Single-Touch Payroll: An Accountant's View
The end of financial year (EOFY) for Australian businesses is fast approaching and one tool that was found most useful by accountants is Single-Touch Payroll or STP. Indeed, STP has several advantages both for employees and their employers; but how exactly? A lot has been said about Single-Touch Payroll, but what do the experts have to say?
We’ve invited one of our Senior Account Managers and two of our Accounting Team Managers to talk about Single-Touch Payroll, why both employers and employees benefit, and how STP has eased their administration and compliance work load.
Christine Hanna, Senior Account Manager
Our newest member, serving as hammerjack’s Sydney-based Senior Account Manager, Christine Hanna is an experienced accountant and consultant. She specialises in making sure accountants, bookkeepers, and small business owners get the most out of the products and tools they use, while maximising customer experience delivery.
For Christine, the introduction of STP means that “business owners no longer have to prepare payment summary annual reports or employee payment summaries. Business owners will be reporting to the ATO when they have made the last pay run of the year. It also means that business owners will no longer have to chase up new employees for tax file number or superannuation details, they will have access to this directly from myGov.”
Employees benefit from STP too since they are encouraged to submit their tax file number and superannuation information online. This gives employers instant access to their details. Above all, real-time information on their payroll and super is the employee benefit that is most helpful.
Moreover, when asked how STP help in accountants’ work, Christine responded: “First, it (STP) encourages businesses to move to cloud and digitise, which creates efficiencies. Evidence has shown that businesses who have embraced new technologies have been able to maintain a competitive edge. STP will help streamline the reporting process, and with information being reported after each payroll cycle, the ATO will be able to pre-fill PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) sections of the BAS (Business Activity Statements) and reduce the potential for human error. And with the EOFY just around the corner, the need to generate and issue payment summaries being eliminated means we can save time and money, especially at such a critical time of the year.”
“Because STP is a cloud-based tool, employees can see their gross earnings, deductions, taxes, and superannuation in real-time through mygov.au.”
Joey Rendon - Accounting Team Manager
With multiple years of experience in the accounting industry, Joey has seen the ups and downs of Australian businesses when it comes to their accounting needs. One of the major stresses of owners is payroll, however Joey says once STP was implemented it lightened the burden of doing manual work for both employers and employees.
Specifically, Joey enumerated the benefits of STP for employers: “When processing payroll, employee gross earnings, deductions, Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) taxes, and superannuation are updated in ATO real-time. There is also no more need to individually prepare payment summaries for each employee as these are all found in mygov.au.” Not only is STP for employers’ benefits; employees can also get the most out of this tool.
Because STP is a cloud-based tool, employees can see their gross earnings, deductions, taxes, and superannuation in real-time through mygov.au. In addition, employees need not wait for the end of financial year to receive his/her Payment Summaries from his/her employer.
Camille Maglonzo - Accounting Team Manager
Camille spent her entire career taking charge of company finances initially as an Accounting Analyst, and now an Accounting Manager. She also worked for one of the Philippines’ best-known TV networks as the coordinator for admin, production, and finance. Camille has tons of experience working in and with a team, whose workload eased when STP was introduced.
However, besides being a government-mandated tool, why exactly do business owners need STP? Camille explains that, “STP encourages business owners – especially those who do not use technology or automation in their accounting processes– to switch to a cloud-based software for their business. It (STP) helps business owners drive efficiency and increase productivity through technology to help their business grow.”
Sharing the same thoughts with Joey, Camille says that employees no longer need to chase their employers whenever they need to do their financial obligations on their own tax returns.
Camille goes further to explain that STP has also helped accountants like her in their day to day work! Because of STP, payroll processing by accountants has become a lot easier, especially during EOFY as Tax Group Certificates (or Payment Summaries) no longer need to be created. Every payroll processing requires to be filed directly to ATO, and STP improved this whole process.
“It (STP) helps business owners drive efficiency and increase productivity through technology to help their business grow.”
The Only Way to Go
Single-Touch Payroll has paved the way for better ways to do business. In the years to come, accountants and business owners alike look forward to a future of efficiency and productivity through digitization and technological transformation; and with the government supporting such revolution, we know that the only way to go is forward.
Get a hold of expert opinion on STP, EOFY, and your business concerns.