The complexity, confusion and fear of surviving COVID-19 for small business owners has been eased by an incredible public private partnership.
The Australian Business Software Industry Association’s Director, Matthew Prouse, says agile software developers have worked around the clock, cancelling Easter holidays to ensure Australian software providers of accounting, payroll, tax and superannuation packages would be JobKeeper ready.
He says 12 major software platforms are now compliant and more coming online each day. With 90 members, the association has worked 12-14 hours a day over the last three weeks with the ATO to ensure software products would cope. “It’s one less thing that small businesspeople have to worry about,” he said.
It took 18 months for the software industry to adapt their products to GST. 20 years later it has taken 18 days for them to adjust their software for JobKeeper.
“We appreciate the terrible circumstances of COVID-19. It has shown up remarkable responses from the software industry and the ATO.”
“This is a positive story about a pro-active software community working closely with the ATO to build real and practical solutions that businesspeople can use right now, and these have been delivered to the business community really quickly.”
“It’s an agile software developer’s dream job: a highly important, adrenaline pumping problem that needed a fast solution. We’ve responded with passion and energy.”
Mr Prouse acknowledged the ATO’s Digital Partnership Office and the long hours, teamwork and adaptability of the ATO which has taken existing systems and “bent” them to fit the current crisis.
This has shown the power of digital, showcased the agility of the Australian software industry and the dedication of the ATO, which has used the single touch payroll system as a key component.
This story is part of a series of positive stories of small business in the time of COVID. If you know of any good stories, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Picture: ABSIA Director Matthew Prouse