On July 1, 2018, the ATO requires all Australian businesses with more than 20 employees to use Single Touch Payroll. The census date is actually in April 2018. Users of MYOB Account Right Premier face an interesting problem. They are using software which doesn't really get feature updates because MYOB is encouraging subscribers to move to Account Right Live, a monthly-subscription product. This product was called Account Right Live for a few years. I will refer to it as Account Right Live.
Account Right Live doesn't support foreign currency and does not have multi-location inventory, and is unattractive for other reasons (it requires a Windows computer. It can store data in the "cloud", but it's is often too slow and larger businesses are most likely going to revert to local data, which means you basically have your old MYOB, but without foreign currency). Many businesses have stayed with legacy MYOB because they can't use Account Right Live or don't find it worth the effort of changing.
A solution which means you can stay with Account Right Premier would be attractive, but does this exist? MYOB seems to have little incentive to retrofit such advanced functionality to a product it doesn't really sell any more.
Single Touch Payroll
Single Touch Payroll is an electronic submission of PAYG and Superannuation data per employee, to be provided every time a payroll payment is made.
Put simply, the end of year summary of data per employee is being replaced with real-time submissions, in electronic format.
The ATO assumes that businesses will use compliant software, such as Xero and MYOB's 'cloud' products.
There are many businesses which still use the old MYOB, known for a long time as Account Right Premier or Account Right Enterprise, and more recently renamed to Account Right Classic.
MYOB has an information page here: https://www.myob.com/au/support/single-touch-payroll
However, if you are a user of Account Right, you are sent to a "community page" for more information about how your product will be compliant.
This forum thread starts with the comment that "We have set up a dedicated web page – Single Touch Payroll with FAQs on the topic. All relevant updates relating to your respective MYOB products will be posted on this page". The link takes you back to the same page.
It is January 2018 and it can take about three months to migrate to a new system for businesses of moderate complexity. That may sound like too long, but in the mix of exploring IT options, testing and training and running a business at the same time, it's about par. The ATO requires the assessment of whether your headcount is >= 20 to be end of April, so the ATO is also giving you three months to get ready.
MYOB Account Right Premier Status as of May 2018
MYOB says it has negotiated an extension until 2019 for customers of legacy products who can't upgrade to a newer MYOB product. That is, if you are using a Mac version of the software, or multi-currency.
Presumably, MYOB has promised the ATO there will be a migration option for such customers before then.
How to do Single Touch Payroll upload for legacy MYOB
We have been advised that John Pacey of Link Strategic Services (http://linkstrategic.com.au Ph: 0412 916 386) offers a cheap service to upload desktop Account Right MYOB data to the ATO: with a simple and standard export of a MYOB report, John will prepare a compliant file you can lodge to a provider such as http://www.singletouch.com.au.
Xero Implementation Notes for Single Touch Payroll
Xero has just updated us (late June 2018). The ATO is phasing in STP in the second half of calendar year 2018; some businesses will be required to join in in July, some later.
The invitation will appear in Xero.
The submission is year to date, so a late start doesn't matter.
The process is simple, one extra click after a payrun is processed. The initial setup requires a phone call to the ATO from an authorised representative of the business, as usual for ATO discussions.