STP is a significant change to software and in many cases a significant change to an employers process. The design and the development journey has until now been mostly in the hands of the ATO, however it is now also in the hands of the software companies. An employer will only be able to meet their STP obligations by using their own software, or by services provided by intermediaries i.e. bookkeepers.
Businesses are, in the main, unable to “get ready” for STP at this time. It is not until the ATO have finalised both technical and business process design with the software companies and the intermediaries involved, that a business can comprehensively commence a transition into STP process. This includes technical issues eg how the employer and the ATO will interchange the data securely.
These discussions continue and have been effective. The required information for software developers is close to providing adequate guidance for delivery of STP enabled solutions.
STP will impact employers and there will need to be a transition plan adopted by each employer.
For the smaller employers with non-complicated systems, the payroll software may be able to fully automate the; completion of all required data, obtaining the required declarations at the right time by the right people, submitting the right data in the right form to the ATO and achieve this with minimal impact to the current payroll process. Noting that the STP regime does not alter the employers industrial obligations around payroll and employment, it does change the reporting of payroll to the ATO.
For employers with more complex situations (e.g. multiple entities, locations, industrial agreements, systems) they will need to engage with their respective solution providers to understand their specific implementation steps.
We do not believe any employer could be “ready” for STP today. The system is not finalised nor able to be fully implemented yet. Accordingly the results of the survey are of no surprise.
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers remains heavily involved in the collaboration discussions with the ATO to ensure the design and delivery of STP is in line with the design principles of leveraging off the natural business systems and effective business processes.
ICB have reached out to Accountants Daily, to correctly inform their recent article featured in 'The Bookkeeper', which can be found here
Unfortunately they have not reported our view. There has not been any 'backflip'. There should be no 'trepidation'.
Certified Bookkeepers will be well informed and equipped to implement the software to enable effective Single Touch Payroll reporting.