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Accountants risk losing clients over Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll (STP) becomes law on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees.

Despite this looming deadline, the majority of employers are not ready. According to a current Accountants Daily poll only 25% of accountants' clients are ready (as at 8 March 2018), up slightly from 10% in October 2017.

The following is a recorded interview with experts from Attaché Software, the Australian Taxation Office and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, discussing the critical role of accountants in the Single Touch Payroll rollout.

This interview features John Shepherd (Australian Taxation Office), Michael Crocker (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand), Mike Rich (Attaché Software and NFP M-Institute (ANZ)) and is moderated by Barry McGee (Worthmore).


“Accountants, bookkeepers and tax agents are a really important resource to businesses,” said John Shepherd, the ATO's STP program lead, “they need to get their knowledge up to speed (on STP) so they can be a key advisor to their clients.”

If they don't, “someone else will be approaching our clients and offering services,” warned Michael Crocker, Tax Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

This is particularly concerning given this “medium (business) group probably provides a sizeable chunk of (accountants) fees,” added Mike Rich, co-founder of Attaché Software and the NFP M-Institute (ANZ).

Mr Crocker also pointed to the overseas experience in implementing similar schemes, where accountants saw the legislative changes as “an opportunity to offer a suite of employment services” such as payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, superannuation and employee share plans to their clients.

According to Mr Shepherd, “the worst thing to do would be to just ignore (STP),” emphasising that accountants need to start thinking about Single Touch Payroll and take action to get themselves and their clients STP-ready.

Attaché has developed a free STP Checklist to help advisors and employers prepare for Single Touch Payroll. Download our free STP Checklist now.