SBR case study - Software developers transcript

Software developers:

Glen: If I had to explain SBR in less than five words I think I'd just have to say SBR is good (laughs). SBR will save you time.

Brett: It's just a very effective way of getting the information that's already in your ledgers out to the government.

Azizi: I would say it's the missing link for the modern business.

David: Seamless business to government reporting.

Gavin: We were very enthusiastic about the concept because we have a lot of small and medium sized businesses, a lot of accounting professionals and book-keepers and you know, the exercise of compliance reporting is not very efficient. And SBR really promises to change that.

David: Treasury has told us that there's 14 million business activity statements that are lodged each year, and half of these are in paper.

Geoff: The big issue for clients is when they deal with different agencies, is how they communicate, how they authenticate. Until now, they've had to set up a different identity with each different agency. So if you're, if you have to do payroll returns and you dealt with seven states because you had offices in seven states, you had seven sets of identities and seven ways to communicate.

David: SBR is a way of submitting compliance reporting. There's no more manual forms, you can complete forms at the click of a button, you can validate the information before you lodge it, and you receive an instant notification of a lodgement's success.

Kerry: The government gets a benefit from electronic filing of documents, which means they take away a lot of their administrative overhead, the customer gets a benefit filing electronic forms and not having to fill in paper forms, so there's benefits to all parties.

Glen: Basically, users upload their AUSkey, and when they want to lodge something they will review it on screen, type in their AUSkey password and click lodge, and it will basically be lodged in the background within the next twenty to thirty seconds, with the government department.

David: And this is all as opposed to licking the stamp, putting it on the envelope, packing the paper form in there, putting it in the post. And then hoping that they're going to receive it at the other end.

Azizi: We had a BAS agent who told us that it saves her around 45 minutes per lodgement.

Brett: There's state revenue as well that you can deal with, there's ASIC and there's a whole swag of other government agencies now that are providing this SBR link.

David: Of the 87 reports that are in scope for SBR, our plan is to implement all of them.

Gavin: You're going to see us doing things like statement of financial position lodgement with ASIC, lodgement of statistics with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, lodgement of reports to Centrelink and Medicare.

David: We first became aware of SBR, or the possibility of SBR, I think in around late 2005, early 2006.

Kerry: In terms of developing SBR, the Government has provided us through the program with a number of tools that support our implementation.

Geoff: They firstly provided a number of forums for people to attend. That's important. They produced a suite of tools for the developers to put these products together and then they produced a sample set of codes, a sample set of programs.

Glen: I started by just doing a couple of ping tests to the SBR test server. The next day I got a phone call from the SBR department. That was a bit of a surprise and I thought maybe that I'm in a bit of trouble here (laughs). But look, they were just ringing me up to help me out.

Geoff: The clients that do it all for themselves like it, because they just press the button and it happens. They've found that the new staff have less training, because they don't have to know how to fill out a BAS form anymore, the software does it for them.

Gavin: It actually is easier to use than filling in forms. And of course because of the online error correction, you can have confidence that you're not making a mistake or if you are you're being told about it at the time.

Azizi: We had one agent and she was asking me, “so basically if I do upload my EMPDUPE file, and click send, I'll get a response back from the tax office?” And I said “yes”. Later I was looking at the statistics, and she was like, pretty much like lodging one every two and a half minutes! And you know the counter just goes up. And that is were the value is. Someone who hasn't used the product before and within minutes can actually look at it, start using it and start lodging it. That's where you know that you have done your job.

Brett: It certainly reduces the amount of time that you need to spend on going through data, checking, rechecking the data, making sure it's right, putting it into the relevant form or online. This way it's direct from your accounts and it's all done by the program.

David: They will save time, they'll save money and they'll reduce their risk around their compliance reporting, so that's the key benefits inside of SBR.

Gavin: It's probably a little bit like the very first Qantas flight, you know, that went from Longreach to Brisbane and a journey that used to take three months by horse took you know a couple of, twenty minutes or something by plane. I think it's that kind of effect.

  • Gavin Dixon, Reckon (New South Wales, Australia);
  • Kerry Glynn, SSI (Christchurch, New Zealand);
  • David Gale, Business Driven Systems (Victoria, Australia);
  • Geoffrey Schaller, Software Objectives (Victoria, Australia);
  • Azizi Khan, Impact Management Group (New South Wales, Australia);
  • Brett Bishop, Rapid Business Systems (New South Wales, Australia);
  • Glen Hasselman, Free Accounting Software (New South Wales, Australia)
Last updated: 
2 January 2018
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