Date posted: 15/04/2019 5 min read

How to add more value in the age of STP

The shift to Single Touch Payroll is an opportunity for accountants to build deeper advisory relationships with clients.

In Brief

  • STP is an opportunity to enlighten your clients. Step one is to reach out to your clients, treat their pain points, and add value to their business.
  • No client is too small to consider when it comes to STP compliance. Build your advisory business while also deepening your relationships with your clients, new and old, through this compliance event.
  • Have a more rewarding conversation with your clients by combining compliance with strategy. Take this compliance event as an opportunity to audit your client’s business through the visibility and transparency made available through cloud accounting tools.

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As the old saying goes, it’s easier to give advice than to take it. The technological shift to Single Touch Payroll (STP) represents an opportunity for accountants serving the small business community. The new technology can help them work smarter and grow their business. But is the profession ready to take its own advice?

Intuit has been a partner to accountants for 36 years and understands that change isn’t easy. Finding time to tackle more strategic advisory work to bring in new clients and boost revenue from existing customers can be difficult. The following simple steps could help you use STP to unlock new advisory services and make the most of the opportunity that lies ahead.

Compliance talks

STP is the biggest compliance event since GST and many small businesses don’t know how it will affect them.

The first step is to discuss compliance and technology requirements with your client. This includes shifting to a cloud accounting provider or enabling an STP-compliant payroll solution for those who’ve already made the switch. They may need migration support and providing a set-up service will appeal to many clients. Make sure they know about the penalties that result from errors.

“STP is an opportunity to enlighten your clients,” says Kane Munro, founder of Accountancy Online. “It’s really an opportunity to show off your knowledge and act as a trusted adviser.”

If you need to get up to speed with the technology, get in touch with professional associations and sign up for informational webinars run by leading cloud accounting companies such as Intuit.

Before migrating data into a new cloud system, All That Counts director Lielette Calleja suggests you work with your client to review and clean their data – including super and employee information – to ensure everything is in order. Failure to do so may cause problems down the line.

“The shift to Single Touch Payroll is an opportunity for accountants to build deeper advisory relationships with small business clients.”
Kane Munro, Accountancy Online

An opportunity to connect

For many small businesses, it’s not unusual to speak with their accountant once or twice a year. With the rollout of STP on 1 July, they may be looking for support on everything from cash-flow and payroll management to STP processing and proactive tax planning.

“With these payment reports, accountants can more easily see cash-flow problems coming down the line,” Munro says.

In Calleja’s view, no business should be too small to consider as a client with the advent of STP: “Bundling STP software with a range of small business accounting services at an affordable fixed monthly rate is consistent income for us and also stands to help improve a client’s financial position.”

From STP to strategy

Quick and easy access to up-to-the-minute financial data also means more access and greater visibility for accountants. A range of new insights into your client’s business opens up more strategic planning opportunities, which is better for all concerned than reacting after the fact.

Accountants will be able to deliver value-added services and move to a value-billing model where they provide strategic advice. STP is a chance to spend time working on how you communicate the value of your advice and how investing in deeper relationships will pay for itself long term.

Think of STP as the conversation starter you’ve been waiting for, adding new spice to old relationships and sparking new ones. More than just a major compliance event, STP opens a door to opportunity. Step through it now to spend less time churning and more time earning.

For more information on Intuit’s Single Touch Payroll solution, go to https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/payroll/single-touch-payroll/ or call the team on 1800 618 521.

Strategic Tax Planning Day

Now is a critical time to get equipped with the knowledge and tools to help clients adopt Single Touch Payroll effectively, learn more about the Single Touch Payroll at our upcoming Strategic Tax Planning Day on 31 May.

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