Thursday, 18 August 2011

Using the ATO AUSkey with ECI

With my existing ATO OCAIII certificate for my Technology Tamed  BAS submissions through the Electronic Commerce Interface (ECI) software, due to expire in a couple of months, I decided I should bite the bullet and install AUSkey well ahead of this month's BAS submission to see if I could get it all working ok.

It turned out to be a reasonably painless process made up of the following main steps to install it to an XP SP3 computer (as opposed to a USB key) running Firefox as the browser of choice
  1. Register for an AUSkey (as an Administrator) providing necessary details of your identity.
    If you already have an ATO certificate, those details are used as verification
  2. Record a code generated at time of registration 
  3. Receive an email with an AUSkey download link in it
  4. Within 42 days* execute the link for the first time
    * If left for more than 42 days, the registration expires and you have to reapply ... like I did ... DOH!
  5. Your browser will be checked for the presence of the correct version of Java support
  6. If unsupported or no Java is found, you will be directed to install it before continuing.
    In my case I'm using Firefox (3.6.20) and Java Console 6.0.26 with Java Quick Starter 1.0 extensions along with the Java(TM) Platform SE 6 U26 ( and Java  Deployment Toolkit Plugins
  7. If all is in order you get to download a Microsoft Installer (.msi) file ... AUSkey_software.msi
  8. Once the download completes and the Internet Security Suite has approved it, execute the installer.
  9. Once installed, it requests a restart of your browser which appears to activate an ABR_AUSkey Mozilla Plugin (  
  10. Execute the emailed download link a second time
  11. Provide the code that was generated when you registered for your AUSkey, along with the required captcha
  12. Provide a secure password
  13. BINGO! the AUSkey cert was downloaded and installed
    (to C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\AUSkey)
  14. Now load the ECI client ... it must be version 6 or later
  15. Choose Select Certificate and in my case I could now see two valid certs.
    One due to expire shortly, which if I selected it and chose Details, I was informed it had an Issuer: ATO OCAIII with a Location: CSI STORE
    Another with a an expiry date of two years away (probably from last-use, as AUSkey never expires as long as it is used at-least once very year). Selecting and choosing Details on this shows the Issuer: Australian Business Register CA with it's Location: SBR STORE
  16. To actually use the new (AUSkey) certificate is as simple as selecting the correct one when you attempt to transact with the ATO.
    e.g. From Business -- Activity Statements -- In Tray, choosing Get New Documents will prompt with the Connect to ATO dialog, simply choose the appropriate certificate in the Organisation Name drop-down and supply the secure password you specified earlier.
Some useful additional information is available through links from the ATO FAQ page.

About AUSkey

    * What is AUSkey
    * Are you eligible
    * Who can 'register' for an AUSkey at
    * Does each person in the business need an AUSkey or can we share
    * Types of AUSkey
    * Will your AUSkey expire
    * When should you cancel your AUSkey
    * What can you do if you disagree with a decision we make about your AUSkey

Getting and setting up your AUSkey
For the first time:

1 Register > 2 Install AUSkey software > 3 Install AUSkey > 4 Link AUSkey to government.

    * How to register if you have an ATO digital certificate
    * How to register if you do not have an ATO digital certificate
    * What information to have on hand if we ask you to phone us
    * Registering more than one person at a time
    * Registering for a Device AUSkey
    * How to install a Standard/Administrator AUSkey on your computer
    * How to install a Standard/Administrator AUSkey on your USB stick
    * About installing Device AUSkeys
    * Installing AUSkey to networks
    * Backup your AUSkey
    * How to link your AUSkey to government agencies

After the first time:
1 Install AUSkey software to your desired location (computer or USB stick) > 2 Request additional copy of your AUSkey via the AUSkey website > 3 Install AUSkey > Link AUSkey to government.

    * How to access the AUSkey software after installing your AUSkey
    * How to request an additional copy of your AUSkey

How to

    * Use an AUSkey that is installed on a USB stick
    * Change your password
    * Upgrade to an Administrator AUSkey/Downgrade to a Standard AUSkey
    * Update your name on our system if you have changed it
    * Move your AUSkey to a different location
    * Cancel your AUSkey
    * Delete an AUSkey from your computer or USB stick
    * Change the custodian of a Device AUSkey

Technical information

    * Operating systems and browsers
    * Active X
    * JavaScript
    * Restrictions on download, installation or USB access
    * Anti-virus software


    * Lost activation code
    * Lost ‘download and install’ email
    * Did not receive an email after completing an AUSkey registration
    * Cannot login to government online services using AUSkey
    * Cannot remember your AUSkey password
    * Lost or stolen computer or USB stick
    * AUSkey corrupted
    * Received an operating system not supported message
    * Received an error message or experienced an issue while trying to register
      or download an AUSkey
    * Creating new user accounts
    * Why have I been redirected to the AUSkey software installation page

1 comment:

Col. Sanders said...

Once registered for AUSkey, you can access/manage your details via