It's designed to make life easier when you submit your forms to the tax office. So what is SBR and how can it help you?
It's one of the things no one tells you when you're running a small business - the amount of time you spend on paperwork. Amongst those obligations is the need to regularly submit information to the government.
The government's answer to this is Standard Business Reporting - a series of specifications that software developers can integrate into accounting and other business software. SBR pre-fills forms using the data in your systems. You can then check them and electronically submit the information to the ATO.
SBR-enabled software translates your accounting information into a language government systems understand and analyse so you get immediate validation and quick responses. Rather than spending time filling out paper forms and re-entering data into different systems, portals or government agencies you enter data once into your systems and it's automatically sent in the correct format.
An important part of the SBR is the use of Auskey - an electronic pass that will over time be accepted by more agencies as a way of ensuring that your information is safe and that you're the only person who can submit information on your behalf.
We expect to see SBR rolled into more accounting software over the coming months. Reckon have integrated SBR into QuickBooks Hosted so that their customers can take advantage of the new functions.
Anything that reduces the administrative effort for small businesses is a good thing and it's good to see the government trying to find ways to reduce the workload. But it will take some time for SBR to find its way into all the different accounting software used by small businesses.