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ABSIA News: 30 September 2015
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IN THIS ISSUE:


COMING UP:


ABSIA's Annual General Meeting (AGM)

ABSIA quarterly update on ATO channels webinar - 14 October 2015

XBRL and ebMS SwD workshops – To be confirmed

Australian Bureau of Statistics Special Interest Group – Expression of Interest (EOI)
 
E-Invoicing multi stakeholder

ABSIA’s 2016 Event Schedule – SAVE THE DATES!!

PAST EVENTS:

ABSIA Forum – 23 September 2015

ELS2SBR update – round table discussion – 8 September 2015

ATO SwD partnership event - services for tax practitioners – 9 & 10 September 2015

INFORMATION & GUIDANCE:


SBR published reports

BAS Simplification

Fix-it Squad – BAS: making it easier update

COMING UP:

ABSIA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) Notification - 21 October 2015


ABSIA's first AGM will be held on 21 October 2015 at 10am to 10.45am via webinar/teleconference. The AGM will be conducted in accordance with the constitution and provides an opportunity for the members discuss and decide about ABSIA’s road ahead.

Board Directors, Karen Lay-Brew – (Previously Impact Management Group Pty Ltd), Jeevan Tokhi (BGL Australia) and Nicholas Robin Perrott (previously Attaché Software Australia) are retiring by rotation. Mohit Prasad and Lincoln Tong are retiring by resignation.

The following nominations for the four (4) vacant positions have been received:
  • Deanne Windsor – Pendragon Consultants
  • Mike Behling – MYOB
  • Josef Bobinac – Frontier Software
  • Fergus Porter - ADP
For more details please contact absia@absia.asn.au

ABSIA quarterly update on ATO channels webinar - 14 October 2015
 

ABSIA will be hosting a quarterly update via webinar on 14 October 2015. This will give members an opportunity to receive updates on changes to forms and reports in the SBR, Portal/ECI and ELS channels.

The webinar is free for members and $49 for Non-members.  To register click here.

XBRL and ebMS SwD workshops – To be confirmed
 

The ATO has offered to hold technical workshops to assist software developers with moving into the SBR space. Planned locations include Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and will run from 10:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:00pm. The morning sessions will focus on payloads including XBRL and the afternoon sessions will focus on the ATO’s implementation of ebMS.

If you are interested in attending – please complete the following expression of interest survey.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Special Interest Group – Expression of Interest (EOI)


As recently presented at our September ABSIA forum in Sydney, ABS have conducted a proof of concept for receipt of information through SBR. To assist with collaboration with the ABS, ABSIA are establishing a special interest group initially focusing on a gap analysis between current ABS reporting obligations and data held within business management software.

To submit an EOI email absia@absia.asn.au

E-Invoicing multi stakeholder


The ABR program has been making significant inroads in reusing elements of the SBR standards framework.  The next major reuse program will be e-Invoicing.  ABSIA has been asked to participate in a multi-stakeholder forum (a broad-based industry engagement mechanism).  The forum is expected to help in shaping the e-Invoicing interoperability framework, promoting best practices, addressing barriers and driving broad scale adoption of e-Invoicing. The inaugural meeting is expected to be in late October.
 

ABSIA’s 2016 Event Schedule – SAVE THE DATES!!


We are proud to announce our Forum, Conference and Webinar schedule for 2016!
 
ABSIA Events Dates              
Month Date    Type Location  
March 2 Forum Sydney
May 25 Forum Melbourne
September 7 Forum Sydney
November 30 Conference   Melbourne
 
ABSIA Quarterly Webinars    
Month Date
February 10
May 18
August 10
November 9

PAST EVENTS:

ABSIA Forum – 23 September 2015


The forum was held on 23 September 2015 in Sydney and was a huge success! Topics including National Disability Insurance Scheme, Tax Practitioner Board – view of Software and authentication, Digital Transformation Agenda, Standard Business Reporting, Australian Bureau of Statistics, E-invoicing, Security Panel Discussion on ‘What’s happening in the cyber world’ and more were discussed.

If you were unable to attend the forum you can view the program and presentations HERE.

ELS2SBR update – round table discussion8 September 2015


ATO senior executives met for the second time with ABSIA Income Tax Developers in order to address the ABSIA ELS2SBR submission (dated 16 June 2015). This was a follow up meeting from the first ELS2SBR meeting held in Melbourne on 29 July 2015.
The ATO will continue to meet with ELS2SBR stakeholders every four to six weeks to work together to delivery on this program. You can view ATO’s response HERE. 

If you are interested in participating or would like to receive updates, please email absia@absia.asn.au

ATO SwD partnership event - services for tax practitioners – 9 & 10 September 2015


This annual event was held at The Boat House in Canberra and covered matters of interest to software developers interested in Tax Time measures and lodgement issues. Topics included the future of the tax profession, information about the electronic lodgement service (ELS) close down, Technical implications of SBR and

Ian Rundle from SAGE provided an insightful presentation regarding the ELS2SBR experiences, the importance of ABSIA in providing a combined voice for the industry and the benefits of being an ABSIA member. ABSIA Director, Kevin Johnson presented ABSIA’s current and past events, Special interest group and the many engagements ABSIA is involved with.

You can view the full agenda and presentations HERE.

ATO SwD partnership event - services for tax practitioners – 9 & 10 September 2015


This annual event was held at The Boat House in Canberra and covered matters of interest to software developers interested in Tax Time measures and lodgement issues. Topics included the future of the tax profession, information about the electronic lodgement service (ELS) close down, Technical implications of SBR and

Ian Rundle from SAGE provided an insightful presentation regarding the ELS2SBR experiences, the importance of ABSIA in providing a combined voice for the industry and the benefits of being an ABSIA member. ABSIA Director, Kevin Johnson presented ABSIA’s current and past events, Special interest group and the many engagements ABSIA is involved with.

You can view the full agenda and presentations HERE.

eCommerce Technical Working Group – 3 September 2015


The eCommerce Software Developer (SwD) Technical working group (TWG) was formed on 10 September 2013. Initially for the transition of ELS2SBR, but through natural evolution has become the known TWG for information sharing, discussion of options and decisions for a united approach between ATO and SwD community for all service delivery via the eCommerce platform. The eCommerce TWG discusses and resolves messaging design issues in the context of the eCommerce platform wholesale service interactions where there is a material impact on SwDs.

Outcomes from the meeting can be viewed HERE.

The next teleconference is scheduled for 1 October at 2-3pm; dial-in number 1800 857 853, then 843433#. 

Reinventing the ATO small business planning workshop – 26 August 2015


ABSIA Directors Kevin Johnson and Nicholas Perrott attended the Reinventing the ATO small business planning workshop on 26th August in Canberra. The ATO has now published details relating to this meeting and these can be found at https://slate.adobe.com/a/wKbrj/. 

It was certainly an interesting day with the 12 external participants together with ATO staff being spread across 6 tables and then running through brainstorming sessions on different topics.
Interesting points raised were:-
  1. It is difficult to comply with Superannuation requirements – you can only counter this by saying that developers put solutions in place but businesses choose not to use them. This is an education issue.
  2. The topic of data ownership and cloud software was raised as an issue –once you stop paying you lose access to your data.
  3. The ATO requesting information that it doesn’t need – this issue was also raised in our Forum last week during the BAS simplification for small business discussion where much of the information on the BAS is likely to be removed, as there are many information labels on the BAS not currently being used. 

INFORMATION & GUIDANCE:

SBR published reports

 
In October 2014, the SBR Board endorsed a number of strategies to increase the use of SBR services across government. To progress the proposed strategies, four service providers, including two international experts, were engaged by SBR in February 2015 to provide advice and recommendations. The strategies were divided into four projects in order to deliver specific foundational elements to enable the transformation of SBR and, most importantly, support its wider use across government and business. The service provider reports were delivered in May and June 2015.

BAS Simplification

 
Options are currently being explored by the ATO to improve the BAS experience for small business. Small businesses want GST record keeping simplified; 10.8% of time is spend on lodgement, calculations and paying tax and 75% of time is spend on classifying sale and purchases based on their GST status. The perception is that GST compliance costs are too high and the primary source is GST record keeping. The project team are working to understand the scope, impacts and outcomes from the proposed implementation of the following initiatives:
  • Simplified BAS for small businesses (<$2 million turnover)  that eliminates G informative labels on the BAS (i.e. G2, G3, G10 and G11)
  • An option to effectively ‘pause’ BAS lodgements for a specified period for businesses that need to lodge successive ‘nil’ BAS
The ATO are seeking to work with the accounting software providers to explore the Simplified BAS concept including:
  • On-going consultation and co-design with software providers, small business, industry reps and tax professionals
  • Evaluate the concept and test with small business via targeted research
  • Partnering with interested software providers to explore the possibility of a field evaluation and re-configured software for simplified BAS.
If you are interested in getting involved email BASSimplification@ato.gov.au

Fix-it Squad – BAS: making it easier update


On the 18th & 19th August, ABSIA and representatives from Small Business, Software Providers, intermediaries from a variety of business associations and ATO staff came together to:
-Discussed and confirm current irritants with competing the Business Activity Statement, and
-Proposed potential solutions or ‘fix-it concepts’ based on the identified irritants
The collaborative approach aims to deliver practical and workable solutions. It is an opportunity for Small Businesses and other intermediaries in the tax system to play a role in reducing the compliance burden and make tangible improvements.
 
There has been great participation on the Let's Talk forum with 32 responses. A majority of posts are from Tax professionals. Problems range from portal instability, complexity of GST and mixed supplies, and registration for multiple roles (such as PAYG Withholding and PAYG - Instalments).  Let's Talk ideas to fix the problems ranged from reducing the labels (simplify GST coding), highlighting the importance of seeking tax professional experience, removing GST exemptions and special rules, improving the website with clearer language, and removing additional registration requirements for different roles.
 
The squad has developed 5 ideas as priorities for further consideration. Three of these ideas will be further explored with more small business owners and BAS agents in high level concept testing sessions from 7th to 11th September. The following fix ideas will be tested with a range of small business owners and tax professionals:
  • Simplifying BAS reporting (3 ideas to be tested)
  • Clearer tailored messaging about lodging and paying
  • Business dashboard
Some of these ideas also applied to starting a business; these will be examined more closely as part of a concurrent fix-it squad ‘Starting a small business’.
 
What's next?
Following completion of concept testing, the squad is currently meeting on 28th and 29th September to review the findings to date and validate that the concepts will reduce or remove the problems.
Copyright © 2015 ABSIA - Australian Business Software Industry Association, All rights reserved.


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