Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

A Bookkeeper’s Perspective

ICB continues to have a voice and influence upon many parts of our world. It is together as over 4.000 full ICB members (as of 31 Dec, 2017 and and additional 1,500 students) that we are able to dedicate time and resources into finding out what is happening, providing viewpoints from the Bookkeeper’s perspective and influencing the government and commerical implementation of things that affect our world.


  • ICB has been a participant in a number of Minister's Roundtable discussions.  Typically held at Parliament House, when one or a combination of Ministers is seeking to hear directly from a variety of voices they invite representatives to meet with them.
  • Invited and contributed to the Assistant Treasurer's roundtable discussions on the Single Touch Payroll initiative bringing forward support for this ongoing journey for efficient payroll processes but emphasising that it is about business efficiency and not just about ATO compliance measures.
  • Participating in the Department of Industry Innovation and Science, Minister initiated consultations on the Business Simplification Initiative including the Business Register Simplification project.

Single Touch Payroll (STP)

  • Some are calling it as big as the GST implementation. We do not think that is the case nor should be the case. ICB continue to make considerable submissions into ATO thinking, Treasury thinking, software developers’ thinking as to a realistic approach to STP that does not have to make it harder for everyone.  ICB are a member of the ATO STP Advisory Group, Design Working Group, Readiness Working Group, Client Engagement Working Group, Micro-Employers Working Group.
  • ICB presented with the ATO at its Industry Engagement Forum and the Practioners Engagement Forum.

Tax Practitioners Board

  • As a recognised association under the TASA2009, we have a voice into the TPB through consultative forums and ongoing consultations.

Ministers and Treasury seek input through the Board of Taxation

  • ICB participated as a member of the BoT Special Working Group on “Tax impediments for Small Business”. Since the publication of that paper it has been good to see that a number of ideas that ICB contributed or supported have been either implemented or are being discussed.  Even years later.
  • ICB contributed to the BoT submission on the Small Business section of the Tax White Paper.
  • We have also contributed to their discussions on the Regulatory Performance Framework of the ATO. This is about how the ATO should be assessing whether they are meeting the deregulation agenda of government and it actually achieves something for us in business.

Inspector General of Taxation

  • The IGoT is responsible for review of the ATO at a number of levels.  ICB have contributed to the Agenda for the Inspector and contributed to various investigations.  Recent reports include the review on the PAYGI system, ATO Debt systems, Future of the Tax Profession and a number of others

Software Developers

We remain very pleased with our strong and growing connection with the software developers that directly influence and are involved in our Bookkeeping space. We discuss the effect that government initiatives and agendas are having on software and input into their thinking or support their view into government thinking.

  • MYOB have been the major ongoing partner with ICB since our inception. This partnership continues while MYOB and ICB have similar aims and objectives in the effective development of Bookkeeping in Australia. We meet with MYOB regularly having input into the partner programs, their current products, their future products and features within their products.
  • Reckon have also been a long term partner with ICB and engage in initiatives with us to support and develop the bookkeeping community.
  • Xero continue active engagement with ICB and it has been great to have an ability to discuss our shared visions for the Bookkeeping community. The Xero partnership establishes an ongoing relationship between them as a software company and their dedication to supporting the bookkeeping community. Melanie Power as head of Bookkeeping inside Xero provides positive results and indicates their commitment to the bookkeeping community.
  • Intuit QBO engage with ICB as a strategic partner. Intuit continues to establish itself as a significant contributor to the Australian business and bookkeeper communities.  They acknowledge the benefit to them and their customers of joining with Bookkeepers as partners rather than just a sales channel (and they aren’t alone in that journey).
  • GovReports. You know we like what they have been bringing to us as Bookkeepers and as the first to market with SBR solutions, GovReports gave Bookkeepers efficient lodgment processes. We continue to work with them to bring more effective solutions, ongoing development of their Client and Lodgement Manager (CLM) to become more effective for us; they continue to bring ideas and developments to improve business efficiency.
  • Receipt Bank has actively supported ICB and the Bookkeeper community and is ongoing discussion and development of the journey for the best progress of the Bookkeeping Profession.

Strategic Partners

  • Secured Signing, Workforce Guardian, The Association for Payroll Specialists, Insurance Made Easy, eCollect, Career Academy and ReceiptBank all engage as partners with ICB to bring business efficiency to Bookkeepers.
  • Further details at our Approved Products - Additional Service Page

Bookkeepers Getting Together with Bookkeepers

It seems our community of Bookkeepers, joining together through ICB, enjoy being able to get together (physically or virtually through Facebook or other forums) to share ideas, ask questions, give opinions and enjoy being able to know that we are not alone.

The ICB network meetings continue to be a source of interaction and sharing. While a network meeting may be based on the information flowing from the ICB hub (the newsletter, the resources, the information), each individual meeting takes on its own style and flavour that suits the facilitator and the group.

Whether you participate in the local network meeting or the webinar version, over 700 people are attending network meetings in each 2 month period. Subscribe to notices about your local meetings here.

Social media discussions are also rampant, with ICB being a contributor to our own forums and occasionally to other discussions as well.

Australian Taxation Office

ICB represent you and take our community’s experiences, knowledge and reality into the consultative forums of the ATO.

  • Australian Tax Practitioners Advisory Group (one of the 8 peak consultative forums) meets quarterly to discuss the practical world of Tax Practitioners. ICB is the co-chair of this forum for 2017 & 2018.
  • The BASAAG (BAS Agents Association Advisory Group) is the major vehicle for the BAS agent and bookkeeper community to interact with the ATO. ICB has been a member of this group since 2005.

  • The Australian Business Registrar Board meets 3 times a year with oversight of the role of the ABR.  ICB are a member of the Board.

    A list of some of the recent interactions we have had with the ATO at this forum.

    • GST compliance survey - Reviewing the ATO knowledge about GST compliance
    • SuperStream implementation - providing insight into employers perspective
    • MyGov correspondence functionality - When will it be available for BAS Agents
    • Payroll data security - Looking at the ATO expectations and risk around Cloud
    • eInvoicing and the use of Standard Business Reporting
    • Simplifying BAS - Input and interaction on this current project
    • Small Business Fix-It Squad - making compliance easier for business
    • Development of BAS agents’ dashboard - where is it?
    • ATO mobile website upgrade - information, an update and our feedback
    • Modernising Business Registers project

    Your thoughts about anything new that you would like us to make the ATO aware of, or to seek their action on, are most welcome. Email Matthew, click here.

    For the key messages published by the ATO, click here.

  • A member of the Board overseeing the Australian Business Registrar (the ABN system)
  • A member of the ATO "Working with our Partners Program Board"
  • A member of the ATO "Single Touch Payroll Advisory Group" and various sub-groups dealing with its design and implementation.
  • These forums give us extremely good level of access into the ATO. Both in and out of session we raise the technical and the practical issues that affect ICB members.
  • Future Tax Profession Working Groups have been established to do the advance thinking about the next 1 to 2 years and also the world in 2020 and beyond. ICB represent Bookkeepers into the ATO next generation thinking.
  • Ad-hoc ongoing involvement with the ATO. We have been invited to present to the ATO teams and also co-hosted webinars to discuss the ATO new approach to Debt collection activities by the ATO.  Representing you on a number of ATO live webcasts bringing a combination of ATO messages but with a practitioners perspective.

Education for Bookkeepers

In the formal education sector we have a voice into the Industry Business Skills Council, National TAFE Accounting Network, and Victorian TAFE Accounting Network, following submissions over the last years into the makeup of the Certificate IV qualifications and the review of the Skills Councils framework. We now see a real need for us as a voice of Bookkeepers assisting the education space to produce educational outcomes that equip students with the necessary skills to embark on a bookkeeping career: answering the question “What should a Cert IV graduate know?”

ICB is Bookkeepers banding together to provide a professional creditable framework to the bookkeeping fraternity in Australia.

Your contribution through network meetings, conferences, workshops, webinars, the ICB Advisory Board, support calls and emails and financially through membership fees enables time, effort and resources to be invested to further develop the professionalism and the profile of Bookkeepers.