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Home >> Frequently Asked Questions >> How Do I Create a Machine Credential?

How Do I Create a Machine Credential?


Machine credentials are what allow your payroll data to be securely sent and verified by the ATO when using Single Touch Payroll. The following FAQ will guide you through the steps to download a machine credential for your business. There is nothing you need to do in Lightning Payroll to link your machine credential, it is automatic so long as you complete the steps below.

If you get stuck, please contact the ATO's Technical Helpdesk on 1300 139 373 between 7.00am and midnight, Monday to Friday. If the ATO representative advises that you need to get an SSID, ABN or Software ID from us, this is not correct. You simply need a Machine Credential. Please see here if you are told this.

Also, we have been informed that if your business is a trust you will likely need to contact the ATO hotline above to have them manually link you to your ABN, or else it will not be available in RAM.

Note: This guide requires you to use Google Chrome web browser. If you don't have Google Chrome installed on your computer, you can visit the Google Chrome page here to download it.

What Do I Need To Do?

A) Install Both Required Software

  1. Download the myGovID app to your smart device and set up your myGovID using your identity documents.
    • Available on the App Store for Apple, or on Google Play for Android.
  2. On your Lightning Payroll computer, open Google Chrome and click the link here to visit the Chrome Webstore page. You will need to add the ATOBE extension to Chrome before continuing.

B) Create and Download Your Machine Credential

Once you have installed the required software, you can create your machine credential. These new credential files last for two years, so this process might seem painful, but it is not going to be a frequent exercise. For detailed instructions on creating a machine credential (including pictures), see here.

The usual process is to:

  1. Open your myGovID app on your smart device, then login to RAM using the same Chrome or Firefox web browser that the ATOBE extension was installed onto.
  2. Click View or manage authorisations, machine credentials and cloud software notification.
  3. Click on your business/company name (not on 'View').
    • If the business is not visible you need to click Link your business on the main RAM entry page, then follow the prompts. Only the ABN's principal authority can claim the ABN. Update your ABN details with the Australian Business Register if your ABN is not linkable in the RAM website.
    • If the business is visible, but unclickable, then you do not have correct administrative privileges and will need to contact your principle authority or the ATO for assistance.
  4. Click Manage Credentials at the top of the page.
    • If this option is not visible you are not a machine credential administrator and need to contact your principle authority or the ATO for assistance.
  5. Click Create Machine Credential and follow the prompts. Please take note of the following tips:
    • If you get a Software Required error, the browser extension software is not being detected. We have an FAQ on this.
    • When creating your machine credential, do not change the keystore path as Lightning uses this to automatically detect the new keystore file.
    • Create and remember a new keystore password as this will be required to submit through Lightning Payroll. This password cannot be reset.
    • The credential name is up to you and usually is a word which represents the PC you use Lightning Payroll on (E.g. Reception, admin, office, etc.). It cannot contain spaces or special characters.
    • Agree to the terms and click Download at the bottom of the page.
    • Lightning Payroll will then automatically detect your new keystore. You will be able to select it and enter the new password (the previously saved password will need to be overwritten) when you next submit STP through the program.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for any additional ABNs you process STP for on this computer.

C) Test Your New Credential

To test your new credential has been installed correctly, go into the Pays screen within Lightning Payroll and click Single Touch >> Submit Payroll to the ATO. On the preview/submission screen (seen after you click Next) you should see the new credential in the dropdown with a new expiry date of at least 2022. 

If you have followed all of the step above but you can still only see the expired AUSkey credential, you might be running an old version of Lightning Payroll. Please see our FAQ here for help updating.

Created: 2019-11-20 09:15:55

Last Edited: 2021-07-05 08:42:37

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