if you and your client are required to sign declarations of authority to act and/or lodge for services such as Single Touch Payroll (STP) or Business Activity Statement (BAS), you can use Practice Ignition to streamline this process. 

Summary

In this article, we will show you the four steps to set up your PI account

Step 1. Setting up your engagement template

Step 2. Setting up a declaration service

Step 3. Setting up your user profile

Step 4. Assign Authorised Agents as Managers to your clients


to handle two different scenarios related to having Authorised Agent declarations signed: 

  1. “I have an existing engagement with my client which doesn't need to be changed, so I just need to get an authority signed.”
  2. “I have a brand new client that I need to engage for services AND get an authority signed.”

At the very bottom of the article, we will include the pre-configured (for PI) templates for:

  1. STP Authority to Act
  2. BAS Authority to Access Client Information
  3. BAS Authority to Lodge

Please note you are accepting responsibility (and any associated risks) for using these templates in your account. We strongly recommend you double check with your professional association or indemnity insurance provider prior to engaging your clients with these templates. 

If you need help setting up these templates or you'd like help in bulk creating Declaration proposals to send to your entire client base, please email [email protected], reference this article and your CSM or Account Manager will be glad to assist.

Setting up your account

Read the full instructions below or watch this short video:

Step 1. Setting up your engagement template 

As is the case for all authority declarations, there will be sections of the authority that needs to be changed for each and every client. Using Practice Ignition’s Placeholders, you’ll be able to automatically update the declaration with all the information you need. 

If you want to create your own template from scratch, Navigate to the Templates library (click to go straight there in your account) and start a new template.

Paste in the declaration wording you need to include and look for the information you need to replace each time you send the declaration to a different client. The templates at the bottom of this article have already been pre-formatted with relevant placeholders so you can just copy and paste into a new template.

In the example above, We need to change several pieces of information such as the Business Owner Name, the declaration start date, the authorised agent name, and signature fields. Of course, there are other pieces of information you can add in, such as the clients' ABN (which we've accounted for in the templates below). If that is the case, simply search for the additional placeholders you need or simply write in the information directly into the template.

Once you've finished adding the appropriate placeholders your template will look like this: 

And will appear to your client like this:

Once they sign, their signature will populate within the declaration, and then a PDF copy will be sent to them for their record keeping.

Step 2. Setting up a declaration service

Given that a Practice Ignition proposal requires a service, we recommend you set up a simple service for each declaration you need to send your clients. This also helps to set initial expectations with your client as they are reviewing the proposal. Using the STP declaration as an example, here’s an example of how you can set up your service:

Note that the default billing type is set to Included Service. This will prevent any price from being associated with this service. As for the description, a simple explanation of why the authorisation needs to be signed is all you need here, plus instructions to “please sign this authority with your digital signature in the final step of this proposal.” Make sure you click save!

Step 3. Setting up your user profile

Next, ensure all of your authorised agents have a Practice Ignition user set up. You don't need to give them access to your account (simply switch off send invitation) But you need all of your agents in PI so you can assign them as managers to each client.

Add your users in the team settings. (please note there are unlimited users in a PI Account).

PI pro-tip. There is a Job Title field for each user in Practice Ignition. We recommend you add your BAS Agent # in this field, in order for it to show up in the template:

the {{client.manager_job_title}} placeholder will bring the content in this field automatically. 

Step 4. Assign Authorised Agents as Managers to your clients.

To automate as much as possible, its best practice to assign an Authorised Agent as a Manager to each client record in your account. Simply navigate to the clients tab, search for the client and click edit. From there, you can add a manager (provided you've completed step 3):

You can also edit your client on the fly as you are creating a proposal:

You can also edit clients in bulk if you'd prefer to edit your entire client list at once. 

Under client details, it's typically suggested that you include the clients' "capacity" (aka title) in each authorisation declaration . Practice Ignition currently does not have a field for a contact job title, so our recommendation is to repurpose the "salutation" field instead. Please note that the below templates have been set up with this recommendation in place. 

Once you've completed these steps,  you’re now set up to send declarations via Practice Ignition. Let’s look at how you can use these elements in the two different scenarios suggested above. 

 SCENARIO 1: I already have an existing engagement with my client, so I just need to get a declaration signed.

Please read through the instructions below or watch this short video:

In this scenario, you already have a signed proposal/engagement letter signed by your client and therefore, already performing services for them. This scenario will most likely occur if there is a significant enough change that warrants a new authority, but doesn't necessarily warrant a change to the scope of the service (or price).  STP is a great example of this.

There’s no need to completely re-engage your clients in order to get an authority signed, so let’s take a look at how you can configure PI to only send, and have your client sign, an authority declaration.

To make this work, you’ll need to set up a separate engagement template with just the authority wording (we recommend you name the template “authority name - standalone”)  and a service with a basic description, with the billing type set to “included service”, as per the instructions above. 

The first step is to create a new proposal, add your client and set the start and end date to reflect the period that the declaration covers (typically, it will align with the financial year). 

Once you’ve filled this in, scroll to the bottom of the general tab and ensure the use new accept design toggle is off. In this scenario, the classic design is more suited to sending a declaration. 

Now that you’ve set up the general proposal settings, next, click on the services tab and add the relevant declaration service: 

You shouldn’t need to make any changes so simply hit save. Next, navigate to the terms tab and select the standalone declaration template that you created 

You can add an optional personalised message in the messaging tab, and then finally, we suggest you disable payments on this proposal from the payments tab: 

You can also turn off  workflow job creation in the apps tab. Invoices are not affected so there’s no need to turn them off: 

Now, all you need to do is send the proposal to your client. The final proposal will look like this: 

Once your client signs, you’ll be notified and a PDF copy is available for you to store where you like. Your client will also automatically receive a copy of the signed PDF to store with their records.

Pro-tip: Use Zapier to automatically send all of your declarations to a cloud storage folder. 

SCENARIO 2: I have a brand new client that I need to engage for services AND get an authority signed.

Please read the instructions below or watch this short video. This scenario also covers existing clients that need new services and therefore, an updated proposal.

The process for handling this scenario is almost the same as the above, but in this case you also need your client to sign your standard terms and conditions for the services they are engaging you for. 

To make this work, instead of a “standalone” engagement template, you’ll want to duplicate your standard engagement letter template and add your authority declaration wording  to the very bottom of the template. 

We also suggest that you add a page break above the declaration, so that should the client print the signed PDF, they’ll be able to store the declaration separately. You can do this by adding {{ template.break }} above where your declaration starts. You’ll also want to add a header for context, such as “h2. STP Authority to Act as your Authorised Tax Agent” :

Just like the standalone declaration scenario, a declaration service is helpful to set expectations with the client. You’ll keep this service as an included service. 

You can now go ahead and create your proposal as you normally would, with whichever settings you prefer (such as the new accept design, payments enabled, integrations enabled). The only difference is to ensure that you select the correct engagement template under the Terms tab:

Pro tip: If you need multiple declarations signed, you can create multiple engagement templates. As an example:

  • STP Authority - Standalone
  • Standard terms with STP Authority
  • BAS Authority - Standalone
  • Standard terms with BAS Authority
  • Standard terms with STP & BAS Authority

When your client signs, they’ll receive a copy of their signed engagement letter plus their signed authorities as a separate page within the same PDF document.

Declaration Templates Pre-configured for Practice Ignition

Please note you are accepting responsibility (and any associated risks) for using these templates in your account. We strongly recommend you double check with your professional association or indemnity insurance provider prior to engaging your clients with these templates.

STP Authority to Act

Per the ATO's guide on STP Authorisations, the following exclusions are not covered in the below authority:

Exclusions

The STP engagement authority does not apply to other approved forms or the finalisation declaration.

A registered agent must still obtain a signed declaration in writing from an employer before making the finalisation declaration on behalf of the employer at the end of the financial year.


Provided you've followed the setup instructions above, you should not need to make any formatting changes EXCEPT for adding your company ABN. Please feel free to change the content of the authorisation if you prefer different wording or your association has different requirements. 

I, {{ contact.name }}, accept responsibility of providing staff salaries and worked hours to my authorised Tax agent, {{ practice.name }}, by the appropriate payrun date. I acknowledge my staff wages are paid in line with the appropriate payroll awards and Fairwork guidelines. My staff have the appropriate PAYG amounts withheld from each pay along with the statutory rate of superannuation paid quarterly.

I, {{ client.manager_name }} of {{ practice.name }}, accept responsibility of collating and entering payroll data each payrun. I accept responsibility for the calculation, reconciliation and submission of PAYG and super reporting, along with providing this information to the business owner for payment in a timely manner. I acknowledge that all payroll data processed under my authority is compliant inline with the ATO and Fairwork guidelines.

I {{ client.name }} authorise {{ practice.name }} to lodge each STP event for the next year (12 months) commencing on {{ proposal.commencement_date }}.

Signed {{ signature.client }}
{{ contact.name }}
{{ contact.salutation }}
{{ client.name }}, ABN: {{ client.company_number }}

Signed {{ client.manager_name | signature }}
{{ client.manager_name }}
{{ client.manager_job_title }}
{{ practice.name }}, ABN: <XX-XXX-XXX-XXX>

(Please note this form is for your records only and is not required to be lodged with the ATO. This form does not cover any other type of lodgement authorisation.)

BAS Authorities

Please note that the BAS templates have more client information included in the template, such as company structure, address, and phone number. These details must be added to the client record in order to populate in the authorisation template. Simply edit your clients as per step 4 of the setup instructions above. 

Provided you've followed the setup instructions above, you should not need to make any formatting changes EXCEPT for adding your company ABN, phone number & Address. Please feel free to change the content of the authorisation if you prefer different wording or your association has different requirements. 

 BAS Agent - Authority to Access Client Information

This authority extends to all areas agreed between the Taxpayer and the BAS Agent which the BAS Agent is permitted to undertake by law, including but not limited to;

* Adding the Taxpayer to the Client List of the BAS Agent with the ATO ECI lodgement facility
* Adding the Taxpayer to the Client List of the BAS Agent on the ATO BAS Agent view of the Portal
* Adding the Taxpayer to the Clients list of the BAS Agent on SBR enabled Software
* Representing the Taxpayer in their dealings with the Commissioner in relation to a BAS Provision
* Preparing and Lodging Activity Statements & Payment Summary Information
* Having access to activity statement and related information that may be provided.

<br></br>

h3. Client details and Authorisation
* Type of entity: {{ client.business_structure }}
* Name of Entity: {{ client.name }}
* Contact: {{ contact.name }}
* ABN: {{ client.company_number }}
* Phone No: {{ client.phone }}
* Business Address: {{ client.address }}

I hereby provide the above authorisation until revoked in writing. I am authorized to make this declaration :
Signed {{ signature.client }}
{{ contact.name }}
{{ contact.salutation }}
{{ client.name }}, ABN: {{ client.company_number }}
Date: {{ proposal.acceptance_date }}

(Please note this form is for your records only and is not required to be lodged with the ATO. This form does not cover any other type of lodgement authorisation.)

h3. BAS Agent Details and Declaration
* Trading Name: {{ practice.name }}
* Primary Authorised Individual: {{ client.manager_name }}
* Capacity & BAS Agent No: {{ client.manager_job_title }}
* Phone Number: <Number>
* Business Address: <Address>

I declare I am authorised under the TASA2009 to act as or for a Registered BAS Agent and am able and permitted to provide the above services

Signed {{ client.manager_name | signature }}
{{ client.manager_name }}
{{ client.manager_job_title }}
{{ practice.name }}, ABN: <XX-XXX-XXX-XXX>
Date: {{ proposal.acceptance_date }}

BAS Agent - Authority to Lodge

h3. Client details and Authorisation
* Type of entity: {{ client.business_structure }}
* Name of Entity: {{ client.name }}
* Contact: {{ contact.name }}
* ABN: {{ client.company_number }}
* Phone No: {{ client.phone }}
* Business Address: {{ client.address }}

I declare that:
* The information provided to the BAS Agent for the preparation of the activity statement is true and correct;
* to the best of my knowledge all relevant information has been provided to the BAS Agent;
* that we have valid tax invoices for all amounts of GST Input Tax Credits being claimed in this Activity Statement and that
* I am authorised to make this declaration.

I authorise the BAS Agent to give this activity statement to the Commissioner of Taxation.
Signed {{ signature.client }}
{{ contact.name }}
{{ contact.salutation }}
{{ client.name }}, ABN: {{ client.company_number }}
Date: {{ proposal.acceptance_date }}



h3. BAS Agent Details and Declaration
* Trading Name: {{ practice.name }}
* Primary Authorised Individual: {{ client.manager_name }}
* Capacity & BAS Agent No: {{ client.manager_job_title }}
* Phone Number: <Number>
* Business Address: <Address>

I declare that:

* I have prepared this activity statement in accordance with the information supplied by the entity;
* I have received a declaration made by the entity that the information provided to me for the preparation of this activity statement is true and correct; and
* I am authorised by the entity to give the information in this activity statement to the Commissioner. |

BAS Agent Signed: {{ client.manager_name | signature }}
{{ client.manager_name }}
{{ client.manager_job_title }}
{{ practice.name }}, ABN: <XX-XXX-XXX-XXX>
Date: {{ proposal.acceptance_date }}


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