Australia Taxation Office

Your Easy Single Touch Payroll Just Got Better
Your Easy Single Touch Payroll Just Got Better 810 356 SpinifexIT

You asked, we delivered!

Many of our new and existing customers have started using Easy STP, our powerful reporting and reconciliation solution for the Australian Single Touch Payroll requirement which went live last October, to streamline their own single touch payroll reporting process.

We’re now in the process of releasing an improved and updated version of Easy STP which includes new features and functionalities based on our customers’ initial feedback and suggestions. This new version includes several new reports, small changes to existing reconciliation reports, and two of the most top requested features which I’d be glad to share with you on the update below.

Easy Single Touch Payroll February 2019 updates

Pre-reconcile Your Single Touch Payroll Using Test Run Results

The Challenge: One of the challenges that we have seen with customers reconciling their Single Touch Payroll solution has been related to the timing of this reconciliation.

The recommended approach from SAP is to produce the STP Submit Event file afterexiting Payroll. This essentially means that until you exit Payroll, there is no physical data held inside of SAP to reconcile back to the Payroll Results tables.

The workaround would be to either set the STP functionality to be able to run prior to exiting pay (Not recommended by SAP), or to run the STP reports in Test mode, then download the results into a local excel file for reconciliation. The option of downloading to a local file would mean a much more complex process to run pre-reconciliation.

We have had many customers ask about how they can follow SAP’s recommended approach but still reconcile their STP prior to exiting payroll. This would give the opportunity to fix any major concerns before even running Bank Files or Finance Postings.

Our Solution: The good news is that SpinifexIT has been able to address this business process by building into our Easy STP solution the ability to include the Test Run results into the reconciliation reports.


Enter Easy STP’s Test Run Mode

Essentially, this means that as soon as you have run the Payroll Run and have Payroll Results, you can now use our existing reports to reconcile to the Single Touch Payroll Test run values.

With this new feature, Easy STP will be able to simplify your Single Touch Payroll reconciliation process by triggering a call to the SAP program to calculate the STP figures and reconcile their values. This new process eliminates the cumbersome (and often error-prone) process of downloading STP reports in Test Mode and then addressing issues before exiting payroll.

Bonus Functionality – Reporting on the STP Submit Event Logs

Another improvement we’re adding into Easy STP is the ability to report on the logs produced when normally running the SAP Single Touch Payroll – Generate Reporting Data transaction. This gives you better options to report and distribute these details out to your internal teams for faster resolution.

View Log reports in Easy Single Touch Payroll
View Log reports in Easy Single Touch Payroll

For more information on the Easy STP Solution, please check out the resources below:

  1. Meet Easy STP – Watch our Webinar and see SpinifexIT’s Single Touch Payroll solution in action. If you have any questions about this session or if you’d like to request a separate demonstration for you and your team, email us at [email protected].
  2. Single Touch Payroll is Nearly Here for SAP Payroll – a handy blog post that summarizes the Single Touch Payroll Process and how SpinifexIT’s Easy STP solution can help optimize this
  3. Are You Ready For SAP’s STP Deployment – What are the required steps that you need to take to prepare for the STP roll out? Read the blog to learn more
  4. Reconciling Single Touch Payroll – Published 1 day before SAP’s STP roll out. I’m sharing some considerations during Go Live and how our Easy STP solution fits in the process.

Visit our booth at Mastering SAP HR & Payroll in Sydney on March 19 – 20, 2019

We will be sharing information about our booth number so you can easily find us, but for now, we’re inviting you to #ComeSeeSpinifexIT next month. We’d be very excited to show you our Easy STP solution in action during the exhibit.

SpinifexIT webinar meet Easy STP
Webinar: Meet Easy STP – A Single Touch Payroll solution by SpinifexIT | December 14, 2018
Webinar: Meet Easy STP – A Single Touch Payroll solution by SpinifexIT | December 14, 2018 1024 512 SpinifexIT

We’re inviting you to join our FREE webinar about our newest solution for Australian Payroll Reconciliation and Single Touch Payroll, Easy STP. The webinar will go live this Friday, December 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM AEDT. Our SpinifexIT Consulting Team Member Tony Vitelli will discuss the following topics in this 20-minute session:

    • What is the STP process and how Easy STP can add some value
    • What is Easy STP and how it can help expedite your full payroll process
    • How Easy STP can help you stay compliant with the ATO
    • What kind of documents can you produce with Easy STP
  • See Easy STP in action (live demo)

Please click here to register and reserve a slot.

If you cannot make it to the webinar due to schedule conflicts,  you can still register to receive a copy of the session within 48 hours. The session will also be posted on our Customer Care Portal under the Easy STP section in Zendesk.

If you have any additional questions before or during the webinar, please send us your inquiries at [email protected].

SpinifexIT Australia Team

[email protected]

Spinifexit blog reconciling single touch payroll
Reconciling Single Touch Payroll
Reconciling Single Touch Payroll 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Reconciliation Considerations

Over the last 15 years, one of my key roles included working with customers in relationship to the Payment Summary process, and in particular, the reconciliation and additional reporting of their Payment Summary data. Just about every SAP customer has had a process to validate the Payment Summary figures. Most of them do this at year end but a large portion of our customers also reconcile on a per pay period basis.

With Single Touch Payroll, you may ask the question of whether there is still a need for Reconciliation, and how you should do this.

The short answer is Yes, there is still the need for Reconciliation to be done.

As the STP solution is still based on Wagetype Configuration and Employee Data (Very similar to Payment Summaries) and given that there is now the need for Transmission to the ATO on a weekly basis, there is still the need for Reconciliation.

To understand this need, the following declaration is part of the new STP process, and as you can see, there is the need to declare that the data is correct prior to transmitting this through to the ATO. 


Most customers I have worked with over the years would be reluctant to just sign off the transmission file without any sort of validation. 

A simple example of what could go wrong is that if a wagetype is not flagged for STP, then it will not be reported to the ATO. Without some form of Reconciliation this can go unnoticed.

The following will give you some areas of reconciliation that we believe will be required:

I Go Live

Initially, during Go Live, there is the need to validate the STP Process. This is not only to check that the support packs have been loaded correctly, it also finds out if your configuration is completely setup and if this process works with your own employee data. 

Some of the areas that you would want to have validation checks are as follows:

  • Verify the STP Mid Year Go Live conversion of the existing Payroll Results over to the new Clusters
  • Validate that the Payroll Run is calculating and updating the STP Cluster tables correctly
  • Check that the STP Reporting process that takes the payroll cluster information (From the new ACRT, SETP and SABN tables) and creates the data for transmission to the ATO

The best approach I can suggest is to ensure that your Payment Summary Reconciliation is up to date so you can compare the original Payment Summary values to the STP values (in the STP tables). NOTE: This is not a 1 to 1 mapping, but should give you an indication that the STP configuration and calculations are correct.

II Normal Pay Runs

Once you have gone live, you would want to have a process to check your STP figures back to what the employee has been paid. Keep in mind that even if everything balances at Go Live, during the normal year, there can be new configuration put into your system, new wagetypes used during payroll, and new scenarios too. (eg. You may have a retrospective pay over the last 2 years that might not report correctly)

Much like Payment Summaries, when customers need to print the final year statements, there is the need to verify the figures in the STP file. It is so easy to miss a wagetype, have a wagetype that is configured to be included in the wrong STP catagory or not flagged for inclusion in STP reporting.

In order to reconcile, most customers have a process where they want to validate the Payments made to the Employee at leave match to what is reported during the STP processing.

Some examples of the reconciliation process include:

Verifying the STP Figures

  • Identifying wagetypes that are paid to the employee (running wagetype reporter is a common process to get these)
  • Mapping these to the STP payments calculated – You might download the STP report data to an excel file
  • Including STP Override values

This is quite a manual process however, as there is the need to keep registers of what wagetypes have been paid to the employee, and build up an extensive Excel Spreadsheet or create other processes.

Either way you reconcile, it is important to have a method to verify your STP figures and of course, the simpler you can make it, the less overhead to you on a per pay period process.

The following items are some things I would recommend when looking to create a reconciliation process.

  1. Think about the aim here and ensure you are following a smart repeatable process
  2. Keep in mind that you need to do this for every pay period so try to make it an easy process
  3. Consider all of your payroll areas and their various frequencies
  4. Remember, employees might transfer payroll areas so make sure your process will cater for this
  5. If you have multiple ABN’s then ensure your process considers this
  6. Ensure that you include terminated employees
  7. Decide on whether you will include the ability to override figures and include this in your process

This is an area that SpinifexIT has worked in for many years, and as part of the new STP solution, we have altered our Easy Payment Summary Reconciliation Solution to also cater for STP.


Meet Easy STP

Some of the areas our Easy STP solution supports include:

  • Configuration Validation – Check the STP Wagetype Configuration and Report ABN Configuration
  • Pre Checking of Master Data – Checks against the employee to ensure data is correct prior to creating STP file
  • Reconciliation Reports – Reconciliation reports for go live (Checking of the STP conversion) and also ongoing Pay by Pay Reconciliation Reports
  • Reporting on STP – Further reports are delivered to report the STP and help reconcile across the entire company
  • Analysis of STP values – Reporting at Employee level with drill down into how the STP values are calculated and from where (Includes overrides)

Existing Easy Payment Summaries customers will receive our Easy STP solution as part of the normal upgrade of our solutions.

Summary

SAP’s STP solution will be released on the 11th October 2018. Now is the time for you to start to plan for your solution’s upgrade and implementation Whilst as a SAP customer, you do have a deferral until May of 2019, we would not recommend waiting too long as there will be quite a lot of work to do.

As part of this preparation, we recommend that you discuss with SAP the option to use their SAP Cloud Platform Integration and also ensure that you involve your technical teams in regards to the SAP HR Support pack upgrade.

For many customers, this also is a large project as upgrading the HR Support packs can take in much new functionality on top of the STP solution, so testing can be quite extensive to ensure that there is no impact on your production payroll.

I will continue to create blogs such as this during the next 6 months. Please visit our STP page on the SpinifexIT website to keep updated with any relevant information.