Companies with over 20 employees should ALREADY be compliant
In 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
As 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.
We recently wrote about the yearly returns that APRA (the governing body for the financial services industry) announces to showcase the rate of return of the top 200 superannuation funds. This information forms part of our new Bookkeeping Academy for continuing professional development (CPD).
It prompted a question in our think tank about the purpose of superannuation and whether it should be used as a tool for investing in equity?
The problem with equity is that there is no guarantee of return and its value is completely dependent on the performance of the company. Even things like dividends are only paid at managements discretion. Interest on the other hand must be paid and the capital returned to the investor at the end of the term. In the event of a liquidation, debt is repaid first and it is usually secured by something.
It all really depends upon your personal circumstances but we found a product on the market that seemed to fit very well with the thinking of the concept of super. It is the Commonwealth Banks Superannuation Savings Account. It earns interest which might not be as impressive as equity, but this is only 10% of your income and it goes along with the adage from the Richest Man in Babylon… Make thy gold multiply.
In the end, as Financial Planners will attest, the decision you make depends upon your risk appetite and your investment time horizon, but one thing is certain – you must have super as an employee and pay it as an employer. Stay tuned for the news about our MYOB Payroll Level 2 course where we go into more detail about how to manage the paying of staff. All new content generated for our online MYOB training courses is available to existing students as part of their lifetime access.