Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

ICB still seeking further practical approach

The ICB is in discussion with Government about a practical approach for bookkeepers providing payroll services on the basis of an approved engagement with the employer.  As Bookkeepers we have been appointed to follow a process and perform payroll; payslips, make payment and now report STP to the ATO.

We think that provides us with the Declaration from the employer and is sufficient for us to then do payroll and lodge the report.

As described below where the employees being paid are a consistent salary amount, then a standing authority is allowed.

We believe that where the employees are being paid to a known and documented set of parameters, the award and the employment agreement and we are following a process then an upfront standing authority is also enough.

The Questions to be answered

  • Who is Declaring What for the purposes of Single Touch Payroll(STP)?
  • How does this impact your engagement letter?
  • When do you need what sort of Declaration?

Your engagement letter needs to establish the process for your client providing payroll instructions to you, for making the required declaration about payroll reporting and also authorise you to lodge the reports.

Putting This Into Practice

Establish the exact nature of your engagement for performing payroll services, or part thereof. It must be clear what the employer has engaged you to do and for them to understand the implications of the terms of the engagement.

An agent should establish the terms of the Declaration, ensure the employer understands the declaration they are providing each time, and ensure this is established in the “terms of engagement”. Then for each payrun, when the information is provided or the instruction to perform the payrun is provided, the employer is providing their instruction in accordance with the “terms of engagement” and the declaration therein. Provide the employer with a standard paragraph declaration to provide to you each time.

Detailed explanation

For the full explanation of the law and how it is being applied by the ATO together with the position that ICB had proposed as a realistic, professional and appropriate application of the Law. 

Access the Detailed Explanation about Declarations here - you will need to create a user profile and log in

Further Resources

ICB provide a business support program to employers to introduce them to the solutions required to perform bookkeeping correctly.

ICB Single Touch Payroll Information Page includes STP Status Update, Software Status, ATO Status reports, information for Employers and information for Employees

The ICB is a Professional Association for the community of Certified Bookkeepers.  Accredited, resourced and equipped to provide professional expert services to business.  Membership information available here



  • 13th June 2018