Single Touch Payroll is almost here. What you need to do to get ready.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) initiative, designed to streamline the way businesses report their payroll information to the ATO.  What this means is that employers will be required to report to the ATO electronically each pay cycle versus on a quarterly and annual basis.  This means we will eventually say goodbye to end of year ATO payroll reporting.

Below are the top four things employers need to do:

  1. Count how many staff you have at 1 April 2018.

This determines whether you need to be single touch payroll ready by 1 July 2018.

You will need to count how many active employees you have, whether casual, permanent, part time or full time. Basically, anyone that is active on your payroll at the 1 April 2018 contributes to the count. Click here to view employee headcount guidelines.

From 1 July 2018 any business with 20 or more staff will need to be STP compliant. If you are a business with less than 20 staff, then you have until 1 July 2019 to implement, however you can elect to adopt STP earlier than the deadlines stipulated.

  1. Review your current payroll processes and data

There is a lot of information that will be reported to the ATO electronically via single touch payroll, so its important to know whether you are currently capturing all the correct data that will need to be reported.

Have you established the right systems to do the following?

  • calculate employees super entitlements correctly
  • pay your employees the right wages
  • collect employee information such as DOB, names and addresses correctly

Do you currently have the correct employee data on hand?

Are you subject to any risks with your current payroll system?

Are related party employees set up appropriately on your payroll system?

  1. Ensure your payroll software is STP compliant

If you are currently utilising payroll software, you will need to check with your provider on whether they will be STP compliant by 1 July 2018. Do you need to consider whether you need to upgrade your payroll solution or perhaps replace it with another provider that has great functionality? If you are still processing your payroll manually, then this is the time to make the change to a payroll software regardless of the date you need to be compliant. We are currently discussing the right solutions for many of our business clients to ensure they are maximising the efficiencies of their payroll systems as well as ensuring compliance.

  1. Ensure you and your employees are setup to benefit from STP

In order for your employees to benefit from STP, your employees need to be registered with myGov and linked to the ATO. Some benefits for employees are: being able see super balances as currently paid, receiving payment summaries online, access to online TFN declaration forms and Super choice forms. Start communicating with your employees to register on myGov, this process may take a few months to complete.  As a business you should also be registered to the Department of Human Services Business online services, to access a range of online services.

Can we help with getting you STP ready?

Yes we can.  At Prosperity, we are currently assisting a number of our business clients through this process as well as conducting payroll risk reviews and transitioning our clients to alternate accounting software solutions that are STP compliant.  We also offer an outsource payroll service, which has become increasingly popular with our clients, that ensures your payroll is managed efficiently and accurately.

If you would like to discuss your payroll situation or have any questions at all with STP, please contact us on 1800 855 844, we have experts ready to assist with these payroll changes.