding themselves back from saving nearly 400,000 hours* combined each month on invoicing, massively impacting productivity, according to research from MYOB.

The new insights highlighted  an estimated one-in-five SMEs spend more than six hours per month on invoicing –  while also estimating 3.4 of those hours could be eliminated with e-invoicing.

But, more than a third (37 percent) of New Zealand SMEs haven’t heard about e-invoicing and 35 percent admit they’re not confident in their knowledge of how e-invoicing works.

Key findings from the research:

  • An estimated 120,000 SMEs currently spend more than 6 hours per month on invoicing
  • On average, the predicted time SMEs could save due to the implementation of e-invoicing is 3.4 hours each month, meaning small businesses are currently losing almost 400,000 hours to unneeded invoicing processes collectively every month
  • But 37% of NZ SMEs hadn’t previously heard about e-invoicing

There’s also a strong recognition of the major benefits of e-invoicing among NZ’s SMEs – with top benefits of those surveyed including:

  • Cost savings due to smoother invoice processing (53%)
  • Faster payment times (51%)
  • Better visibility of financial information and more accuracy in reporting (39%)
  • As a result, nearly a third (30%) have started to plan around implementing e-invoicing in their business
  • 54% of this group are discussing their plans with their accountant and 38% with the owner or manager of the business

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 launches this week for any businesses using the latest version of MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight.


e-Invoicing: The next evolution of the digital invoice


Part of the confusion that lies around e-invoicing is almost certainly tied up in the name, with many still believing the term is synonymous with a PDF or emailed invoice, when in fact there’s a bit more to it.

Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) is defined as the automated, digital exchanged of invoice information between the buyer’s and seller’s accounting systems.

As a result, e-invoicing presents a more secure alternative to other invoicing methods, while also reducing the friction associated with paying invoices due to errors, miscommunications or delayed communications.

MYOB senior sales manager (SME), Krissy Sadler-Bridge, explained 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 percent) 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.”


How much time could e-invoicing save you?


A number of New Zealand SMEs are already beginning 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 percent) of this group discussing their plans with their accountant and more than a third (38 percent), with the owner or manager of the business.

“Planning ahead will be key to ensuring a smooth transition to e-invoicing for local businesses,” said Sadler-Bridge.

“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.”

While the preparation side of things is fairly minimal, Sadler-Bridge recommends small businesses get started sooner in order to take advantage of the benefits sooner, too.

“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 offering.

Small businesses eager to start sending e-invoices will find a quick and easy sign-up process for e-invoicing within the latest version of MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight.