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Cyber scam and cashflow fix coming with new tech: Small Business Ombudsman

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman says bookkeepers and BAS Agents are at the helm of new eInvoicing tech introduction set to save millions from cyber scams and clerical costs.

Ombudsman Bruce Billson said the $3.6 million rollout of eInvoicing technology across all cloud accounting software providers now paves the way for bookkeepers to introduce this capability to their clients.

“Small businesses are the biggest victims of payment redirection scams and it’s only getting worse,” said Bruce. “Payment redirection scams cost Australian small business $128 million dollars in 2020, and increase of 290 percent from 2019,” said Bruce.

“eInvoicing through a secure portal offers protection against those risks, and you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to navigate it with just a few simple steps to take with clients to sign them up,” continued Bruce.

Bruce’s comments come on the eve of the federal government’s 1 July launch of their eInvoicing commitment to pay all their suppliers who use eInvoicing within 5 days of receiving invoices.

They can do this because the technology also streamlines and speeds up invoice processing, which Bruce says can cut typical processing costs of $31 per invoice down to $9 per invoice.

“Almost one third of invoices have incorrect information on them,” said Bruce. “eInvoicing makes automation easier so businesses get paid faster, which is a big boost for cashflow,” said Bruce.

“Our recent research pointed out that mid-sized small businesses on average send out 168 invoices each month, so for each of those businesses a transaction cost reduction like this could save them around $40,000 a year.”

With such improvements in business security and costs achievable with such little effort, Bruce sees that bookkeepers have a significant opportunity to demonstrate their value to clients at an important time for small business.

“Covid has shown use that those who have advanced with digital adoption have fared best,” said Bruce. “Bookkeepers who lead the way to support business resilience and continuity planning will build their own businesses in turn.”

The Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) couldn’t agree more with Director, Kelvin Deer, acknowledging members have lost tens of thousands in these scams.

“We’ve had bookkeepers who have been victims of these scams, subject to impersonation that cost one member over $20,000,” said Kelvin.

“We’ve been speaking about these issues from some time on our monthly Bookkeepers Radio programs and look forward to continuing conversation at the upcoming eInvoicing Week expected to be late this year,” continued Kelvin.

For more information about how to set up eInvoicing for your clients, contact your cloud accounting software provider or read more here.

10 Jun 2022
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