Small Business Minister Stuart Nash has 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.
Nash launched the 2018 series of Small Business Roadshows yesterday at a function on the Wellington waterfront.
The 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.
“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,” says Nash.
“Support for the e-invoicing framework in Budget 2018 is just one example. E-invoicing will enable significant modernisation of the way we do business, which is a priority for this portfolio.
“New operating funding announced in Budget 2018 will support the e-invoicing project within MBIE, driving its implementation across the Government and business sectors,” he says.
“The initiative will receive $5.83 million over the next two years and $1.27 million in 2017/18.
“The Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia agreed in March to advance work on common approaches to e-invoicing as part of the trans-Tasman Single Economic Market Agenda.
“The funding announced today confirms we are on track to fundamentally change the way government-to-business and business-to-business connections are made.
“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,” Nash says.
“The framework for e-invoicing relies on the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) administered by 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. We are working with Australian colleagues to mutually recognise the NZBN and the Australian Business Number to make it easier to do business across the Tasman.
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.
“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,” says Nash.
The Wellington event is first of twelve across the country between May and August, known as the Taking Care of Business roadshows.
“Tomorrow the roadshows move to the provinces with an event in Levin,” says Nash.
“We’d like to help Levin’s small businesses get even better. So if you run one of the town’s three ice-cream factories, 18 textile and clothing manufacturers or 102 residential building companies, come along to ask the tough questions of our experts.”
“As well as playing a regulatory role the Government offers a range of services to help businesses be successful. We want to help owners and operators tap into these resources,” Nash says.