Deregulation at the ABS

We welcome the announcement by The Hon Ben Morton MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet, that the Australian Government is investing in a better way for small and medium businesses to report data to the ABS and reduce the time spent completing surveys.

Timely data from business is critical for the range of economic indicators we produce. With this investment, we’ll work with accounting software developers and others to streamline the reporting process and allow businesses to better make use of their existing data and systems so they can report their figures more easily.

What’s happening?

The ABS will be working with businesses, accountants and bookkeepers, and accounting software companies to co-design a new reporting application that links with software businesses already use. This means businesses can report their data more quickly and easily.

Businesses will also have fewer figures to report. Part of the change will be for us to use data already given to government, like the salary and wage information reported through Single Touch Payroll.

Ultimately, we estimate small and medium businesses will spend at least 70% less time completing ABS surveys.

As part of the new initiative, we will also provide tailored reports back to business to help them understand their performance against similar businesses.

When will this happen?

We’ll be starting co-design work and consultation very soon. Please contact us now if you’d like to be involved in the design discussions.

The new application is expected to be available to businesses in the Business Indicator Survey from March 2023 and will be extended to other surveys afterwards.

How to get involved?

For small and medium businesses

If you have a small business of 0-100 employees, and would like to be involved in the co-design or testing process for this new reporting application, please email us at deregulation@abs.gov.au with your contact details and someone from the project will be in touch to assess your business’ testing suitability.

For accountants and bookkeepers

We also want to hear from accountants and bookkeepers. If you support businesses of 0-100 employees and would like to be involved, please email us (deregulation@abs.gov.au) with your contact details.

For digital software providers

If you are a provider of cloud-based accounting software, with a developer API and would like to discuss this initiative, or be involved in the co-design process, please email us (deregulation@abs.gov.au) with your contact details.