Small business accounting software providers Reckon, Sage, Saasu and Xero have announced that all their payroll-related products comply with the recently-introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) requirements. MYOB is close to across-the-board compliance, with its AccountEdge software for Mac being the exception.
As the ATO reminded employers last month , STP reporting took effect on 1 July 2018.
The arrangement initially covers employers with 20 or more employees, but is expected to extend to smaller employers from 1 July 2019.
Reckon claims to be the only leading accounting software provider that provides STP support for its desktop and online users. The latest versions of Reckon One, Reckon Accounts Hosted, Reckon Accounts 2018 and Payroll Premier 2018/19 work with a new GovConnect STP application that handles the actual reporting.
“It is important for us to support small businesses and our client base by enabling STP across all products,” said Reckon CEO Sam Allert.
“STP is mandatory for businesses with over 20 employees, and those with 19 or less will follow suit in 12 months. Business owners however, may not have the capacity and time to properly understand what the new legislative measure means for them. The opportunity for increased awareness and education, coupled with the ease of availability to the most affordable compliant software, is crucial to supporting them.”
He added “Many customers prefer to stay on the desktop software as it is the product they know and have grown accustomed to. While the obvious option is to push them to upgrade to a cloud version, the reality is it’s not always that straightforward for a small business entity with limited resources to migrate.”
Similarly, Sage says all of its Australian payroll products - Sage MicrOpay, Sage Payroll Online, Sage WageEasy, and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate - now comply with the latest version of the STP specification.
According to a Sage spokesperson, the company's customers report that the STP introduction is going smoothly.
For example, Acco Brands payroll manager Denise Mitrovich said "Sage took all the mystery out of the new ATO reporting requirements and provided us with lots of information prior to set up. We are 320 employees in Australia. We opted to go early and the set up was smooth and simple. Our first report to the ATO was successful and year end was a breeze! It is now a simple step in the payroll process."
Sage has collated some materials relating to STP that may be of use to employers whether or not they use Sage products.
Xero has achieved STP compliance but is progressively releasing this functionality to its user base.
Organisations with more than 20 employees that started using Xero from 1 July 2018 have immediate access to the STP feature.
STP reporting will be rolled out to existing customers - starting with those with the most employees - between September and December. Xero has secured the necessary waiver allowing its customers to delay STP reporting.
Voluntary access to STP reporting for smaller employers will be optionally enabled "after we’ve taken care of the larger employers who are required by law to use STP," according to the company.
MYOB is getting close to across the board compliance.
"MYOB AccountRight 2018.2, MYOB Essentials, MYOB PayGlobal, MYOB Advanced, MYOB Exo and MYOB Greentree are all STP compliant," a spokesperson told Business IT.
"MYOB AccountEdge users have a deferral in place," she added, while "AccountRight Classic customers will need to upgrade to AccountRight 2018.2 to be STP compliant."
The other major player in the small business accounting market is Intuit with its QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks does not have native payroll functionality. Instead, the subscription includes access to the KeyPay, which is STP compliant.
According to the Australian Business Software Industry Association's catalogue of compliant software, KeyPay complies with the 2017 specification, not the latest 2018 version - but from a user's point of view, the only question is whether a product is or is not compliant.