The federal Industry department has for the first time electronically invoiced a private sector recipient after a national standard for e-invoicing was approved last year.
The agency sent the test invoice to an unnamed grant recipient via the MessageXchange B2B cloud messaging service, which handles electronic data interchange for large Australian enterprises.
"E-invoicing will deliver benefits to our suppliers, including grant recipients, but it will also allow the department to streamline its internal accounts payable processes," agency chief operating officer Michael Schwager said in a statement.
"These in turn will generate efficiencies and improve the timeliness of payments to suppliers.”
In the works since 2015, the e-invoice standard was given the all-clear by a joint public-private sector group, led by the Digital Business Council, in August last year.
The framework uses the open standard OASIS ebMS version 3.0 to securely deliver payloads. It supports message-level encryption, payload compression, and receipt and delivery notifications.
While the standard has yet to see widespread adoption, the Digital Business Council believes e-invoicing could save Australian businesses between $7 to $10 billion a year through greater efficiencies and more timely payments.
The council hopes the open standards model underpinning the framework will see it used for international transactions as well.
It has been working on facilitating international interoperability since January this year, and has developed a policy for using business identifiers (PUBI) based on international standards and input from organisations such as OASIS and the Pan European Public Procurement Online and Electronic Simple Networked Services (e-SENS).
The council's PUBI would see Australian business numbers (ABNs) recognised as identifiers for e-invoicing, along with global location numbers (GLNs) and the data universal numbering system (DUNS) developed by Dun & Bradstreet.