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ESS Reporter FAQ

Q1. What is ESS?


An employer who provides (the Provider) employees or their associates with benefits under an Employee Share Scheme (ESS) must provide the employees with an ESS Statement by 14 July to assist the employees with the completion of their income tax return. The Provider must also lodge an Employee Share Scheme Annual Report (ESSAR) with the ATO by 14 Aug.

Q2. How does one use ESS Reporter?


After installing the program, you start by creating a new essd file (the ESS Reporter working file). The default name is 'untitled.essd' which you can save as 'mycompany2023.essd' or any other suitable name. When creating a new essd file you can manually enter the employee data on screen of by importing from a spreadsheet (tab-delimited file).

There are 7 buttons on the Main Screen that you then step through:

  • Provider - where you add/edit/select the Provider information
  • Year - where you select a Year Ended 30 June
  • Employees - where to enter/edit/add/delete Employees and their data
  • Supplier - where you enter/edit the Supplier or sender information
  • Ref No - where to enter an optional Supplier Reference No. for this Report
  • Data Review - where you review all data (if necessary) before generating the final files
  • Generate Files - where you generate the electronic report file for lodgment and pdf statements for Employees etc
Save your essd file once you have finished. Submit your electronic lodgment file (ESSAR.E01) to the ATO, and post/email pdf statements to your employee.

Q3. How can the report be submitted to the ATO?


Using ESS Reporter, you can create the electronic lodgement report file (ESSAR.E01), and upload it using the ATO's Online Services for Business or Agents' portals.

Q4. When is the annual report due?


The ESSAR must be lodged by 14 Aug, the ESS Statements must be provide to employees by 14 July.

Q5. What is the format for the tab-delimited file for import?


The format is specific to ESS Reporter. There is an import template available on our Downloads page. More details are in the help file.

Q6. What restrictions are in the demo version?


Until registered, ESS Reporter operates in demo mode and the word 'Demo' appears on most screens. The program is fully functional except that when you generate the electronic file for the ATO or the PDF statement files, all TFNs and ABNs will display as zeroes. In Demo mode, the number of Employee in the lodgment file will be limited to 5.

Q7. If I purchase an ESS Reporter licence, can I prepare an ESS report for more than one Provider?


Yes. However you will need a Provider ABN Licence for each Provider you intend to report for. Each licence has the Payer ABN hardcoded in it.

Q8. Is there any limit on the number of Employees that we can report on?


No. There is no restriction on the number of Employee in the report. We have tested the import template to import data for 10,500 Employees. We also generated the ATO file and PDF's - takes a bit longer if you have this many Employees though.

Q9. I need to uninstall ESS Reporter before installing a new version. Will uninstalling affect my preferences, registration details or existing data?


The Downloads page on our website will always link to the latest version. ESS Reporter version numbers are in the form where the first number is the Release Version (in this case Release 1) and the fourth number is the Update number (in this case Update 4).

Uninstalling your current version will not affect preferences, registration details or existing data. The new version will be able to access your existing preferences, registration information and will also open any essd files you saved using the earlier version.

Q10. When I try to download ESSSetup.exe, I get a message saying this file may not be safe. Should I download it?


Every Browser treats executable files differently. Our file is completely safe, however the browser does not know that and so it may issue a warning message. You should first save the file to your harddrive and you can then check it with your anti-virus or anti-malware software before you run the .exe file. Some examples of messages are listed below:

  • IE - 'Security Warning - Do you want to run or save this file?' Choose Save.
  • IE - 'The publisher could not be verified' Choose Save.
  • Chrome - 'ESSSetup.exe is not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous.' Click dropdown arrow to the right of the Discard button and select Keep.
  • Opera - 'It is not known whether this file is safe. Are you sure you want to download it?' Choose Save.
  • Firefox - 'You have chosen to open xyx.exe file which is a binary file. Would you like to save this file?' Choose Save
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