Today, Australian lawmakers passed legislation that requires even the smallest of employers to electronically file each pay run with the tax office using Single Touch Payroll, starting July 1. It’s a big ask for the nation’s 2.3 million small businesses, which employ 40 percent of all workers.
It’s also a big opportunity. Many employers still use a combination of spreadsheets, ATO paper tax tables and Post-it notes to process payroll. They have yet to embrace cloud-based solutions that save time and simplify their lives. In fact, some 90,000 micro-businesses use no software at all, according to the ATO.
“This will be a sea change for small businesses that have clung to outdated desktop software,” said Susan Montanari, the Perth-based chief operating officer of Nexia, a business advisory firm.
Single Touch Payroll in Xero adds just two clicks to businesses’ workflow and keeps them ATO compliant. Wherever small businesses are in the digital journey, they can be assured Xero has an STP solution for them.
For the estimated 400,000 micro-businesses that have four or fewer staff, we announced a standalone solution last week that will ensure they remain compliant with the ATO. This Payroll-only product will process, pay and report information for up to four employees, with an expected price of about $10 a month.
Making lives simpler
And for larger employers, Xero’s premium plans have them covered. As well as the Payroll suite, they get online tools to track workers’ hours and approve leave, offer controlled access for employees, reimburse expenses, and be SuperStream compliant. It also gives businesses access to an ecosystem of over 700 time-saving apps.
For our accounting and bookkeeping partners, today’s STP legislation should make their lives simpler. There will be no need to set up different workflows for different payroll clients. Xero STP will look the same whether it’s for a client with one employee or 200. Xero partners will be able to add Payroll to a ledger or GST cashbook subscription covering up to four employees (price to be determined).
It’s the first time we’ve offered Payroll as a standalone product, and we’ll deliver these new solutions by 1 July 2019.
“Xero STP solutions save us time,” said chartered accountant Paul Cunningham of Smart Business Solutions in Mornington, Victoria. “It spares us the trouble of doing payment summaries and allows us to simplify clients’ compliance tasks.”
Stay tuned at Xero.com as we’ll have more details on our STP products ahead of July!