Last week, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s (CA ANZ) tax leader, Michael Croker, made a submission in response to Treasury’s Discussion Paper entitled ‘Modernising Business Registry Services’.
“Modernising the government’s business registers is an important initiative which has the potential to reap significant administrative savings for business, consumers and government,” Mr Croker said in his submission.
“It can also level the playing field for businesses who are doing the right thing by making it easier and more efficient to enforce laws regarding phoenix operators, money laundering and terrorism funding, and existing federal and state or territory taxation and other laws.”
Speaking to Accountants Daily, CA ANZ senior tax advocate, Susan Franks, said that modernising and consolidating the registers will generate a lot of efficiencies for both government and business by streamlining a lot of administrative processes.
Further to this there will be benefits for accountants and auditors according to Ms Franks.
“Accountants are usually in there helping their clients input this information so it might make it a little bit easier for them to do that and reduce the paperwork,” she said.
“We're hoping that once the new system is up and running that registered company auditors can actually do searches to double check the entities that they're appointed to and which ones they've resigned from because currently it depends on the client putting the paperwork in and it’s not easy to do a search to actually find that.”
Ms Franks said that this is a long-term project and that the government is currently only looking at the ASIC registers and the ABN, which represents 32 registers out of the 250 business registers in Australia.
“We would like data registry to be almost a one-stop shop for companies where they go in, they update the basic information about their company, it gets pushed out to the registers it needs to be pushed out to,” she said.
“Just nice simplification of processes so it reduces red tape for the government and businesses and the information is consistent, there's no double entry of information, and it gets done in real time. That way that also means people can do searches in real time too and they know what's going on.”