Busting the Top 5 Myths about Peppol in Australia

With the adoption of Peppol eInvoicing across Australia gathering pace, there are a number of myths about Peppol in Australia. Its not surprise  with over 9,328 businesses and government agencies across Australia currently connected to the Peppol network there is a lot of information out in the market. Despite Peppol’s early success, businesses across the country remain confused about what Peppol eInvoicing is, whether it’s right for them and the best way for them to get connected.

Here is our breakdown of the top myths about Peppol in Australia and our guidance on how to bust them.

Myth #1 – You need to upgrade your finance system to connect to Peppol

Whether or not you need to upgrade your finance systems to join the Peppol network is one of the most common myths about Peppol in Australia out there, which is likely not helped by finance system technology providers contributing to the narrative that new upgrades are required to enable eInvoicing.

The over simplified truth is that you don’t need to upgrade your finance system to access Peppol or to start eInvoicing, many Peppol Access Point providers offer integration services that can connect with your existing systems, this does make the initial implementation a bit pricier but is always far cheaper (and quicker) than upgrading your finance system.

But what if you have an old, legacy on-premise finance system that has no integration capabilities? There are still a range of options available to businesses if they don’t want to change their finance system, from Robotic Process Automation solutions to a service we offer where we can transform your e-mailed PDF invoices to Peppol invoices. Bottom line is there a range of options that doesn’t have to start with a huge system upgrade.

Myth #2 – Its expensive to implement

This one is a little more subjective as it depends on what your comparison point is, if you are looking at the alternative being sending PDF invoices, then the cost can seem higher which you then need to offset against the benefits that you are driving for you and your suppliers. If your comparison point is custom built EDI integrations with suppliers individually, the implementation costs for Peppol can seem quite small.

The key thing, regardless of your comparison point, is the fact that buyers and suppliers only need to invest in integrating with a Peppol Access point once. A cost that can then be spread across every single supplier (or buyer) that you then transact with through the network. Businesses can then enjoy the ever-scalable return on investment that connecting via the Peppol network can deliver.

Myth #3 – Peppol is only for Government Suppliers

When you consider the big incentives, through advanced payment terms, that State and Federal Governments have put in place to encourage Peppol adoption of their supplier base. Combined with the mandates that have been put in place for the same State and Federal government agencies to become Peppol enabled it’s easy to see how a casual observer from a business that isn’t a government supplier would dismiss Peppol as not being suitable or even applicable for them.

We had assumed the same thing early on, but we found that speaking with our current customer base about Peppol yielded some very interesting opportunities. Once we moved beyond the widely advertised benefits of eInvoicing such as:

  • Reducing invoice processing costs for buyers
  • Extra security and confidence for suppliers and buyers in sending and processing invoices
  • Greater quality of invoice data being captured

We began to dig deeper into how Peppol could be utilised across the whole supply chain and create a truly scalable and cost-effective way to create a digitally connected supply chain environment with their suppliers. An environment where product catalogue data, purchase orders, order confirmations, advanced shipping notifications, delivery notifications, invoice data, invoice confirmations and payment notifications are exchanged directly between buyers and suppliers through the Peppol network.

A very exciting opportunity and sound investment for organisations who are used to paying through the nose for single-use, customised integrations only available for their top suppliers. Through a standardised framework in Peppol, businesses can finally integrate with their buyers and suppliers without huge investment.

Myth #4 – Peppol is only about invoicing

The starting point and focus around Peppol has been on the ability to send and receive eInvoices so it’s easy to see where this myth comes from. The Peppol network has the capacity and capability to handle far more procure to pay and order to cash transactional data above and beyond just sending and receiving invoices as we mentioned above. One of the many challenges that this myth creates is the idea that the benefits are very one-sided towards the buyer. We’ve seen this impact a business’s interest in Peppol as they believe that a lack of value on the supplier’s side will impact adoption and therefore ROI.

As we outlined above, when you include the range of different data that can be transacted through Peppol the benefits shift dramatically to being more mutually beneficial. Most of your business’s suppliers would love to not have to manually data enter your orders, whilst also having the confidence that their invoices have been successfully received and processed. Understanding these broader buyer and supplier side benefits changes the approach to driving adoption for your business.

Myth #5 – Peppol is only worthwhile once everyone is in the network

We hear this one regularly, it appears no one wants to be at a party where they don’t know anyone. As we mentioned earlier there are already over 9,300 businesses and government agencies that are already Peppol enabled, so you are bound to have a few of your suppliers already on the network when you connect.

A number of businesses we have connected to the Peppol network have looked at this a different way, rather than seeing how many of their suppliers are already in the network, they have looked at their invoice volume and segmented it into their highest volume suppliers and looked to target them directly.

On average we find that your top 5 suppliers drive around 50% of your invoice volume, so working directly with those suppliers – who you already have a good relationship with – to become Peppol enabled is a far more valuable and achievable task. Especially when you consider the digitally connected supply chain opportunity we mentioned earlier.

Couple this with the fact that many small businesses are also getting into the network through their Peppol enabled accounting software such as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks, then Peppol is also providing a viable way to drive automation in your long-tail suppliers as well.

Hopefully, we’ve helped bust a few myths about Peppol eInvoicing in Australia. Are there any other myths that we’ve missed? Feel free to contact us, we would love to hear from you

This post was originally published on information and data manager

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