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Starting a business

Guide to the InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus Grant

Many Singaporean companies still handle their invoices through manual processes. However, manually entering data into a database can be time-consuming and potential errors are more likely to occur. As a solution, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Singapore has promoted using InvoiceNow by creating the InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus grant. 

This government e-invoice system helps businesses and their staff save time and energy on invoicing activities. With the nationwide e-invoicing network - based on the internationally-recognised Peppol protocol - businesses can send invoices across financial systems. 

The adoption of InvoiceNow e-invoicing not only increases business efficiency, it also leads to faster payments, saves the environment while saving money on printing paper, and allows you to carry out international transactions. Read on to discover more about the benefits of IMDA InvoiceNow, who is eligible for the IMDA grant, and the steps needed to apply. You can read from beginning to end or skip ahead to a certain section by using the links below: 

Benefits of InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus

This IMDA grant provides a number of benefits, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to free up space intheir schedule to focus on developing the company rather than dealing with mundane administrative tasks. This includes the following: 

$200 Bonus 

With InvoiceNow, SMEs in Singapore that have valid and current Unique Entity Numbers (UEN) may easily e-invoice their customers and earn a bonus of up to S$200 for every ten invoices paid within 12 months. 

Secure Network

There’s an association between a company’s UEN and all InvoiceNow financial dealings. This ensures the safety of all financial transactions, such as invoices and payments transferred between businesses.

Understanding InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus

More than 50,000 companies are now part of the InvoiceNow network, showing that the nationwide push for electronic invoicing is gaining steam. The government created certain IMDA grants to speed up adoption so that more companies can start using InvoiceNow and reap greater benefits sooner. Here’s what you need to know: 

Definition 

IMDA Singapore's InvoiceNow is a Peppol e-invoicing system designed to streamline the billing process for companies nationwide. With this platform, InvoiceNow makes sending invoices into a buyer's accounting system easier by automating the process through a secure network. 

Unlike emailing a PDF or online invoice, exchanging an e-invoice requires the sender and recipient to have software that is InvoiceNow-ready. InvoiceNow is functional regardless of whether or not the two financial systems are compatible. This is because international standards synchronise both ends. 

Eligibility 

This IMDA grant is only available to businesses that meet the following criteria: 

  • Small to mid-sized companies with valid and active UENs on the InvoiceNow platform. 
  • Businesses that transfer 10 e-invoices through the network within one year of their first e-invoice. 
  • The business will receive $50 for the first e-invoice sent. 
  • After sending the remaining nine e-invoices, the company will receive an additional $150
  • Businesses that do not already receive the LEAD Transact Grant in the role of a biller. 
  • No claim or application form will be necessary to receive the money. 

Bonus 

For every 10 e-invoices paid within a year, you can receive a reward of $200. Based on your monthly SESAMi reports, you will receive this amount automatically. When you send your first e-invoice with PayNow Corporate after signing up, the network will send you S$50. The network will give your company a bonus payment of $150 once you send an additional nine e-invoices a full year after the initial e-invoice. 

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How to Apply for IMDA InvoiceNow 

Before you can apply for this IMDA grant, you’ll need to connect with InvoiceNow. First, verify that your accounting or financial solution is on the IMDA’s list of pre-approved systems and that it is Peppol-ready. If your solution supports Peppol, have your solution provider enable the InvoiceNow feature. 

However, you can contact an Access Point Provider if you'd rather have InvoiceNow work with your existing internal infrastructure. You should then be ready to send and receive e-invoices with InvoiceNow through your accounting system directly.

Steps to Apply for ITB

While you do not necessarily need to apply, there are three simple steps to ensure you receive these funds. 

Step 1

Complete an IMDA registration form to receive your payout updates and related InvoiceNow information. 

Step 2

Use the SG Peppol Directory to track down the Peppol IDs of the companies and customers you do business with. 

Step 3

Lastly, create an e-invoice in your solution and send it to your business client on the Peppol network. Then, once you have completed your ten transactions within a year, your bonus will be automatically transferred to you through your PayNow Corporate account without you having to claim it. 

Required Documentation

The only documentation you will need is the transaction report based on your monthly report that your Access Point provider will submit. Here are the e-invoice detail requirements you should meet for your documents to be valid:

  • Invoice Date – You cannot backdate or forward date these by more than seven calendar days. 
  • Order number – A unique order number that represents the transaction of goods and services exchanged. 
  • Amount due – The total accounts payable for the transaction, factoring in any applicable taxes, discounts, or subsidies that apply. 
  • Reference – A unique invoice number or reference code that represents this particular business exchange.
  • Description – This should include any relevant information regarding the goods or services. 

If, for any reason, there is a change in the company’s control, name, or legal form, events that affect the grant, or any scenario mentioned in Condition 10(b) of this document, you should provide documentary proof to the IMDA within two weeks. 

Financial Tips for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you can save a lot of time and money when you switch from manual to electronic invoicing. Still, there are a few tips to consider to ensure smooth processes. 

Inform Your Clients 

If you plan to invoice your clients electronically, it’s a good idea to let them know about this change. There could be issues on their end of the payment procedure that you're unaware of. They might, for example, favour a printed copy or don't use services like PayPal. Having this conversation with them as soon as possible can help you avoid any payment issues or delays. 

Use Automation 

In addition to improving your cash flow; you can create recurring billing automatically and send out automated late-payment warnings and reminders. 

Use a Reliable Storage System 

When applying for business and startup grants, doing your taxes, or following up on overdue payments, you may require quick access to invoices. You can easily access invoices created with a cloud-based invoicing system from anywhere. If you send invoices by email, you should save copies in a safe cloud storage service like Dropbox. This will help you avoid losing critical invoices. 

Avoid Sending PDF Invoices 

Peppol makes it very clear that they do not encourage using the attachment functionality to include a copy of the invoice in the form of an image or PDF. In fact, it goes against Peppol's terms of usage. 

Even so, some companies use e-invoicing to attach PDF invoices containing crucial data left out of the structured e-invoice statement. You should avoid doing this since it forces the recipient to perform additional manual tasks, increasing the processing time and potential errors. 

Always Add the Order or Buyer Reference

A common mistake some users will make is not including mandatory information like the buyer or order reference. This is because many believe that the Peppol ID is the only piece of endpoint data needed for an electronic invoice to reach its intended recipient. 

However, you should include extra information, such as a buyer or order reference in the e-invoice's designated line to ensure the network can send the invoice. Otherwise, the e-invoice will get stuck somewhere in the process. 

Simplify Your Invoicing Process with QuickBooks Accounting Software 

Running a business is already complicated, and manual data entry is an unnecessary weight you shouldn’t have to carry. QuickBooks accounting software is a highly effective business management tool that improves efficiency. 

Even better, the IMDA will cover up to 50% of the price of establishing a presence in QuickBooks accounting software. Take advantage of your company's unrealised potential using our solution to help improve cash flow and accessibility and significantly increase productivity. 

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