The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has called on the Government to show the cost benefit analysis to support the roll-out of Single Touch Payroll (STP), particularly with regards to the impact on small business.

“We support the objectives behind STP and the increased transparency and visibility it provides,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

 “For larger employers, the compliance costs associated with STP can be streamlined within their existing processes with minimal additional compliance costs; this is not the case for small or micro-employers.

“The IPA advocated for the government to draw a line in the sand to stop mandatory reporting for smaller employers, pending a full cost benefit analysis.

“The Government conducted a pilot program and we have been waiting for the results to prove the cost benefit analysis of introducing the program, especially in relation to how it impacts SMEs.

“The 1 July 2018 introduction of STP for employers with more than 20 employees followed by 1 July 2019 for those entities employing less than 20 employees, comes with significant ramifications for all employers.

“The digitisation of small business is a priority for their future business growth and competitiveness; that means a financial outlay which many may struggle to meet.

“We are therefore keen to see the details of incentives that the Government will provide to small business to transition to STP.

“Comments that infer that STP will reduce the regulatory burden are misguided. Small businesses already face considerable compliance issues; STP will just add to the load with mandatory pay-period based reporting.

“Many businesses not geared to make the transition will need to further engage with their trusted advisers; their accountants and bookkeepers to help meet their compliance needs,” said Mr Conway.