Single Touch Payroll Australia

All employers with 20 or more employees have had to report via single touch pay roll since 1 April 2018 so must now no longer use for payroll

Only employers with 19 of fewer employees have until 1 July 2019 to comply with STP reporting requirements but are encouraged to achieve it prior to that time. After then ALL employers will no longer be able to use for payroll on Australia.

It is a difficult judgement call to guess if will be compliant with STP by 1 July 2019 or not. I believe it requires API support and an external supplier to offer a compliant product. I suspect at this time it is probably wise for all employers to look at moving their payroll to another platform given this uncertainty.

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I am concerned about waiting until March to see if Manager will have STP available. If it doesn’t that will leave very little time to get sorted. That would be just 3 months to switch to another platform and, biggest issue of all, get our people using it correctly.

Say, this is quite interesting. Copied from the ATO website just now. I’ve been hoping they would have an alternative for people with only a few employees. Reporting weekly doesn’t bother me at all so long as I don’t have to pay a small fortune for the privilege.
"We won’t force employers with 19 or less employees to purchase payroll software if they don’t currently use it. Different STP reporting options will be available by 1 July 2019 to help smaller employers.

We have asked software developers to build low-cost STP solutions at or below $10 per month for micro employers – including simple payroll software, mobile phone apps and portals.

We have received over 20 expressions of interest (EOI) from software developers and will publish a register of the successful EOIs we have received by 30 November 2018.

Micro employers (1–4 employees) will also have a number of alternate options that are not available to employers with 20 or more employees – such as initially allowing your registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly, rather than each time you run your payroll.

@ Mary,

I really think that Manager has no option but to get compliant quickly with STP (single touch payroll) and SBR (standard business reporting). Otherwise Manager becomes a very good software, but only useful for home budgeting, or other non-reporting type businesses (e.g. shady ‘cash only’ private concerns). It would be a real shame if Manager were relegated to that scenario. I use Manager, but I use other software (Free) for STP & SBR. Can’t say on here what those are because TUT informed me it’s not kosher to mention names of other software.

Just my humble opinion. :blush:

@Harry2 What other software products do you use to extend functionality (while it does not currently support those functions)? An interim solution to STP and SBR would be appreciated however I agree native support would be preferable.

Apparently Software which extends functionality or corrects a deficit in it, is banded on this forum so the above question can not be answered with a public post here. I think private messaging of this information is allowed on this forum.

Hi Lubos

What a great time to get Single Touch Payroll up and running ASAP now that it is law for under 20 staff.

There are so many schools out there that run their P&C or P&F committee’s with no software. They all usually have a canteen lady that is paid a wage and will need a solution. The sooner you get this up and running, the quicker you could get this out to schools as a fix…

Please do not make us wait…

Is there any update to Manager providing support for Single Touch Payroll (STP). Currently running a charity with no paid staff but will be putting one on from around 1 July. If no integration or simple to use solution, then may have to ditch Manager.

The July deadline is closing in fast. Could you please update us with STP plans for Manager? Is it being worked on now? Will it be an add-on? Will it incur an extra cost on the cloud subscription?

Find out more from the Australian Tax Office here…
Cheers :slight_smile:

The link that @Harry3 posted is a list of no-cost or low-cost payroll solutions that is available on the ATO website. You could handle your payroll through that, and enter aggregated / summary values into Manager before a reporting period ends.

There is one no cost solution listed, that involves using alternative accounting software. The majority of the “low cost” solutions involve using the payroll addon of the most current full cost accounting package such as Zero, MYOB, QuickBooks, Reckon etc.

Most small businesses for which Manger in appropriate for in Australia have a few employees so need a STP solution. Unfortunately without Manger supporting STP it is difficult to justify a small business using Manger in Australia.

I hope Manager can support it in the future. I assume producing the XML message would be relatively achievable (possibly even by a shared custom theme). The ebMS3 transmission and AUSkey signing look more difficult to implement. It leverages what has been done for Australian income tax returns and there appears to be Open source AS4 messaging tools which may help however unless there is a large amount of overlap with other countries messaging requirements, it is going to be more difficult for Manger / Lubos to justify

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If the XML file can be generated, is it possible to then manually upload this somewhere? Or does the file upload have to be automated using AUSkey signing etc?

Would be happy to play around with creating the XML myself if that’s going to be enough, as a community-provided option (possibly via MTools … or a custom invoice theme).

I’m in Australia but my business does not have employees, so I haven’t looked at STP with any great detail. Have just skimmed over some of the docs and noticed that it seems quite complex.

This looks promising:

The data submission from payroll software to the ATO does not have to be delivered from within the payroll software itself, but may use third party service providers to perform key steps in the process.

Source: DSPANZ - About STP Products

The main steps that can be broken out:

  • receiving the data from payroll software, via portal or APIs (machine to machine);
  • transforming the data into the required format;
  • wrapping the message for transmission to the ATO;
  • signing the message using AUSkey; and
  • sending the message to the ATO.

The first two should be easy enough to do. Possibly the third as well.

I wonder if the last two can be manually done by a person logging into the ATO website using their web browser. I’m guessing that’s unlikely.

Hi there

I spoke to some IT people who are making their way through the entire list of ATO Providers. There is only 6 that are up and running now and the rest of the providers on the list are “No-cost and low-cost STP solutions currently in development”

Basically, I was told that development will be sorted by mid to late May 2019. Then you can work out who is really a $10 provider and who is free (if any) and how they work.

Additionally, the ATO has given a blanket extension till 30 Sep 2019 to have the reports working.
" Start reporting any time from 1 July – 30 September 2019 "

It would be great if Manager got on to the system and had its own.

C’mon Lubos, I know you can do it. This has to be easier than the Forex Events that we discussed many years ago… :slight_smile:

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“Basically, I was told that development will be sorted by mid to late May 2019. Then you can work out who is really a $10 provider and who is free (if any) and how they work.”

There’s only one who is truly free and has been for several years.

Per this forum’s policies I won’t name it but you can explore it for yourself . It’s on the ATO’s list. I’ve used it for years both as cloud and desktop.

Whichever provider’s software or api you eventually adopt, including Manager (IF it ever becomes compliant for STP) you WILL have to get a unique AUSkey to connect said software to the ATO to report STP.

Therefore, @Lubos really has the job ahead. But given his displayed capabilities so far in providing Manager as a free software, I feel it will eventually happen. I just hope it’s before too many Manager users loyalists need to abandon ship and use other options to meet the ATO deadlines for STP reporting. My 2¢

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Is there anything we can do to support a addon for STP?

I’m already working STP. It should be available by end of April.

The first implementation will support which costs 10 cents per employee per payroll period.

If you have 5 employees paid on a fortnightly basis, then the cost should be $1 per month.

There are number of STP solutions in development which might be free. I will support them when they are available. I’ve decided to support first because it’s the cheapest solution and available now.


Except they have a minimum cost of $5 per month also plus $9.50 per month if paid by EFT rather than direct debit and plus $1 for any data download from any other source (eg ATO, myGov). So absolute minimum $60 pa plus GST (advertised fees are exclusive of GST).

Thanks for addressing this requirement, as otherwise the value of Manger would be greatly reduced.

Thanks for your commitment to this Lubos.

I am currently using a completely free STP software in addition to processing payroll in Manager. It would be much appreciated if Manager were able to communicate STP information to this software at some point in the future.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks. That’s disappointing. Anyway, the first step is for Manager to be able to generate data suitable for submission. That’s immutable requirement. Once that is done, I will look again at options.

There are plenty in development as per

This one appears to be free for up to 4 employees:

Another one free for up to 2 employees:

I did wonder if Holodeck Open source AS4 messaging would be suitable for complying with a variety of countries reporting requirement. I believe it would addresses the Australian communication requirements, I’m less sure of the emerging European requirements.

You are correct getting Manager to easily generate XML reports is a common feature of all the new electronic reporting requirements, so an essential first step.