We’ve passed the 1 July deadline for Single Touch Payroll and the world hasn’t ended. You’ve moved to a cloud accounting system, you’re reporting superannuation and PAYG figures at each pay cycle; you’re in compliance. That’s something to be proud of.
We know that this was a daunting shift for many. 30 per cent of 500 small businesses surveyed before STP came into effect were “concerned” about the prospect of compliance. For many, they’re still working to get into compliance. We’ll continue to play our part to support the thousands of small businesses on that journey.
For those who have made the shift, the question is – what next? While you might want to get back to focusing on “what matters” in your business, the reality is your STP-related changes can help with that too.
Single Touch Payroll compliance brings with it a whole host of other business benefits – including the ultimate goal of freeing up owners to work on their business, instead of in it. This comes down to the fact that in order to comply with STP and its monthly PAYG and superannuation reporting requirements, many small businesses have moved to an online accounting solution. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires that all small businesses use an STP-compliant payroll solution or accounting software that includes an STP-compliant payroll solution.
Our customers tell us how an STP-compliant online accounting solution helps them drive greater efficiency, standardise processes, reduce errors and enable more proactive tracking of their business’s financial position. Another key benefit is that they gain real visibility and control over their data. This is all in addition to saving time preparing and submitting information to the ATO.
For a small business looking to grow, this time-saving can make a huge difference. Entrepreneur Odi Reuveni told us that the automation of manual and mundane tasks in his business gave him the time he needed to make more strategic decisions that boosted his bottom line. Integrations with third-party applications mean that data entered into one system automatically carries across into others.
Not only are tasks that previously felt overwhelming or required support now done automatically, the software also provides reminders for actions that might otherwise slip a busy small business owner’s mind. Odi told us about how he now has visibility of his company’s true financial position thanks to synchronisation with various bank and PayPal accounts. With a real-time view of what’s happening in his business and greater insight into what’s ahead, it’s easier to make the changes before it’s too late.
By helping business owners manage their finances better while spending less time away with their heads in the books, the digital shift required by STP can catalyse positive transformation of the small business sector as a whole. Our pre-STP research showed 60 per cent of those small businesses who implemented STP early found it saved them time.
That’s huge, given how many small business operators are having a tough time staying on top of their to-do list. Of all the new businesses started four years ago, almost half (46 per cent) are no longer in operation. Research recently released by Intuit Australia reveals that Australian small businesses are losing $5.8 billion each year due to inefficient cashflow, with nearly half admitting they’ve been at risk of being unable to pay their employees.
To paraphrase The Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need. We can’t wait to see how Australia’s small business sector blossoms with these new digital tools at their fingertips.
John Dunkerley, Country Manager, Intuit Australia