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Subject: SBR announcement - Australia


Business Reporting Burden to be Slashed

Today the Treasurer launched a long-term initiative to cut the red tape confronting business when reporting to government.  The Australian Governments Standard Business Reporting (SBR) programme will save businesses time, money and frustration.

Financial reporting is the first set of forms to be targeted, since these affect the broadest section of the business community. This will include forms such as Business Activity Statements, Company Income Tax Returns, TFN Declarations and the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey.

When SBR financial reporting is fully implemented, businesses will be able to use their accounting/record keeping software to automatically pre-fill government reports such as BAS statements. Businesses will no longer have to spend hours working out how to translate their own records into government reports.

Businesses will be able to use a single, secure, log on to send financial reports to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, and potentially, State Revenue Offices. Businesses will no longer need to log in to separate systems to submit their financial reports to each of these agencies. 

SBR will make e-commerce with the government more viable for business. An automated system also means less errors, saving business time and effort in re-work.

Use of SBR will be voluntary.  Small and medium business will stand to benefit, with significant reductions expected in time spent preparing and submitting reports, and lower costs for those who assist them (such as tax agents and accountants). Costs to business are expected to include software upgrades, as well as learning about SBR and seeking professional advice.

The Australian Government will work closely with software companies to enhance products already used by business. SBR will also work closely with business and those that support them, such as accountants and tax agents, to make sure that it delivers maximum benefit for the Australian business community.

SBR will be co-ordinated by the Treasury and will bring together participating agencies to streamline their business reporting needs.  A range of pilots and trials will commence from mid-2008.  It is anticipated that the full implementation for financial reporting will be complete in mid-2010, with take-up by business escalating over the subsequent three years.  The cost of the programme will be $208.1 million over the next three years. The benefits to business are ultimately estimated rise to $795 million per year on an ongoing basis. 

30 August 2007

Contact: Renae Stoikos 03 9650 0244 

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