Tag Archives: payroll  

The Australian Payroll Conference 2017


The Australian Payroll Conference took place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney and was informative for all attendees. Payroll is an area that is very important to all businesses and individuals that are in the workforce as it is imperative that employees are paid correctly.

Mike Munro was the MC for the event. I have grown up watching him on Australian television, with my favourite of his appearances being in ‘This is your Life’.


Mike Munro
Mike Munro

Andrew Griffiths, a well known author, speaker and mentor, opened the conference with “It’s time to become a mighty communicator” and stressed the importance of communicating. Relaying great stories he explained how we are losing the art of communicating. Andrew touched on the differences between the way men and women communicate. He also believed that we need to make the meaningful moments in life count, which signifies living in the moment and devoting your attention to the now. He had us laughing about life and paying each other compliments.

Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths

The ‘Changing Landscape of Payroll in Australia’ component was presented by Simon Gallagher- CFO Drake Australia, MD Drake Allegiance. Simon explained to us that there is an increase in self employment and casual workers.  They are saying that  permanent employment will reduce by 50% moving forward. Work/Life balance is becoming a driver as more people rely on attaining a certain lifestyle.  It was interesting to hear that young people will have 17 different jobs in their career. From a technological arena we are seeing the evolution of eye detection technology which is now being used to track employees. A point that Simon made that I regularly reflect upon, is to be more proactive than reactive, embracing technology and automation. By doing this you will gain new skills and become more valuable.

Simon Gallagher
Simon Gallagher

Next year on the 1st July 2018 the Australian Taxation Office is introducing the One Touch Payroll for employers that have over 20 employees and then the following year businesses with smaller numbers of employees will be required to come on board.

Single Touch Payroll
Single Touch Payroll


In preparation for the Single Touch Payroll businesses are urged to check all employee records ensuring details are correct, especially Name and Date of Birth.

A favourite presenter of mine is always Maria Nikoletatos – Chief Knowledge Officer at Australian Payroll Association. She covered the technical aspects of Long Service Leave and ETP payments and Superannuation. Always entertaining and full of knowledge.

Meanwhile, I had the pleasure of catching up with Leanne Lewis at the Australian Bookkeepers Association stand supporting and uniting bookkeepers and Bas Agents around Australia

Leanne Lewis and Fiona Failla
Leanne Lewis and Fiona Failla

Tracy Angwin – CEO at Australian Payroll Association ended the day with the 4 types of analytics one can get from payroll.  They are the Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive and Prescriptive. I loved her passion for the future of having payroll personnel trained in payroll Administration or payroll Management. Having more individuals qualified in payroll can only improve knowledge in an area that is the backbone of all businesses.


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Christmas Parties and Gifts- Can you claim?


Every year businesses want to reward employees and celebrate the end of another year, but how do you celebrate?

There are many factors that come into play in the consideration of treatment of various expenses.

Christmas Parties

For some early birds they may have held their Christmas party at the Spring Racing Carnival in a function room or marquee. Was this expense under the $300 GST Inclusive threshold per employee and their partner? If it was then it would be considered a minor benefit. A minor benefit is an exemption that applies for the Fringe Benefits Tax which is known as FBT, but it is common practice for this type of entertainment to not have the GST claimed and to not be a deductible expense.

Another common Christmas breakup is a BBQ, this is often held on the business premises, in this scenario all the food and soft drink expenses are considered a claimable deduction.


Some important aspects that you need to consider when planning a business christmas party are:

  • Are you having a party with alcohol at a restaurant?
  • Are you having food and alcohol at your premises?
  • How much are you going to spend per employee?
  • Are there going to be suppliers and contractors at the party?

 These questions will help determine if an expense and GST is claimable or not.



Giving gifts to staff under $300 GST inclusive is a great option as the GST is claimable and the expense can be claimed. It is considered as a minor benefit and FBT is not applicable.

If you give tickets to the theatre, movies or a sporting event it is considered entertainment. It is also considered a minor benefit for FBT if under the threshold. The GST is not claimable and the expense cannot be claimed. On the other hand if the entertainment expense is over $300 GST inclusive per employee then the expense is subject to FBT, the GST can be claimed and it is considered a tax deduction.


Client gifts are fully claimable as an expense as well as GST claimable, but remember if the expense is considered an entertainment expense (eg. theatre tickets) it is not claimable.

Typical gifts that would not be considered an entertainment expense are a bottle of wine, hampers, flowers, perfumes and gift vouchers. A frequent error made by many is that they try to claim the GST on gift vouchers when there is no GST to claim.

The best thing you can do is give as much detail as you can when entering the expense in your accounting package so then your BAS Agent or accountant can help you.

At the end of the day if you are unsure about how to treat these expenses contact your advisor who can help you.

If you do not have an advisor and require some assistance please contact us to arrange a consultation.

*Please Note: The information contained in this blog is of a generic nature for small businesses in Australia and should not be used as a sole source of information. If you require specific advice please contact your advisor.

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As of the 1st of July 2015, employers that have 20 or more staff need to be super stream ready. Superstream in a nutshell is the new way of making super contributions.

The rate will remain the same at 9.5% on ordinary time earnings.

Superstream works by uploading and entering in information into one super fund, which will then distribute lodgment details and specified amounts of money to various employee super funds.

Employers must first ensure that the following steps have been taken:
• Have they chosen their default fund
• Advised the default fund that they will be using them for superstream
• Entered in all of the employees information in the default super fund
• Or, have they entered all of the information in software that supports superstream

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers has provided a minimum checklist for all bookkeepers and employers to help better understand the changes.

These are the data fields, which are required:

• Name—family name and given name
• TFN (mandatory if provided by employee)
• TFN not provided indicator (if no TFN provided by employee this must be notified)
• Member identifier
• Gender
• Date of birth
• Address
• Contact details
• Contribution type (e.g. employer SG contribution, salary sacrifice)
• Contribution amount

As well as the details about their superfund:
• Fund name
• Unique Product Identifier (if required)

Payment Details:
• Payment date
• Payment type
• Payment amount
• Payment reference number (unique)
• Fund bank account details
• Fund name
• If BPAY is used, biller code and customer reference number

These minimum requirements will allow you to meet your obligations by the deadlines. If information is not available to the default superfund, you may fail to meet your requirements.
If you would like more information about the requirements feel free to contact AboveBAS.

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