The ATO has recently been spruiking about how improved technology will bring about red-tape reduction for business. Some may think that the future of accountants looks somewhat tenuous if technology improvements enhance the ability of businesses to lodge their own tax returns and forms. We are actually supportive of the improved use of technology in the tax arena.
For some time, we have preached the benefits to business of adopting new technologies such as cloud accounting and automated data capture. The opportunity to streamline the way data is summarised and reported to the ATO should be of great assistance to business and reduce costs. By utilising software that is enabled for Standard Business Reporting (SBR), forms such as Business Activity Statements may be lodged directly with the ATO.
A word of caution
However, with these benefits also come risks. The greatest risk is that data will be recorded incorrectly and then false information will be transmitted to the ATO. This highlights a key benefit of engaging an accountant to oversee your accounting and taxation affairs. We don’t just fill in forms. Nor do we simply collate information. We manage the risk of providing incorrect information either by overstating claims or by not claiming enough.
Either way, we work to ensure that the information provided to the ATO is accurate and clients’ tax risks are appropriately managed. As the process of collating and reporting data to the ATO is improved, our commitment to ensuring the information is right won’t shift. However, we will also have more time to assist you with the other important areas of your business.