The ATO has confirmed its consultative approach for the transition to digital client communication – is your practice ready?
- The ATO are working directly with digital service providers to support the move to digital-only communication;
- Accounting practices should prepare now by reviewing processes and implementing automated technology;
- Australian-based platform, ATOmate, provides a comprehensive, automated solution to ATO document management.
It was just a few months ago that the ATO had to quickly revert its decision to stop issuing paper instalment notices after the December 2020 quarter, when the swift switch to a “digital only” delivery method of the instalment notices left many advisers in the dark and unaware of where, when, and how to access their client correspondence.
Since then, however, the ATO has reignited its shift to paperless communication with a new rigor and more consultative approach. Based on practitioner feedback following the recent instalment notice decision, the ATO are working closely with a group of Digital Service Providers (DSP’s) to develop a range of solutions that overcome the hurdles of moving to digital-only communications with advisers and clients.
Of course, the shift towards digital communication is not new for the ATO, and the industry has been patiently watching the transformation from the sidelines: from the introduction of myGov and new communication preferences and options, through to utilizing text messages and most recently navigating the changes to instalment notices. Covid-19 has also reiterated the need for the ATO and practitioners alike to transition to digital communication.
The key for practices however is that the rate of change is, well, changing. The ATO are now moving quickly to enable a truly digital communication channel for advisers and clients.
How should your practice prepare for the ATO’s shift to digital client communication?
For practices, it means that it’s time to finally get off the sidelines and ensure they’re ready the next time the ATO “make the switch” by reviewing communication preferences across your client base, and implementing technology solutions that will help the transition.
Australian-based robotic processing automation platform ATOmate is one of the handful of providers working closely with the ATO to develop a solution to the communication changes.
With comprehensive practice and document management integrations designed to leverage a practice’s existing technology, ATOmate automatically sorts, processes, reviews, and distributes ATO correspondence to clients, with minimal input needed by accounting advisers.
A comprehensive solution to ATO document management
The platform reduces ATO document processing time by over 90%, streamlining the management of ATO documentation and removing the potential for human error by automatically redacting personal TFN data, and flagging discrepancies.
Stan Corner, CEO of Business Automation Works, the company behind ATOmate, says the coming months will be important for practices to prepare themselves for the ATOs next update to digital communication.
“The ATO has committed to change, so it’s time to get set and implement the processes and solutions that will ensure your practice is ready for that switch to digital communication with minimal disruption to your team members, and most importantly – to your clients,” Mr Corner says.
“That’s why we’re very excited to be working with the ATO to make it even easier for accountants to receive, process, and distribute those important client notifications in the most effective way possible,” Mr Corner says.
Direct integration to ATO data gives time back to your team
Business Automation Works are working closely with the ATO to create a fully compliant and certified integration that will enable practices to receive virtually all ATO correspondence electronically and then process those seamlessly from ATOmate’s cloud-based dashboard. This will be a significant win for accounting practices – not only will they save time spent opening and processing mail, but ATOmate will allow them to quickly and easily access and process client correspondence daily with high confidence in the accuracy of outcomes.
With the direct integration scheduled to be available early in the new financial year, it’s a great time to get setup so you can start automating the processing of ATO notices.