• Standard Business Reporting

    Access this factsheet in a pdf format (PDF, 195KB).

    Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is a major cross-government initiative that uses standards and digital technology to reduce the business to government reporting burden.

    It is a capability built into accounting and business software to make reporting to government quicker and easier. It sits behind some popular business software packages.

    SBR automates the preparation and lodgment of government reports directly from business software, reducing the cost and time it takes for businesses to report to government. In addition, the same information can be re-used by businesses in dealing with other businesses. SBR also simplifies reporting by providing a common list of definitions and terms used in legislation and on government forms.

    Since its launch in 2010, considerable savings have been recorded using SBR-enabled software:

    • 2014-2015 – $400 million in SBR savings were recorded, and some 15 million transactions lodged
    • 2015-2016 – $1.1 billion in savings and 106 million transactions are estimated
    • Savings from SBR are projected to grow to more than $1.27 billion per annum by 2018-19.

    By having SBR-enabled reporting, your clients may be able to:

    • report and make lodgements directly to your agency from their business software
    • report and lodge forms directly to your agency from their business software
    • pre-fill reports from their records and the records your agency holds
    • receive real-time validation their report has been received and accepted.

    Benefits to your agency

    Benefits for your agency include:

    • cost savings – increasing the number of businesses reporting to your agency electronically will result in a reduction in paper lodgments, saving you the costs associated with scanning, storage and re-keying of information
    • simplification – your agency will experience a reduction in the number of information fields it needs to collect and be better able to share data with other government agencies
    • better information – your agency will experience an overall increase in the quality of data it receives
    • better compliance – your agency will spend less time resolving non-compliance issues.

    How to use SBR

    There are four core components required to transition your agency to SBR:

    • SBR-enabled software which your clients can buy (or perhaps upgrade) from commercial software providers.
    • Transport protocols, which in its most basic form, is the internet.
    • A gateway – either a hardware or software bridge that allows data to be transferred between networks.
    • A translator – a ‘decoder’ which we can be put in place to convert SBR messages into whatever language your agency system uses.

    Our support services

    We can provide your agency with:

    • advice, project assistance and technical tools to simplify your transition to SBR
    • a ‘gateway kit’ which consists of a set of electronic tools to help configure agency systems for SBR
    • support through every step of the process.

    How current agencies are using SBR

    Helping deliver savings to the superannuation industry

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for delivering significant components of the government’s Super Reform Program.

    A major part of the reform is the introduction of a new Superannuation Data and Payment Standard for rollovers of superannuation amounts between funds and the payment of superannuation contributions for employees. These two transactions alone are estimated to occur over 100 million times per year.

    In designing the standard, the ATO leveraged existing investment to reuse a number of important SBR capabilities. This reuse led to a faster design and development process for the ATO when co-designing the standard with the superannuation industry.

    SBR was also used to deliver the SuperTICK. SuperTICK allows registered superannuation entities to validate, and even correct, tax file numbers under certain conditions.

    This benefits both the ATO and the superannuation industry by correcting errors at the source and removing the need for re-work later in the process. The financial benefits are substantial. For example, the SuperTICK service alone is estimated to deliver savings of approximately $235 million in 2015-16.

    The investment that had already been made in SBR meant the existing capabilities were able to be reused – rather than creating something new – to quickly respond to government policy and deliver reforms and savings to the superannuation industry.

    For the community, SBR was pivotal in delivering important changes that, ultimately, will help to improve the retirement savings of all Australians.

    Case Study

    ABS Investigating SBR for business reporting

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has received an investment of $250 million from the Australian Government to enable it to modernise its systems and infrastructure over the next five years.

    As part of its transformation agenda, the ABS is looking at ways of improving how it collects statistical data, consistent with the government’s digital transformation and red tape reduction initiatives. SBR is being looked at closely for its purpose.

    The potential of SBR to improve the collection of official statistics has been recognised by the ABS and it is working collaboratively with the ABR and the ATO to identify and assess opportunities for its adoption.

    Find out more

    To find out more about SBR:

    © Australian Taxation Office for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2016

    You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or the Australian Government endorses you or any of your services or products).

    Published by ABR, Canberra. April 2016 / JS36684B

    • Last modified: 14 Apr 2016QC 1067