WebLedger Professional Web-Based Accounting
Web Ledger includes extensive mid-range audit features and associated system integrity checking technologies. Additionally Web Ledger is registered as meeting the system integrity requirements defined, by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), within TR2005/09

While VillageMall has always offered a full backup of a company's data, using industry standard archive formats, these have not been universally accepted by Tax administrations like the ATO for audit purposes. SAF-T has been approved by the OECD to address this specific problem across all OECD Tax administrations
. But VillageMall auditing is much more than the once-in-a-lifetime ATO audit; it is about providing your accountant and auditor with the tools and systems required to ensure the correct operation of your company accounts.

VillageMall Auditing is all about peace of mind, knowing that your Web Office accounting system has the necessary system checks and balances to enable you to sleep soundly at night.

Standard Audit File (SAF-T)
VillageMall supports the export of the Standard Audit File (SAF-T) version 1.0, as published by the OECD for use by Tax administrations world wide.

This specification provides the following benefits:

  • non-proprietary specification, agreed by the top 30 industrialised nations, tax administrations including Australia;
  • a format which can be archived, independent of a vendors accounting system, to meet future audit requirements (i.e. the need to keep records for x years);
  • a specification suitable for small and medium business organisations as well as large corporate and government agencies;
  • a stable specification, in use since 1999;
  • Optional
    - XML digitally signed SAF-T file (integrity of SAF-T file contents),
    - ATO "changed record" audit file (meets ATO specific requirements).
  • Tax Payers should contact the ATO directly, or their accountant/auditor regarding use of OECD SAF-T files for an ATO Audit.
  • Accountants/Auditors can use SAF-T and Excel 2003 to perform automated End-of-Period checking and reporting; as the audit file contains all transactions and associated information.

Sample Web Ledger SAF-T file.

Other Formats considered by VillageMall but not supported.

ATO Audit File (ATO review)

The ATO released in August 2005, its proprietary audit file specification.

  • This specification uses a number of ATO proprietary data, record types and formats, has a number of significant defects in its data definitions and file format, is not compatible with any know audit formats (anywhere in the world) and lastly has no commercial product support; hence VillageMall does not recommended this format for archive of your company data.
  • VillageMall was listed on the 22nd of August 2005 within the ATO RSF, as meeting the requirements of this "final" version 1.1 of the ATO Review. The required system capabilities to support this service are automatically available to all client companies from this date.
  • this specification has No machine readable schema or data dictionary, the latest specification is based upon 1960's error prone sequential ASCII file formats with no inherent type checking capability;
  • cannot be used by Accountants, auditors or company officers using industry standard tools like Excel.
  • Summary: unstable (two final versions within two months!), ATO proprietary specification, with no Industry support.

With the release of OECD Approved Version 1.0 of SAF-T, the unresolved defects within the ATO version 1.2, and 1.3 specifications, and the lack of Industry support for this proprietary ATO specification ( As at 30june 2006 VillageMall is the ONLY registered Company after 2 years); VillageMall has deprecated support  for this specification effective 30th June 2006.
The ATO selected CAV software, has published support for the SAF-T format, and  Australia is a member of the OECD; but you should confirm use of the OECD SAF-T with the ATO as part of any ATO Audit.

VillageMall does not provide support for this proprietary specification for the following reasons:

  • the issues as published by basda.org
    BASDA 23 May 2005, the body representing the UK's biggest application software companies, vehemently opposes the adoption of XBRL in its current guise, due to the prohibitive cost and the complexity of creating these taxonomies. BASDA chief executive Dennis Keeling says there is "no interest" from industry to report using the format because of the complexities involved. For business, the use of XBRL was a 'mighty task' and would only be taken up if simplified."
  • being a proprietary specification developed by a closed group of large corporate accounting firms and companies.  (~$10,000 yearly membership),
  • not economic to build or deploy; current version 2.1, 2005 contains xsd schema files which cannot be complied using industry standard development tools: namely Microsoft xsd compiler!,
  • no significant small business deployments of XBRL  (no deployments of any XBRL-GL-taf elements),
  • overly complex, audit capability was added to a already complex specification;
  • cannot be used by Accountants and Auditors with industry standard tools like Excel.
  • not economic to deploy, for small to medium Australian business.

The term proprietary means "privately owned and controlled". Hence a specification can remain proprietary even when made publicly available, if control over use, distribution, or modification is retained by the individual or organisation.

None of the above specifications are Open "Standards or Recommendations" which are published
by the major internationally-recognised standards bodies such as the ITU, and  ISO.


VillageMall does not provide any advise on accounting, taxation, or investment issues. The contents of this site should not be understood to be accounting, taxation or investment advice but rather as general product information that may or may not meet your specific requirements.