The Federal Government has today gone live with Standard Business Reporting (SBR), allowing businesses to transact directly with government agencies from interfaces built into their corporate software suites.
The SBR program has been under development since 2006 and is expected to save businesses a total of $800 million each year once fully implemented.
Currently, SBR will be used to pre-fill reports such as the Business Activity Statement, Tax File Number Declarations, PAYG payment summaries, payroll tax returns and financial statements.
SBR software is built on SSL security, the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), the SOAP 1.2 messaging framework, and a Core Services IT platform provided by IBM, which will maintain the platform in accordance with a 12-month, $2.7 million agreement signed in May 2010.
Some 240 software developers, including SAP and Oracle, have also been involved in the development of the XBRL standard that underpins the software.
In a statement to the media today, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner described the launch of SBR as "one step closer to a seamless national economy".
"Using SBR-enabled software, businesses will spend less time and effort gathering, analysing and re-keying information and will be provided with an electronic receipt for their transaction in real time," he explained.
"As software developers progressively update their products to support SBR, businesses will realise the benefits of lodging forms through their software directly to government agencies."
In the 2010-11 Federal Budget, $73.2 million was allocated to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Treasury, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for the maintenance and operation of SBR.
The Government has also released a 'software developers kit' so that developers could enable Microsoft- or Java-based financial, accounting or payroll software for SBR.