The digital revolution started slowly with promises of a paperless office, which many laughed about for some years while paper continued to accumulate alongside computer terminals. However, technology improved over time and we now have the appropriate software and online tools to not only reduce the volumes of paper but to also deliver information and documents instantly.
Accounting and other business software, like Xero, have allowed businesses to generate, send and receive work orders, invoices, payments, bank statements, timesheets, payslips and many other standard business documents electronically. The technology also saves and files these documents, and provided this is done securely using accepted protocols, they can be retrieved quickly when needed.
How the digital revolution has helped with tax compliance
These advancements have changed the face of the typical office and also the way we work in that space. For example, most businesses now use the electronic lodgement system provided by the ATO to lodge tax and annual returns such as company tax returns, fringe benefits tax returns, SMSF annual returns and fund income tax returns.
It’s not just businesses that appreciate the efficiency of paperless technologies. Ordinary PAYG taxpayers can complete and lodge paperless tax returns through myTax, available on the ATO website. Information from banks, employers, government agencies, health funds etc. needed to complete individual tax returns is automatically uploaded, leaving the taxpayer to provide deductions and anything additional. Tax refunds are usually paid into bank accounts within two weeks.
SMSFs are another group that would struggle to manage multiple administration and reporting requirements without the speed and convenience of paperless technology. For example, fund trustees are responsible for ensuring that proper and accurate tax and superannuation records are kept, some for five years and others for ten years.
To keep large volumes of financial reports, tax returns, investment information, minutes of trustee meetings, registers of members, declarations, reports and other documents for up to ten years is a logistical nightmare. The whole scenario becomes much more manageable if these records are paperless.
How an SMSF Accountant can help
Companies such as Carbon provide administrators who understand the complexities of SMSF legislation and work with their clients to ensure that all documentation is in place and all lodging and other requirements are met. Superannuation and taxation laws are complex and constantly changing, so getting expert advice from an SMSF accounting specialist ensures everything’s done according to legislation. We will scan all fund documentation into your electronic document management systems for record-keeping and audit purposes, as well as maintain all registers and records on behalf of the fund. None of this would be possible without paperless technology. Get in touch with us today to get started.