The Federal Government has been urged to explore the introduction of mandatory electronic invoicing to avoid a carbon tax bill of up to $24 million a year.
Electronic invoicing vendor Basware’s vice president for A/NZ Karri Lehtonen put the estimate on the Government's carbon tax obligations should it continue to issue paper invoices once the tax was introduced in July next year.
Lehtonen said that it had broached the topic of electronic invoicing with the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
He claimed the department did not know if it were the right agency to spearhead such a project and that Basware was "yet to discover" an individual or department in Canberra to spearhead electronic invoicing.
Basware saw automation provisions in the Government's “draft vision" statement as a kind of mandate for the introduction of electronic invoicing.
Action item 2.4 stated the Government should "increase the automation of services - Automate processes to improve the interactions between people, business and government" from this year.
A Department spokesman said the Government was "always open to considering the adoption of new technologies, such as electronic invoicing, where it improves productivity and efficiency.
“[But] when undertaking such consideration, the operational needs of over 100 agencies and over 16,000 suppliers to the Commonwealth have to be taken into account," the spokesman said.
Basware said that moving to electronic invoicing could save between $8 and $20 an invoice.
It also said that such moves have been on government radars internationally since at least 2005.
OECD governments that had banned or pledged to ban paper invoices included Denmark (2005), Singapore, Sweden, Italy (2008), Finland (2010), Greece (2012), USA (2013), Norway (2013) with Canada, Luxembourg, Russia. Mexico and Brazil also committed.