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Single Touch Payroll

If you are unfamiliar with Single Touch Payroll, please visit the ATO's page here - ATO - Single Touch

Unfortunately due to the path taken by the ATO, it is not practical nor financially viable for small developers to provide an all-in-one solution for Single Touch Payroll. Also the ATO has no plans to provide a free submission service (as has been provided for SuperStream Compliance via the ATO Small Business Clearing House) nor a csv type lodgement option.

With Single Touch Payroll, the payroll data must first be formatted to the required xml format, and then the 'package' must be 'enveloped' inside the specified security and transmission protocols (ebMS3/AS4) and then transmitted. The ATO envisages there will be a number of Gateway providers who will 'envelope' the package and transmit it to the ATO. The ATO suggests small developers partner with a Gateway provider when developing their software.

One way or another there will be an ongoing 'cost' to transmit the data to the ATO - this will involve either a subscription or a 'pay as you use' service. This means a software developer like Namich cannot develop a Single Touch Payroll solution with a one-off purchase price. Given there are already a number of organisations offering to 'package' and 'envelope' and 'transmit' your payroll data, we at Namich will no longer be developing a Single Touch Payroll solution - (see Update 29 Aug 2018 below).

We suggest employers who do not want to upgrade their existing payroll software find a Gateway provider who will accept data in a csv format. See examples below - these are just suggestions and you will need to make your own enquiries about the suitability of their service as well as costs etc.

A csv upload means you update a spreadsheet (provided by the Service Provider) with your payroll data after each pay run and upload this to the Service Provider. For those who don't want to update the spreadsheet themselves, Link Strategic Services will do it all for you, simply sign up for the Premium Plan, email them a MYOB report after each pay and they will take care of the rest.

Update 29 Aug 2018 - We have been contacted by many MYOB® users who want to use a csv upload option, however struggle to get the relevant data out of MYOB® after each pay run. In response Namich is currently developing a program to automate the creation of a csv upload file, by extracting data from a MYOB® company file. The program will create the csv file which you would then lodge through a service such as that provided by Single Touch Pty Ltd - see below. If you would like to be notified when the program is available, please express your interest here.

Examples of Providers

Single Touch Pty Ltd (not associated with the ATO) states the following on their website:
'Data going to the ATO needs to be XML with ebMS3/AS4 security. Because of the security requirements, the ATO will only accept data from an ATO white listed product like Single Touch. Single Touch will provide you with a tailored .CSV for upload to where it will be converted, secured and delivered to the ATO.'

This company offers employers a csv lodgement service. Simply send them your payroll data in csv format based on a template they provide, and this company will package, envelope and transmit your payroll data to the ATO. Current cost is $0.10 per employee per payroll event. So if you have 20 employees whom you pay weekly, their service will allow you to comply with Single Touch Payroll for $2.00 per week.

Ozedi's website states:
'Ozedi will provide data transformation from other formats (CSV,Excel) to the ATO XML standard format as part of the Ozedi Connector functions if required.'

Message Xchange's website states:
'Our gateway can map your current payroll file (in whatever format) to the yet to be defined STP XBRL format. We then send it from your gateway to the ATO via ebMS 3.0 AS4. MessageXchange currently supports maps from some 150 payroll formats to SuperStream XBRL.'


It has also been indicated to us that closer to the start date, many Banks and Superfunds will also provide Single Touch Payroll services. Superfunds already have the infrastructure in place for SuperStream, and may extend this to Single Touch Payroll.

Another option worth considering is to outsource your payroll to a payroll provider who will also be responsible for compliance with Single Touch Payroll.

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