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accountants and bookkeepers

Online Services for Tax Agents

In order to improve your workflow as a tax agent, there are several online services and tools available. This includes Online Services for Agents (OSfA) created by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which is designed to help you manage your clients' tax affairs efficiently and securely. 


QuickBooks also provides online services for tax agents like yourself. In this guide, we’ll cover online services for tax agents, including OSfA, QuickBooks Online Accountant and QuickBooks Tax, and how these tools can simplify your tax-related responsibilities.


ATO Online Services For Tax Agents?

QuickBooks Online Accountant

QuickBooks Tax

What Are ATO Online Services For Tax Agents?

The ATO offers a range of online services specifically designed for registered tax and Business Activity Statement (BAS) agents and authorised staff. These services, collectively known as OSfA, play a vital role in streamlining tax-related processes and improving the efficiency of interactions between tax professionals and the ATO. In this section, we will explore the main functionalities and features of OSfA.

Access for Tax Agents

Online Services for Agents (OSfA) is a secure system that ensures the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive tax information, including your client's tax return history, superannuation details, lodgement program tracking, and the ability to view/add payment plans. If you are a registered tax agent, BAS agent, or authorised staff you can access it on the ATO website with your myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). This helps you manage your clients' tax affairs securely.

Real-time Management of Client Data

One notable feature offered by OSfA is its ability to provide real-time visibility into clients' data. This allows you to have access to the most up-to-date information about your clients' tax responsibilities, enabling you to make well-informed decisions and offer timely advice.

Features of Online Services For Agents

With OSfA, you have a wide range of functions and services at your fingertips, including:



  • Activity Statements - Streamline the reporting process by preparing, submitting, viewing, and printing activity statements for your clients.



  • Secure Communication - Maintain confidentiality and protect data by securely communicating with the ATO through the practice mail feature.


  • Payment Management - Explore payment options, create and review payment plans, and generate payment slips as necessary for your clients.


  • File Transfer - Enhance efficiency in managing client submissions by utilising the file transfer function for testing, submitting, or downloading specific files.

Access Requirements

As mentioned earlier, to use the ATO's online services you need to authenticate yourself securely through myGovID and RAM. If you need to share access with authorised staff you need to make sure they have their own myGovID; authorise them in RAM and use Access Manager to manage their access to records.


You also need to make sure your system meets the minimum requirements. You can use the ATO Online services system requirements check to make sure your system meets the requirements. In general, you need to ensure that your internet speed is over 0.5Mbps, use a supported browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge), and that your system supports both JavaScript and Cookies. 

For more information read our guide to machine credentials.

QuickBooks Online Accountant

QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) also provides services for tax agents looking for solutions for managing many clients at once. You can combine the usage of Online Services for Agents with QBOA to streamline your day-to-day workflows.


QBOA operates on the cloud and aims to streamline client management, tax preparation and accounting tasks. Here are the benefits you can get from this all-inclusive tool:

1. Managing Clients

With QuickBooks Online Accountant, you can conveniently manage all your clients in one place. By creating individual profiles for each client, you can keep track of their details, deadlines and communication history accurately. QBOA provides a clear picture of where you stand with each client at just a glance.

2. Smooth Collaboration

QBOA enables seamless collaboration between you and your clients. You can easily share documents, make real-time updates and securely exchange messages within the platform without the hassle of searching through emails or dealing with physical document transfers.

3. Time-Saving Features

Save valuable time with QuickBooks Online Accountant's features, including automatic data import, transaction categorisation and bank reconciliation capabilities. By reducing manual data entry and minimising errors in your client's financial records, these features can help streamline your workflow.

4. Simplified Tax Preparation

Tax season doesn't have to be overwhelming when you have QBOA by your side. It simplifies the filing process by allowing direct importation of your client's financial data. This not only saves you time but also ensures accuracy in tax preparation.

QuickBooks Tax

QuickBooks Tax, powered by LodgeiT, is available to all users who are part of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program. This happens automatically if you join QuickBooks Online Accountants. Let’s look at how QuickBooks Tax can help streamline your workflows as a tax agent: 

1. Automated Data Pre-filling

Say goodbye to the task of data entry with QuickBooks Tax's automated data pre-filling feature. This not only saves you time but also reduces the risk of errors in your tax returns. By automating data pre-filling, you can ensure that your tax reports are accurate and comply with regulations.

2. Import From Multiple Platforms

One aspect of QuickBooks Tax is its ability to import from various systems such as QuickBooks Online, MYOB, Xero, Reckon and Excel. This helps reduce the need for manual data entry. As a result, you'll be able to streamline your BAS workflow.

3. Secure Electronic Client Approvals

QuickBooks Tax offers a platform for electronic client approvals. Say farewell to the inconvenience of paper forms and long approval processes. With approvals, your clients can digitally sign their forms and swiftly return them to you. This feature not only reduces waiting times but also enhances the overall efficiency of your tax practice.

4. Access Anywhere Anytime

Modern tax professionals require flexibility and accessibility. QuickBooks Tax offers access from any location at any time. Whether you're in the office or on the move, you can conveniently access your tax data. Work on tax returns from anywhere. 

5. Secure Client Data

When dealing with client data, security is paramount. Services provided by QuickBooks Tax have a high level of security with layered protection for your client data at ISO standards. Hosted on Amazon's enterprise-grade facilities in Australia, this software adheres to Information Security Management Standards.


In addition, using two-step authentication for each login ensures that unauthorised access is prevented, giving users peace of mind when accessing platforms.

6. Comprehensive Form Support

QuickBooks Tax caters to your client's compliance needs by offering access to a range of form types dating back to 2011 (excluding the Individual form type prior to 2015). This coverage enables you to effectively manage your client's tax requirements regardless of their circumstances.

Streamline Your Workflows as a Tax Agent With QuickBooks 

With its wide range of capabilities, QuickBooks Online Accountant and QuickBooks Tax is perfect for busy tax agents. Automate your data filing and electronic client approvals and keep your client information safe with high-level security measures.  


Say farewell to the hassle of manual data entry and complicated approval procedures; embrace the effectiveness and precision of QuickBooks Tax to excel in your career as an agent. Sign up for free to QuickBooks Online Accountant today


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