Standard Business Reporting

The IPA has been working alongside Treasury and other industry groups to assist with the promotion and roll out of the Government's Standard Business Reporting (SBR) technology software.  This offers accountants, bookkeepers, tax agents and payroll specialists a better way to meet client needs by reducing their reporting requirements to government.  SBR acts as an electronic postbox in that the information to government only has to be provided once and will then be distributed through the SBR portal to the various government agencies requiring it.   

SBR will provide members with flexibility by:

• removing unnecessary or duplicated information from government forms;

• using business software to automatically pre-fill forms;

• adopting a common reporting language, based on international standards and best practice;

• making financial reporting a by-product of natural business processes;

• providing an electronic interface to agencies directly from accounting software, which will also provide validation and confirm receipt of reports; and

• providing a single secure online sign-on for users to all agencies involved.

SBR will save members considerable time by reducing tedious data entry, error correction and multiple submissions; allowing more time and freeing up resources providing them with a chance to focus on value-add services to help grow your business and that of your clients.

Led by the Treasury, the agencies participating in SBR are the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), all State and Territory Government revenue offices (ROs) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Some examples of reports SBR is targeting include the Business Activity Statement (Australian Taxation Office), financial statements (ASIC), and payroll tax returns (State and Territory Government revenue offices).

SBR is expected to save Australian business an estimated $800 million per year once fully implemented from July 2010.

Adoption of SBR will be voluntary and no legislative changes will occur as a direct result of the initiative.

SBR benefits 

The Standard Business Reporting (SBR) initiative has released a complete package of learning modules. They are split into three main areas:

  1. General understanding of SBR
  2. SBR for reporting professionals and businesses
  3. SBR for software developers

Each will explain the background, purpose and components of the initiative as well as demonstrating how business will derive benefits from the program.

Member can gain access to these modules on the SBR website (

Members should note that adoption of SBR will be voluntary and no legislative changes will occur as a direct result of the initiative.


A key way SBR will reduce the burden of business to government reporting is through the use of a single secure sign-on, or common authentication system, for government online services.

This will mean a single credential (e.g. user ids, PIN/passwords, digital certificates) for interacting with government rather than maintaining separate credentials for each agency interaction.

The new credential, AUSkey, has been designed and developed in consultation with businesses, their intermediaries, government agencies and software developers. It will be common to all agencies participating in SBR, and will balance useability/convenience and the security businesses expect from online authentication systems.

The credential, AUSkey, is now available in preparation for SBR commencement from 1 July 2010.

While businesses and their intermediaries will be directed to registration facilities by their software, or the login screen of the online service they are trying to access, there is also a link to the credential's website from the Australian Business Register.

For more information on AUSkey, please visit the ABR website