Malaysia Goes Digital: E-invoicing Opens Doors to Improved Efficiency
While in Western economies like North America and Western Europe the impact of digitalisation has long made itself felt across Finance and Accounting processes, the Middle East and North Africa, along with the broader ASEAN region, has been slower to adopt electronic processing. Here, changes tend to be driven through government initiative rather than the private sector – for example in supporting B2G invoice digitalisation through the digitising of trade documents, supporting public procurement portals, and encouraging early payments on e-invoices.
The Singaporean government was an early starter, mandating e-invoicing for its suppliers since 2008, supported by the Inland Revenue Authority, which recognises electronically preserved invoices for the purpose of record keeping. Across other countries, however, the trend has been slower to take off.
That may be about to change, as Malaysia has joined the ranks of countries committed to e-invoicing. Early in 2015, Malaysia implemented GST laws in support of indirect taxation. As part of this legislation, e-invoices are now officially recognised without the requirement for physical signature – a traditional hurdle to electronic anything.
This opens the door to significant opportunities for businesses across Malaysia.