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March 2018 - last edited March 2018
Hi @caz1980 - Welcome to the Community Forum !
Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a software requirement that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is introducing soon, to replace the annual payment summaries with a list of the PAYG tax collected, that's sent automatically to the ATO at the end of each pay run. Similar systems have been introduced overseas - the UK in 2014 and France in 2016. See this overview from the ATO - ATO - Single Touch Payroll and this guide from MYOB - Single Touch Payroll reporting
MYOB have started helping employers to get ready for STP, by releasing AccountRight 2017.2 and 2018.1 (see below) - but the final stage of the STP update - including the ability to process "STP" payroll, won't come until a forthcoming update is released - probably in version 2018.2
All employers must to a count of their staff - full-time, part-time and casual - on 1 April.
Those with 20 or more staff must move to an STP-enabled system by 1 July 2018.
For those with 19 or fewer staff, there's an extension untill 1 July 2019.
If an employer has 20 or more staff, but can't move to STP by 1 July due to software difficulties,
there's an extension until 31 May 2019. This mainly covers companies who need to stick with AccountRight v.19 for the time being, due to s need to use it's features that aren't yet in AR 2018 - including multi-currency, multiple inventory locations and ability to handle negative inventory balances. These features will be added to AR 2018 later this year.
Processing a Single Touch Payroll is very similar to a normal pay run.
However before making the move to STP pay runs, there's a simple set-up procedure
- outlined in this Support Note - Setting-up your Payroll for STP.
First, you need check your company information (under Setup - Company Info) and your employee cards, to ensure they have correct addresses and tax file numbers. You might also suggest to your employees that they setup a MyGov account at www.mygov.gov.au - in July 2019 they can use it to download the equivalent of their Payment Summary, for the 2018-19 year.
Second, you need to work-through your Payroll Categories and assign each to an STP Category.
See this Support note - Assigning ATO Categories for STP Reporting
AR 2017.2 and AR 2018.1 both include and STP reporting drop-down list, that's smilar to the fields on the annual payment summary - initially each STP Category is set to "non-reportable".
You then need look at each pay category and consider which it category it needs matching to, for STP reporting.
Ensure you cover each payable Pay Category.
Hence Base Hourly, Base Salary, and annual leave (and loading) and long service leave taken whilst working, are each assigned to STP category "Gross Payments".
Get advice from your accountant, as payments on termination of employment will be reported differently, using Lump Sum A,B,D or E.
I recommend you match your Pay and STP categories now, as this will save time later, when STP processing is introduced, in the next AccountRight update - 2018.2.
You can do the matching in either version 2017.2 or 2018.1
Released recently, v. 2018.1 has some handy tools to help you check that your employee cards are OK
- e.g. that the addresses are adequate and that the tax file numbers are correct
Third, you need to register your company with the ATO, for STP - this step isn't available yet (coming in 2018.2) but you can see more info here - Connect to the ATO for STP Reporting
Once you've assigned your pay categories, registered with the ATO and installed the forthcoming STP update from MYOB (likely to be version 2018.2), you should be ready to process your first STP payroll.
STP payroll processing can be started before 1 July 2018 - but for the 2017-18 year, you will still need to prepare and lodge Payment Summaries (as the STP info won't cover the full year).
When the final stage of the STP update is released - probably as 2018.2 - I expect there will be a Support Note for "Processing a Single Touch Payroll".
Note for version 19 users:
- There won't be an upgrade, to include an "STP" capability
- Instead, you will have to move to version 2018.1, by the above dates
- If you're Internet connection is poor, don't worry
- you can run AR 2018 in Offline mode and still process an STP payroll
- you just need an Internet connection for the moment when you finalise your payroll
& send your data to the ATO.
Kym Yeoward CPA
We are using AccountRight Premier v.19.
I read your comment "you can run AR 2018 in Offline mode and still process an STP payroll" but my understanding is this will lock the file and no other users would be able to work in MYOB? Is this correct?
March 2018 - last edited March 2018
Hi @DT - as I understand, putting AcountRight 2017 or 2018 into Offline mode, locks that session into that user only - no other users can enter data whilst the file is Offline, though they can run queries, look at cards and print reports.
Payrolls in AR 2017 or 2018 can also be run in Online mode - when other users can also be online.
Though the processing time might be longer.
The final stage of the STP update is currently being beta tested with a panel of AccountRight users.
I expect it will be released by late May.
Note also: MYOB are currently seeking AccountRight users who are interested in participating in another beta test panel - for the multi-currency feature coming to version 2018.
As I thought, not an option for those businesses with multiple users. We have upto four users at a time, so I cannot go offline to process payroll.
Curious as to why you would need to go offline to process payroll. You can process payroll and will be able to report STP online.
It was suggested by Kym to go offline if internet connection was poor. I do not want to move to Live version at work, as I already use it at home, with a computer and internet speeds far exceeding MYOB's recommended min spec, and max two users, and I find it incredibly slow and crashes regularly. In short, I find it inferior to the desktop version. At work we have multiple users, and a slower internet than mine at home so the Live version is not practical.
I think I will use a third party to lodge STP data with ATO so we can keep using v.19
Great to see this has fostered such debate between our amazing forum partners, which I do hope you found helpful.
If you did have a need for multiple users accessing the file, then AccountRight 201X does have this capability for files stored on a network library. Unlike a checked-out file, which limits access to the computer that checked the file out, files stored on a network library can have multiple users accessing the same file on the same network.
Files stored on a network library, much like files stored locally on a single computer, do have access to some of the AccountRight Live services, such as Bank feeds, however some live services are restricted to online files only, such as the In Tray.
You can find out more about setting up a network and what’s required to do so on our help article, Set up a network