As previously reported, STP took effect on 1 July. Employers of 20 or more people are required (subject to certain deferrals) to report payroll-related tax and superannuation data via STP at the time of the relevant pay run.
If proposed legislation goes through, the scheme will be extended to employers of less than 20 people next year.
Reckon's approach has been to create a GovConnect STP application that connects all Reckon products to the ATO STP service.
It allows — at no extra cost — users to lodge directly with the ATO, review past and current submissions, and get a unified view of the exact data that goes to the ATO.
"It is important for us to support small businesses and our client base by enabling STP across all products," said Reckon's new chief executive Sam Allert.
"STP is mandatory for businesses with over 20 employees, and those with 19 or less will follow suit in 12 months. Business owners, however, may not have the capacity and time to properly understand what the new legislative measure means for them. The opportunity for increased awareness and education, coupled with the ease of availability to the most affordable compliant software, is crucial to supporting them.
"The new payroll initiative is a significant step forward in the Australian government's Digital by Default strategy and importantly, a win-win for businesses and Australian workers. For businesses, it will drive efficiency whilst reducing compliance costs. On the other hand for employees, they will be able to actively monitor and manage their tax an superannuation balances anytime."
All of Reckon's online and desktop products, including Reckon One, Reckon Accounts Hosted, Reckon Accounts 2018 and Payroll Premier 2018/19, are now STP-enabled.
Reckon thinks it is the only leading accounting software provider in Australia to provide STP support for its desktop and cloud users.
"Many customers prefer to stay on the desktop software as it is the product they know and have grown accustomed to," said Allert. "While the obvious option is to push them to upgrade to a cloud version, the reality is it's not always that straightforward for a small business entity with limited resources to migrate.
"Further to that, in areas where broadband network is unreliable, online software is also not an option. In our April survey of 1000 small business owners, 42% of respondents want more government support to improve the technology infrastructure in regional and rural areas.
"Until this has been delivered, we will continue to support businesses of varying needs and afford them with the choice to stay on desktop, until they are ready to make the transition to the cloud."