Single Touch Payroll: the myths VS the facts
28 February 2019
Last year, Single Touch Payroll (STP) legislation was introduced for companies with more than 20 employees to boost super payment transparency. From 1 July 2019, all Australian companies will need to comply, regardless of size. In the second of this two-part mini-series, we talk to Stuart Korchinski, CEO of SuperChoice (the creators of Employer Direct) to expose the biggest STP myths.
Myth: Employers now need to pay their employees’ superannuation at each pay event.
Fact: “That isn’t true. While some employers may find it easier to report and pay at the same time, it isn’t necessary. You are still only required to pay your employees’ super quarterly,” said Mr Korchinski.
Myth: STP doesn’t require employers to make any significant changes and as such, implementation can be done last minute.
Fact: “This is not correct. STP reporting is more detailed than what has previously been submitted by employers to the ATO. As a result, all payrolls have had to update their software to either start collecting the data or extract the data to be saved in the correct XML file format,” Mr Korchinski said.
“Most payroll datasets have been found to be either incomplete or inaccurate. This means that until poor data is corrected, errors will occur for every STP report submitted.
“Simply sending the same EMDUPE/PSAR data more often won’t fix any underlying data problems.”
Myth: Payroll software system providers have enhanced their software to enable employers to extract the necessary STP reporting data from the payroll software and submit this data to the ATO.
Fact: “This is also not true. In fact, the majority of payroll software providers only extract the required payroll data to be submitted in the STP report and are leaving it to employers to engage a STP Sending Service to send the STP payroll report to the ATO. This was the same approach taken by most payroll software providers when SuperStream was introduced too,” Mr Korchinski said.
When SuperStream was introduced, QSuper was quick to recognise that employers needed assistance, and this learning has driven our approach to help employers to meet their new STP obligations.
“As a result, SuperChoice and QSuper have been working to enhance Employer Direct to address this gap so employers have a simple solution for sending STP reports to the ATO,” he said.
“As the STP enhancement is a technology solution, employers will want to do test runs and work through any challenges as they arise.”
SuperChoice is one of the only providers offering a free STP test environment
“Platforms like QSuper’s Employer Direct give employers an opportunity to identify where the problems might be in their payroll data set. They can submit a test STP pay event report that mimics what happens when an employer submits the STP report to the ATO, and catch any errors before their first submission,” said Mr Korchinski.
Myth: There is nothing in it for employers, just more work.
Fact: “It’s true that there is some set-up to be done, but once in place, STP makes it easier for employers to demonstrate to the ATO and their employees that they’re meeting their obligations, so they can get back to business,” Mr Korchinski said.
“An additional benefit for employers is that the ATO will use the PAYG data submitted each payroll to prefill their quarterly BAS.”
We’re here to help
Employer Direct allows you to meet both your SuperStream and STP reporting obligations through an easy-to-use online platform.
Your Relationship Manager can help you better understand your STP obligations. Contact our Employer Services team on 1300 472 282 or at email@example.com
The ATO website has helpful information to support your transition to STP.
Find out more
Stuart Korchinski is the CEO of SuperChoice, the supplier of QSuper’s Employer Direct portal. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the QSuper Board. This information is general information only, and you should get professional advice before relying on this information. QSuper utilises SuperChoice’s SuperStream and STP solutions, which can be accessed through our Employer Direct portal.