You may have heard that there are some important changes about to happen in how and when businesses will report wages/salary, superannuation and PAYG information to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Single Touch Payroll will be implemented for all employers from July 1 2019. But what is Single Touch Payroll (STP) and how will it affect your small business payroll reporting requirements?

So What Is Single Touch Payroll?

Businesses used to report their wage activity once a year but with STP all businesses will need to submit a digital report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) every time they run a payroll. So instead of finalising your payroll records and reporting at the end of the financial year, from July 2019 all businesses will need to report every payday.

How Does This Affect Payroll Reporting Requirements?

One of the other stipulations of the STP regulations is that business owners will need to undertake STP reporting online using compliant payroll, accounting or business management software. You will need to report in a specific format called Standard Business Reporting (SBR). If you are already using STP compliant accounting software such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks or Reckon, then the process is quite simple once it has been setup. However, if you have previously used paper forms to report your payroll activity then you will need to change software or find a service provider who can do this for you. Contact our accounting software support team to discuss the options available.

If you employ four people or less there are a number of low cost / no cost standalone STP software options that keeps costs to a minimum i.e. under $10 / month.

So you will no longer need to produce:

  • a payment summary annual report for the ATO showing how much the business paid in salary / wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation contributions
  • a payment summary for each employee showing the same

You will just need to advise the ATO when you have run your last payroll of the year. Employees wishing to see the details that would have been on their payment summary, can log into myGov to obtain the information.

The Options For Switching To Single Touch Payroll

In terms of small business accounting compliance requirements for the new STP regulations, you will need to be ready to submit ATO-compliant reports every time you run your payroll. What this means is:

  • If you are already using online payroll software, this should be capable of managing the task. Just double-check it produces ATO-compliant reports and get help from your bookkeepers to ensure it is set up properly.
  • If you are using desktop payroll software, you’ll need to find a service that can upload your payroll reports, convert them into the ATO’s required format and submit them on your behalf.
  • If you are using spreadsheets or submitting paper reports you will need to have that data converted into a compliant digital report and submitted on your behalf.

While there is an amount of short term pain in getting set up to run with the new regulations and achieving Single Touch Payroll compliance, in the long run, the automation and reduction in end of year reporting will make compliance less difficult. Now is the perfect time to consider outsourcing the payroll process to further reduce the time burden on your business.

Numera’s Brisbane Bookkeeping Services include Payroll Outsourcing and can help with all your payroll processing requirements. Our accounting software support team can also help you decide which software you need, and set it up to ensure single touch payroll compliance and managing your payroll on a monthly basis.

Work with the Brisbane bookkeepers you can trust. Give us a call today on 07 3002 4880 or email info@numera.com.au to find out how we can help your business.