Small Business Threshold Increases to $10m

Legislation is expected to pass soon in parliament that will make it easier for many businesses to qualify for the small business concessions that were previously only available to those with an aggregated turnover below $2m.

Once the legislation is passed, businesses whose aggregated turnover does not exceed $10m will have access to many of the same benefits held by their smaller counterparts, allowing them to tap in to a range of tax concessions and hence free up vital funds. Even better, the Bill will be retrospective, meaning that the benefits will apply for the whole of the 2016-17 financial year.

Some benefits that will be available to those who qualify for the increased threshold under the small business rules are as follows:

·         Instant asset write-off for assets costing less than $20,000 purchased during the 2016-17 financial year.

·         Deductions for professional expenses for start-up and small business rollover when restructuring.

·         Small business income tax offset for unincorporated entities.

·         Company income tax for small businesses dropping to 27.5% in 2016-17, and then down to 25% over the 

  next ten years.

Additional concessions may also be available to you depending on eligibility. These are:

·  Income Tax Concessions including simplified trading stock rules, an immediate deduction for prepaid 

 expenses and a two-year amendment period.

·        PAYG Instalment Concessions allowing taxpayers to pay a pre-set quarterly amount.

·        Fringe Benefits Tax Concessions for car parking and work related devices.

·        Super Concessions allowing you to use a small business superannuation clearing house.

·        GST & Excise Concessions allowing you more flexibility.

However, the current threshold for access to the small business capital gains tax concessions will remain unchanged at $2m.

Please note that regardless of eligibility, the use of these concessions is optional.

Good news all round for many of you, giving you added flexibility, better cash flow and more simplified processes so that you can get on with the business of running your business. At KDA Group, we're all about helping you to maximise your potential, and this includes making the most of tax concessions available to you. If you think you might need some assistance, we're only a phone call away on 4861 8383.

Business Valuations: A Call to Action!

Imagine the following....

The time comes to sell up. You have an awesome business, sales have grown 20% per year for the past three years, the opportunities are endless and buyers should be climbing over each other to acquire you. Then you list with a well-regarded business broker and one by one, the suitors disappear. Any offers you receive are substantially lower than your asking price. In fact, they only cover your stock and equipment, and not the $1M of goodwill you thought was a given. You can't work it out. Okay, you know you are working around the clock to keep the place going, but that's why you've decided to let someone else have a go. Sure, your cash position is getting worse every week, but that's why you hoped one of your competitors with cash-laden pockets would step in and help you out of a hole.

So what's it all about?

People pay a price for value. When it comes to businesses, investors do their due diligence, because buying a business for millions of dollars is a big decision and no-one likes getting their fingers burnt. The bottom line? Investors will pay a price for a business, but only according to the value that they can extract.

This begs the question, how do you create and improve business value?

The first thing you need to understand is how business value is calculated.  There are many methods for valuing businesses, but the most common and widely accepted formula is the Capitalisation of Future Maintainable Earnings method (to use the technical name).  Put simply the formula is:

          Profits X Capitalisation Rate = Business Value

The reason that we look at profits is that the purchaser of a business wants to know what the predictable financial performance of a business is likely to be over the foreseeable future.  

The capitalisation rate is related to assessing the level of risk involved in the business being valued.  The lower the risk, the higher the capitalisation rate will be. 

So there are two factors at play here – profits, and risk.

You can focus on increasing your profits, as this will drive an increase in your business value. Likewise, you can also assess the risks attached to your business, and work to reduce or eliminate them, as reducing risk will also increase your business value.

We all know the profit piece fairly well. We can:

·        Increase sales

·        Increase gross profit

·        Decrease overheads

All things being equal, these three steps will deliver the profit increase we require. It's not rocket science!

However, reducing risk can be a longer term challenge.  Ultimately, investors like businesses that are boringly predictable.  There are many factors which reduce the risk associated with a business.  Some of the key ones are:

·        Low working capital requirement, quick cash conversion cycle (aka, cash 

         cow)

·        Strong supply chain; diversity of suppliers

·        Regular repeat sales (annuity type income)

·        Diversity of customers (by size, industry, geography, no reliance on a few 

         customers for the majority of sales)

·        Well managed stock

·        Retention of staff, particularly management, following transfer of 

         ownership

·        Strong processes and information systems that allow the business to run 

         like a well-oiled machine

·        Protection of Intellectual Property


The crunch line? I'd like to challenge you. Do you know what your business is really worth, and are you doing what you can to improve its value? Remember, working on the profits and capitalisation rate now, even if you're not planning on selling, will make your business more profitable (obviously), easier to manage, more cash positive, and less time consuming. What more could you want?

At KDA Group we're all about helping you to maximise your potential, and this includes business value.  If you think you might need some assistance, we're only a phone call away on 02 4861 8383.

Cashflow or Crash Flow?

"Hello, Mr Banker, we're out of cash again…"

Cash is King.  Cash is the lifeblood of your business.  Lack of cash is the most common cause of company failure in Australia; in fact, in the 2016 financial year, 45.6% of company failures were due to this reason.

We all know how important cashflow is, but what do we really do about it? Do we actively manage it and plan for an outcome, or do we sit by, watch it flow in and out, and hope for the best?

You have probably all heard the adage, 'failing to plan is planning to fail', and this applies to cashflow as much as it does to everything else in life. Everyone does sales projections, and some people do expense budgets but sadly the cashflow forecast often gets pushed into the too-hard basket.

After all, how can you plan for customers who pay anywhere from COD to 90 days after invoice? How are you supposed to know if you'll run out of stock in three months' time, and might need to pay cash on order to your local supplier to buy more stock before your regular shipment arrives from Vietnam?

The trouble is, you don't! However, a good cashflow forecast based on accurate assumptions, and proper double entry accounting principles, will give you the best chance of managing the cash requirements related to these unpredictable events.

By working through a cashflow forecasting exercise you will be forced to:

·        Create a forecast of sales for the forecast period

·        Estimate your cost of sales (this can be tied back to an estimated gross profit)

·        Budget for your expenses

·        Think about what personal expenses you have planned

         (that will be funded with cash from the business)

·        Do a realistic assessment of what capital expenditure will be required

         (the new Land Rover Discovery, and the flash office refurbishment), and

·        Last, but not least, estimate your tax bills.

The benefits of an accurate cashflow forecast are threefold:

·        You have a financial roadmap for the next one to two years

         (we recommend forecasting at least the next full financial year)

         with which you can drive performance and keep your staff accountable

·        You can compare your actual performance against your roadmap,

         identify where things are getting out of control, and manage them accordingly, and

·        You will identify any:

    o    Opportunities arising from strong cash generation (maybe setting up the US branch is possible after all!)

    o    Periods of tight cashflow ahead of time, so you can make appropriate arrangements with your bank or other financiers well in advance (they will LOVE this!).

So don't bury your head in the sand anymore! Grit your teeth, arm yourself with a calculator, paper and pen (or Excel spreadsheet) and get on with it.  Who knows, it may not be as hard as you think!

At KDA Group we're all about helping you to maximise your potential, and this includes your cashflow.  If you think you might need some assistance, we're only a phone call away on 02 4861 8383.

When we hear the words "Fringe Benefits", many of us think only of motor vehicles, or as the festive season approaches, about the tax implications of the Office Christmas party. However, fringe benefits extend to many more areas, and probably ones you've never considered. As 2016 ends, and you start to wind down and think about celebrating, it might be worth considering the other fringe benefits you may be providing, and planning for the reporting requirements necessary for 31 March 2017.

Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) audits by the ATO are on the increase. Particular attention is being given to payments made to, or expenses paid on behalf of, employees. Three areas being highlighted in recent times are:

Travel - this is of particular concern where spouses, or entire families, are travelling and only certain family members are travelling for business purposes.

Meals - Excessive food costs where it appears that businesses are paying for private grocery bills, rather than simple meal expenses.

Expense Payments - Where expenses seem unusually high (eg: employees' personal telephone bills).

Other types of benefits that may be of concern include:  

Work Parties & Gifts – The end of year festivities must, of course, rate a mention. So before you start ordering the platters, popping the champagne or wrapping gifts for your staff, you might want to take a minute to consider your entertainment fringe benefit liability.  For more information, why not revisit last year's blog at http://www.kdagroup.com.au/blog/christmas-considerations or the ATO for a more comprehensive guide.

Accommodation & Meals - If you provide an employee with accommodation rent free, or at a reduced rate at their regular residence, a housing fringe benefit may arise. A board fringe benefit may also arise if you provide your employee with accommodation and there is an entitlement to at least two meals a day. (Eg: a remote construction site or resident boarding school teachers).

Employee Expenses – From time to time you might reimburse an employee, or a third party regarding an employee, for expenses they've incurred. These may be business or private in nature, or a combination of the two. An expense payment fringe benefit may arise as a result.

Low or No Interest Loans – You also provide a loan fringe benefit if you give your employee a loan and charge no interest, or a rate of interest that is lower than the benchmark interest rate (5.65% for 2017).

Living Away from Home - Occasionally, an employee may be required to live away from home for a period of time to perform their work duties, and a living-away-from-home allowance (LAFHA) fringe benefit may arise if you pay an allowance to cover additional costs.

Forgiving an Employee's Debt - Sometimes you decide, or a sense of benevolence urges you, to waive or forgive the whole or part of an employee's debt. For example, if you sold goods to an employee and later told them not to bother about paying the invoiced amount. A debt waiver fringe benefit arises as a result. (NB: This does not apply if you write off the outstanding amount as a bad debt.)

Property and your Employee - Providing your employee with property of any kind, whether free or at a discount may also give rise to a property fringe benefit. Property isn't limited simply to buildings, as it may cover household items or equipment as well as shares or bonds.

Parking a Car - Car fringe benefits are a fairly common expense in many businesses. However, a separate car parking fringe benefit may also apply if your employees park at your business premises for more than four hours during the work day, if they travel between work and home at least once, if there is a commercial parking station within one kilometre of your premises and its all-day fee is more than the car parking threshold ($8.48 for 2017).

Anything Else? - Finally, just in case you thought we've covered everything, there is even provision for those things that don't fit into any of the above. For example, if you offer the use of employer property, or the provision of professional services (eg: a solicitor), or private use of a company truck or utility you may still be subject to a residual fringe benefit.

For more information go to https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Fringe-benefits-tax-(FBT)/Types-of-fringe-benefits

So as 2016 draws to a close, and you look forward to the endless possibilities that 2017 might bring, put FBT on your agenda and remember that 31 March will be here much sooner than you think.

 

Employees with Excessive Annual Leave

Do you have employees with excessive accrued annual leave?

New changes now in place

Employees who have accumulated large chunks of annual leave have been an ongoing dilemma for many small to medium enterprise (SME) employers. However, a recently completed Fair Work Commission review has resulted in some significant changes to the rules for 112 of the current 122 modern awards, making it easier to deal with this issue. Hailed as a godsend by many employers, the changes also allow for more flexibility for almost two million Australian workers.

So how do some employees build up so much leave in the first place? Often it's a case of a business not being able to do without a key staff member for long periods of time, so the breaks they take are short and infrequent. It may also be part of a strategy to build up leave prior to retirement or to allow for unforeseen emergencies such as health or family issues. Then again, an employee may not want to take their leave if their family members can't get holidays at the same time. Of course, some employees simply love their work and almost need to be made to take leave. Whatever the scenario, before you know it, the employee has racked up a large amount of leave, which can be problematic for an employer when the time comes to pay out these potentially large sums.

Show me the money

The change of most interest to employees will undoubtedly be the ability to cash out some of their accrued annual leave. The new rules state that:

·         First and foremost, the application for leave to be cashed out must be made in writing and

          signed by both the employee and the employer.

·         The amount of leave to be cashed out must be clearly stated, as must the amount to be paid

          and the date on which it will be paid.

·         No more than two weeks annual leave may be cashed out in any twelve (12) month period.

·         The employee must be left with a minimum of four weeks annual leave up their sleeve.

Options for excessive leave

Some 80 of the 122 modern awards now have an "excessive annual leave" model term included, meaning that a worker has more than eight weeks annual leave accrued (or 10 weeks for shift workers).  Once leave gets to this point it may become necessary to see a reduction in the time accrued, to avoid excessive payouts later.

So what happens if agreement between the two parties on how to reduce or eliminate the excessive leave can't be reached?  One of two things can occur.  Either the employer can direct the employee to take one or more periods of leave, or the employee may give notice that they are intending to do so.

In the case of the employee, they may only give notice if the leave has been accrued for more than six months and they haven't been directed previously by their employer to reduce their leave. Where employees meet the criteria, employers are required to grant the leave.

In any event, any leave taken must be for a minimum of one week and must be taken between eight weeks and twelve months from the date of the direction or notice of intention. Additionally, the employee's remaining annual leave must not be less than six weeks.

Further information is available by contacting the Fair Work Commission on 1300 799 675 or by visiting their website at https://www.fwc.gov.au/about-us/news-and-events/decision-summary-published-annual-leave-4-yearly-review-modern-awards

Alternatively, contact Employsure on 1300 798 990 and quote ERA0969 for free advice for employers, or check out their website at http://employsure.com.au

All in all, these welcome changes – which came into effect on 29 July – are positive ones from which both employees and employers will benefit.

 

As you know, here at KDA Group we have always endeavoured to keep you abreast of changing government regulations regarding superannuation in general, and your Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) in particular. In line with this practice, we would like to inform you of some changes that came into effect earlier this year.

On July 1 2016, the laws relating to advice and SMSFs changed. This was done to ensure both the quality of the financial advice given to consumers and the provision of additional protection to taxpayers.

What the regulatory changes mean for you in practical terms, is that from now on we need to provide Statements of Advice formalising particular discussions we have with you regarding your superannuation needs.

Under the new laws, accountants are no longer able to provide advice in relation to superannuation unless they hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) in their own right, or are licenced as an Authorised Representative of an AFSL holder.

To date, very few accountants have become licenced and therefore the pool of accountants able to provide advice on superannuation matters has shrunk considerably.

KDA Group SMSF Strategists Pty Ltd along with Kevin and Roxley have held the required licence since 2010, and are now Authorised Representatives of Merit Wealth Pty Ltd, AFSL No. 409361, allowing us to continue providing financial advice on the following: 
    • Setting up a SMSF 
    • Making contributions into your SMSF 
    • Use of a borrowing arrangement within your SMSF 
    • Establishing and finalising pensions 
    • Winding up your SMSF

As the holder of a full Australian Financial Services Licence, Merit Wealth has access to a range of financial advisers. We are confident that if your advice needs extend beyond the scope of our licence, Merit Wealth will be able to provide experienced advisers to assist you.

Regardless of the regulatory changes, you can be assured that we will continue to provide you with the same high quality of service and professionalism that you have come to expect from us here at KDA Group.

Increased flexibility for Farm Management Deposits Scheme

Life on the land is not for the faint-hearted. Across Australia, farmers and primary producers are increasingly doing it tough, very often facing challenging circumstances that push them to their limits and put pressure on their finances and families. An already uneven income stream exacerbated by the ever present risk of natural disasters, combined with climate and market volatility only adds to the stress. However, the introduction of the Farm Management Deposits Scheme was a step in the right direction, helping to alleviate the strain for many farmers. Recent enhancements which came into effect on July 1st have also been roundly welcomed.

Farm Management Deposits Scheme recap

The Farm Management Deposits Scheme has been specifically designed for farmers. It deals with cash flow fluctuations by allowing primary producers to invest money from profitable years with a financial institution in a specific savings account, which then earns interest, so that it can be called upon in leaner years.

At the same time, the scheme also has the potential for tax advantages. That's because if a Farm Management Deposit is held for longer than twelve months, farmers may claim the amounts they have deposited as a deduction in the year the deposit was made. Subsequently, any withdrawals need only be declared as assessable income in the year in which the withdrawal is made.

Eligible primary producers must be carrying on a primary production business at the time of making the deposit and includes sole traders, partners in a partnership and primary production trust beneficiaries.

More information on the Farm Management Deposits Scheme can be found at www.agriculture.gov.au/fmd

What are the changes?

In an effort to make the scheme a more attractive investment for primary producers, the government has introduced three significant changes designed to provide greater flexibility.

1. An increase in the Farm Management Deposits Scheme cap

The Farm Management Deposits Scheme cap has now been doubled to $800,000 for each eligible primary producer. So, if more than one partner is involved with primary production, they can each invest up to $800,000 into the Farm Management Deposit account within the partnership.

2. The re-introduction of an early access trigger

This trigger gives a primary producer confidence that, should they experience severe drought and need to access monies they've deposited within the last twelve months, they can do so without it affecting their previously claimed tax deduction. As you would expect, the farmer must meet certain criteria to be able to do this, specifically:

·         They must have made their deposit to the Farm Management Deposits Scheme within the previous financial year;

·         The deposit must have been held for at least six months; and

·         At least part of their farming property must have been affected by a lack of rainfall for six consecutive months. Essentially this means that the rainfall must have been within the lowest five per cent of that recorded for their property for that specific six month period.

The particularly good news here is that a farmer is able to self assess, based on Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) information which is publicly available. There's no need to apply to any government agency for a decision. An online tool, known as the Farm Management Deposits Scheme Rainfall Analyser, can help primary producers determine their ability and is easily accessible via the BOM website at www.bom.gov.au/climate/ada

3. Farm Management Deposits Scheme fund may be used as an offset account

Banks can now offer Farm Management Deposit offset accounts to primary producers who are sole traders or partners in a partnership, allowing them to use their Farm Management Deposit to offset the interest costs of farm business borrowings. In order to take advantage of this facility, primary producers need to hold both their loan and Farm Management Deposit with the same financial institution. However, farmers should also note that using their Farm Management Deposit as an offset account may have wider tax implication for their business, such as reducing the tax deduction that they can claim in relation to interest incurred on farm business loans.

Mention should also be made of the consequences of using a Farm Management Deposit to offset the amount of interest payable on non-primary production loans – currently a penalty of 200% of the amount by which the interest has been reduced. Wise farmers wanting to make use of the offset facility may decide it's prudent to keep separate loan accounts to easily distinguish each type of loan.

Even the most viable farm businesses are not immune from unforeseen circumstances and the devastating effects of consecutive seasons of drought, floods or fire. Overall, the enhancements to the Farm Management Deposits Scheme are good, practical changes which give Australia's primary producers even greater flexibility to manage their finances when times are tough, helping them to weather the bad years that will – inevitably – come.

If you'd like to know how the Farm Management Deposits Scheme may benefit your business, or if you would like further advice in this area, contact KDA Group on 02 4861 8383 and speak to one of our consultants.

 

Data Back Up - Saving Your Business' Bacon

DATA BACKUP – SAVING YOUR BUSINESS' BACON

Ask most people if the name Joseph Licklider rings a bell and you'll probably receive nothing but blank looks in return. Yet we all owe Lick, as he was affectionately known in the world of computer science, a huge debt of gratitude for coming up with the original concept of cloud computing. Today, thanks to Lick's pioneering work, cloud storage has largely alleviated the ever-present problem of how to source more digital space in which to keep our important personal and business information. But simply parking your data in cyberspace is only half the answer; backing up your files is equally essential if you're serious about keeping vital records safe.

A quick search on the internet will bring up any number of horror stories detailing a permanent loss of files uploaded to various cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Mega, pCloud and more. Was there a software glitch? Was it a case of user error? At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter – the files are gone. Experts say that the most common cause of permanently lost data comes from user ignorance: the assumption that uploading to the cloud is in itself security enough. The simple fact is, it isn't.

Of course, keep in mind that data you store in the cloud is no different to data that is stored in your office, be it on a server or your local desktop. It is important that you have a robust strategy for backing up all types of data wherever it is stored.

What does online backup really mean?

In basic terms, online backup means you're saving a copy of all your files to someone else's hard drive. All around the world, data centres owned by online backup providers charge you to store a copy of your encrypted files by transferring them over the internet. Once installed, most programs will automatically backup your files, recognising which ones have been created or edited since your last backup. In other words, it's a set-and-forget process which allows you to get on with your business, knowing you're prepared against possible disasters.

However, there's also a school of thought that says paying for backup is an expense you can do without, arguing that juggling free space from multiple cloud storage services can act as a really good backup plan. After all, it's spreading the risk between providers, so it should work, right? Possibly. But detractors of this kind of "solution" point out that users can very quickly find themselves in an ever more complex and time-consuming configuration of storage. And, unless you can be 100% sure that corrupt files or accidental deletions don't appear across all services, it's a textbook example of false economy.

Next steps

So, if uploading your data to the cloud isn't in itself a guarantee of security and if attempting to economise on backup is akin to willfully ignoring the looming iceberg as you sail by on the Titanic, what can business owners do to safeguard their information?

There is an increasing number of online backup services which automatically transfer critical business data to your chosen cloud storage provider, including www.getboxkite.com, www.safeguardmy.com and www.ledgerbackup.com to name just a few.

Useful questions to ask before making your choice should cover:

How fast is data recovery? If there's an emergency, how long can you expect to wait? Hours, days or weeks? Your business depends on its data, so this question is critical.

How safe is my data? Many backup services have what's known as redundant data sites in case their own data centre experiences problems, but not all do.

What is their policy on data retention? For example, if there's a billing dispute and you haven't paid within the required time frame, will the provider automatically delete all your data?

What level of security is on offer? Most providers offer different packages involving varying levels of security and encryption, so make sure you're satisfied with what your fee entitles you to.

How easy is it to restore your data? Does your provider offer you local help in this regard? How confident do you feel when it comes to file restoration?

It's also a good idea to check out online reviews of such services as these can also give you some good insights into how easy an online backup provider is to deal with when it comes to the crunch.

Still not convinced you need it?

It's worthwhile remembering that security of data when utilising software or other services is not always guaranteed. For example, Xero accounting software, specifically designed for small businesses and a popular choice for many clients, currently offers no such promises.  It's Terms and Conditions make it quite clear that the onus is on the user to take appropriate steps to ensure a robust backup process exists and it accepts no liability if things go pear-shaped. 

5.3 Backup of Data:

You must maintain copies of all Data inputted into the Service. Xero adheres to its best practice policies and procedures to prevent data loss, including a daily system data back-up regime, but does not make any guarantees that there will be no loss of Data. Xero expressly excludes liability for any loss of Data no matter how caused.

And further...

7.1 Limitation of Liability

To the maximum extent permitted by law, Xero excludes all liability and responsibility to You (or any other person) in contract, tort (including negligence), or otherwise, for any loss (including loss of information, Data, profits and savings) or damage resulting, directly or indirectly, from any use of, or reliance on, the Service or Website.

It's a fact of life in this technological age that archiving data critical to your business is essential in preventing a data disaster that could well mean the loss of all you've worked so hard to achieve; signing up with an online backup service could well be one of the best business decisions you ever make.
To ensure your backup requirements are met, we strongly suggest you contact your IT specialist and speak to one of their consultants.

KDA's New Client Portal

INTRODUCING KDA'S NEW CLIENT PORTAL: A FASTER, MORE SECURE WAY TO SEND US YOUR ACCOUNTING INFORMATION

Here at KDA Group we're always looking for ways to better serve our clients. We're constantly investigating how we can help to lessen your administrative burden and streamline your accounting processes. So we're delighted to announce our latest operational innovation – the KDA Client Portal,  offering  you a much better way to send, receive and sign important documents. You'll benefit from the added flexibility it brings to your business, saving you both time and money.

Faster turnaround times

Gone are the days when you needed to deliver your accounting data file to our office by hand, or print off documents, sign a paper copy, and sprint to the post office. The KDA Client Portal saves you all that time and effort because, with just a few clicks of your mouse, you can quickly and conveniently upload any document you like from wherever you are, and at whatever time suits you best.

You can now electronically sign documents and have the signed version automatically sent back to KDA Group. Whether you need just one or multiple signatures, it's equally quick and simple to do.

Increased security

Using the KDA Client Portal offers you a greater level of online security than sending documents via regular email or traditional "snail mail", which is now taking a week or more to deliver. What's more, because the portal can accept any size document, it's a much faster method of electronic document transfer –  and it won't clog up your inbox.

Easy access whenever you need it

When you log in to the KDA Client Portal via our secure log in system, you'll instantly have access to all kinds of documents related to your business accounts. Tax returns, financial statements and more – they're all there for you to view, download or action.

Email notification

When we upload a file for you, we'll immediately send you a notification email advising you that it's ready and waiting for your attention. All you need to do is click on the link, enter your password and you're free to access your documents or download them as required.

It's quick to get started

Many of you are already enjoying the benefits that the KDA Client Portal provides. For those yet to access the portal, we will soon be sending you an email invitation with a link, so simply follow the easy instructions to create and enter your unique password. You'll then be directed to the log in page and be ready to go. To assist you further please read our Client Portal Fact Sheet.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, we're more than happy to give you a hand. Just give KDA Group a call on 02 4861 8383.

Is Your Small Business SuperStream Ready?

Of all the tasks small business owners face, administration relating to employee superannuation is regularly voted as one of the most time consuming and frustrating. However, hundreds of thousands of Australian businesses are already enjoying the benefits of switching to SuperStream, the new payment system that does away with cumbersome processes. If your business hasn't already made the change, it's time to make it a priority.

SuperStream is a range of reforms introduced as part of the Australian Government's Strong Super package. In simple terms, it means paying super and sending employee information across the super network – between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO – in a standard, industry approved electronic format. No more cheques to send or paper to post; everything is done online.

Last year, larger businesses were required to change over to the new system. 30 June 2016 is the deadline for all businesses with fewer than 20 employees to make the switch.

The beauty of SuperStream, particularly for time-poor small business owners, is the introduction of easier processes and subsequent reduced processing times. With a simpler, consistent method for making super contributions, setting up super accounts for new employees and providing required data to the ATO, you may find yourself with valuable extra time to devote to other aspects of your business.

And the benefits don't end there. Not only are contributions allocated to employees' accounts much faster, the introduction of SuperStream also means the chance of errors is greatly reduced, sparing business owners the frustration of dealing with "please explain" enquiries from multiple super funds. So, wins all round.

But, with less than 80 days to go before the June 30 deadline, the clock is ticking. Employers who haven't yet taken steps to incorporate the required changes need to get their skates on to make sure everything is in place for the transition to the new system.

Part of SuperStream's appeal is that it offers a range of choices for implementation. Business owners can choose from:

·         Their own super fund's online system;

·         A clearing house;

·         A payroll system that is SuperStream ready; or

·         A messaging portal.

If your current accounting software or payroll system doesn't offer a SuperStream solution, then help is at hand. First up is courtesy of the ATO. Their Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free, online service specifically designed for employers with 19 or fewer employees. It's also ideal for businesses with an annual aggregated turnover of less than $2M per annum.

Designed to cut admin and compliance costs, this ATO-administered service means businesses can make a single super guarantee electronic payment and the clearing house then distributes the correct payments to the various employees' funds. You can find out more about how this free service works by visiting the ATO website at  www.ato.gov.au and typing SuperStream in the search function.

Help can also be found through a number of other providers.

·         Australian Super helps individuals and entities at all levels meet their super responsibilities. Visit their website at www.australiansuper.com and find out how QuickSuper can assist your business.

·         National Australia Bank's wealth management division, MLC, provides superannuation advice and support to corporate, institutional and retail customers. More information on MLC's SuperEzy programme can be found at www.mlc.com.au.

·         Organisations large and small can also contact Superchoice, a leading specialist superannuation contribution exchange service. More information can be found at www.superchoice.com.au.

Superannuation Deputy Commissioner, James O'Halloran, says that details are already coming in of reporting processing times being cut by as much as an impressive 70 per cent, so it's clear that  SuperStream really is good news for Australian small businesses.

But probably its biggest benefit is that it's a genuine time saver, giving owners much needed space to concentrate on growing and running their enterprise; allowing them to focus more fully on the needs of their employees.

If you have any questions regarding how to comply with SuperStream obligations for your business, KDA Group can help. Simply give us a call on 02 4861 8383 and we'll be glad to assist.

About Us

Backed by years of experience and knowledge in business accounting and taxation, KDA Group has grown to a team of 15 committed staff servicing the needs of clients Australia wide.

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At KDA Group we aim to provide you with advice when your business needs it, not just when you ask for it.

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