The ATO’s mandatory new Single Touch Payroll will impact your business. Here’s how and what to do.
Since the inception of GST, the Government has been pushing businesses into computerised accounting systems which allow them to collect data in a more succinct manner (or so they hope).
The latest iteration of this is Single Touch Payroll, a mandatory reporting change which was legislated in September 2016 but is suddenly on the radar of employers now as the first Go-Live date of 1 July 2018 bears down upon us.
What is it and what does it all mean?
In a nutshell, employers will need to report payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to the ATO directly from your payroll system at the same time that you pay your employees.
If you employ more than 19 staff (headcount as at 1st April 2018), you must comply from 1 July 2018 and for all other employers, you have a slight reprieve until 1 July 2019.
How will this affect you?
- You’ll need to update your reporting workflows as you’ll be constantly feeding information to the ATO in relation to payroll rather than submitting it monthly or quarterly.
- If you’re using accounting or payroll software, you need to check that it’s Single Touch Payroll compliant.
- If you outsource payroll to a bookkeeper or accountant, they will also need to review the software that they are utilising to ensure your business remains compliant – our recommendation would be to get on the front foot and have this discussion with them now.
- If you’re still doing manual payroll, you’ll need to switch to a software solution and you’ll need to decide whether you want one that sits inside your accounting program or a stand-alone option.
- Start thinking about the impact on you/your staff. Your staff will be able to login to the payroll system and see their own payroll information. Your payroll manager may need some additional training.
Whether or not these changes force an upgrade to your payroll system, this is an excellent opportunity to review all of the systems you are using and upgrade if necessary.
Accounting packages evolve all the time and there’s every chance you could better integrate your business systems not only to create additional efficiencies but also improving reporting, data insights and analysis.
A better ‘big-picture’ view of your business results in more informed, smarter and quicker decision making – the hallmarks of successful modern businesses.
At Wichwon, we are passionate about helping small business owners make smart choices in relation to their accounting software. We assess and analyse each one’s latest features – this obviously includes the payroll solutions that are packaged with the accounting program – and make recommendations against each business’s individual requirements to ensure the right software product is selected. We don’t charge for the recommendation and we’re agnostic in that we cover all the major platforms.
We are happy to report that all software providers that we work with are now either compliant or have reported that they are actively working on it. In saying that, not all of them have yet made it clear which of their product variants will be compliant. We’re amongst the first to know and as soon as updates are released, we build them into our free online software comparison tool.
Like other major changes that have impacted business owners (think GST, super streaming, etc), this isn’t optional so is well worth your time to start the process now.