With Single Touch Payroll set to cover all businesses from 1 July 2019, accounting business coach Amanda Gascoigne has urged firms not to simply adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to implementing STP with clients who have outstanding SG obligations.
Ms Gascoigne, who runs her own eponymous consulting firm, believes bookkeepers and accountants should first consider if such clients are an ideal fit for their practice, and if they are not, should be cut off.
Clients who are retained and still have outstanding SG should then have STP fully explained to them, including key motivators on why they will need to be meeting their SG obligations due to the increased transparency and access to information by the Tax Office and their employees.
“It’s their opportunity to draw a line in the sand with their outstanding obligations and free themselves of any stress that it has been causing them. It’s their impetus to change their ways and get back on track,” Ms Gascoigne said.
“It’s their motivation to embrace cloud accounting software so there is more real-time reporting of their numbers so they can see how they are travelling, and to help them make better business decisions; for you to advise them in a more timely manner; and lastly, to fulfil their ATO obligations, effectively as a residual benefit.
“Remember, you’re going to be helping these clients free themselves from the stress they have been carrying around with them for years, you’re preventing them from receiving that dreaded ATO phone call and you’re helping them move forward so they can focus on achieving their future business and life goals.”
Advisers should then help their business clients calculate their outstanding amounts and work up a payment plan or upfront payment before lodging a superannuation guarantee charge statement with the Tax Office.
“Give the ATO a few days to process it and then contact them with the proposal you and your client devised in that initial meeting,” she added.
“You may also like to see if there are any penalties that you could get remitted on behalf of your client, and don’t forget to mention that you have now successfully implemented Single Touch Payroll systems and procedures and that their Single Touch Payroll software is working like a dream.”