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1 month till Single Touch Payroll - are you ready?

Single Touch Payroll (STP), a new initiative that will see employers report payroll and superannuation payments more regularly to the ATO, commences on the 1st July 2019 (for businesses with 5 - 20 employees). Many small business owners have expressed concern at what appears to be another imposition on them. Yet other business owners are seeing it as an opportunity to streamline their payroll administration and benefit from the time and cost savings that web-based (also known as 'cloud') accounting and payroll software can offer.


I recently assisted a business with a growing number of employees to implement a cloud based payroll system that is STP and Superstream compliant. At a cost of just $10 per month, the business owners can now access up to date and reliable records, easily access payroll reports, issue payslips with just a keystroke, have eliminated the need to issue annual payment summaries and have their employees enter timesheets through an app on their mobile phones. These owners have easily recovered their small investment per month without even considering the significant time they save processing their fortnightly payroll. Of course, if you're going to spend $10 per month, why not spend $20 and get a full accounting and payroll service that will give you strategic information about your business when you need it?


If you haven't started to work towards being STP compliant, here's some actions you could consider to get the ball rolling:

1. read up about STP on the ATO's website at this link: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/About-Single-Touch-Payroll/ ;

2. explore some of the software solutions listed on the ATO's STP website;

3. talk to your accountant and/or your BAS agent about their experience with suitable software and its fit with your business; and

4. consider having your BAS agent administer your payroll or lodge your payroll through STP on your behalf.


STP shouldn't be a costly exercise and my experience suggests that business owners should readily recover the cost of any new services they implement to achieve compliance. The 1st of July is quickly approaching so act now.


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