Thursday 31 March 2011

ATO e-Record Downloads

This is not breaking news in any sense, but something I've just had to work around.

For some years, the ATO has provided a program called E-Record that lets small businesses and organisations keep financial records. It was free, it worked, it satisfied various reporting requirements, etc... but then they decided it was too much hassle to keep updating it. In July 2010 they removed the download and in September stopped supporting it altogether. That's all good and well and I'm not going to rant about how they should be supporting small businesses with free accounting software; it's ultimately their call to can it (and there's plenty of software around that's really not that expensive).

But... it's really rather awkward when you find that you need to open old records that are in the ATO's E-Record proprietary, binary format, and you can't actually download their software to open them.

So... after a lot of digging (and failing to find any other software that can open the *.ifm files), I've managed to find some installers for E-Records around the Internet.

Firstly, there's this Computer-Aid website that's "selling" the old installers for $6 (they claim to recover bandwidth costs, but I'm not convinced a 15 MB download costs $6). If you're feeling generous (and to be fair, its not a big price for accessing your old records) then by all means grab a copy there.

I did a bit of asking around and managed to find some installers, which are now hosted on DropBox (if you're new to DropBox and decide to sign up, please use my referral link!)
Please run an up-to-date virus scanner over these before you open/install them! I got these from other people who I don't know — not the official website (since it's long gone!). If you don't check them yourself, you're putting a lot of blind faith, not only in me, but in various people that I've contacted randomly on forums... You don't even know me (probably), let alone the random people I got these installers from. So scan it! Better still, run it on a 'throw-away' virtual machine.