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Helping small business work better

by Dai Le

01 July 2014

The days of complex business compliance reporting are numbered.

As the Government looks at ways to modernise business practices in this ‘big data era’, cutting red tape and reducing costs for businesses, are still the core issue for the 2 million or so small businesses - the backbone of Australia’s economy. 

With small business employing 7 million people in Australia, making up almost 60 per cent of the country’s workforce, a more simplified and efficient tax system would help sustain this important sector of our economy.

The Government has already identified that one of the ways to reduce red tape is through the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) program. SBR is a group of international programs instigated by a number of governments to reduce the regulatory burden for business.  The Australian Government's SBR initiative involves many government agencies, including Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Treasury, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Department of Human Services (DHS), Offices of State Revenue (OSRs).

SBR will reduce the regulatory reporting burden by simplifying the government reporting process - using a secure standardized electronic reporting that uses SBR taxonomy to provide a single reporting language.

In 2012 the Australian Productivity Commission estimated that adopting the SBR compliance reporting process will save business and Government to the tune of $500million a year based on a 60 per cent up-take of SBR.

The compliance reporting process is still heavily manual and labor intensive. Data is copied by hand from one computer system to another, or on to paper forms. Some reports require businesses to send a CD with information on it. For example Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Annual Summaries report requires a copy of all group certificates recorded in a specific format to be sent on a CD to the ATO. This means manually burning a CD and sending it in an envelope to the ATO, and often repeating the process on request from the ATO where a CD has been damaged or saved in the wrong format.

A leader in the XBRL and SBR program, Impact Management Group (eIMPACT) has developed an innovative system that makes whole-of-government reporting more transparent, accountable and, more importantly, saves time and money. It’s cloud-based lodgment portal - GovReports, provides the solution to help cut red tape and improves the reporting lodgement efficiency.

Using the AUSkey, a secure identification login key, tax practitioners and businesses can do all of their online reporting and compliance requirements to the ATO and other Government agencies on GovReports’SBR enabled secure cloud-based system. 

This cloud-based multi-platform portal integrates with major accounting, payroll and CRM software for easy upload or import of data, and automatically pre-fills reporting forms directly from relevant Government department with online access.

We’ll be hearing more about red tape reduction and tax reforms in this week’s Budget. No doubt new reporting requirements and the modernising of business practices will in the mix. And GovReports is the solution for B2B, B2G and G2G as Governments and businesses look at ways to streamline their compliance reporting processes.