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Xero’s new Payroll Only plan helps Australia’s smallest employers embrace online payroll and STP

Posted 4 years ago in Advisors by Matthew Prouse
Posted by Matthew Prouse

From 1 July this year, Single Touch Payroll (STP) will apply to all employers in Australia. First announced in 2015, STP is an Australian Tax Office reporting regime that requires employers to report salaries and wages, PAYG withholding tax, and superannuation to the ATO each time they pay their employees.

According to the ATO, more than 400,000 small employers with up to four employees will need to adopt an STP solution before the end of September 2019. Many don’t currently use any software to manage their payroll.

Today, following months of development by our teams in Canberra, Wellington and San Francisco, we’re excited to launch our new Payroll Only plan.

Who is the new Payroll Only plan for?

Xero’s Payroll Only plan is designed for small businesses that employ one to four people in Australia, and their advisors. It is ideal for those who do not feel ready to adopt a comprehensive online accounting software but want to embrace online payroll to comply with STP.

What does Payroll Only include?

Payroll Only offers complete payroll for up to four employees, including timesheets and leave requests.

It means a small business employer or their trusted advisor can report Single Touch Payroll information to the ATO quickly and easily – adding less than two minutes to the usual online payroll process. And it’s just $10 a month.

Additional features that help businesses become more digitally connected – such as API support, invoices and bills, automatic super, and automatic import of bank statements – are available by upgrading to the Starter, Standard or Premium pricing plans.

If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant

Payroll Only keeps the consistent look and feel of Xero Payroll so you can onboard and support small business customers with minimal difficulty and no internal retraining.

We expect a partner-only payroll plan, which will include additional bank reconciliation features, to be available before the end of June 2019.

If you employ one to four people

If you’re an employer who needs to make the change to STP, there’s no need to worry. “There’s plenty of support out there, and you won’t be alone,” advises John Shepherd, the ATO’s Assistant Commissioner for the Single Touch Payroll Program.

“This is a big change, yes. But the software developers have done a really good job of building tools to meet the STP reporting requirements into their product so it’s really easy to do.”

Angela Simmons, Manager of Renew Australia, has already embraced online accounting for her small business. “As a team of four, we’re always looking for anything that helps reduce our hours and resources,” she says. “Xero has been a huge help for us.”

Find out more about our new Payroll Only plan, available for small business owners, bookkeepers and accountants today.


April 10, 2019 at 4.02 pm

So this is strictly for 1 to 4 Employees? We have some “very” manual clients with greater than 4 employees. Xero has no options for them a[art from the full xero subscription?

Erin Smith in reply to Chris
April 10, 2019 at 5.08 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for getting in touch. That’s correct. Payroll Only is designed to support ‘micro employers’ – defined by the ATO as businesses with one to four employees – who aren’t quite ready to adopt a full accounting-software package. For larger clients, we offer a range of full-service plans that offer Payroll and Single Touch Payroll alongside our core product features, which we think best supports businesses of this size. If you’d like resources that help you speak to these benefits, check out https://www.xero.com/au/resources/single-touch-payroll/partners/

Kellie Smith
April 10, 2019 at 10.09 pm

Yay! It includes Auto Super!! We were told at Roadshow that it wouldn’t.

Erin Smith in reply to Kellie Smith
April 11, 2019 at 11.34 am

Hi Kellie, thanks for getting in touch. Just to confirm that auto super is not included within the Payroll Only plan. Additional features such as auto super, API support, invoices and bills and automatic import of bank statements are available by upgrading to the Starter, Standard or Premium pricing plans.

Kristen Gidley
February 8, 2020 at 8.44 pm

Can you pay to more than one superfund with payroll only? Ie can each of the 4 employees have a different superfund?

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