Early Single Touch Payroll adopters see weekly time saving

New research commissioned by Intuit Australia shows that 69 per cent of small businesses that are using Single Touch Payroll (STP) are finding it beneficial to their business, with 62 per cent saying STP is proving to be a time saver.

The research, conducted by independent research agency YouGov Galaxy, surveyed more than 500 small businesses across the nation. Key findings show that a third (34 per cent) of early users of STP say it gives them back more than two hours per week.

However, almost 70 per cent of Australian small businesses surveyed have not heard of STP, and over half (55 per cent) have little knowledge about the next steps required to comply. The deadline for compliance as set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is less than three months away, on 1 July 2019.

Almost a third (30 per cent) of respondents indicated they are “concerned” about the prospect of STP compliance, and a quarter are “anxious”, while 13 per cent of small businesses feel ready and 16 per cent feel confident about their ability to meet this compliance initiative. The biggest concerns are cost (47 per cent), unnecessary complexity (46 per cent) and data security (40 per cent).

“STP is arguably the biggest compliance event since the introduction of the goods and services tax and we know that large-scale change is never easy,” John Dunkerley, Country Manager of Intuit Australia, said. “While our research shows there is concern and anxiety about STP amongst many small business owners, the good news for them is that the majority of early adopters of STP are seeing various business benefits as a result of this digital shift.”

Using payroll software to manage employee wages is a key requirement of the ATO in order for small businesses to be STP-ready.

“Only 44 per cent of the small businesses surveyed are currently using payroll software, so the introduction of STP clearly points to an opportunity for them to explore their options,” Dunkerley said. “For example, by using cloud accounting solution QuickBooks, business owners can increase their efficiencies across a range of business tasks, including managing cashflow, getting paid, reconciling their bank and credit accounts and filing GST and BAS. What’s more, we offer person-to-person help when calling our customer support team. This in itself, ought to help alleviate small-business owners’ anxiety.”

Dunkerley added, “There is much to be gained for small businesses and the economy once Australia’s 2.2 million small businesses make the digital shift, with STP creating a level playing field by ensuring superannuation payments are being made on time and reduction in underpayments, thereby helping all Australians.

“We strongly encourage all small businesses to get up to speed with their compliance requirements by using the STP resources available on the ATO website and reaching out to their trusted financial advisors for more information. And, our Intuit team is also here to help.”

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