Did you know that SuperStream is cutting the time small businesses spend on super administration by around 70%?
With 2016 on the horizon, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging small businesses to cross SuperStream off their 'to-do' list ahead of the 30 June deadline and reduce time spent on super administration.
With only two quarters left until SuperStream becomes mandatory, now is the time for small businesses to make the change and ensure their system is running smoothly before the deadline.
According to the ATO, over a quarter of a million small businesses have already adopted SuperStream. Once set-up, SuperStream is reducing the time they spend on super by around 70%. Depending on the size of the business, this means saving anything from about 1.5 hours to a whole day's effort each payment cycle.
If December and January mark quieter periods for your business, now is a great opportunity to check that your SuperStream option is ready, whether that be your payroll software, your super fund's online payment system, or a clearing house, like the ATO's Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper for help.
Importantly, you should collect the necessary employee identification data – being your employees' TFNs and their funds' unique super identifiers (USIs) - and enter it into your system ahead of the next quarterly due date on 28 January. That way, you have time to check that things are running smoothly before the deadline.
Your employees can find their fund's USI on their super statement or by calling their fund. You can also find these details using the ATO's Super Fund Lookup website.
If you aren't sure how to prepare for SuperStream, you can visit the ATO's online employer checklist. You can also ask your accountant, bookkeeper, payroll provider, clearing house or super fund for help.
The ATO provides the following links to help small businesses get ready:
· A step-by-step checklist www.ato.gov.au/SuperStreamChecklist
· Super Fund Lookup website
· A short animated video
Breakout box: what is SuperStream?
SuperStream is the new way of making super contributions. Under SuperStream, employers must send super contributions electronically in a standard format, with linked data and payments.
SuperStream becomes mandatory for small employers (those with 19 or fewer employees) on 30 June 2016.
For more information, or a handy checklist, check out ato.gov.au/superstreamchecklist
Eligible employers can also use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to comply with SuperStream: ato.gov.au/sbsch
Breakout box: what employers are saying about SuperStream
More than 350,000 employers, including 250,000 small employers, are already using SuperStream. Here's what they have to say.
Debbie Pyne, Payroll Officer, Salt House Restaurant, QLD
"SuperStream is saving us a significant amount of time each month. It would normally take up to 1.5 days to complete our employees' monthly super. It is now an hour or two maximum per month.
"While the initial set-up for SuperStream had its challenges from gathering the data etc., this time investment has now paid off.
"We have been saying how easy it is to do super now, because (SuperStream) is so efficient."
Jan Morey, Owner, Sorrenberg Vineyard, Victoria
"I used to sort super out online via each fund's website. Our accountant told me about SuperStream and mentioned the upcoming deadline. Now I'm using SuperStream via the Small Business Super Clearing House. It's free and I make quarterly super contributions to three employees, two full-timers and one part-timer, and I've made three payments so far. I cannot imagine how those with even more staff would sort super out without SuperStream; it's so much easier."
Ange Hopkins, Director, Cherry Bomb Hairdressing
"(It's) definitely an easier way to make payments that has reduced the super processing time. I don't have to log into different sites to make different payments, it's seamless.
"Processing time is now five minutes rather than 45 minutes. It's hugely improved the time. The bigger the organisation, the better the streamlining."