[sg_popup id=”1″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is a global standard for business reporting introduced in Australia in 2010. It facilitates automatic reporting and a single sign-in to government agencies through SBR-enabled software, including:
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Australian Tax Office (ATO)
- Australian Prudent Regulation Authority (APRA)
- state and territory government revenue offices, and
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
SBR is built into business/accounting software making it SBR-enabled and allows businesses to significantly reduce the time spent collating information, filling in forms and submitting reports to government.
SBR uses the business transactions captured in business software to prepare reports. This is the concept of ‘capturing once’ and means business no longer has to re-enter information for multiple reporting obligations.
Information uploaded using SBR is shared between state and commonwealth government agencies to avoid duplicate reporting requirements.
Currently, software compliance with SBR is not mandatory however with the increase in reporting data and frequency required means manual data entry of information will be not be sustainable. SBR relies on software providers to enable the SBR solution in their packages, for use by businesses and accountants.
SBR streamlines most routine business reporting processes, including business activity statements, financial statements and payroll tax returns. The key benefit is that SBR reduces preparation time to a matter of seconds. Deloitte found SBR software cuts tax return completion times by 80 per cent.
The ATO estimated that SBR adoption in 2015-16 saved Australian businesses and the Government $1.2 billion (up from $400 million in the 2014-15 financial year). This was 50 per cent above savings projections in the original SBR business case (see the 2015-16 ATO annual report here). 109.2 million SBR transactions are expected in 2017-18, equating to $1.4 billion in savings.
Government projections indicate many more business processes will be supported by SBR in the next few years, and more software programs will become SBR-enabled.
Other benefits include:
- Increase productivity: spend less time on paperwork and have quality time to focus on building your business.
- Cost: investing in business software is the only cost. SBR is free because it’s built into the software.
- Seamless record keeping: your records and reports are securely stored and accessible in your software.
- Automatically pre-filled reports: extracts information from your accounting and payroll records and prepares reports directly from your software.
- Review reports before submitting: allows you to check reports for errors and omissions.
- Real- time validation and confirmation: that the agency government has received your report.
- Updated reporting obligations: changes in reporting legislation are updated in the underlying SBR code.
- Share information: you can work with your advisor in real time to monitor your business’ progress.
While initial business adoption rates of SBR were slower than the Government had hoped, they have grown significantly in recent years. This was partly due to the benefits listed above, but also because:
- from July 2018, Single Touch Payroll (STP) will be compulsory for employers with 20 or more employees. STP streamlines employer tax and superannuation reporting.
- from July 2015, SuperStream became compulsory for all Australian businesses. SuperStream allows employers to make super contributions to all their employees in one transaction.
Enabling SBR reporting
The following reports can be lodged via SBR-enabled software:
- Business Activity Statements
- Income Tax Returns
- Superannuation Data
- Employment Obligation Reports
Compared to alternative methods, SBR can reduce preparation and submission time to a matter of seconds.. The alternative is to complete hard copies of the reports, in most instances requiring a signature from a company representative and the employee whose information is being recorded / lodged.
This method lends itself to being time consuming, impractical for remote employment as well as prone to errors.
SBR capabilities are built into many software programs, like foundU, to automate reporting processes. This software extracts certain information and prefills the relevant government report. This report can then be lodged directly to the government using an Auskey*.
*An AUSkey is all businesses require to set up SBR (register for one here).
What do I need to do?
- Check whether your current software provider (or adviser) uses SBR enabled software
- Research what the best SBR enabled software is for your business – is it a 360 degree workforce management approach?
- Understand what elements of HR and Payroll you would like to run through SBR – Single Touch Payroll will be mandatory soon, so ensure the software you choose is STP ebled.
- Meet with your advisers to ensure any software has SBR as a native function
foundU is SBR and STP enabled and can help you fulfil your reporting responsibilities in the quickest, easiest way possible. The platform automatically produces a SuperStream file from payroll information, and sends payroll reports using Single Touch Payroll. With a range of automatic and stringent checks and measures, foundU is the most compliant workforce management platform on the market.
SBR will continue to be a positive change in the industry – however, for businesses that fail to implement SBR compliant software things may get more difficult. When considering new payroll software it’s important to understand the platform’s SBR capabilities to avoid long term integration or data integrity issues.