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IMDA's New InvoiceNow Grants - What You Should Know

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Starting 1 November 2022, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched a series of grants to promote the uptake of the InvoiceNow e-invoicing network among large enterprises and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

To qualify for these grants, your business only needs to meet a few criteria designed to ease your business into using InvoiceNow on a regular basis.

These are:

But before we go into the grants... 

 

What is InvoiceNow?

Now if you've yet to connect to the InvoiceNow network, or have already joined InvoiceNow but aren't transacting on it regularly, you might be wondering if it's worth your time.

IMDA describes it as:

A nationwide E-invoicing method that facilitates the direct transmission of invoices in a structured digital format across finance systems. InvoiceNow operates on the international standard Peppol network for faster and smoother invoicing and payments.

 

The basic idea is that your company saves time by transacting directly with your customers and suppliers through your finance systems over the network.

 

 

Questions About InvoiceNow And The Peppol Network? We Have The Answers For Them Here.

 

 

So Is It Worth Joining InvoiceNow?

As an IT consultancy specialising in ERP systems for fast-growing businesses, we've helped our customers connect ERP systems such as SAP Business One and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, to InvoiceNow since the network launched in 2019.

In our experience, response for this in Singapore has been slow. 

This is especially so for SMEs, who are less likely to transact internationally or in large volumes (recall how InvoiceNow is based on the PEPPOL network) and don't see the benefits of it.

Having said that, there's been an uptick in interest in the last year or so, as IMDA has been pushing hard for this initiative to be adopted nation-wide.

Some examples of what they've done include:

  • Example 1: Most government organisations are on InvoiceNow. Companies transacting regularly with them are encouraged strongly to join InvoiceNow

  • Example 2:  In 2021, IMDA and Enterprise Singapore made it mandatory for PSG-approved vendors (like us at AFON) for ERP-related solutions to have InvoiceNow in our grant packages

  • Example 3: InvoiceNow grants launched in 2022


So is it worth joining the network?

There are certainly time and cost benefits of being on the InvoiceNow network, but these can only be realised if your customers and suppliers are there.

Currently it's a wait-and-see situation, where everyone's waiting for everyone else to join, before taking the effort to connect.

But with the government pushing consistently for this to be adopted nation-wide, it may be worth joining it sooner rather than later.

With that said, let’s take a look at each of these grants, and some of the most frequently asked questions for them.

 

 

InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus (ITB)

IMDA-ITB-Infographic (Final)_WhatIsITB_1000pxSource: IMDA

 

Who Is The ITB For?

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a valid and active Unique Entity Number (UEN) which are currently connected to the InvoiceNow network.

 

What’s The Benefit?

The ITB offers a S$200 bonus to every qualifying business.

 

How Do I Qualify For It?

Your business must have sent a total of 10 e-invoices over the InvoiceNow Network within 12 months, starting from the date that the first e-invoice was sent.

 

How Do I Apply?

You do not need to apply, and will automatically receive the S$200 bonus based on monthly transaction reports submitted by SESAMi.

However, if you’re interested in receiving the ITB, you can register your interest at www.go.gov.sg/register-itb. IMDA will notify you via email when payment has been made successfully via your PayNow Corporate account.

 

How Do I Submit My Claim?

You will not need to submit any claims. Your business will receive the first payout of S$50 via your PayNow Corporate account after you send the first e-invoice through InvoiceNow, starting from 1 November 2022.

Subsequently, the remaining S$150 will be disbursed to your business after the remaining 9 e-invoices are sent, with 12 months of the first e-invoice being sent.

IMDA is currently working on establishing a monthly payment cycle, and the plan is to have payouts be made at the end of each month.

 

What Is The Objective Of The ITB?

The InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus (or ITB) is an initiative by IMDA to encourage businesses like yours to use InvoiceNow more regularly for sending e-invoices to suppliers and vendors.

 

Should I Apply for the ITB?

Achieving the quota of 10 e-invoices sent over InvoiceNow is a requirement that’s easy to meet. Because of this, you should definitely register for it.

However, how can you be certain if your customers are on the InvoiceNow network?

First, check the Peppol Directory to see if your customers are listed, if they are, you can send your e-invoices to them. There are more than 50,000 businesses on InvoiceNow, so chances are you’ll find at least some of your customers are fellow users.

You can also encourage your customers who are currently not on the network to join, and begin transacting with you so you can get your S$200 payout. They too will be eligible for the ITB, if they send 10 e-invoices to their own customers.

 

LEAD Connect Grant

IMDA-LEADGrant-Infographic (Final)_LEADConnectEligible_1000pxSource: IMDA

 

Who Is This For?

Large enterprises that have their own finance or ERP software, but are not yet connected to the InvoiceNow network.

 

What’s The Benefit?

The LEAD Connect Grant offers a S$30,000 fixed grant to every qualifying business.

 

How Do I Qualify For It?

Your business must be a large enterprise that

  • Have a valid and active business UEN
  • Have a minimum of 200 business counterparties (aggregate of B2B customers and suppliers).
  • Have your own ERP/finance software that's not connected to InvoiceNow.
  • Connect your ERP/finance software with InvoiceNow on, or after 1 November 2022, and before 31st October 2024.
  • Have not have received the LEAF Chain Leader grant claims
  • Have a PayNow Corporate account

 

How Do I Apply?

You do not need to apply. However, if you’re interested in receiving the LEAD Connect Grant, you can register your interest at https://go.gov.sg/register-leadgrant, and IMDA will help your business plan to achieve the eligibility criteria.

 

How Do I Submit My Claim?

To receive the LEAD Connect Grant, you’ll need to submit a claim form at www.go.gov.sg/claim-leadconnect with the following supporting information:

  • Contract/agreement between your business and its vendor(s), including Access Point Providers, showing that work on the implementation was started after 1 Nov 2022.
  • Supplementary artefacts showing activities in the checklist (e.g. data mapping, data transformation, system integration and testing).
  • A full list of active business partner UENs.

If you’ve registered your interest in the LEAD Connect Grant, IMDA will notify you via email when payment has been made successfully via your PayNow Corporate account.

 

What Is The Objective Of The LEAD Connect Grant?

The LEAD Connect Grant is intended to encourage large businesses with an existing finance or ERP software to connect to the InvoiceNow network.

Because of this, the LEAD Connect Grant doesn't apply to your business if your finance / ERP software is already connected to InvoiceNow. This is because it’s no longer necessary for IMDA to fund your connection between your solution and the InvoiceNow network.

However, even if you have an existing finance / ERP system that's not connected to InvoiceNow, there are some arguments over how IMDA defines 'connect' and 'own finance / ERP system'.

Broadly speaking:

ERP systems whose vendors already have a 'connector' designed to enable the ERP system to easily connect to InvoiceNow network may not qualify for this grant.

 

In short, the grant is designed to assist those who need assistance to work directly with the PEPPOL Access Point Providers i.e. the appointed 'gatekeepers' to the InvoiceNow network, to connect their finance / ERP system to InvoiceNow.

If your finance / ERP system has a ready connector built by your software vendor to connect to InvoiceNow, you may not qualify for this funding - even if you meet the other criteria listed above.

 

Should I Apply For The LEAD Connect Grant?

If your business already has an existing ERP software that’s not yet connected to the InvoiceNow network, and you don't have a ready connector in place, then yes, it's a good idea to register for the LEAD Connect grant.

However, the requirements as they currently stand are vague. For example, it's not yet clear whether the quota of 200 business counterparties must include businesses with a valid UEN on InvoiceNow, or whether it can also count those which don't have a valid UEN and are not currently on the network.

Ultimately, the LEAD Connect grant is a useful incentive for taking the leap and connecting your business to InvoiceNow. However, the final decision should rest on whether InvoiceNow can be an effective solution for your business invoicing needs.

 

LEAD Transact Grant

IMDA-LEADGrant-Infographic (Final)_LEADTransact_1000pxSource: IMDA

 

Who Is This For?

Large enterprises with their own finance or ERP software that are already connected to the InvoiceNow network, and are actively using it as a buyer and/or biller.

 

What’s The Benefit?

The table below shows you the transaction tiers your business has to meet, and the corresponding payouts for each tier:

IMDA-LEADGrant-Infographic (Final)_TransactionTier_1000pxSource: IMDA

How Do I Qualify For It?

Your business must be a large enterprise that

  • Have a valid and active business UEN
  • Is able to meet the minimum transaction tier, i.e. transacting with 25 business UENs as buyer or 250 business UENs as biller.
  • Not have received the LEAF Chain Leader grant claims
  • Have a PayNow Corporate account.

Take note that if your business is receiving the LEAD Transact Grant as a Biller, it will not be eligible for the ITB. On the other hand, you can submit claims for both the LEAD Connect Grant and the LEAD Transact Grant at the same time.

 

How Do I Apply?

You do not need to apply. However, if you’re interested in receiving the LEAD Transact Grant, you can register your interest at https://go.gov.sg/register-leadgrant, and IMDA will help your business plan to achieve the eligibility criteria.

 

How Do I Submit My Claim?

To receive the LEAD Transact Grant, you’ll need to submit a claim form at www.go.gov.sg/claim-leadtransact with the following supporting information:

  • List of unique transacting counter parties
  • Transaction reports based on IMDA’s provided template

The funding period is 12 months, starting from the first claim submitted by your business. The last claim must be made no longer than 31 October 2024.

If your business has received a payout from the ITB, the payout amount for LEAD Transact as a biller will be offset by the amount provided by the ITB.

If you’ve registered your interest in the LEAD Transact Grant, IMDA will notify you via email when payment has been made successfully via your PayNow Corporate account.

 

What Is The Objective Of The LEAD Transact Grant?

Unlike the LEAD Connect Grant, the LEAD Transact Grant has no specific requirements as to the financial or ERP software being used by your business. Any solution, owned by your business or subscribed from a service provider qualifies, as long as you can demonstrate your business’s reach and transactions with its business counterparties.

As such, the purpose is as the grant's namesake - to encourage increased transactions usage over the network.

The grant's transaction tiers is also designed to encourage your business to scale up its usage of InvoiceNow for e-invoicing, both as a buyer and as a seller -- to get greater payouts, you need to have higher transactions with greater number of UENs.

 

Should I Apply For The LEAD Transact Grant

If your business is already connected to, and actively making use of InvoiceNow to carry out e-invoicing, you should definitely submit claims from the LEAD Transact Grant.

This is especially the case if you’re confident that your business can scale up its e-invoicing efforts through InvoiceNow in the near future, and therefore be eligible for even higher payouts then.

 

Take Advantage Of IMDA’s New Grants To Connect To And E-invoice Through InvoiceNow Today

 

ITB

LEAD Connect

LEAD Transact

Who Is This For?

SME Businesses connected to InvoiceNow

Businesses with existing financial/ERP software not connected to InvoiceNow

Businesses with existing financial/ERP software connected to InvoiceNow

How Much Do I Get?

$200

$30,000

Tier-based, up to $40,000

How To Submit Claims?

N.A.

LEAD Connect Claim Form

LEAD Transact Claim Form

With the ITB, LEAD Connect and LEAD Transact Grants, IMDA is hoping to boost the uptake of the InvoiceNow network amongst local businesses like yours.

It’s a good idea to take this chance to do so while these grants are available, as it makes transitioning your business to e-invoicing through InvoiceNow that much easier.

If your business is already connected to InvoiceNow, but is not actively using it, the ITB can incentivise your business to get started.

On the other hand, if your business’s financial or ERP software is not yet connected to InvoiceNow, the LEAD Connect grant can help fund its integration with the network.

But if your business is already actively using InvoiceNow for e-invoicing purposes, the LEAD Transact grant can encourage your business to scale up its usage of the network thanks to its tier-based payouts.

Because of this, there is never a better time than now for your business to adopt and make use of InvoiceNow to e-invoice your customers, vendors and suppliers.

To learn more about IMDA’s new grants for InvoiceNow, click on this page to learn more.

Otherwise, if you’re trying to find out what other government grants your business may be eligible for beyond InvoiceNow, take a look at our guide to government grants that can power your business’s digital transformation efforts by clicking the image below.

 

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