The new XML business-to-business (B2B) standard, called eBis, will be taken up worldwide by the end of the year, according to Exchequer Software.
The company's Australian general manager, John Kennett, said Exchequer was leading the way for software developers, with the company's new e-business module for SMEs already XML compliant.
`Eighty-five per cent of all software vendors will be XML compliant by first quarter next year and Microsoft has incorporated it into their next version of Office,' Kennett said.
`We're ahead of the pack and that means we can be ready for the next thing that comes after that. You can get it right now and you don't have to have a customer or client with XML for it to work.'
Kennett said electronic data interchange (EDI) was previously cost-prohibitive because the information had to be transferred in a specific format, but since eBis uses standard e-mail it is universally compatible and reasonably priced.
The XML standard was refined for the accounting industry by the Business and Accounting Software Developers Association (BASDA) in Europe, which represents 85 per cent of all accounting software developers.
Exchequer's managing director, Eduardo Loigorri, who also sits on the Board of BASDA, said businesses would be reviewing their systems because of the GST and the new business module allows them to `dovetail their need to be GST compliant and leapfrog into e-commerce in the process'.