Business developments are vitally important but they are critical. Such technologies can provide some business owners process simplifications and others with perhaps complications. Single Touch Payroll (STP) has been in operation for more than half a year now and we need to determine its effect on Australia’s small businesses.
We all know that STP is a requirement for Australian companies with a workforce of 20 or more. This provision requires using the reporting system on-line. Such workers are those with a full-time, part-time, casual, foreign, absent and seasonal job status. This online reporting scheme has also been extended to those businesses with 19 employees and below.
Single Touch Payroll reporting alters the way employers report details to the ATO about employee payments. With these changes, the full digital transformation of payroll reporting to ATO, many are still confused about it, especially the microbusiness owners.
Let’s Talk About Change
Many people say that the comfort zone is a very nice place but nobody grows there. In business, many failed due to lack of innovation. They have been “okay” with what they do and offer since it is affordable or they find it easy since they’re used to it.
Let us list down the positive and the negative impact of STP to small business in Australia.
The Good Impact
- Manual-no-more, It’s Automation!
The modern payroll reporting method may be costly in terms of money and time but in the long run, it provides the company with automation. Gone are the days in which payroll records are handed out manually. Change is difficult but this change will bring convenience to the company, which will slowly give micro-business owners more time for other business errands, particularly after business hours. Just imagine shifting from spreadsheets, ATO paper tax tables and paperwork shoe boxes to automated process payroll processing.
- Accuracy. Penalty-free for Errors in STP!
Extra tasks performed manually are prone to errors and inaccuracy which also contribute to more time in correcting those errors. With the latest way of recording payroll, it can be achieved in a snap with precision. For STP, you’re not penalized for one year when you make errors! In this matter, ATO also sets the learning curve.
- Less Stress, More Productive Moments
With time and experience, small and medium-sized company owners should be able to feel how this modern payroll reporting will provide stress-free activities because it requires just a few minutes of their time without the mental agony of manual payroll reporting effort.
- Domino Effect
STP needs direct updates of payroll data in real-time, thereby allowing the economy of the country to standstill. This combined impact would also provide small business owners with greater opportunities.
ATO published options for low-cost or even no-cost STPs, thus bringing good news to every business owner.
STP’s positive effect on microenterprise owners runs across a loop. One advantage leads to another. It might be difficult at the starting lane but it will definitely end smoothly and stress-free.
The “Not So Good” Impact
- Additional Expense, Additional Burden
Further expenses are ahead of the latest technologies and applications that had to be included with this latest payroll reporting. Why not incorporate this program into the website of the ATO so that small business owners can make payroll reports directly on their own website, rather than purchasing software and other required materials?
- Time-consuming, Business Drowning
Small business owners consume most of their time running their business on Ad Hoc tasks such as payroll reporting. With the new online system such as STP, extra time is needed to learn more about the software including its periodic updates. For a small business owner, time is very essential to earn more. The real-time payroll reporting also needs additional time for this to be accomplished.
- No Connection, Non-Compliance?
Just imagine how many business owners run their businesses in rural areas where internet connection is still a problem, how are they able to comply with the new legislation if their business is not internet-ready? This gives them more pain points in running the business.
For a small business owner, every second counts, every penny matters. A better option could have been provided so that many of our micro-business owners can still run their business without so much stress to deal with since they are also contributors to the country’s economy.
The Final Say
Again, for businesses to stay up and running, innovations of products, management and even processes are necessary. Through time, the world’s needs change so we must change. Change is difficult but sooner or later, it will provide better results than we expected.
Many small business owners in Australia had accepted this change. Just like any other innovations, they have provided more good than bad. Perhaps we can change our mindset, though it is really difficult for some, that whenever there is a change let’s always look at the brighter side.