Institute of Certified Bookkeepers


Government are embracing a Digital Identity, Digital Processes world.

To effectively implement the pending environment requiresabr

  • review of what already exists in your digital profile with government
  • Updating your information
  • adoption of new techniques, and
  • ongoing engagement

The new processes are being developed right now (written September 2019). 

Agents who interact with the ATO must start a process of updating backend processes and cleaning up history for themselves.

Agents may be able to assist their clients to also adopt this new environment.

The Auskey is expiring (likely March 2020), mygovid is the future (restricted beta programs only as of 23 September 2019).

ATO Online Services for Agents is alive now.  Access to the old Portals will cease when Auskey expires.

Preparing your Business for effective Digital Interaction

1. Clean up your ABN Information

The Australian Business Register (ABR) regulates and maintains the details behind each Australian Business Number (ABN).

Many businesses have not interacted with the ABR nor updated their details on that important register since they first registered.   In some cases this was with the implementation of the system in 1999/2000.  Information that must be up-to-date includes:

  • Authorised Personnel
  • Contact Details
  • Contact Addresses

The ABR information also provides the authorisation to the persons allowed to obtain an Auskey and to maintain that Auskey for a business.  The authorised persons or associates list must be up to date.

As we progress towards the expiry of Auskey as a government approved credential every business must first ensure that the ABR has the right information.

Agents may be able to update the details for any client including themselves by using the ABR Tax Professionals portal.

The Process

Agents cleaning up your own informationABR

  1. Access the ABR information - ABR Website - Update your ABN information

Agents working with Clients

  1. To work with a Clients ABN information:  ensure the Business as identified by its ABN is listed as a client on your ATO client list.  Do this through your normal "Add Client" process with ATO Online Services
  2. Login to the ABR though the Tax Professionals Service
  3. Update the details

How to clean up your ABN information - ATO PDF

Update your ATO / ABR Details (ATO Website)   pdf

Problem no 1 - to clean up your ABN information you need a valid Auskey to access the ABR.  To obtain an Auskey you need to be an authorised person on the ABR, what if you arent or there is a problem with the details?  Then update the ABR, but you need an auskey.  SO apparently there is a form - we are trying to get a better digitial solution or a PDF.   Failing this you would need to ring the ABR on 13 92 26


2. Clean up your Auskey data

The ABR  Auskey Manager controls whether an Auskey has been issued and to whom.  It also provides the list of Users of that Auskey.

How to Clean up your AUSkey Data - ATO PDF

ABR Website - Update your Auskey details - Auskey Manager Access


The ATO Access Manager controls who has permission to do what on behalf of a business or an Agents Practice.

Ensure that only valid users are listed and also that appropriate permissions have been set.

We note that for some practice software these detail users lists and permissions are not required as the protection and permission is managed from your practice management software.

ATO Access Manager website


3. Prepare for the future by setting up your personal mygovid

myGovID is the new digital personal authentication system - it is each individuals personal digital identification. 

It relies on you proving to the Digital Authorisor (a once off process like when you go to the postoffice but in this new world it is on computer) that you are who you say you are.  That Authorisor then creates a Digitial Identity and doesnt store the documents you used to prove yourself.

When you are logging into a Government website (and in the future commercial websites) the website interacts with the Authorisor, the Authorisor (in effect a secure two-factor system) sends your phone a request for you to sign into mygovid app and say that yes it is you trying to log into that website.

Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) is the digital index of which organisations you as an individual are allowed to conduct business on behalf of.

The ATO explains your steps to adopting these techniques:

ATO Website - A new way to access government online services   pdf copy


  • Updated: 23 September 2019