Speaking to The Bookkeeper, Love Your Numbers director Leanne Berry said that the new Single Touch Payroll regime was a business opportunity for bookkeepers and that the industry should proactively reach out to clients instead of holding off to closer to the 1 July 2019 start date.
“The bookkeeping space is really vibrant at the moment because there is a lot going on, and STP is probably one of the major opportunities we’ve had to grow our practices and engage with more small businesses since the introduction of GST,” Ms Berry said.
“It is a huge opportunity and I’m seeing a lot of bookkeepers saying, ‘Yes, I am getting ready for 1 July’ and I can’t understand why they are waiting. Every one of my clients is on STP already and it doesn’t matter how many employees they’ve got and I’m taking the benefits of that.
“I’m not going to have a stressful end of financial year, I haven’t got to go out to all my clients and prepare payment summaries, everyone is on cloud accounting, and everyone is going to have an end-of-financial-year finalisation event.”
Ms Berry said that bookkeepers should look to educate clients on the benefits of moving off manual systems and how it would help them manage their business more effectively.
“I think they are stressing out over something that is part of a natural business process and worrying too much,” she said.
“I’ve been working with my clients to ensure that their employees understand. I’ve even offered a service where I will sit with employees to navigate the myGov set-up for a fee so there are opportunities there.”
While the official start date of STP is 1 July 2019, the ATO will provide a three-month buffer to allow businesses to come to terms with the new regime.
There will be further concessions to the micro business space, categorised as those with one to four employees, as they make up 60 per cent of approximately 750,000 employers in the small business population.
As such, micro employers will be allowed to rely on a registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run.
Further, the closely held group has also been given a further exemption from STP until 1 July 2020, with tax and BAS agents to play a key role in the quarterly reporting framework.
The ATO has also released a detailed register of STP products for micro businesses, with several products currently available.