The Australian Business Register Program
Government recognises that the reporting burden on business is significant. The Australian Business Register (ABR) Program is responsible for digital or online technology that will streamline government reporting and reduce the cost of compliance for business.
The ABR Program combines services that can be used individually or collectively to provide a complete digital solution:
- a national identifier for businesses (Australian business number)
- (Standard Business Reporting)
Standard Business Reporting (SBR)
SBR aims to simplify business reporting obligations and reduce the reporting burden on business, by bringing a standard approach to online or digital record-keeping.
SBR rules are built into business/accounting software making it ‘SBR-enabled’. When a report is required, SBR-enabled software knows what information is needed and populates from data already recorded as part of running their business. The result for business is less time spent collating information.
Government agencies currently participating in the SBR program include:
- Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- State and Revenue offices (SROs).
History of SBR
Rethinking Regulation, The Report of the Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business (the Banks Report), is released in April. The report finds that regulatory compliance cost Australian business tens of millions of dollars each year and diverts time and resources from core business activities. In response, the Australian Government approves the development of SBR.
The SBR business case provided a detailed cost-benefit analysis and outlined the design of the proposed solution and implementation plan and strategies. The SBR Program, with Treasury as the lead agency, is established.
COAG incorporates SBR into its new regulation reform agenda. COAG's Business Regulation and Competition Working Group closely monitor SBR's progress.
The key SBR capabilities are launched on 1 July 2010 with all participating agencies able to receive reports.
Since launch – the program continues to work with government agencies, businesses, intermediaries and software developers to expand the application and value of SBR.