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Creating a new framework for the Australian Tax Office

In 2016, Blue Walnut founder James Tonelli was approached by the Australian Tax Office to develop new ways to engage with the business sector. Over several meetings, James worked with tax practitioners, members of the software industry, professional associations, and the ATO to create a new framework which would help establish, sustain and evolve business relationships.

This detailed process involved workshops, interviews and follow-up sessions to explore relationship phases, current strengths and new opportunities to improve how the ATO works with all stakeholders. Ideas that were refined during the workshops covered everything from the role the ATO plays, to defining relationships and a vision statement for working together.

Drawing on his BAS expertise, James could provide significant expertise in the area of client communications. James and the ATO stakeholders discussed common goals and potential shifts in behaviour as well as levels of risk and return. Workshop participants considered the roles of tax professionals and the ATO in the tax and super systems. They also explored the types of relationships tax practitioners, association representatives, software developers and the ATO develop when working together. A model was then created to describe the relationships in the framework using an agreed common language.

The next step will be the development of a series of guides that draws on the information gathered in the workshops and subsequent discussions. As the framework comes to life, James is enjoying employing his skillset across communication, engagement, culture and delivery on a project that promises to create real change in the business world.



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