While legislation to expand STP to employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019 is still before the Senate, the ATO have begun work on concessions for micro businesses, confirming that employers with one to four employees will not have to buy payroll software to be STP compliant.
Direct Management director Diane Lucas said that, despite the holdup, it was time for advisers to start exploring options with their smaller clients and to help them realise the benefits of adopting digital processes.
“As a BAS or a tax agent, it is not too early to start talking to your clients, to the businesses that you work with about STP and to start talking to them about what STP is and the solutions available,” said Ms Lucas on the ATO’s webcast.
“STP is an opportunity for businesses to be able to benefit from becoming more efficient in their processes of accounting
“Also payroll is a bugger and a complex thing so when there are manual processes involved, there is a lot of room for error but once you move on to a platform that’s automated and simplified, then that error is pretty much taken away.
“The amount of time we pick up errors that has been done in the past, whether it is Excel or manual books, it is very rare to see a manual process that is spot on so I think it is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to have processes that are compliant and accurate that will assist their employees in the long term.”
Likewise, Small Business Financial Ops director Cate Kemp said it was timely for advisers to help clients understand the benefits beyond being compliant with the authorities.
“None of your obligations as an employer are actually changing here and it is going to be more visible but take this opportunity to have a look at how you operate your business,” said Ms Kemp.