3. BAS Agent Portal and Client Communication List
Client Communication List (CCL) was deployed into the BAS agent portal on the last weekend of April 2016. It allows the user to:
- Sort search results to suit the user’s needs
- Customize search for more than one delivery type
- All clients will be available, not just individuals and sole traders
- Correspondence will be available the same day we issue it
- Can search up to five years of communication for a single client.
Some of the communications that may not be included on the list are the more specific ad-hoc communications; however over time the communication lists will become more complete.
Access to the information will be dependent on the role, that is, BAS agents will only be able to access communications in relation to their role.
Prior to deployment, tax and BAS agents were consulted regarding proposed enhancements and the CCL designed and built based on this engagement that occurred between August and October 2016. While we did a limited amount of prototype confirmation testing in early January with a small group of agents to confirm the design of the proposed build, no further co-design was required for the April release.
Prototype testing was targeted at tax agents and included five BAS agents. The aim of the BAS agent sessions was to understand current work practices, predicted use of the CCL and focussed on the enhanced user interface.
Usability feedback from BAS agents included:
- The CCL will benefit BAS agents as they currently only have access to limited information
- Extra information must be balanced with ensuring agents can only view what they are authorised to see by their client
- May improve the service they provide to their clients
- Like the ability access SMS and emails
- If reliable, there would likely be less need to print and keep paper records
- There will be cost savings.
BAS agent consultation will be ongoing as we continue to improve the CCL product. Nominations will be sought from members of BAS Professional Associations and other agents who want to be involved in the co-design and development of an improved online offering for tax practitioners as we approach Tax Time 2017. The next scheduled release is for August 2016.
Current system issues:
- BAS agents cannot navigate to the ‘client communication’ menu when using a client’s TFN. This issue is being investigated
- Older version internet browsers such as Internet Explorer 9 are incompatible for use of the download list function
- Unable to open communication items associated with client’s TFN. This issue is being investigated.
The ATO is currently issuing emails to BAS agents with lists of myGov correspondence emails sent to their clients. While the CCL is designed to replace this service it will continue into the new financial year whilst users become familiar with CCL. Professional Associations are encouraged to remind BAS agents of the need to ensure all their BAS clients are listed on their client list.
The ATO will arrange for messaging to issue to BAS agents by the end of the week around the responsibility of BAS agents regarding security. Further messaging will be considered as a standard part of the CCL design.
At the time of the meeting (5 May 2016) the CCL was operating well and some information issued to agents in the week prior outlining some known issues and workarounds.