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New Zealand helps small businesses go digital through Taking Care of Business roadshows

New Zealand helps small businesses go digital through Taking Care of Business roadshows

New Zealand Minister of Police, Fisheries, Revenue and Small
Business Mr Stuart Nash recently
the 2018 series of Small
Business Roadshows
at Wellington. He encouraged Wellington
businesses to take advantage of new government
initiatives, especially in the digital space, to make their jobs easier and
free them up to focus on their products and services.

“This Government is working to give every small business in
New Zealand the tools and the confidence to meet their potential, and realise
their goals as a business,” said Minister Nash.

Minister Nash gave the example of the Government’s support
for the e-invoicing framework as laid out in Budget 2018. New operating funding
announced in Budget 2018, NZ$5.83 million over the next two years, will support
the e-invoicing project, driving its implementation across the Government and
business sectors.

According to the minister, e-invoicing is the ability to
exchange information between the online accounting software of a supplier and a
buyer. It creates economic benefits through faster payments and reduced
transaction costs. It can deliver significant productivity improvements and
savings from fewer invoicing errors and less time spent resolving errors.
Incorrect or lost invoices contribute to about 40% of all invoices being
overdue. He also said e-invoicing will enable significant modernisation of the
way business is conducted.

The framework for e-invoicing relies on the New Zealand Business
(NZBN) administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
(MBIE). The NZBN is a unique 13-digit identifier which
enables e-invoicing and simplifies other transactions and connections. More
than 650,000 businesses already have the NZBN.

“The NZBN is for all sole traders, partnerships, trusts,
companies, local authorities and other corporates and public sector entities.
It creates a transactional environment where there can be greater certainty of
identity, more reliable information, less duplication and much-needed
efficiencies,” Minister Nash explained

“Businesses will be able to see supply chains, build trusted
networks, find and assess providers, improve customer service and a whole lot
more. Used to its full potential, the NZBN is not just a number, but is a
business asset,” he added.

At the same time, Minister Nash also shared that New Zealand
is working with Australia on common approaches to e-invoicing as part of the
trans-Tasman Single Economic Market Agenda. The two countries are working
towards mutual recognition of the NZBN and the Australian Business Number to
make it easier to do business across the region.

The Small Business Roadshows will travel around the country
and bring together the private sector with representatives from government
agencies to explain what they do and how they can help small businesses. The
Wellington event is first of twelve across the country between May and August.

The roadshow sessions are approximately two hours long and
are comprised of two parts. The first part features briefings from different
government agencies and lasts for up to an hour and a half. Following that,
there will be an opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives from the government
agencies and to network with other attendees.

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