We’re just under one month away from the launch of what will be the most significant shift for the small business sector since the introduction of GST.
Despite all the discussion around the tax change, our research [i] shows that almost seven out of 10 Australian small businesses surveyed have not heard of it. Among those who have, over half (55%) have not gotten up to speed with the next steps required to comply.
Trust us when we say it is not as scary as it may appear, especially when you follow our top three tips to becoming STP compliant.
Ensure you have a payroll solution that is STP compliant
For those already on the cloud, you are halfway there. Talk to your provider and make sure they are compliant and provide support for STP, before the 1 July deadline.
Don’t fret if you’re not on the cloud, there is still plenty of time to talk to an accountant or bookkeeper to figure out what will work for you and your business.
QuickBooks provides a low-cost solution from $15 / month for micro and small businesses, and you can read more on out low cost solutions by visiting our website.
Research and evaluate
Another way to get ready is to attend our upcoming event, QuickBooks Connect, where we will be walking attendees through the steps small businesses need to take to get ready for STP, sharing tips to save time and filling attendees in on how MyGov will replace annual payment summaries. Members of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will also be present at the event to answer questions about STP, and, if you’re an accountant or bookkeeper reading this, John Shepherd, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office, will be presenting insights on STP and the transition options for small business employers.
STP is much more than a simple upgrade to small businesses’ relationship with the ATO. It marks a major shift in the way all Aussie owners manage their finances, a chance to say goodbye to tedious manual processes, and an opportunity to spend more time focusing on what matters.
Utilise the ATO and take advantage of their resources
If you can’t make it down to QuickBooks Connect, the ATO website has a wide range of resources available to assist with the transition to STP. This includes what STP is to news, events, resources and instructions on how to report through STP. Also connect to the ATO on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for updates on STP.
The ATO, alongside trusted financial advisers will be the greatest asset in preparing for this transition. We strongly encourage all small businesses to get up to speed with their compliance requirements and our QuickBooks team is always here to help.
And remember, the early bird gets the worm
Our research revealed that close to seven out of 10 small business owners who are using STP are finding it beneficial to their businesses, with six in 10 saying STP was proving to be a time saver. A third (34%) of early users of STP say it gives them back more than two hours per week.
This should be a huge reassurance for small business owners, almost half of whom point to concerns about cost (47 per cent) and unnecessary complexity (46 per cent) as the reasons why they worry about STP.
The benefits STP adopters can tap into also extend beyond the STP-specific efficiencies. For example, by using a cloud accounting solution like QuickBooks Online, business owners are increasing their efficiencies across a range of business tasks, including managing cash-flow, getting paid, reconciling their bank and credit accounts and filing GST and BAS.
They’re also gaining that valuable visibility into their financial position that can help them see what’s coming down the pipeline and plan ahead.
[i] YouGov Galaxy STP Study, prepared for Intuit QuickBooks in March 2019.
Sample comprises 517 Australian small businesses.
For the purposes of the study, micro businesses employ up to 4 people, and other small businesses are classified as employing between 5 20 people. Further to this, respondents were screened to ensure they use payroll.
The sample was distributed throughout Australia, including capital cities, regional and rural areas.
Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted to reflect the latest ABS business counts.