Payroll Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Category Archives for "Payroll"

rules and entitlements during the end-of-year holiday season

Do you know the rules and entitlements during the end-of-year holiday season?

Do you know the rules and entitlements during the end-of-year holiday season?

As we head into the summer holiday period, is your business up to speed with your rights and obligations?

If you don't outsource your payroll, it can be confusing to employers and employees alike – public holidays worked or taken as annual leave, business shutdowns, annual leave provisions… there are many rules employers need to understand.

Employees are entitled to annual leave and public holidays under the National Employment Standards minimum entitlements.

Employers can ask employees to work on public holidays within reason. For example, if the business is open every day of the year, and the employment agreement states that public holidays may be required, the employer can reasonably ask an employee to work a public holiday.

An employee can refuse to work on a public holiday if the request is unreasonable or there are reasonable personal grounds for refusing.

Christmas and New Year Public Holidays 2023-24

The following link has the Christmas and New Year Public Holidays that apply to employers in all states for the Christmas period and beyond - 2023 Public Holidays

Public holidays are paid at ordinary rates for employees who take the day off. Employees who work on a public holiday must either be paid penalty rates according to the relevant award or be given an extra day off in lieu of the public holiday. Some awards have specific provisions or additional benefits for public holidays, so it's important to check.

If an employee has booked annual leave for the Christmas and New Year periods, the public holidays are not counted as annual leave.

Some other key points to remember

  • Public holidays are counted as service, so annual and personal leave continues to accrue as usual.
  • Overtime worked on a public holiday may be paid at a different rate than regular overtime – check the relevant award or agreement.
  • Check the award or agreement for shutdown provisions. Most awards have guidance for directing employees to take leave during annual shutdowns.
  • If employees don’t have enough annual leave, employers can agree to pay them in advance for leave not yet accrued, or the employee can take unpaid leave.

The FWO has further advice on rules and entitlements during the end-of-year holiday season.

You might also need to think about cash flow planning for the holiday period, particularly if the business shuts down but still has obligations for payroll and other expenses.

We can advise you about your employer responsibilities and help plan holiday period payments so you can make the most of your summer holiday! Better still, talk to us about outsourcing your payroll.

Streamline Your Business with Online Timesheets 1

Streamline Your Business with Online Timesheets

Streamline Your Business with Online Timesheets

Messy, inflexible schedules, inaccurate timesheets, time-consuming data entry – paper-based time management is slowing your business down. We can help speed things up.

Thanks to the availability of affordable and accessible cloud-based options, like Xero Timesheets or Deputy, businesses can now bid farewell to archaic paper-based systems and unlock a world of efficiency and accuracy.

The Pitfalls of Paper

Paper-based time tracking and scheduling systems, while once the norm, have significant limitations that hinder business productivity. These limitations include inflexibility, time wastage, and vulnerability to time theft.

Inflexibility

Traditional paper schedules are rigid and static. They don't easily accommodate changes in work shifts or time-off requests, leading to frustration among employees and administrative headaches for businesses.

Time Wastage

Creating and managing paper schedules consumes valuable employee time that could be better spent on more productive tasks. Additionally, the manual nature of paper-based systems increases the likelihood of errors, leading to even more wasted time in rectifying mistakes.

Vulnerability to Time Theft

Perhaps one of the most significant drawbacks of paper-based systems is their susceptibility to time theft. Misreporting working hours, whether intentional or accidental, can result in inaccurate payroll calculations and disputes, creating a strain on both finances and employee trust.

Embracing the Benefits of Online Tools

Online timesheets and rostering tools offer a modern and efficient solution to the shortcomings of paper-based systems. Let's delve into the numerous advantages they bring to the table.

Practical, Flexible Scheduling

Online scheduling empowers employees to take control of their work schedules. Through user-friendly mobile applications, they can access their upcoming shifts, request time off, and even pick up additional shifts on the go. This flexibility not only enhances employee satisfaction but also streamlines the scheduling process for managers.

Up-to-the-Minute Time Tracking

With online timesheets, time tracking becomes precise and effortless. Employees can clock in and out with their mobile devices, eliminating the need for time-consuming paperwork. This real-time tracking ensures that working hours are recorded down to the minute, preventing any rounding-up discrepancies.

Seamless Communication

Effective communication is at the heart of any successful business operation. Online systems come equipped with features that simplify communication. Managers can send out notifications about schedule changes, set up instant overtime alerts, and notify staff about open shifts with ease.

Enhanced Visibility

Time equals money. Efficient time tracking provides businesses with invaluable insights into how their resources are being allocated. Employees can track their time against specific jobs or projects, enabling businesses to itemise bills, quote accurately, and justify invoices with precision.

Integration for Efficiency

Integration capabilities are a game-changer when it comes to online timesheets. By seamlessly connecting time tracking and scheduling software with other management systems, businesses can streamline their operations further. For example, linking tracking software with your payroll system eliminates the need for manual data entry and simplifies tax calculations for each team member.

Making life easier

When in comes to implementing the 

The shift from traditional paper-based time tracking and scheduling to online systems is a step towards enhanced accessibility, accuracy, and efficiency. It's about making life easier for both businesses and their employees.

Are you ready to embrace the advantages of online timesheets? Reach out to us for support in implementing the appropriate apps for your business.

Cost of a new employee

The cost of a new employee

The cost of a new employee

When you’re calculating pay rises, it’s important to think about more than just how much you can afford. You also need to consider the true cost of replacing that employee.

Low pay rises can be unexpectedly expensive

It’s surprisingly common for businesses to offer low pay rises, only for workers to feel undervalued and resign. The employer is left with all the upfront costs of replacing them, plus paying the salary, plus training the new employee and lost productivity as they learn the ropes.

Some estimates put the cost of a new employee at around 40% of their salary and a 2021 Australasian survey put the price at an average of $23,860 per worker.

Overall, that low pay rise could cost your business a lot more than you bargained for.

Not paying enough might just cost you an employee

If you run the numbers you’ll see the impact that an insufficient pay rise can have.

Let’s say you employ Ashley, an office manager who is paid $60,000. You offer Ashley a 4% pay rise, which will cost you around $2,400 more each year. With inflation running at over 7%, Ashley feels this isn’t enough and finds a job paying $68,000 almost immediately.

If you had provided Ashley with a 10% pay rise, it would have cost you around $6,000 more each year and you would still have your employee. Finding a new employee could cost you $20,000 or more.

Running the numbers

Make sure you understand salaries in your industry, and think about inflation, when you calculate pay rises.

Also consider how easy it would be to replace the person and how much value they bring to your business.

And think about extra benefits you could offer a valuable team member: do they want more flexibility or a four-day week?

We can run the numbers for you before your remuneration reviews or if you are looking to hire. 

If you have any questions about pay rises or hiring this year, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

Preparing for finalising Single Touch Payroll

Preparing for finalising Single Touch Payroll

Preparing for finalising Single Touch Payroll

It’s nearly time to make a finalisation declaration for Single Touch Payroll. There is no need to issue payment summaries to employees you have reported through STP.

Employers must complete the finalisation declaration by 14 July for employees. Employers with a mixture of employees and closely held payees have until 30 September to make the declaration.

Small employers (fewer than 19 employees) that only pay closely held payees have until the payee’s income tax return due date. Employers will need to liaise with the individual payee about the exact tax return due date.

You may have some payees who have not been reported through STP, so you still need to issue a payment summary for anyone not reported through STP. You will also need to submit a payment summary annual report (PSAR) for any payments outside the STP system.

Once the STP finalisation has been sent to the ATO, the employee’s information will be released in their myGov account and listed as ‘tax ready’.

STP Payroll Checklist

Be efficient and prepare as much as you can now so that you are able to finalise your data by 14 July.

  • Check that your business details, including ABN, registered name and address and authorised contact person are correct in your software.
  • You should already have necessary details for all employees, both current and any who have terminated throughout the year if you are using STP. The essential information is full name, date of birth, address and tax file number.
  • Review any terminated employees. Is the correct termination date recorded in your software? Are Employment Termination Payments (ETPs) coded correctly?
  • Review salary sacrifice payments to superannuation for Reportable Employer Superannuation Contributions (RESC) amounts.
  • Check with us for any Reportable Fringe Benefit Tax (RFBT) amounts that should be included.
  • Check that all payroll categories are assigned to the correct ATO reporting category. This includes all ordinary earnings, loadings and penalties, allowances, commissions, bonuses, leave payments and termination payments.
  • You may have other unusual payments such as those made under a voluntary agreement for contractors or labour-hire arrangements—check that you have reported them correctly.

Finalising Single Touch Payroll

It’s important to verify payroll figures before finalising, in order to minimise the chance of errors and having to re-issue at a later date.The finalisation process is the same whether you are using STP Phase 1 reporting or Phase 2.

Once the payroll year is completed at 30 June, you can then analyse the payroll amounts for each employee and cross-check against the numbers in your profit and loss accounts.

Talk to us today if you would like us to make the STP end of year process easier by reviewing and validating your payroll figures prior to finalising the data and lodging with the ATO. The end of the payroll year will be here sooner than you think.

Keeping your cashflow strong

Keeping your cashflow strong in tough times

Keeping your cashflow strong in tough times

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in tough economic times.

When sales are slow, there are still overheads and salaries that need to be sorted.

At First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray, we understand that the key to staying afloat and continuing to thrive during this time is pre-planning and forward thinking.

Here are some tips to help your business thrive in these difficult times:

Get a clear picture of your payroll and planned expenses

It's important to have a detailed understanding of your business's expenses so that you can plan for any potential shortfalls.

Make sure you have a clear picture of your payroll, and any other planned expenses that will need to be accounted for. If there’s even a possibility that there could be a shortfall, it’s essential to meet this head-on.

By forecasting and budgeting meticulously, you'll be able to better understand how you're placed to weather financial strains if or when they arise.

Invoice early

Sending invoices as soon as possible and in advance can help you receive payments sooner. By proactively billing your clients or customers, you increase the chances of receiving payment promptly. Offering a retainer or similar deal to regular clients or customers can also encourage them to book services or make purchases in advance, providing you with a cash flow boost.

Chase payment 

It's essential to follow up on any outstanding payments during tough times. Maintain strong communication with your clients and proactively remind them about their unpaid invoices. By initiating conversations and expressing the importance of timely payment, you can encourage clients to settle their dues promptly. Read 6 secrets to getting prompt payment here.

Talk to suppliers

A little honesty can go a long way. Being honest with your suppliers about your financial situation can lead to more flexible arrangements. Openly communicate with them and explore the possibility of extending a line of credit or negotiating alternative payment terms. Suppliers who value an ongoing business relationship may be willing to work with you to find mutually beneficial solutions.

Review Inventory

Evaluating your inventory can help identify potential cost-saving measures. Look for local suppliers who may offer cheaper alternatives, reducing shipping costs. Additionally, consider discussing alternative products with your suppliers that could help you lower expenses without compromising the quality or value you offer to your customers.

Review your costs

It’s also a good idea to do a general review of expenses. Business costs can creep up, and it’s a great idea to make a time to check on your expenses regularly, no matter what your financial situation. Review all of your regular payments and subscriptions as well as upcoming costs. There may be travel, functions or purchases which you can decide on an alternative approach to.

Talk to the bank or tax department

If you're experiencing tight cash flow, it's important to initiate early conversations with your bank and tax department. By discussing your situation, you can explore available options for financial assistance, such as credit facilities or tax payment extensions. Proactive communication allows you to put necessary arrangements in place and ensures you have the support needed to navigate challenging times.

Need help? 

We can help you implement strategies to protect your business for the long terms and help you alleviate cashflow worries.  Get in touch.

Paid family and domestic violence leave

Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave – New Entitlement Rules

Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

New Entitlement Rules

Employees of non-small business employers can now access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.

Employees of small businesses can access the leave from 1 August 2023.

Employees have had an entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) for some time as part of the National Employment Standards (NES). But as of 1st February this is a paid leave entitlement for employees of larger employers and 1 August 2023 for employees of small employers (fewer than 15 employees).

The new law allows ten days of paid leave every 12 months, but the leave does not roll over and accumulate.

The full pay rate will apply as if the employee had worked as usual on the day of the leave.

The new FDVL means employees can take time off to deal with the impacts of domestic violence or abuse if they need to take care of things during working hours. This includes attending court, accessing police or support services, or making arrangements for the safety of oneself or close relatives.

FDV Leave Eligibility and Proof
  • Applies to all employees, permanent and casual.
  • Close relatives include a spouse, partner, former partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or sibling; or the child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a current or former spouse or partner. Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal kinship relatives are also included.
  • The leave is available as soon as an employee starts with an employer.
  • Employees must inform the employer as soon as possible about the need for FDVL and the expected length of leave.
  • The employer can ask for evidence such as police, court, or support service documents, or a statutory declaration, even if the leave period is less than a day.
Plan for Increased Payroll Costs

Because the new leave provision applies from day one of employment for all employees, employers should plan for the potential cost of the leave.

While it's unlikely that all employees will take this leave, preparing for the possible cost means you won't get caught out if you do have to pay FDV leave, particularly for casual workers.

Secure Jobs and Better Pay Bill

Secure Jobs and Better Pay Bill – How will it affect your business?

Secure Jobs and Better Pay Bill - How will it affect your business?

The Secure Jobs and Better Pay Bill 2022 was passed in November 2022 as an amendment to the Fair Work Act 2009.

Some changes start immediately, and others will roll out over the next six months to a year.

The act amends workplace relations laws relating to many aspects of employment. While not every new law will affect every employer, it's essential to understand the extensive changes that are coming.

The Main Changes

  • Flexibility of working hours, enabling workers to negotiate hours that suit them.
  • Collective enterprise bargaining allows employers within the same industries to negotiate common pay and conditions agreements.
  • Changes to the enterprise bargaining system to make it easier for employees to initiate bargaining for an enterprise agreement where existing enterprise agreements have expired.
  • Fixed term contract limitations will constrain the number of times a contract can be renewed. This should result in employers offering permanent positions to workers once the contracts have ended.
  • Pay secrecy clauses in employment agreements must be removed, meaning an employer cannot force an employee to keep from discussing their pay with colleagues.
  • The right to protection from sexual harassment means employers must be proactive in fostering an environment free from sexual harassment.
  • Changes to the better off overall test (BOOT) should make assessing whether a proposed agreement passes the test simpler.
    Equal remuneration principles to promote gender pay equality.

What Next?

The Bill has brought significant reforms to employee entitlements that make it more important than ever to ensure your employment agreements comply with the new laws.

There will be more updates next year about the changes, but in the meantime, we recommend you prepare for the new laws that will affect your business.

Employees and the Holiday Season – What You Need to Know

Employees and the Holiday Season – What You Need to Know

Employees and the Holiday Season – What You Need to Know

The summer holiday period can be confusing to employers and employees alike – public holidays worked or taken as annual leave, business shutdowns, annual leave provisions… there are many rules employers need to understand.

Employees are entitled to annual leave and public holidays under the National Employment Standards minimum entitlements.

Employers can ask employees to work on public holidays within reason. For example, if the business is open every day of the year, and the employment agreement states that public holidays may be required, the employer can reasonably ask an employee to work a public holiday.

An employee can refuse to work on a public holiday if the request is unreasonable or there are reasonable personal grounds for refusing.

Christmas and New Year Public Holidays 2022-23

This year the following public holidays apply to employers in all states:

  • Sunday 25 December 2022 Christmas Day
  • Monday 26 December 2022 Boxing Day
  • Tuesday 27 December 2022 Additional public holiday for Christmas Day
  • Sunday 1 January 2023 New Year’s Day
  • Monday 2 January 2023 Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day

Public holidays are paid at ordinary rates for employees who take the day off. Employees who work on a public holiday must either be paid penalty rates according to the relevant award or be given an extra day off in lieu of the public holiday. Some awards have specific provisions or additional benefits for public holidays, so it's important to check.

If an employee has booked annual leave for the Christmas and New Year periods, the public holidays are not counted as annual leave. For example, if a permanent employee is on annual leave from Monday 26 December to Friday 6 January, they will use eight days of annual leave, not ten. Two of the days are paid as public holidays.

Some other key points to remember:

  • Public holidays are counted as service, so annual and personal leave continues to accrue as usual.
  • Overtime worked on a public holiday may be paid at a different rate than regular overtime – check the relevant award or agreement.
  • Check the award or agreement for shutdown provisions. Most awards have guidance for directing employees to take leave during annual shutdowns.
  • If employees don’t have enough annual leave, employers can agree to pay them in advance for leave not yet accrued, or the employee can take unpaid leave.

The FWO has further advice on rules and entitlements during the end-of-year holiday season.

You might also need to think about cash flow planning for the holiday period, particularly if the business shuts down but still has obligations for payroll and other expenses.

We can help plan holiday period payments so you can make the most of your summer holiday!

Digital Payroll for Your Business

Digital Payroll for Your Business

Digital Payroll for Your Business

Many businesses traditionally rely on paper employee records which are time-consuming to maintain. So it's no surprise that many business payroll records are lacking, as business owners don't have the time to keep them correctly.

The ATO and Fair Work Ombudsman are known to target small businesses with employees, as the industry has a track record of incomplete or inaccurate payroll records.

Additionally, many business owners have trouble staying up to date with the frequent changes in Australian payroll laws and the relevant modern awards used in the industry.

Many digital payroll solutions can help with payroll compliance and accurate record keeping. There is a range from simple, low-cost solutions to sophisticated human resource management apps. Once you are connected with a digital payroll app, staying abreast of the changing rules will be much easier.

While reliable internet can be a problem in regional areas, getting a digital payroll solution that you can use on a computer or mobile phone can dramatically reduce the administration workload of maintaining payroll.

Once systems are set up, there are many benefits to using a digital system:

  • Link entitlements, conditions, pay rates and categories from an award or enterprise agreement to each employee.
  • Approval process for timesheets and leave.
  • Flags for exceptions, such as an employee forgetting to enter an end time for a shift or not taking a lunch break.
  • Set piece rates and allowances.
  • Integrated Single Touch Payroll filing with the ATO. If you use paper or spreadsheet records, you must still use a separate digital system to report STP.
  • Secure and private payroll records are backed up online, protected from natural disasters.
  • Detailed costing for each shift or work week so you can plan ahead for the total cost of wages, taxes and super.
  • The system will automatically keep the records for the required seven years.
  • Employees can access payslips and request leave via their phone.
  • Superannuation calculation and payments are fully integrated into the payroll system.

If it’s time to upgrade your payroll systems, talk to us.

We'll help set you up with the right digital system for your business so you can spend less time dealing with paper and spreadsheets!

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