3 ways to make the move to SuperStream easy
The way in which employers are required to pay Superannuation Guarantee contributions (SGC) on behalf of their employees has changed. A new data and payment standard called SuperStream has been introduced. SuperStream is designed to make paying super contributions and transacting related data easier for employers by way of use of reliable electronic methods. Employers are no longer able to use traditional methods for paying and reporting SGC and are now bound by SuperStream requirements.
SuperStream began on 1 July 2014 for all employers with 20 or more staff. For those employers with 19 or fewer staff, you must be SuperStream-ready by 1 July 2015. However, the Taxation Office (ATO) is aware that there are many complexities of becoming SuperStream-ready and has declared:
“If you have 20 or more employees, SuperStream starts on 1 July 2014, but the ATO will provide flexibility for you on your start-up date, provided you are making a genuine attempt to implement and have a firm plan to do so by no later than 30 June 2015. If you have 19 or fewer employees, SuperStream applies from 1 July 2015. As with larger employers, the ATO will be flexible provided you have a plan in place by 30 June 2016.”
Becoming SuperStream-ready may seem daunting as it does require you to review (and possibly change) your payroll systems and the software you are using. In order to comply with the new payment standard, you must be able to send payments and employee superannuation information in a special electronic format. If you are not technology-savvy, this could be a potential minefield. So what do you do and how do you do it? The ATO has supplied a special checklist for new players to help them prepare for SuperStream. This is a great checklist but may still put the fear of God into you! Before you reach for that bottle of Scotch, take heart because there are a few things you can do to make the move to SuperStream relatively easy. Here are my tips to make the move less painful.
Use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH)
The SBSCH is a FREE online service that allows employers to quickly and easily meet their superannuation guarantee obligations. Currently, the service is only for those who employ less than 19 employees but there is talk that the ATO may make the service available to larger employers in the future. By using this service, you will more than satisfy the requirements of SuperStream. Once you have completed the set up process for the SBSCH, the rest is plain sailing! Each quarter simply log into the SBSCH, enter the SGC for each employee and submit the information with a few simple clicks. You will then be provided with one figure to pay to the ATO via a PDF “bill”. In the past you would have made multiple payments to multiple super funds which was very time-consuming. Not any more! With SBSCH, there is only one figure to pay – the total of all of the SGC for all employees. Once payment is processed, the SBSCH distributes the SGC to the various super funds for you. This is a super easy (pardon the pun) service to use and did I mention, it’s FREE!! Here’s a video explaining more about the SBSCH.
Use accounting software that is SuperStream-ready
Using the SBSCH is the perfect solution for you if you don’t have many employees. It’s simple and it just works! For those who are looking for a SuperStream solution that is more automated, and particularly if you have many staff, you can’t go past some of the currently available accounting software. The following platforms are ready NOW for SuperStream. If you aren’t already using one of them, it may be time to make a switch!
The payroll solutions offered by the above software are fully automated and integrated. This means that the once arduous task of processing payroll and superannuation is now made simple and easy. Better still, by using any one of these software, you can be assured that your business is SuperStream compliant.
Get your BAS Agent to do it
My last tip for making the move to SuperStream as easy as possible is to get your BAS Agent to organise it for you. Why do it yourself when others can do it for you? As superannuation guarantee is now a BAS Service, your BAS Agent is more than qualified to help you make the move to SuperStream.Your BAS Agent can review your payroll systems, research various solutions and then implement them on your behalf. It is likely that your BAS Agent is already processing payroll for you so it makes perfect sense to engage him/her to help you implement SuperStream into your business.
SuperStream is not optional. Every business with a payroll is required to ensure that it is SuperStream compliant. However, the move to the new payment and data standard does not have to be a giant headache. There are ways to make it as painless as possible as can be seen via my 3 tips above.
Is your business SuperStream ready now or are you in the throes of making the move to SuperStream? Share your story here. What are your tips for making the move as easy as possible?