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QuickBooks Isn’t SuperStream Compliant, But It Doesn’t Matter!

How QuickBooks Palms Off Payroll

quickbooks superstream compliant
Quickbooks is gaining traction in the Australian marketplace.

I’m a fan of QuickBooks as the functionality is excellent and the cost of the software is still low. I’m really pleased to announce that you can now enrol in our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course — but does QuickBooks fulfil Australian legal obligations to be SuperStream compliant?

The background is that from July 1 this year, all Australian businesses with fewer than 20 employees were required, by law, to be SuperStream compliant. SuperStream is a government initiative to improve the efficiency of Australia’s superannuation system, namely by making superannuation a totally electronic process.

Most cloud-accounting packages that have been developed for the Australian market (such as major applications, like MYOB, Xero, Reckon and so forth, but not smaller apps like Zoho or QuickBooks, which can be used in Australia but don’t interface well with Australian tax procedures) are now all SuperStream compliant, with one exception: QuickBooks.

KeyPay: The Payroll Partner of QuickBooks

Earlier this year, a student contacted us to say that QuickBooks wasn’t listed as being SuperStream compliant on the ATO website. We thought that was strange, because we’d previously spoken to Margaret Carey of Business Eez, who’d confirmed that QuickBooks, along with all the other major cloud-accounting apps, was SuperStream compliant.

So just what’s going on?

As it turned out, QuickBooks itself isn’t listed as being SuperStream compliant because it doesn’t, technically, provide any payroll services. It’s partner, KeyPay, does. KeyPay is owned by an entity called Webscale, and Webscale is SuperStream compliant. It uses ClickSuper as their superannuation clearing house. In other words, although QuickBooks itself isn’t SuperStream compliant, it doesn’t matter because they’re partnered with a payroll company that is SuperStream compliant.

You Can Be SuperStream Compliant for Free

If you’re not using a cloud accounting application that’s SuperStream compliant because you’re using Freshbooks or Zoho, for example, or because you’re not using any account software at all (although, in this case, you need to stop being silly and implement an electronic procedure for managing your accounts now), there are still other, free options to ensure you’re SuperStream compliant.

The ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is free for businesses with fewer than 20 employees and an aggregated annual revenue of under $2 million. You can register your business details with the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House and use it to make super contributions to your employees.

Alternatively, the superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has its own clearing house, which is free to use for its members (i.e. as a registered employer using AustralianSuper as your default super fund). AustralianSuper’s clearing house, called QuickSuper, allows members to make electronic super payments regardless of the number of employees or whether the employee belongs to another super fund.

Need a Good Local Bookkeeper to Help Manage Your Financials?

National Bookkeeping Online DirectoryWhether you are a bookkeeper keen to expand your client base or perhaps work remotely, or whether you’re a business person needing some vital bookkeeping advice and assistance, check out our newly updated, online National Bookkeeping Directory. Our goal? To match experienced and highly qualified local bookkeepers to local businesses around Australia.

But of course, with cloud accounting technologies, you are not limited to only working locally. Plenty of our bookkeepers and accountants work remotely for clients located all over the country.

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Want to know still more about SuperStream? You can read lots more about SuperStream on our blog.

 

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Intuit Quickbooks is NOT listed as SuperStream Compliant

Quickbooks is not on the ATO Certified Product Register for Payroll Software that’s Superstream compliant

Intuit Quickbooks offers a free Windows app twice as fast - did MYOB make the right choiceWe had a call just last week about our forthcoming Intuit Quickbooks course from someone who wants to use it for their payroll and to manage payroll compliance. This student mentioned that they had been to the official ATO website and couldn’t find Quickbooks on there anywhere! We delved a little deeper and confirmed that Intuit, nor Quickbooks appeared anywhere on the Superstream Certified Product Register. The much smaller SAASU was there and so was Intuit’s old Australian distributor, Reckon, but there was no sign of Intuit and here’s why – they partner with KeyPay who provides all payroll related capabilities of Quickbook – currently for no extra money.

But it took even more effort to find Keypay because the Australian company who makes Quickbooks preferred Payroll software is called something different again – they’re called Webscale Pty Ltd!

Free Intuit Quickbooks Course Workbook for everyone who Pre-registered (no charge)

If you’re thinking of switching to Intuit Quickbooks in the cloud I hope this helps make a better informed decision. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the Intuit Quickbooks training course we are about to launch make sure you visit our QuickBooks Course page and pre-register.

Check out the ATO Certified Product Register and while you’re at it check out Intuit’s statement on their compliance for SuperStream and another on their partnership with ClickSuper.

[button link=”http://ezylearnonline.com.au/cloud-accounting/quickbooks-training-course/” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] Register for Free Quickbooks Training Course Workbook[/button]

 

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If you have fewer than 19 staff you must be SuperStream Ready by June 30

Companies with over 20 employees should ALREADY be compliant

ATO SuperStream for myob and xero accounting software training coursesIn July last year, EzyLearn published a couple of posts about SuperStream, the government initiative to improve the efficiency of Australia’s superannuation system, which all businesses with 19 or fewer employees must be compliant with by June 30 this year. As we’ve now reaching June 30, it’s important to ensure that you’re fully compliant with SuperStream, the government’s electronic system for sending superannuation payments to your employees’ super funds.

If you’re already using a payroll system to pay super and send your employee information, then you may only need to alter your system slightly to ensure you’re compliant. If you don’t currently send super and employee information electronically, then you’ll need to implement a system for doing so – and as soon as possible.

Get compliant by using a SuperStream certified payroll system

If you currently use one of the major cloud accounting programs, such as MYOB AccountRight or Xero, they’re already SuperStream compliant – both have been gold certified, meaning they conform to all of the testing requirements for all data and messaging for SuperStream. As long as all of your employee information is current and accurate, then you’re already SuperStream compliant. It’s now just a click of a button in your accounting software to create the super fund report, which, along with the money, is sent through to each super fund.

If you’re not using a SuperStream compliant payroll system

If you don’t use MYOB AccountRight or Xero or another SuperStream compliant accounting package – or the version of MYOB you’re using isn’t up-to-date – then you can use the government’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, which is free for businesses with 19 or fewer employees and an aggregated turnover below $2 million per annum.

This will involve a few extra steps in the payroll process, and also involve some double handling of certain information, but it’s still an incredibly simple process to follow to ensure you’re sending your employees’ super contributions electronically.

If you currently use a bookkeeper, however, the double handling of information may make it less cost effective to use the government’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, as opposed to upgrading your accounting software to a compliant system, like Xero or MYOB AccountRight.

Check out this great video that explains from the horses mouth how SuperStream works and give you a checklist of things to do to see if you are compliant.


To find out if your current payroll system is SuperStream compliant, visit the ATO website, or ask your bookkeeper or accountant.

For training in SuperStream compliant payroll systems

If you decide to upgrade or adopt a SuperStream compliant one, and you’d like training in how to use it correctly, EzyLearn offers both MYOB training courses (which includes payroll) and Xero training courses, delivered completely online. Otherwise, for more small business news, tips and insights subscribe to our blog.

Good local bookkeepers

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseAs bookkeeping tasks become more complicated and require more compliance you may find it better to use the services of an experienced bookkeeper who provides their services on a contract basis when you need them. If you want to find a local bookkeeper be sure to check out great bookkeepers at our bookkeeping directory National Bookkeeping. If you are a great bookkeeper and want to get more exposure and join a collaborative marketing team feel free to Pre Qualify and tell us about yourself.

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SuperStream is good news for small businesses (and bookkeepers!)

What is SuperStream?

I recently wrote about SuperStream, the government reform introduced last year to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system, and which provides businesses with a set of standards to ensure super contributions are paid in a timely and consistent manner.

For small businesses, operating with nineteen or fewer employees, the ATO is encouraging them to take steps to become compliant with the new SuperStream measures, before the June 30 deadline in 2016, giving them twelve months to ensure compliance.

We’d heard grumbles from a few small business owners and bookkeepers who felt that SuperStream sounded like just another scheme they needed to become compliant with, which would ultimately end up creating more work for them, so we decided to speak to an expert to find out.

Why is SuperStream Good?

Xero and MYOB cloud accounting training coursesMargaret Carey is a registered BAS agent, accounting software and cloud specialist, and owner of the accounting software consultancy firm Business EEz. She’s contributed to our blog in the past regarding She agreed to answer a couple of our questions about SuperStream and what it means for small businesses and bookkeepers alike.

EzyLearn: How does SuperStream change the way small businesses make super contributions for their employees?

Margaret Carey: There are two sides to making a superannuation payment, from the perspective of the employer; firstly, they have to tell the super fund which person they’re paying the money for and the period they’re paying it for, and they have to give that information to the super fund every single time for each of their employees. The second part of the process is actually transferring the money to the super fund. What SuperStream does is it streamlines that entire procedure into a one-step process – so the information has to be provided electronically and the payments paid that way too. SuperStream cuts down the time delay, it cuts down the potential for error, and it ensures the money arrives in the employee’s super fund much more promptly, as well as being fully traceable.

EL: So with SuperStream you can virtually go in and input all of the employee information and also make the payment at the exact same time, like shopping for something online, almost?

MC: Yeah it is, but this is where accounting software really helps people because it takes care of all that for you. All of the small business account software packages are now SuperStream compliant. Just as an example, with Xero, when you set your employees up in the system, you also put in their super fund details, and then when you do your payroll, there’s just a button that you push to create the super fund report, which goes straight off to the super fund and the money goes straight out of your bank account to the super fund; it’s just so straightforward, so much easier than anything else.

EL: Wow, so really SuperStream has made the super process much, much easier?

MC: It has. It really was an administrative nightmare. But I think a lot of people don’t appreciate [SuperStream] and they think, ‘Oh god, another thing I’ve got to comply with,’ but it makes their life so much easier, so I think lots of people are unnecessarily worried about it when, in fact, it makes life easier and automates things a lot more. A lot of people, anyway, without realising are already SuperStream compliant; it’s just now that they’re being told they absolutely have to be, but I think it’s a really good initiative.

EL: So the Australian Government has also set up a Superannuation Clearing House for small businesses, how does that work – do you still use your accounting software? How does that fit into the SuperStream picture?

MC: If someone is using an up-to-date accounting software – and all accounting software has to be compliant now – then they’re probably better off just doing it through their accounting software. Each accounting package has a clearing house linked into it – Xero, for instance, uses ClickSuper – so there’s no need to use Australian Government’s clearing house. But I’ve got other clients who aren’t up-to-date with their accounting software subscriptions or they’ve got old versions of MYOB and they haven’t got the SuperStream compliance function there, so they use the clearing house. But you would only use that now, in my mind, if you were not using any payroll accounting software. Mostly, I think people would or should be looking to use their accounting software because you haven’t got to do anything extra – it’s all there; press two buttons and it’s done.

EL: What else can you tell me about SuperStream that businesses or bookkeepers should be aware of that we haven’t already discussed?

MC: There is just one slight difficulty with self-managed super funds. Because you have to send everything electronically, self-managed super funds have to have some sort of messaging service. So let’s say I have a self-managed super fund and I’m an employee, then I would give my employer all my super fund details and I would have to get a messaging service so that they could put that into their records so a message would get sent to my self-managed super fund each time they make a contribution, so that’s a bit of an overhead for people with self-managed funds. But other than that, I support it. It’s a really great initiative.

We concur and recommend the main accounting software providers

SuperStream is a great initiative that helps streamline the superannuation process for business owners and bookkeepers, providing, of course, that you have a current subscription to an accounting package that has Australian operations, such as Xero, Reckon, MYOB, Quickbooks, and Saasu. Any overseas-only based accounting packages, like Zoho, won’t be compliant with SuperStream, just as they can’t cater for BAS either, so for businesses that need an accounting package with payroll capabilities, it’s best to shop local.

To ensure you’re SuperStream compliant, you need to set up the payroll component of your accounting software. Our MYOB and Xero training courses both cover payroll, which includes how to set up an employee and their super details. Visit our website for more information or enrol in a training course today.

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What is SuperStream?

Does SuperStream streamline superannuation payments?

SuperStream Superannuation Start Dates for small businesses with under 19 employees and contractorsIf you’re a small business with nineteen or fewer employees, then come July 1 this year you’ll need to begin making superannuation contributions for your staff using SuperStream, the government reform introduced last year to improve the efficiency of Australia’s superannuation system.

The purpose of SuperStream is to ensure employer contributions are paid in a consistent and timely manner, while also setting a common standard for how super contributions should be managed, which had previously been lacking from legislation relating to superannuation contributions. Medium-large businesses with more than twenty employees have been able to use SuperStream since July 1 last year and have until June 30 this year to become compliant. From July 1 this year, small businesses with nineteen or fewer employees will until June 30 2016 to meet the SuperStream requirements for their business.

What’s the benefit to employers?

Prior to the reforms, there was no standard for making super contributions. This meant that employers could choose to make superannuation contributions as frequently or infrequently as they liked, providing they made them at some point over a the course of an employee’s employment with them. SuperStream now makes regular contributions mandatory and easy to comply with. Other benefits to employers include:

  • The opportunity to use a single channel when dealing with super funds, regardless of how many funds your employees contribute to
  • Reducing the time spent dealing with employee data issues and fund queries
  • Offering greater automation and reduced cost of processing contributions and payments
  • More timely flow of information and money in meeting your superannuation obligations.

What measures will businesses need to adopt to use SuperStream?

Businesses can use software that conforms to SuperStream requirements – MYOB released a software update for most of its products, which is SuperStream compliant, for instance – or a provider who can meet the SuperStream requirements on their behalf. The ATO recommends investigating the following options:

  • Upgrading payroll software
  • Using an outsourced payroll function or service provider
  • Using a commercial clearing house or the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (for businesses with fewer than twenty employees).

We haven’t made any updates in our MYOB Training Payroll Course for this, but we’re keeping a watchful eye.

What if your business mainly uses contractors?

If you employ contractors to work for you, either on a one-off or ongoing basis, you will still need to make super contributions on their behalf, which means you’ll also need to make sure you’re compliant with the SuperStream requirements. You’ll need to make superannuation contributions to a contractor if they have a contract with your business where:

  • The contract is wholly for labour and skills
  • They perform the work personally
  • They are paid for the number of hours worked

In this case, they’re considered an employee for the purposes of the superannuation guarantee, so you’ll need to ensure you’re also compliant with SuperStream, even if that contractor has an ABN and invoices you.

You won’t have to pay the superannuation guarantee for a contractor if the person is hired to complete a specific task for which they are paid to complete only, and they are responsible for fixing any defects to the work.

If you hire contractors to provide mainly labour services on a regular basis, where they are paid for the time they spend working, rather than on a project basis, for the purpose of SuperStream, they will be counted as employees. If you have more than twenty contractors that fit this description, you need to ensure you’re compliant wit SuperStream by June 30 this year; if you’ve fewer than twenty, you have until June 30 2016 to become SuperStream compliant.

It’s a good idea to review the SuperStream section of the ATO’s website for more information on SuperStream or visit the section on contractors if you’re unsure whether you should be making super contribution on your contractor’s behalf.

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Receipt Scanning, Automatic Coding – Boon for Bookkeepers or Job Killer?

Receipt Scanning, Receipt OCR, number extraction and receipt cloud storage company Receipt Bank integrates with Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB Essentials Training Course session

DO YOU GET frustrated when you see the little box at the bottom of the BAS lodgement form? You know, the one where they ask how long it took to complete the form because I feel like writing, “It took 10 minutes to complete the form, but 4 hours to do the data entry and bank reconciliation work!”

Junior bookkeepers, accounts receivable and accounts payable clerks, and office administrators will all share that their most time-consuming work is data entry, coding and bank reconciliations. However, there is software available which almost totally automates this work — and it’s becoming increasingly accurate and speedy.

Continue reading Receipt Scanning, Automatic Coding – Boon for Bookkeepers or Job Killer?

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TSheets for Independent and Remote Contractors

TSheets is a cost effective way to manage and track your time

tsheets by quickbooks logoTSheets, THE TIME MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, is a great way for independent and remote contractors to manage their client’s projects. It’s especially useful for contractors who are collaborating remotely with other contractors and businesses on one project.

There are a bunch of other handy tools contractors and sole traders can use for expense tracking and forecasting too.

But back to TSheets. TSheets was recently acquired by Intuit, the parent company of QuickBooks. Both TSheets and QuickBooks shared 12,000 customers in common and the time management system had been developed to work specifically with QuickBooks. Deeper integration with QuickBooks can be expected now, following the acquisition.

The acquisition is part of the push into the cloud accounting ecosystem that’s being led by the major cloud accounting companies. (Read: EzyLearn’s explainer on the TSheets acquisition and the cloud accounting ecosystem.)

Inexpensive time tracking

expense apps for self employed peopleIf you were to think about the top three cloud accounting apps in terms of the types of businesses they appeal to, QuickBooks would appeal most to micro businesses and independent contractors. Check out an earlier blog post where we assess two main factors: User Experience & Ease of Use, and Reporting Tools in a comparison between MYOB and Quickbooks for small businesses.

The popularity of Quickbooks for contractors and the like is not just because it’s by far the cheaper system compared with Xero and MYOB. QuickBooks has also spent a lot of time simplifying the process of managing business accounts so that, while it may not be the most robust program, it’s by far the most accessible.

TSheets has been built the same way. It’s also one of the most inexpensive time tracking systems — at a minimum of $30 per month for two users, while it’s free for one user to use TSheets for unlimited projects.

Bookkeeping Academy to include TSheets

New content is being added to our Bookkeeping Academy “Academic Development Program” to include using TSheets with QuickBooks (or Xero and any other cloud accounting system it integrates with).  The Bookkeeping Academy is where you can purchase online training via short courses that you can use for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Continuing Professional Education (CPE) or to upskill or re-train in one particular area. You can earn CPD points with our cloud accounting packages.

Read more about why continuing education for bookkeepers is so important in this ever-changing industry.

online bookkeeping courses to earn cpd points

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Paying Several Employees With One Payroll Payment

MYOB and Xero now make payroll easier to manage

myob and xero online payroll management
Struggling to manage your online payroll management? Our Xero and MYOB courses will help you get the most out of this software so you can manage payroll in house.

MANY COMPANIES OUTSOURCE PAYROLL because it contains many moving parts. For instance, there’s the payment of wages each week or fortnight or month, sure. But there’s also superannuation contributions, PAYG obligations, annual and sick leave accrual. 

Fortunately, most accounting apps like Xero and MYOB have made payroll easier to manage, particularly if you only have a handful of employees.

Superannuation clearing houses

Nearly every major cloud accounting package has a connected superannuation clearing house within its payroll package. Xero and MYOB are both SuperStream compliant, a government initiative to help business owners tell which accounting software apps will let them make electronic superannuation payments. And QuickBooks uses a partner payroll system which is also SuperStream compliant.

Batch wage payments

Electronic superannuation payments are one way that paying staff is made easier, but paying a dozen or so employees individually each week or fortnight can be tedious. Fortunately, both Xero and MYOB have a ‘pay run’ function that lets you make batch wage payments. This eliminates the tedium of paying employees individually, as well as the potential for error.

Accounting software calculates entitlements

MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks, if you’ve set up your employees correctly and have the appropriate payroll subscription, will also calculate your employees’ sick and annual leave entitlements, also reducing the time it takes to process payroll and the potential for error.

Our MYOB training courses and our Xero training courses both cover payroll, where you’ll learn how to set up employees correctly, process wage payments and more. Using a cloud accounting program for payroll, saves time and reduces errors. Visit our website for more information.

EzyLearn courses now include real life case studies

managing ad hoc payrollAt EzyLearn we are constantly refreshing the content of our online training courses. Relevant to those of you doing Payroll, might be our Excel Ad Hoc Payroll case study which is part of our Intermediate Excel Online Training Courses. Where possible, we draw on real-life case studies as examples, to help you learn, and apply your skills, in a relevant way that makes sense. Visit our Micro Courses page to learn more.


 

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What Happens if You Have Backlog of PAYG and Super Payments?

Don’t get lumped with penalties when you don’t need to!

failure to lodge penalties how to manage payroll in Excel online training course
It’s not only frustrating and disheartening, but a waste of business funds to be penalised for lodging your financials too late.

A LOT OF SMALL BUSINESSES have trouble managing their payroll, especially when they only have a few employees and paying to access a payroll system in their accounting package is an unnecessary expense. You’ll learn how to use Excel to manage your PAYG and super contributions in our Intermediate Microsoft Excel Training Courses. However, sometimes you may have a backlog of PAYG and super payments. Let’s take a look at how to manage these.

Rescue bookkeeping

A backlog of PAYG and super payments that date back more than three months is known as rescue bookkeeping, although it can often include other bookkeeping issues, like bank accounts that don’t reconcile with statements.

PAYG payments

For businesses that only withhold up to $25,000 each year, you’re supposed to make PAYG payments and file a withholding report each quarter. You have 28 days from the end of the quarter to do so, after which time, you may incur a Failure To Lodge (FTL) penalty.

Superannuation payments

As with PAYG payments and reporting, you can also incur a FTL penalty for not lodging or paying your employees’ superannuation contributions in time. All businesses, regardless of size, have to make superannuation payments each quarter — the ATO sets out the due dates for each period on their website.

Lodging late PAYG and super payments

The ATO only applies penalties for failure to lodge reports or make payments for each period of 28 days (or part thereof) that a document or payment is overdue. Each period incurs one penalty unit for each document, up to a maximum of five penalty units.

From 2015 onwards, the value of a penalty unit is $180 (previously it was $170) for small businesses, which are defined as entities with an assessable income or GST turnover of no more than $1 million a year.

The maximum penalty a small business will pay is $900 for each document or payment that is overdue. Note too that FTL penalties will also incur a general interest charge (GIC), applied on top of the penalty.

Managing late PAYG and super payments

Use the Ad Hoc Payroll Guide, a new case study that is included in our Intermediate Microsoft Excel Training Courses to determine the rate of PAYG tax to withhold and the required super contribution amounts in Excel. Once you’ve worked out the required amounts (visit the ATO website for tax tables prior to 2017), lodge the necessary PAYG payments and reports to the ATO; pay super contributions using the SuperStream super clearing house.

The ATO will write to you if you are required to pay a penalty — sometimes they are waived for first-time offences, or if the amounts are small.

Our courses now include real-life case studies

learn excel online training course

Our Intermediate Microsoft Excel training courses will also teach you how to create a payroll spreadsheet from scratch to suit your own business, so you can easily work out your PAYG and super obligations. Visit our website for more information on all of our Excel training courses.


learn PowerPoint online training course

Create brilliant presentations and graphics for all kinds of business purposes.

Gone are the days of excruciatingly dull PowerPoint slide presentations. Nowadays PowerPoint is the hidden gem used to generate animations, videos, movies, advertising and graphics. It’s a great ally to the marketer or social media person in your organisation.

This creative program can also be used to conjure up the most beautiful and modern pictorial slides to enhance any presentation or induction. Find out more about our 2016 version PowerPoint courses.


online bookkeeping courses to earn cpd pointsEzyLearn Excel, MYOB and Xero online training courses count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeepers and accountants. We’ve been an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ever since the organisation started in Australia. Find out how CPD points can be of benefit to you.


 

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How to Make a Capital Purchase That Won’t Affect Your Cash Flow

A Chattel Mortgage Can Help Keep Your Business Cashflow Under Control

chattel mortgage learn xero online training course
A chattel mortgage can tide your business over without having to dip into savings.

In our Xero Daily Reconciliations Course, you’ll learn how to set up a chart of accounts, among other things such as running balance sheets and Profit and Loss (P&L) statements. For the most part, daily transaction reconciliation is pretty straightforward, until you get to a capital purchase, which, if it’s over $20,000 or was purchased prior to May 2015, needs to be dealt with differently.

In most cases, when a business purchases major assets, such as a motor vehicles, it’s known as a capital purchase, which is made via a loan. There are two types of loans the business can take out: a hire purchase loan or a chattel mortgage.

Buying assets on hire purchase

This is an agreement between you and the lender to acquire a motor vehicle. During the hire period, the lender legally owns the car and you pay regular instalments to the finance company. For tax purposes you can claim depreciation, running costs and interest paid against your business income. When you pay off the loan in full, legal ownership is then transferred to you.

Buying assets on chattel mortgage

Chattel mortgage is essentially a mortgage over goods to be financed. Chattel mortgage is classed as a cash sale in that the goods automatically become your property on purchase and the finance company takes a mortgage over the chattels.

Just as a hire purchase you can claim depreciation, running costs and interest paid, against your business income. The chattel mortgage allows businesses to claim the full input tax credit from GST incurred expenses immediately (next BAS statement).

Chattel mortgages are more popular

Chattel mortgages became popular when BAS and GST was introduced, because businesses could claim the GST at the time of purchase, whether they ran a cash system or an accrual accounting system. Plus, under a chattel mortgage, the allowable depreciation and interest payment are also tax deductible.

How capital purchases affect cash flow

If a business doesn’t take out a loan to make a capital purchase, it will have to dip into its savings, which can adversely affect cash flow, especially on big ticket items. Taking out a chattel mortgage, however, helps to keep cash flow under control because the business can borrow the funds (and claim the interest back as a tax deduction) without any major impact on cash flow. You will also then be able to factor the repayments into your monthly forecast projection.

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You’ll learn how to record an capital purchase, whether it’s been bought on hire purchase or a chattel mortgage, in our Xero Daily Reconciliations Course. You can find out more or enrol today.

Xero online training course

At EzyLearn we offer many online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment.

Choose from our range of cloud-based online accounting software courses, to business start up and management courses, to marketing and sales courses, or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs (ExcelPowerPointWord) or social media and WordPress web design


 

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Calculating PAYG Obligations Without a Payroll System

Third Quarter is Looming; Are You Up to Date with Payroll?

ad hoc payroll payments ExcelMost businesses using an accounting program like MYOB or Xero will use the included payroll package to manage their employees’ payroll. For businesses with only a few employees, however, the additional payroll function is an unnecessary expense.

In our recently updated Advanced Microsoft Excel training courses, we have included a micro course on ‘Ad Hoc Payroll’, featuring a detailed spreadsheet for calculating PAYG and superannuation obligations. In this instance, our micro course is a detailed spreadsheet based on a case study, so it’s relevant and applicable to real life.

PAYG and the businesses it applies to

Every Australian business with employees who are each paid more than the tax-free threshold has a legal obligation to withhold tax on their employees’ behalf. This is known as the PAYG System (or Pay As You Go), where amounts of tax are withheld from each employee’s wage payments.

Businesses that withhold up to $25,000 each year only need to make payments to the ATO each quarter; businesses withholding amounts greater than $25,001 may have to make payments to the ATO each month or as regularly as each week.

At the time of writing, the tax-free threshold is currently $18,200, which is equivalent to:

  • $350 a week
  • $700 a fortnight
  • $1,517 a month

Superannuation contributions

Again, any business that pays its employees more than $450 each month must also make regular superannuation contributions on their employees’ behalf. We’ve written in the past about the government’s clearing house called SuperStream, which allows you to easily make super contributions — for free.

But first, you need to work out how much super you need to contribute for your employees. The superannuation guarantee is currently 9.5 percent of your employees’ gross wages, which is payable on top of their wages — not deducted out of.

Using tax tables to calculate wages

Each year, the ATO produces a range of tax tables to help you work out how much to withhold from payments you make to your employees. In our Ad Hoc Payroll Micro Course, we’ve already added the most current tax tables to the accompanying payroll spreadsheet, as well as the superannuation guarantee tables.

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We feature a number of real-life case studies, which we have turned into micro courses. You can use the Ad Hoc Payroll Micro Course to determine the rate of PAYG tax to withhold and the required super contribution amounts in Excel, rather than paying to access the payroll functions of MYOB or Xero. Our Intermediate Microsoft Excel training courses will also teach you how to create a payroll spreadsheet from scratch to suit your own business. Visit our website for more information on all of our Excel training courses.

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online bookkeeping courses to earn cpd points

 

EzyLearn Excel, MYOB and Xero online training courses count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeepers and accountants. We’ve been an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ever since the organisation started in Australia. Find out how CPD points can be of benefit to you.

 

 

 

 

 

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MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks: Which Suits Your Business Best?

Which is the Pick of the Bunch?

xero myob or quickbooks which is best
It’s a competitive accounting software market place out there … which is the pick of the bunch for you?

IN A PREVIOUS POST, we highlighted some of the biggest differences between QuickBooks and MYOB

However Xero is also a serious competitor to MYOB (and QuickBooks to a lesser degree).

So let’s take a look at the different capabilities of each accounting application and the kinds of businesses they best suit.

Continue reading MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks: Which Suits Your Business Best?

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Reckon One or MYOB?

Just What Do We Reckon?

find-a-good-bookkeeper
Reckon One was the original distributor of QuickBooks.

Not so long ago, we looked at the major differences between MYOB and QuickBooks. We also explored some of the other benefits of Quickbook more generally over MYOB, but Reckon One, which used to distribute QuickBooks in Australia before striking out on their own with their cloud accounting software, is also becoming a major player in the cloud accounting space for small businesses.

We thought we would take a look at how Reckon One stacks up compared with MYOB, which is still the market leader in Australia and the mostly widely used account software application among accountants.   

Reports

The reporting functions in Reckon One are extremely powerful. This is true of MYOB, as well, but with one major difference: Reckon One has the ability to customise and save the reports you’d like to run. This is a big time-saver, as it renders all your reports just one click away, rather than several. If you’re using a bookkeeper, they’ll be able to run your reports for you the first time, and then you’ll be able to go in and generate them as often as you like afterwards.

Payroll

Both products offer a very good payroll system for businesses that need it (Reckon One, at the time of writing, charges an additional $3/month to turn this feature on), while unlimited payroll comes standard with the MYOB Essentials Unlimited Payroll plan. Both products are also SuperStream Compliant, so if you’re looking for a stable, yet flexible, payroll system, either products are a good choice. Of course, depending on your business’s other needs, you may lean more toward the cheaper Reckon One option.

User Experience

MYOB AccountRight, even to this day, looks dated. The MYOB Essentials platform, however, has a much cleaner interface, as does Reckon One. The product you choose will depend on the size and needs of your business, the features you require, and who will, primarily, be using the software. MYOB is famously more difficult to use compared with Xero, QuickBooks or virtually any other accounting software. Indeed, everything you can do in Reckon One takes about three or four more clicks to perform in MYOB, so, again, it’s a matter of personal choice. There are many Apple users who can’t understand why people still use IBM computers, just as there are many IBM users who can’t understand why people use Apple products.

In selecting a cloud accounting package for your business, remember not to choose solely based on price. Make a list of the needs of your business and the functions you’ll require, and then select the accounting package that suits your needs the most. It’s also a good idea to speak with your bookkeeper before making a choice. 

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Right now, for a limited time, we’re offering over $300 off a number of our online courses — we also have new great courses in QuickBooks online daily transactions and, if you’ve ever struggled with filling in a timeline of posts on social media, or you want to start promoting yourself or your business in social media, try our Digital Business and Social Media Marketing Courses.

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Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

How Does QuickBooks Really Stack Up Against MYOB?

compare QuickBooks and MYOB
QuickBooks is a much simpler accounting package to use than its rival, MYOB.

WE RECENTLY INTRODUCED our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course because we can see that QuickBooks is fast becoming a serious and respected rival to the more established accounting software packages.

We recently wrote about how QuickBooks uses the SuperStream-compliant service KeyPay to deliver payroll services because QuickBooks itself isn’t actually SuperStream compliant. Currently, the payroll feature in QuickBooks is free for all Small Business plans, as the company further positions itself as the low-cost accounting software option for Aussie small businesses.

Continue reading Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

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Is Single Touch Payroll Really Dead?

For a while there it looked like the ATO would introduce single touch payroll for all Australian businesses by July 2016, but after feedback from the businesses community that original plan has been shelved – for now. With SuperStream simplifying the way businesses manage the superannuation contributions for their employees, it’s highly likely that we’ll be seeing some form of the single touch payroll model in the near future.

Single touch payroll was an initiative developed to simplify the payroll process for Australian businesses. Currently, most businesses are burdened with a number of tax and superannuation reporting obligations, which single touch payroll would have put an end to.

What exactly was single touch payroll?

Single touch payroll, like SuperStream, was a proposed interactive tool that would allow a business’s accounting software to automatically report payroll information for their employees to the the tax office, eliminating the need for businesses to report pay-as-you-go withholding (PAYGW) in their activity statements throughout the year, as well as end-of-year employee payment summaries.

There was also a proposed digital service that would have streamlined tax file number declarations and Super Choice forms, which would obviously reduce a lot of the red tape and paperwork associated with employing staff.

Single touch payroll would have integrated with nearly all accounting packages in Australia, including MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks, just as SuperStream does now, so why was it shelved by the ATO until further consultation with the business community?

Single touch could have caused cash flow problems

The main concern for many businesses was that single touch payroll would impact their cash flow by requiring employers to pay the tax withheld from wages and super guarantee payments at the same time they paid their employees’ wages. There were also concerns about whether compliance by July 2016 was realistically achievable for the majority of businesses, especially when the SuperStream changeover is still ongoing.

For businesses with a substantial number of employees, single touch payroll could have been a godsend. Unfortunately, the original proposal alienated smaller businesses by making it necessary to pay both tax and super guarantee payments at the same time as employee wages, when most employers currently make those payments to the ATO each quarter.

But that doesn’t mean the single touch payroll system has been scrapped altogether. The ATO, in consultation with industry groups and the Minister for Small Business, is working on developing another single touch payroll scheme that will make real-time payments for withholding and super guarantee payments voluntary, which will be tested with small business owners before it’s rolled out across the board.

There’s still life in single touch payroll yet

What single touch payroll really highlights is how important it is for small businesses to make sure that they’re using a current accounting software package – and there are many on the market, developed especially for small businesses – that supports SuperStream and will also support any other ATO initiatives, like single touch payroll.

If you’re not using an accounting package for your small business, it’s wise to choose one of the major accounting software providers, which Margaret Carey of Business EEz also suggested when we spoke to her not so long ago about SuperStream.

You can read more about SuperStream and the new measures the ATO has introduced to make payroll and superannuation compliance easier for small businesses by subscribing to our blog. Alternatively, if you’re a small business owner using either Xero or MYOB and you’d like to know how to properly setup and use payroll in your accounting software, enrol in one of our MYOB or Xero training courses today.