Single touch payroll small business issues

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STP for small business. I had hoped it would be a time saver, but it is quite an impost - there are more steps to perform than currently, given that the download and transmittal sound to be manual processes. In addition, according to the webinar, we are required to send the information at the same time as paying staff - when I asked if it could be automated or batched later, for instance in a small business with a once-a-week or month bookkeeper, or if the bookkeeper is away. I was told no, I would need to get someone in on the exact day or get someone else to do it (thus additional cost). 
Surely that's not reasonable? 
Currently I would set up the pays in the bank to release automatically, and the payslips would be sent either prior or when I return. 

The failure to automate the process - is this unique to Reckon? Is other software automated in some way so that it can be scheduled ahead of time? 

Why can't the information be sent later - either in one batch or separate batches? Is this an ATO requirement, or a problem with Reckon's software? IS there other software available that operates differently? 

Can the information be sent to the ATO EARLIER - in other words, when I process the payroll in Reckon, can I actually preform the upload at that time (not ideal as if there is a problem with the bank payment, there would be a discrepancy to be correctly later)? 

Does anyone else feel this so-called "STP" (really should be renamed to "many more touch payroll") is badly thought out for small businesses? Is there a forum for lobbying the ATO to consider alternate methods or for lobbying Reckon to provide better solution support within their software? 
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Wendy

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Posted 8 months ago

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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Wendy, the regulations aren't those of Reckon. They are from the ATO. If you want to complain, ring your local MHR or Senator. They are responsible for this. Not Reckon. Personally after setting it up for my clients I have found it to be not onerous at all. It's only one additional step. Along with all the other pay day administration I think it is a slight imposition given the productivity improvements which will flow for tax administration. I think small employers have been rather let off the hook over the years. The ATO is owed tens of billions in back taxes. This is part of a process to try to claw some of that back. 
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Ian

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It is a simple touch of a button in  Xero. Likewise bank feeds are automated and dont need to be downloaded each time
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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And it's different in MYOB and it's different in QuickBooks. And those systems are different in a whole range of other functionality. It is what it is. Your argument is still with the ATO. You know NZ has had this for almost a year. I believe the UK are introducing it too.
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Wendy

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Just to clarify, my "issue" isn't with the initiative, which I wholeheartedly support, all the businesses that I work(ed) for are up to date with paying their obligations and it is frustrating to hear about businesses that are not. 
The questions I have are regarding the implementation, as it impacts small business, and the need to understand whether the specific scenarios are Reckon-specific or ATO requirements.
If they are Reckon-specific, is there is an opportunity for Reckon to take feedback on improvements to their implementation (for those things over which they have control). 
Alternatively, if there is other software (particularly one of the low-cost options) then it may be preferable to use that software just for the STP portion to support automation. 
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John Graetz

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HI Wendy.  My impression from the webinar was that the lodgement could be made before the date of the payment.  I have just done a google search and found a reference which states that the lodgement must be made on or before the date of the pament, so that should solve that problem for you.
John L G
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Wendy

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Thanks, that's worth trying. 
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Wendy there is no low cost option for STP. There should be
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Rav, Community Manager

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Wendy,
While I can't comment on how other software is or have implemented STP processes, a key differentiator with us is that we have 4 different software products all able and ready to submit Single Touch Payroll lodgements through a single central platform ie. GovConnect STP.
As Kevin has mentioned, the process is not onerous for the user and ensuring ease of use was a key driving factor in our implementation. On that note, one of the key pieces of feedback was that users wanted to view the information that was being sent before it was actually submitted, and this is possible in GovConnect.

Why can't the information be sent later - either in one batch or separate batches? Is this an ATO requirement, or a problem with Reckon's software? IS there other software available that operates differently? 
This is an ATO requirement. As John has mentioned above, lodgements can be made on or before the pay date.

For the broader view, I'd recommending taking a look at the Single Touch Payroll information from the ATO on their website here - https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/
.. there is no low cost option for STP. There should be
Reckon One is already a really affordable option which is STP compliant and we're working on something for micro-businesses ie. 1-4 employees which will ensure affordability for these businesses while retaining compliance. Watch this space on that front Kev.
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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Excellent Rav. I hate to make light of the problems and challenges people are facing but I have found the support from all the software providers has been stellar. It's been the smoothest implementation of a major change I can remember. Well done everyone
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Susan Shaw

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Hi there, I attended an open forum at the ATO and learned that within the Portal there is the ability to defer STP if necessary, ie holidaying - Sue
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Narelle Perfect

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Well I must be one of the only ones who has had no end of trouble with this, my current issue is that  it is asking for the Multi-Factor Authentication which I have set up on my phone through google but every time I enter the code it gives me it says that is not correct, so I can't get further than that, and so far have spent and hour and half on the phone trying to speak to someone.
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Rav, Community Manager

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Hi Narelle,
There are two common causes for this.
The first is that your device's time settings are not synced with the Google Authenticator app. To resolve this, open the Google Authenticator app, go into Settings > Time Correction for Codes > Sync Now.

The second cause is if you initially setup the MFA and then either deleted/uninstalled/reinstalled the app or upgraded to a new phone without first revoking the existing MFA. There's a bit more info on this here.
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Narelle Perfect

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Well I have tried the first, and I don't know if its the second because I cant revoke it as I dont have the security code, so basically its hopeless.
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Rav, Community Manager

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Not hopeless at all. You can revoke it by either using the MFA Recovery PIN code that you were presented during setup (or your own nominated Recovery PIN) or alternatively, give us a call and our technical support team will arrange to have it revoked after a security check. 
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Narelle Perfect

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That is the problem I don't have the Recovery PIN, and I have wasted over 2 hours on the phone today without even speaking to someone, this system has been nothing but hassles trying to get it set up.  
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Leisha S

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OMG!! I am so dreading settling this up....single touch.....need to change the name maybe to multi touch. More stress we don't need. SuperStream was headache enough. Fingers crossed it all works out. I feel your pain already Narelle