In 2015 TAXVINE No 10 (27 March 2015) Member 57 wrote:
“I have just watched an ATO webinar on SMSFs and was surprised to hear that ELS is being wound down and in the next couple of years lodgments are going to be required to be reported using SBR. I have to admit that I can’t really understand at the moment how this is going to work when quite a few of my clients aren’t using SBR enabled software (due to the cost of annual subscriptions when they just need the basic features), or for the many superfunds and small clients that I prepare the accounts for (also on an older version of software that is far more efficient). Do I have to have the latest version of accounting package for every single client and input every detail into that software, ie addresses, TFNs and addresses of employees, ABNs of all suppliers etc? It seems to me that with Superstream, single touch payroll etc we are just being forced into preparing everything on the latest software.”
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS:
“The Tax Office is committed to providing contemporary online services for the community. Standard business reporting (SBR) lays the foundation for significant future opportunities and is designed to enhance the experience of tax professionals, individuals, businesses, and self-managed super funds.
Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS) utilises practice management software to prepare and submit transactions to the ATO. The move to SBR enabled practice management software will provide additional benefits to tax practitioners such as the ability to make client updates immediately, meaning no more waiting overnight, and the ability to make bulk client updates. In particular the 2016 tax time software upgrade for tax professionals will be very important and we suggest you contact your software provider to understand when or if your software will be SBR enabled.
In addition both SuperStream and Single Touch Payroll build on the investment in SBR and utilise the innovation of software developers to provide strong accounting software solutions.
To obtain the full benefit of contemporary digital services for you and your clients, you will likely need to have up-to-date software. You should talk to your software providers about what migration of client data may be required and how this will occur.”