8. Client Relationship Management (CRM) updates
Jamie Salter delivered an update on the CRM focus for 2012/13 remarking on the current strong relationships between CRMs and industry.
Jamie informed members that in September last year, the ATO rolled out a GST governance work program. Through the Risk Differentiation Framework (RDF) moderation process, the ATO identified a number of key taxpayers so as to undertake governance workshops to assist in part, to better understand taxpayer systems and controls, and to provide a level of assurance that risks are being adequately managed. To date, the ATO has undertaken approximately 25 of these workshops and are now in the process of adopting similar approaches with key Excise taxpayers. Jamie stated that recently, the ATO has undertaken the first pilot workshop with one key taxpayer. The product is under ongoing development and it is expected that there will be several more workshops in the next financial year. The ATO is currently going through another round of moderation where we review categorisations taking into account recent interactions, or emerging risks.
Steve Hood reminded ACCF members that if they have any issues or concerns then they should talk to their assigned CRMs; early engagement is always the most useful means of managing issues and / or problems. The CRM program provides taxpayers with access to early engagement with technical experts, and allows the client to work with the ATO via the CRM, and the technical experts to explore issues (via workshops) to seek resolutions which may prevent the need for more costly processes. The ATO is happy with the level of engagement and proactive nature of our relationships with our large alcohol clients. We have numerous examples of where early and proactive engagement has lead to successful outcomes that reduce compliance costs, time delays etc.
ACCF members provided positive feedback on their contact with the ATO due to the strong relationships that they have with the ATO generally, and their CRMs specifically, and stated that they appreciated having the opportunity to meet with the ATO.