On 1 July 2018, the Single Touch Payroll (STP) obligation for large employers (those with >19 employees) becomes live, and smaller employers are likely to  be required to follow the new reporting regime 12 months later.

The change to the more rigorous and frequent reporting regime requires reasonably significant change for many employers.  Some considerations are:

• Preparing for STP using the AAT Australia STP Readiness Checklist
• Ensuring all employee details are complete and correct – without clean data, the reporting records will reject
• Ensuring the payroll or accounting software is STP compliant and set up correctly
• Ensuring accuracy of input of payroll data to the software when processing each pay event

Just as “The New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999” created significant opportunities for contract bookkeepers in 2000 and beyond, it is very likely that the same opportunity will exist around STP compliance.  It is often a compliance change that prompts a business owner to review their processes and systems to make sure they are sharing the correct information with the government authorities when they report.  That has to date, been on the monthly or quarterly Activity Statement, confirmed by the annual PAYG payment summary to the ATO and individual employees.  It is now going to be a requirement to report every pay event, so, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

AAT recommends that you work with the software providers and your association to become the STP expert and create great opportunities for your practice whilst providing the much needed expertise and advice to small business owners.  The AAT EOFY workshop  is a great place to start with much of the agenda related to STP updates and set-up as well as processing with the software.