Single Touch Payroll

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When I rang Reckon Support today after about 10 minutes of explaining what Single Touch Payroll was to the support person who answered my call and putting me on hold 3 times they eventually worked out what I was talking about and  they came back and said was going to be available on 1st June 2018. 

This gives us one month to test it to make sure it works and work out how to use it ( June 2018 ) before it is a requirement we use it with the ATO ( from 1/7/18 as we have more than 20 employees ) and it will be over 30 June which is of course the busiest time of the year anyway.

This just seems to be creating unnecessary stress for all seeing as the ATO have said we are able to submit with the Single Touch Payroll from October 2017 to ensure we are adequately ready.  If our payroll software is only ready a month before we have to use it there is no way we can be adequately ready.

I am normally so happy with Reckon but I have to say today this has left me scratching my head ?.  Surely they could have it ready earlier than that ................Has anyone else received this time frame from Reckon ?
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Jen Beveridge

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Posted 6 months ago

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Rav, Community Manager

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Hi Jen,

There is still a massive amount of work that needs to be conducted from wide number of our teams across our product range on this. In regard to timeframes, there is nothing set in stone at the moment but obviously compliance is the priority.

Also, training sessions/webinars are in the pipeline to help everyone get accustomed to new processes and also documentation will be available with the new releases. 

Its early days at the moment and further updates/info will be made as we progress.

Cheers
Rav
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Gemma White

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I strongly agree with your comment. I hope Reckon is not just saying it will have it available and then say "Oh sorry" we cant get it to work... Then where will we be??
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Gemma have you signed up for the updates from the ATO software developer team? And you will be exactly where all the other software customers will be. None of the providers have any more or less information than Reckon. Why do you think they want the system to fail? I went through the upgrade to the sql database in 2008/09. Trust me that was a big wrench. And Reckon learned a lot from it which is why Reckon one will be the best product in the market. Even if the market doesnt know it. Alls I am saying is a bit of perspective will get you through.
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Sharyn Gaunt

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Contact ATO and request deferred start date for STP.
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Paula Hajek

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I totally disagree with  Kevin Russell MYOB an Xero have already commenced modifying and testing their software for STP. Thank goodness i only have one client which uses Reckon which to me is very amateurish  and unprofessional in both its attitude and its product. How can it possibly think it can compete wiht other  accounting/payroll products is beyond me.
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Oh you totally disagree do you? Well tell me where I am wrong. I use all the software myob reckon xero and qbo. None of them are fully compliant with STP as of today
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Jen you are panicking about nothing. There will be a grace period while these issues are sorted. The tax office want you to comply. They dont want to beat you up. Trust me
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GoatyMcGoatBoat

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Considering there are Reckon support tickets for very simple things that are YEARS old, I have my reservations about their ability to implement something like this in six months.

The ATO has dropped Single Touch Payroll on small businesses today - we received an email stating we need to be ready to go on 1 July.  As a small business operator with 37 employees, running everything by myself, learning some new system or payroll process is something that I simply cannot do in a short timeframe.

There really needs to be a trial run or a dummy setup in place earlier so that actual end users (as opposed to accountants and bookkeepers who use the software all day every day) can get their heads around it in time to be compliant.
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Simon Hutchinson, Employee

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Hi Goaty,

Thank you for the post. We have been involved with Single Touch Payroll with the ATO since 2015 when it was first announced by the Finance Minister as a new way for businesses to interact with the ATO (yes, this has been around since 2015 as a proposed legislative requirement which has now made it through the parliament.). We are part of the Australian Business Software Association who are basically co-designing this system and have been privy to many details during the design phase.

Whilst we are not ready to go into final details as yet as to how this will all work (primarily because there are still some things not finalised on the ATO end for software developers), we have been working on this project for a number of months now and are deep into our design. There is obviously four products from Reckon that need to connect to the STP Service; Payroll Premier, Accounts Hosted, Accounts Desktop and Reckon One and each of those have differing requirements and systems within them on how they deal with payroll.

We agree that having to change payroll processes is a potential nightmare, but a basic summary of the STP system is that a digital report needs to be sent to the ATO after each payroll event (that is, each time you complete a pay run, a digital message needs to be sent to the ATO to update their systems about the pay, the employees involved and various other details). Ultimately it becomes a situation where instead of providing a EMPDUPE summary once a year, it is provided after each pay run. 

We are working hard to ensure that the disruption to payroll processes within the applications are minimal. Our anticipation is that within your current software setup, you would finalise a pay in the same manner that you already are so no change there but have to complete one additional step to submit the data to the ATO for processing. Single Touch Payroll does not change the way that payrolls are conducted or the requirements around processing a pay, it adds a additional step of reporting to the ATO what occurred in a payroll event and when. So instead of the ATO getting that data once a year, they will get it 52, 26, 12 or even more times per year. The benefit being that as long as you comply with the STP requirements, INB and other payment summaries can become a thing of the past and EOFY processes potentially less intensive and time consuming.

In terms of testing and being able to try things early from the posts above, due to the way the ATO systems work, you will only be able to send 'real' data to the ATO systems. However it must be made clear that for a system to operate within the single touch payroll environment the ATO has constructed, that it must pass a compliance test from the ATO, and the ATO must be comfortable that the system is acting as per legislative requirements. Therefore, the STP software you will use will have been through this ATO certification.

Rest assured Reckon is well aware of single touch payroll, what employees and employers will need to do in this new world, and are working to implement a system which changes the payroll system processes in a way that makes sense and does not significantly disrupt the current flows.

The various bookkeeping assocations such as ICB and ABN have also been very involved with single touch payroll and may have information and guides available in terms of business process impact. They also may be a port of call if you would like to register concern with the ATO about the lack of time before the commencement date of July 1.
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Thank you Simon for your answer. I think Goaty would have more luck if he contacted his local MHR or Senator or the finance Minister directly rather than continue this discussion here. I already stated, thsre will be a grace period for business to comply. The ATO want to support business in the run up to this change they want it to work. They dont want to penalise business trying to do the right thing. Some small business will always try to operate outside any system. They need to ve rooted out.Theres enough stories about small business not paying their taxes on time - if at all - and unpaid super contributions cost the community billions. I cant wait till the RBA anounces the end of cash. I give it about five years. We have an opportunity here to restore some integrity to the revenue and to genuinsly enhance the operating environment for small vusiness much the same as the GST has done. We should not blow the chance or overstate the complexity
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GoatyMcGoatBoat

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Thanks Simon, I'll keep an eye on it in the leadup to EOFY.  EOFY is a good time to change accounting software if desired and to be honest I've been nothing but unhappy with Reckon's support since I started using the software, so a poor implementation of STP support will almost definitely be the straw that breaks this already overloaded camel's back.  If it's as simple as Reckon sending off that data in the background then that's great, but if it's a clunky process like sending payslips (i.e. I don't understand why payslips aren't automatically emailed as part of the payroll process) then I can see myself jumping ship quick smart.

@Kevin, I am not discussing the STP system.  I am discussing Reckon's implementation of support for that system, which I'm fairly sure is an issue my local member would tell me they have no control over.
(Edited)
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Goaty I told you once, you are worrying about nothing. You dont have to believe me
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Rav, Community Manager

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Hi all,
We'll be getting in touch with all customers in regard to Single Touch Payroll (STP) via email late this week/Monday next week at the latest.

In the meantime, we've got information and resources for Single Touch Payroll on our website HERE which I'd strongly recommend checking out, including the ability to register for updates on launch.

(Edited)
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Top work Rav. Great to know youre on the case
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Gemma White

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Thanks Rav. I think i am happier now we know it is all happening.
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Robyn Kelly, Accredited Partner

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If you are already using Reckon Accounts desktop (current version) or Reckon Accounts Hosted; there are a few things you can start checking now to be prepared:

1. Check to make sure each Employee's details are in the Employee information correctly:

a) DOB

b) TFN (should be there already)

c) Full address

d) Full name

e) Start Date

f) Emp. No.

2. Check payroll setup:

a) Take note of allowances; you will need to seaparte these for STP (once software is updated)

b) Superannuation setup correctly with all information including USI, fund name, member number etc

3. Company setup:

a) Company name correct for payroll

b) Payroll Conatct

c) Company ABN - INCLUDING Branch ID

Hope this helps a little and will ease the burden of your first pay event in July.

Regards, Robyn Kelly


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Gemma White

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Hi Robyn, why is 1f required? Does each of our Employees need to be given a number?
Thanks Gemma
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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No
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Robyn Kelly, Accredited Partner

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Gemma from the conferences & webinars I have been attending it has been suggested the ATO may require this field when lodging pay events; although as mentioned above the file requirements have not yet been finalised.  I feel it would be just as easy to complete now while checking other details for each employee in my opinion.
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Gemma White

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Thanks Robyn
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Simon Hutchinson, Employee

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The ATO does require this field
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Phillip Job, Accredited Partner

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Hi Rav. Could you tell me when Accounts Desktop & Hosted will be released with STP please?
Regards
Phil