The SBSCH moved from a platform administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to become part of the ATO online services in late February, but the transition period has been far from smooth, with the bookkeeping industry reporting issues impacting the processing and crediting of payments.
The ATO has issued a statement confirming that “issues impacting the allocation of payments have been resolved and all payments are now with funds”, with the backlog of payments cleared and that it does not hold any payments earlier than 16 April.
“The exception is a small number of payments requiring some manual intervention, such as where incorrect fund account numbers have been supplied,” said the ATO.
“This is in-line with normal practice.”
Speaking to The Bookkeeper, Association of Accounting Technicians chief executive, Rochelle Park said that while it was a “great relief” to see the bulk of payments processed, BAS agents and bookkeepers would struggle to lodge with the SBSCH’s current workflow and functionality.
“Unfortunately though, bookkeepers and business owners will still be under pressure to lodge payment batch information with the SBSCH as the system will only accept one payment instruction at a time, meaning data entry of subsequent lodgements has been held up,” said Ms Park.
“This means bookkeepers will now have to re-schedule their time to process these outstanding lodgements now that there is a cleared payment.
“This is not easy to manage when dealing with multiple clients and an already busy calendar due to the looming BAS lodgement deadlines.”
Further, Ms Park believes the transition of SBSCH from the DHS to the ATO may spring a “surprise” to small business owners who may not be aware of the administrative steps needed to use the service.
“It is going to be very interesting indeed to see how the small business community deal with the new clearing house requirements as they may get a surprise when they go to log into the old SBSCH hosted by DHS and discover there are administrative steps to be taken to set up the new service in the ATO portals in either their Auskey or their business portal,” said Ms Park.
“Business owners need to set their business portal or MyGov accounts up to use this service, and this needs to be done well in advance of the Superannuation Guarantee deadline of 28 April for the March quarter obligation.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.