SuperStream: A guide for small business and for SMSF trustees

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    For small businesses

    SuperStream is new integrated software system that the government is introducing to bring superannuation into the internet age, and this includes SMSFs. Small business owners (with 19 or fewer employees) must have the approved software in place and begin using the electronic system by July 1, 2015. Larger organisations should have already been using this system since last July.

    One simple solution is to use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to handle all your superannuation for you. It is a government service and SuperStream ready, so you can save a lot of time and hassle by using this ready to go service.

    The Tax Office has introduced a nine-step process to assist small business owners. These steps will insure that you have what you need and will help you understand how the new process works.

    Step 1: Asses your options

    Find the solution that suits your needs, as every employer is different. Potential solutions include:

    • If you have an electronic payroll system, check for updated or SuperStream compliant products
    • If you use external partners, check their plans and look for emerging competitive opportunities
    • Contact your payroll software provider and ask them about their SuperStream plans
    • If you outsource your payroll, check with your supplier or payroll service provider
    • If you rely on a super fund for assistance, you can speak to them

    Step 2: Set a target start date

    You must begin implementing SuperStream from July 1, 2015. The government will provide some leniency as to your actual start date, provided you have a firm plan in place and are doing your best to have it running by June 30, 2016. There will always be glitches to work out when using new software, so start using it early to avoid any surprises down the road.

    Step 3: Collect new information

    With this new electronic system, there is some additional data that will need to be collected regarding specific funds.

    • All Funds – You will need to have the Fund ABN and the employee TFN
    • APRA Funds – You need the Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI)
    • SMSF’s– You need the bank account details and the electronic service address

    If you do not have this information or do not know where to collect it, contact the fund and they will assist you. Where employees contribute directly to their fund, they will need to supply the information specific to their fund, including bank account details and electronic service address.

    Step 4: Update payroll records

    Once you have collected the required information you will need to enter this in and update your records.

    Step 5: Upgrade your payroll system

    If you are currently using payroll software, your provider should be able to tell you if it needs to be upgraded. If they do not have an upgrade, you should find out when it will be available so you can plan your roll-out.

    Step 6: Connect to your provider

    Depending on your software and the solutions you choose, you may have to arrange secure log-ins with your service provider or default super fund for access.

    Step 7: Undertake a trial

    Once you have everything in place, you may want to run through a trial to work out any bugs in your system and make sure employees are properly trained (if needed).

    Step 8: Make your first SuperStream contribution

    You will need to:

    • Run a trial payroll balance for your contributions with a subtotal for each fund
    • Process your payments and generate a unique reference number for each payment
    • Copy the reference numbers and put them into your contribution file before you submit the files as data messages

    Step 9: Refine your process

    Review your processes and see if you need to make any changes. Also make sure you keep up with any developments or updates regarding SuperStream.

    Although you may not need to follow each of these nine steps, they are a good checklist to have.


    For SMSF Trustees

    SMSFs that receive employer contributions are required to comply with SuperStream. Those that only receive contributions from related parties, do not need to comply.

    The three key pieces of information that an employer needs are:

    • The fund’s ABN
    • The fund’s bank account details
    • The fund’s electronic service address

    The ABN and bank details should not be too difficult in locating. The electronic service address is not simply the email address, but it must comply with the data and payment standards of SuperStream.

    The easiest way to collect this information is to use one of the providers recommended by the Tax Office. The electronic address must be able to receive and send host data messages to and from superfunds and translate them correctly. If you have trouble, contact the Tax Office for the approved list of SuperStream providers or ask this office, located in Caulfield, for assistance.



    Hillyer Riches Management Pty Ltd, your accountants in Caulfield, is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No 466483) of Capstone Financial Planning Pty Ltd. ABN 24 093 733 969. AFSL / ACL No. 223135.This document contains general advice only and is not personal financial or investment advice. Also, changes in legislation may occur frequently. We recommend that our formal advice be obtained before acting on the basis of this information.

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