02 / 7 / 2019
The Single Touch Payroll go-live window for small businesses with under 20 employees has begun. While a busy first half of the 2019 calendar year may have led some to postpone action on STP, there is little time remaining until the 30 September 2019 deadline - which means it’s time to get moving.
But what happens once you are ready to make your first STP report?
The transition to Single Touch Payroll is something a lot of small business owners just want to cross off their to-do list. However, if you’re up and running with a software provider and ready to make your first report under STP, there’s just a few things worth checking before pressing the button.
The primary checks fall under ‘the who’ and ‘the what’. Once they’re done, there’s also one final check to make sure everything went as planned. Ready to get ready for your first STP report?
Your first Single Touch Payroll transaction - and the many to follow - will happen very smoothly once you’ve determined ‘the who’ that is attached to a few aspects of this new interaction with the ATO.
l Who will authorise your STP reports?
When an STP report is sent it needs to be from someone who is authorised to send it.
According to the ATO, if you’re the business owner or a public officer you should already be authorised. However, the job’s not finished. If there’s someone else in your business who will need to authorise reports - like a payroll manager - they’ll need to be given the authority.
This best way to do this is to work with your STP payroll software provider. Usually a part of the STP setup process, any people who will authorise reports should be noted through your provider.
If you have someone reporting on your behalf - like a registered tax or BAS agent, or a software vendor- these third party providers also need to be linked to you as part of your setup. In addition, your agent will need to be authorised every time they lodge a pay event on your behalf.
The ATO recommends contacting third parties to ask how they’ll handle this requirement.
l Who will send your STP reports?
Sending your own reports as a business owner will not be a problem for the ATO. However, the ATO is warning against some circumstances in which reports will fail if they are not sent by the right person.
The example the ATO provides is, where there is another business entity in your economic group like a head office, a cross-entity authorisation nomination form (or XEA) will need to be signed.
The ATO gives clear instructions on how to achieve this - and ensure your STP reports pass, not fail.
ü Go to the Access ManagerExternal Link and login;
ü Clock on ‘Who has access to my business’;
ü Check that any registered agent has recorded their RAN in STP pay event payload and link this relationship at a role level with the ATO.
l Who should be contacted about STP?
Having the correct contact for pay-as-you-go withholding will ensure that the right person is contacted if the ATO has any questions about STP. The ATO recommends that someone who understands your payroll amounts and how it is calculated be listed in the STP pay events.
Do you know your AUSkey’s from your SSIDs and your SSPs? If not, now’s the time to learn.
An AUSkey is a secure login identifying you when you use participating government online services on behalf of a business. In relation to STP, it will usually be larger employers who will make use of this.
An SSID on the other hand will be needed by the majority of small businesses. Standing for ‘software service ID’, it’s the ID your software uses to connect with the ATO, and will be displayed during setup.
If an SSID is required the ATO will not be able to receive STP reports without it. Businesses should ensure you or your registered agent provides the ATO with the SSID. You can call the ATO on 1300 852 232, or complete a one-off notification through Access Manager (AUSkey required).
An SSP, or sending service provider, is another way for a software provider to connect to the ATO and file STP reports. Businesses using software that use an SSP do not need to contact the ATO to set up a connection, because their SSP will have done this for them.
The Final Check
There’s one final thing you’ll need to do after your first STP reporting event with the ATO. It’s simple: check that your data was sent to the ATO correctly.
While users of professional payroll software like ePayroll should be confident their first STP reporting event will go smoothly, it’s best to make sure you receive a successful status from the ATO.
This update notifies you that your report has been received. If there are any errors , you’ll need to make sure your provider has informed you how to take care of them from inside the software.
The ATO recommends speaking with your payroll software provider if you need help. You’ll also be able to login to the ATO Business Portal to check on any prior lodgements (allow up to 72 hours).
Need STP-compliant software for your small business? Call us now on 1800 729 765.