Single Touch Payroll and the single ledger: what’s next?

When 1 July rolled around, so too did the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll, heralding a change to the way tens of thousands of Australian employers interact with the tax office in the new financial year and beyond.  

Instead of typically reporting payment once at the end of the financial year, employers will digitally report payments such as salaries, wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation information every time an employee is paid.

Once set up – a process that took Cassandra Scott, director of Brisbane-based Laurus Bookkeeping “only five minutes” – STP in Xero adds just two clicks to the existing pay-run process. “I can’t believe it’s so simple,” she said.

Elegant efficiencies as the new national standard

The digital interactivity required as part of the new ATO-mandated initiative marks another move toward the digital system of record as a must-have for small business owners, who are required to digitally register and report their finances to remain compliant.

And this, by extension, is a vote in favour of an integrated cloud-based future on a single-ledger solution.

“It’s easy. There’s no running separate reports, no downloading files,” Don Grgic, a small-business advisor at Canberra-based Business Boost Centre, said of the data flow between Xero and the ATO.  

“It’s an elegant, clean process. Press the File button, and Xero shows the status as ‘Pending’ while it awaits confirmation from the ATO.”

Building a modern practice on a single ledger

As small businesses transition toward a digital system of record, the new financial year presents an opportunity for partners to embrace the countless efficiencies offered by the single ledger.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Xero’s single ledger is the reason my business was born.” said Meryl Johnston, the founder of Bean Ninjas, which offers bookkeeping for online businesses. “I encourage every accountant or bookkeeper to seriously consider the efficiencies a single ledger can bring.”

Taking advantage of the ecosystem of apps that integrate into Xero is one such place to start, she says.

“We’ve selected a full stack of cloud technology to ensure our bookkeeping processes are as modern, automated and effective as they can be. Your stack may be different, but that’s the beauty of choice.”

Done right, the power of a modern, automated and effective system knows no bounds.

”When I used to work in auditing – using large monolithic enterprise systems – I never dreamed that I could be an Australian bookkeeper with clients overseas. Now, working in the cloud, Bean Ninjas is classified as an exporter in that 40% of our clients are outside of Australia,” she says.

“By hanging my hat on a modern platform built around the ability to collaborate on a single ledger, we can run pin-sharp processes and attract top talent and clients from all over the world.”

For the very latest on Xero and Single Touch Payroll, including the details of our rollout schedule, visit Xero’s Single Touch Payroll web page.