ABSIA News: 24 July 2015
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ABSIA Membership



Single Touch Payroll (STP) Working Group Meetings 

ELS2SBR Submission - ATO round table discussion Melbourne 

Web-forum Topic - Free software for small businesses?

Super Contributions Administrative Issues Forum (SCAIF) 

Contributions Implementation Working Group (CIWG)

Child Support - Dept Human Resources

Gateway Governance


ABSIA Quarterly Webinar – ATO Channels Update 

Small Business Liaison Group meeting 

2 Day ‘Rumble’ Fjord Australia – Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive


Guidance SuperStream Alternative File Format Update– SAFF V1.0

ATO’s software developers newsletter data request site - Specific requests for data release 

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



E- invoicing is fast evolving and there is now a heightened interest in the development of an e-invoicing standard for Australia. ABSIA have recently engaged with government and National Online Retailers Association (NORA) with the next meeting on the 30th of July 2015
A special interest group needs to be established for this and will commence in August 2015.
For those members wishing to participate in this SIG please email

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Working Group Meetings: Fridays 10am – 11am

ABSIA continue to partner with ATO the STP Working Group. Weekly teleconferences are currently being run on Friday 10-11am, starting from 10 July. You can view the outcomes of the first meeting HERE

If you are interested in joining the STP Working group, please email

ELS2SBR Submission - ATO round table discussion Melbourne: 29 July 

On Wednesday 29 July, 2:00PM - 4:30pm in Melbourne ATO senior executive will engage with income tax developers to address the ABSIA ELS2SBR submission made last month.
The session will be attended by Assistant Commissioners Lesley Slevin and Chris Thorne as well as other ATO senior staff.
It will be an opportunity for the ATO to address issues and concerns raised in the submission and for developers to respond and participate in a round table discussion with the ATO.

To view ABSIA’s submission click HERE

If you would like more information please email

Web-forum Topic - Free software for small businesses?

The ATO is keen to be able to deliver an improved experience for micro businesses who happily used the e-record product that satisfied their basic business record keeping needs. 

The ATO does not want to be in the market of developing software for business and this is why they are asking you for some guidance!

So if there are low/no cost products available, how can they be shared with the small/micro business community?

Please share your ideas here 
or contact ABSIA directly

Super Contributions Administrative Issues Forum (SCAIF)

The SCAIF is a cross-industry stakeholder group that has been created to discuss, develop positions and provide input, advice and recommendations to the SuperStream Reference Group (SSRG) regarding significant administration issues that impact SuperStream standard for contributions across employers, funds and supporting intermediaries (payroll, clearing houses, administrators etc.).

The SCAIF meets every month – every second month is face-to-face. The next meeting is scheduled to occur 20 August 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm.

If you are interested in being involved in this forum, email

Contributions Implementation Working Group (CIWG): 28 August

ATO SuperStream Standards is holding a Contributions Implementation Working Group (CIWG) information session on Friday 28th August in Sydney from 9.30am to 1.00pm at Luna Park, Ted Hopkins Room.

We encourage all payroll developers to attend. If you are interested in attending email by 21 July. 

Child Support - Department of Human Services

ABSIA have recently engaged with Child Support at the Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding the planning of SBR digital services.
A special interest group <link to sig page> will be established for this project with developers with payroll capabilities in mind.
For those members wishing to participate in this SIG please email At this stage, time commitments by the SIG members are unknown.

Gateway Governance

Along with ACCI, ASFA, APCA and Standards Australia – ABSIA will be represented on the board of directors of a not-for-profit body be formed for B2B gateway governance Australia.
It is expected that the new organisation will eventually have a 20 million dollar annual budget.
To assist with establishment of the new body and its practices a special interest group <link to sig page> is required over the period from August 2015 to July 2016 for the establishment period and then continue on indefinitely. Time commitments for SIG members in this group is likely to be about 4-8 hours per fortnight.
For those members wishing to participate in this SIG please email


ABSIA Quarterly Webinar – ATO Channels Update – 15 July

ABSIA hosted an ATO Channels Webinar on 15 July 2015, presented by Kerrie Cameron and Mick Ferris from the Australian Taxation Office.

The webinar provided an update on changes to forms and reports in the Portal/ECI, SBR and ELS channels and ATO’s current thinking on the future of the ECI channel. You can view the presentations here

MIPS, ECI & Portal Bulk Lodgements
SBR Tax Time Changes

The next webinar will be held on 14 October 10am – 11am.
Register now!!! – Space is limited.

Small Business Liaison Group Meeting: 15 July

ABSIA Board member, Nicholas Perrott attended the meeting on behalf of ABSIA, the key messages were:
  1. Fix it squads - Creation of guides for changing a business structure (e.g. sole trader to company), small business director and taking on a new employee.
  2. Every Year Counts - Looking at initiatives for next year including managing tax for business, making superannuation easier for small business, employee share schemes (ESS), online services and linking a business to myGov.
  3. SuperStream Update - A dramatic increase in transaction volumes starting in June; estimated that 20% of small business are already using SuperStream.
  4. Safe Harbour - A number of working groups covering GST, FBT, ESS etc. have been created with the ATO not challenging "valuations" providing the guidelines are followed.
  5. Simplified BAS - Discussions have been taking place in respect of simplifying GST returns for a business with a turnover of less than $2M.
For more details visit our website at

ABSIA has the opportunity to raise issues of concern; if you have any issues you would like raised please email them to before the next meeting on 12 November 2015.

2 Day ‘Rumble’ Fjord Australia –
Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive: 1 & 2 June

The ATO released the Reinventing the ATO Blueprint in March, describing the kind of experience that Australians expect to have when they deal with the ATO and guides everything they do in the coming years. To assist with delivering this blueprint they have established six formal programs of work, one of which is the ‘Working with our Partners in the Tax and Super Systems’ to create stronger working relationships.

ABSIA Board Members, David Field and Kevin Johnson participated in a 2 day Rumble hosted by FJORD and ATO. The Rumble involved an energetic idea generation session to further re-imagine the ATO intermediaries experience as outlined in the ‘Reinventing the ATO’ Blueprint. The purpose was to better understand your needs and the current landscape. It included participants from across the software developer industry and the tax professional community.

Have a look at the video recap of the Rumble:


Guidance SuperStream Alternative File Format Update– SAFF V1.0

On 4 April 2014 SAFF File version 0.4 was update to 1.0; V1.0 should be used not v0.4.  

Differences between v0.4 and v1.0: Minor clarifications were added to v0.4 for three data items in the file that are not part of the data standard itself.
  1. Line ID (per comment, cell A3): rules added to clarify the length and allowable characters of the item
  2. File ID (per comment, cell E3): rules added to clarify the length and allowable characters of the item
  3. Location ID (per comment, cell AE3): rules added to clarify optionality, length and allowable characters, and purpose of the item.
For more details

ATO’s Software Developers Newsletter

The ATO have created a dedicated newsletter for software developers. Many of the articles link through to the Software developers community where you can find even more relevant information and discussions you can contribute to.

Visit the software developers community webpage and subscribe to the ATO’s Software developers newsletter now. data request site;
Specific requests for data release was first launched in 2010 and is a tool allowing for the publishing of open data across all jurisdictions of government in Australia. The aim was to ensure the ability of citizens to access and use the data, which, in reality belongs to them. In late 2013 was re-launched on the data specific platform CKAN. This enabled them to make available Application programming interface (API) style access to datasets and make it easier than ever for citizen-geeks, developers and data journalists to access and analyse the data.

You can submit any specific requests for data release through to

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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