A team of five practising accountants is working at Inland Revenue to provide crucial advice on the design of its online services.
Wairarapa accountant Robert Royle from Greytown is one of those to climb over the other side of the fence and is on secondment for a few months to share his knowledge from the user’s perspective.
“I think it’s great that IR has recognised they didn’t necessarily understand how we work and has sought to correct this.
“We’ve been working hard to help IR staff understand about the day in the life of an accountant and I hope this information will be considered in future changes.”
The secondment team has already influenced upgrades to the GST portal on myIR and now they have started system testing ahead of the rollout of the next round of changes in April next year.
These include introducing the Accounting Income Method (AIM), a new method for calculating provisional tax, as well as moving withholding taxes, fringe benefit tax, PAYE and gaming machine duty onto Inland Revenue’s new system.
Inland Revenue’s Deputy Commissioner for Transformation Greg James says the insights from the secondment programme have been immensely valuable.
“Tax agents and accountants are the most regular users of myIR so one of our biggest challenges is to make sure it’s making their work lives easier.
“Our developers are closely tracking our secondees as they move through the new system to make sure our intuition matches theirs’.
“The members of the secondment programme like Robert are making a real impact on the design of our services and we hope the fruits of their labour will benefit the rest of the tax agent community.”
Nearly 80 percent of accountants in a recent survey by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) said they are positive about their experiences with Inland Revenue over the last year.
“That’s pretty good during a time of great change,” says Mr James. “Hopefully we can improve on that next year by taking the feedback on board from the practising accountants on the secondment programme.”
Accountant Robert Royle says any enhancements he can influence while at IR will undoubtedly affect his day-to-day workflow back at his real job.
“Many of our processes are going to be automated by IR and that’s going to free us up to focus our time on more important tasks like advisory work.
“I now have a good idea where IR’s business transformation is headed and the changes facing our industry over the coming years.”
Another tax agent talks about his time with Inland Revenue
Media contact: Baden Campbell 029 8901674