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ABSIA News: 31 August 2015
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IN THIS ISSUE:

 

ABSIA Membership


COMING UP:


ABSIA Forum, Sydney – 23 September 

ELS2SBR Round table discussion, Canberra – 8 September

ATO SWD partnership event – Services for tax practitioners, Canberra - 9 &10 September

Future of the Tax Profession – 2015-16 working group meeting – 2 September 2015 

STP working group update

Call for Board of Director nominations
 


PAST EVENTS:


Fix-it Squad for BAS

Superstream – Contributions Implementation Working Group (CIWG), Sydney – 28 August

ATO workshop on the end to end service offer for the Software Developer Experience – 22 July 

Business Advisory Forum (BAF) Meeting – 14 August

Gateway Network Governance Board – 30 July


INFORMATION & GUIDANCE:

Digital Transformation Office (DTO) design guides 

ABN Lookup in Software– helping streamline business processes

 

 

It’s time to renew your 2015 – 2016 membership

 
Your ABSIA membership for the financial year 2015/16 is now due for renewal.  
 
As a member of Australian Business Software Development Industry Association (ABSIA) you are part of a highly respected premier industry association. You will be part of the collective voice of the Australian Business Software Industry, and play an important role in transforming how the Government and software vendors relate, communicate and collaborate; driving development and influencing change.
 
Renew your membership now and continue to access the following benefits:
 
  • Access to online web forums with like-minded software professionals
  • Access to a network of software professionals
  • Participation in consultations and working groups with ATO, DTO and more
  • Member-only rates at ABSIA events and conferences
  • Use of the ABSIA logo in marketing and communications
  • Access to learning and development
  • Insight and through leadership on business issues
  • Technical briefings
  • Newsletters on “what’s happening in the industry”
 
To renew your membership contact info@absia.asn.au

COMING UP:

ABSIA Forum, Sydney – 23 September 


We invite you to join us at SMC Conference & Function Centre, Sydney for our September Forum on 23 September, 9am to 5pm.

ABSIA's September Forum heads to Sydney and the agenda once again focuses on areas of rapid change in the industry.  We are pleased to announce the following topics that will form the basis of our agenda:
  • Digital Transformation Office (DTO) – The Digital Service Standard for how we connect to government
  • SBR update from various agencies
  • Tax Practitioners Board
  • Security – AUSkey in the cloud
  • Panel discussions on exciting topics such as security/AUSkey, DTO, SBR and more
COST: ABSIA Members - $220.00 & Non Members - $350. To register for this event, please click HERE

ELS2SBR Round table discussion, Canberra – 8 September
 

On 16 June 2015, ABSIA provided an ELS2SBR submission to the ATO based on industry feedback and concern seeking:
  1. Commitment to review and improve the current SBR test environment;
  2. Commitment to improve the release schedule and delivery of MIGs and actual services; and
  3. An extension of the ELS specifications and its associated gateways for 2016 and 2017. Enabling both systems to aptly run in parallel, manage risk levels and allow for a more seamless transition to the SBR environment.
On 29 July 2015, ATO conducted a Round Table Discussion in Melbourne with ABSIA, all of the developers investing in the ELS to SBR program and key ATO project staff. They advised in summary, the ATO is:
  • Committed to improving the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the external Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE);
  • Committed to improve the service and delivery of essential elements to the program and noted some generic improvement opportunities that they will jointly support; and
  • Committed to being prepared to avoid market failure for tax time 2016 and intend to continue to drive the necessary channel shift to support the Government’s digital agenda.
On 7 August 2015, ATO provided ABSIA a written response to our ELS2SBR submission. The ATO will meet with ELS2SBR stakeholders every four to six weeks to work together to deliver on this program. The first meeting will be held on 8 September in Canberra. If you would like further information regarding this special interest group, please email absia@absia.asn.au.
 

ATO SWD partnership event – Services for tax practitioners, Canberra - 9 &10 September


The ATO SWD partnership event - services for tax practitioners (formally known as the Tax Practitioners Software Developers or ELS Forum) is an annual event designed to cover matters of interest to software developers concerned with Tax Time measures and lodgement issues. It is a two day workshop at The Boathouse by the Lake, Canberra on 9 & 10 September.

You can view the draft agenda HERE. If you have not already registered and want to attend, please email sipo@ato.gov.au
 

Future of the Tax Profession – 2015-16 working group meeting – 2 September 2015 


We are seeing a lot of changes take place at the moment and a lot of those are affecting tax and BAS agents. The ATO has created a working group with professional associations and software developers to work through how they can support tax and BAS agents through the changes. The ATO is holding a short video conference meeting with members on 2 September, 11am at ATO sites around Australia. ABSIA Board members, Kevin Johnson and Mo Prasad will be attending the meeting on behalf of ABSIA. 

STP working group update


The last STP working group meeting was held on 14 August; key messages from this meeting will be available HERE.  Friday 21 August and Thursday 27 August meetings were cancelled as Michael Gleeson and the STP Project Team continue to work on the following:
  •  Formal actions register to provide more transparency of how the feedback is being considered for design of business process and software changes;
  •  Documents that will help explain the STO reporting principles and foundations for our co-design work going forward; and
  • Planning a face to face presentation of scope requirements and options for a pilot when they can present a clearer view of expectations. The meeting would seek input from the group so recommendations can be made to government around timing and partnership approach for an STP pilot. 

Call for Board of Director nominations


ABSIA are now calling for nominations from our Platinum members interested in sitting on the Board of Directors. ABSIA board members are appointed for a term of two (2) years; and the Board shall comprise of a minimum of five and maximum of seven elected Directors, and up to two Co-opted Directors appointed as required by the Board.

ABSIA’s Annual General Meeting will be held on 21 October 2015 via webinar. Nominations for the four vacant positions are now being sought from our Platinum members (Developer membership category).  Election to the Board provides an excellent opportunity to support the software developer community, liaise with and lobby government and lead special interest groups and discussion forums.  Self- nomination is acceptable and encouraged, however must be seconded by another voting member (Platinum member). If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact us. Nominations, including a brief profile of the nominee suitable should be emailed to absia@absia.asn.au by COB Friday 18th September.

PAST EVENTS:

Fix-it Squad for BAS


ABSIA has been invited to be a member of the Steering Committee for the Small Business Fix-It Squad – Business Activity Statement established by ATO. This Fix-it Squad is a multi-level, cross-government agency team that includes all key stakeholders related to a specific small business life-cycle event, including small business owners and their representatives. Problems are examined from the perspective of the small business owner and the squad works together to find quick, tangible ways to fix problems and improve the client experience for small business.

The target audience are small businesses who are under the $2 million turnover, registered for GST and paying income tax. The project topic is ‘feedback from small businesses, industry representatives and software developers is that meeting BAS requirement places a disproportionate regulatory burden on small business record keeping’. 

The Steering Committee is the governance and decision making body for the cross agency fix-it squad. Providing guidance on topic direction, representation, stakeholders, squad progress and accepting recommendations. The Steering Committee met for the first time on 11 August 2015 to discuss the project plan that will run for approximately 16 weeks.

Our role is to provide insight on the strategic directions of the software industry, contribute to the decision making process - advising where problems are already being worked on through other programs, raise concerns and communicate decisions to Industry.
If you are interested in participating or would like to receive updates, please email absia@absia.asn.au

Superstream – Contributions Implementation Working Group (CIWG), Sydney – 28 August


The ATO held a CIWG information session on Friday 28 August at Luna Park, Sydney. This meeting provided the opportunity for all organisations in the superannuation industry to obtain updates and raise issues. The presentations and outcomes of this event will be available HERE.

ATO workshop on the end to end service offer for the Software Developer Experience – 22 July 


SIPO hosted a workshop with internals and externals in regard to co-design of the end to end software developer support model stages, initiatives and deliverables. The purpose of the workshop was to gather ideas on how better to improve the different stages and lifecycle segments of the client experience. The ATO has continued to hear that early engagement is crucial to the work that software developers do, and have been working on an end to end service delivery model that will guide ATO staff when working with the Industry. 

Business Advisory Forum (BAF) Meeting – 14 August


The BAF comprises of representatives from industry groups and professional associations. It meets formally several times a year, with much of its business conducted out-of-session. ABSIA board member, Geoff Schaller attended the meeting on behalf of ABSIA. Agenda and presentations can be found on the ABSIA web forum.

Gateway Network Governance Board – 30 July


The ATO have been conducting a selection process to identify a suitable candidate to take on the responsibility of operating an industry-run Gateway Network Governance board in relation to Superstream transactions. ABSIA Board member, Karen Lay-Brew attended the Gateway Governance Board meeting in Sydney on 30 July. The main purpose of the meeting was to determine if or whether there is an appetite for a joint proposal by the parties (ABSIA, ACCI, ASFA, APCA, AIST).  Standards Australia has declined to participate.  ATO confirmed that there were three submissions in response to the tender, and ATO had not evaluated each proposal before they were withdrawn. During the meeting, the parties agreed to review the previously lodged EOI submissions as a basis to form a new GNGB joint submission. The ATO is of the view that this is achievable and has created a pathway to achieve the desired outcome.  On 19 August, ABSIA in conjunction with ACCI and AIST provided the ATO with a Proposal for Gateway Network Governing Body (GNGB). 

INFORMATION & GUIDANCE:

Digital Transformation Office (DTO) design guides 


The DTO has developed the Digital Service Standard (DSS) which outlines principles that government should adhere to when developing digital services.  The Digital Service Design Guides (DSDG) specifies the underlying detail that supports development and adherence to the DSS principles.
The DTO has created a repository on GitHub where our more technical DSDGs will be hosted.  The Application Programming Interfaces (API) guide, available via GitHub, intends to provide guidance to Australian Government agencies in designing APIs, and also provides the mapping between the business interaction patterns and the appropriate technology choices.  In line with the agile development methodology, the API guides are in draft, and have been posted on GitHub to obtain feedback from the wider software development community.  The DTO requested ABSIA to provide consolidated feedback, please forward any feedback to absia@absia.asn.au

ABN Lookup in Software– helping streamline business processes


By embedding Australian business number (ABN) Lookup in your software you can help your clients save time.
ABN Lookup enables your clients to validate their suppliers' ABN and GST registrations. Access is free and allows you to incorporate ABN information and search capabilities into your applications.
  • In the 2014–15 financial year there were in excess of 475,000,000 ABN Lookup searches.
  • In April 2015 a single commercial package registered over 400,000 hits.
Protection for clients
The Commissioner of Taxation has said ‘If you primarily rely on information about another entity in ABN Lookup to self-assess your taxation liabilities or entitlements, and that information turns out to be incorrect:
  • the Commissioner will not take compliance action to recover any tax shortfall
  • you will also be protected against any false or misleading statement penalty and any interest charges.’
What you can do
Integrating ABN Lookup web services into your products is easy:
  • the ABR already has the needed Application Programming Interfaces (API) available
  • the programming guidance you need is published on the ABR website at Web services.
Copyright © 2015 ABSIA - Australian Business Software Industry Association, All rights reserved.


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