Frequently Asked Questions 

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about Xero, bookkeeping & accounting procedures.
If you can’t see an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

BENKORP SERVICES

Xero

Q: You seem to be encouraging that we use Xero Accounting software. Why is that?

A:We have worked with other accounting packages for over 20 years and now after using Xero for 3 years – I will never go back!! No more software installations, upgrading, roll overs, and back ups. It is true multiuser software wherever you are. Unlimited users, Employee portal, bank feeds, documentation can be attached to every transaction. Documents can be emailed to your own Xero account email address. The list goes on. Have a look at our webpage for more details…www.benkorp.com/Xero

Q: Can we start a new accounting system half way during the financial year?

A: Yes. There are a few options for this:

  1. Part of the year in the old accounting system and the remainder in the new system. The year to date balances are brought forward. This is a small nuisance for your accountant at year end, but time goes quickly and this is quickly forgotten. Always look forward. Don’t spent time looking backwards!!
  2. Migration of data. In many cases the data and transactions from the beginning of the year, and sometimes the year before, can be migrated from the old accounting system to the new. Please ask us if this is possible.
  3. Start the new system from the beginning of the year. If there have not been too many transactions, and you are using a system like Xero, we can help you import and quickly enter transactions from the beginning of the year.
  4. Previous Monthly comparative balances. This is also sometimes possible to establish at set up time. Please ask.
Training & Support

Q: What sort of training does Benkorp provide?

A: Benkorp provides customised training for you and your team. We focus on your priorities, your questions and issues. No need to waste your time learning unnecessary functions. We are trained and bring decades of experience working with accounting systems and different organisations. The two main types of training we provide are:

  • How to use an accounting system for your organisation – includes lots of bookkeeping and accounting tips
  • Financial Management Training for your board, directors, parish council. This may include how to read financial statements, developing policies and procedures, developing budgets,

Q: Where does Benkorp provide training?

A:There are a few options for this:

  • Onsite – at your place – we can provide onsite training at your location for up to 5 people for a minimum of three (3)hours. Travel charges apply beyond 20kms from Glebe, NSW. For the most comfort, we use your computer, in your environment using your transactions to work from.
  • Online – we use the industry standard GotoMeeting for online training for up to 5 people. Minimum of 30 minutes. Each person will need access to a computer. People being trained can be in different locations. The session can be interactive, providing each person is in a quiet environment.
  • Onsite – at our place – we can provide onsite training at our home office location for up to 3 people for a minimum of three (3) hours. We can provide a computer or you bring yours.  We use your transactions to work from.

Q: Does Benkorp provide ongoing onsite Bookkeeping & Accounting service at our office?

A: Benkorp can sometimes provide some once off accounting services onsite, however all our ongoing Bookkeeping & Accounting services are provided online. We have developed great processes for our clients to send us work to be processed and shared. Read More

Bookkeeping Options

Q: Benkorp provides Bookkeeping & Accounting services, can this be shared to reduce costs?

A: Yes. Benkorp can provide all or some of the ongoing financial management work for your organisation. Please see below some options.

 

Benkorp ongoing Bookkeeping & Accounting service options goto: 

https://www.benkorp.com/churches/bookkeeping-and-accounting-for-churches/

Q: Can Benkorp provide a chart of accounts for us to use?

A: As part of a new system set up, Benkorp can provide the following Chart of Accounts to help you have a good fresh start:

  • Small business template that can be customised for your business
  • NFP template that can be customised for your business
  • ACNC Standard Chart of Accounts
  • SAPAS – Sydney Anglican Standard Chart of Accounts
  • UCAP – previous NSW Uniting Church Standard Chart of Accounts – based on the ACNC standard
  • Generic Church Chart of Accounts based on the SAPAS Standard Chart of Account

GST RELATED QUESTIONS 

Simpler BAS

 

Q. What is Simpler BAS?

You might have heard about Simpler BAS, the ATO’s initiative to make it easier for small businesses to complete their Business Activity Statement.
 
From 1 July 2017, small businesses will have less GST information to report on their BAS. This reduces the need to have so many GST tax rates in Xero. As a result, Xero has introduced the option to apply basic GST rates.  We suggest using basic GST rates from now on as it will help simplify your data entry in Xero.
 
If you select the basic tax rates option, Xero retains these rates:
  • BAS Excluded
  • GST Free Expenses
  • GST Free Income
  • GST on Expenses
  • GST on Income
  • GST on Imports

Xero archives these advanced tax rates:

  • GST on Capital
  • GST Free Capital
  • Input Taxed
  • GST on Capital Imports
  • GST Free Exports

Custom rates you’ve created aren’t affected.

You don’t need to do anything to access Simpler BAS reporting.  If you lodge online and are eligible for Simpler BAS the ATO will automatically send you a BAS requiring less GST information.

You will only need to complete the G1 Total Sales,  1A GST on Sales,  1 B GST on Purchases.
Small businesses with a GST turnover of less than $10 million are eligible for Simpler BAS.

Simpler BAS Video

 
 

Q. Is there GST on Hall Hire?
Hire of a hall is subject to GST unless the amount charged is less than 50% of market rent.
GST is not charged for transactions between entities eg Uniting Churches & Uniting Church Organisations,  Anglican Churches & Anglican Organisations.  You should use BAS Excluded for these transactions.

GST Guidelines produced by Sydney Anglican Diocese

Charging and claiming the correct GST on Church property rentals

BAS/IAS & Esigning

Q. Who is authorised to sign the IAS/BAS Activity Statement?   (Sydney Anglican Diocese)

Technically the signing of the BAS is stating the following:
“I, (name of business client) authorise (name of agent) to give the (specify the period) activity statement to the Commissioner of Taxation for (entity name).
I declare that the information provided for the preparation of this activity statement is true and correct.
I am authorised to make this declaration.
[Insert for emailed declaration] Type full name and date
[Insert for paper declaration] Signed: Date:”
Please see this ATO link for more details if you want: https://www.ato.gov.au/tax-professionaluts/prepare-and-lodge/managing-your-lodgment-program/client-declarations-and-lodgment-online/

Therefore the main issues are:

1. Authorised Person
The BAS Circular on the diocese website states: “Your BAS may be signed by the treasurer, a churchwarden or any parish councillor” http://www.sds.asn.au/site/103081.asp?ph=cpThe Appointment Duties & Responsibilities webpage states: “Although the wardens are responsible for various functions, they can arrange for other persons to perform some of these functions on their behalf. In particular, if one of the wardens is not prepared to act as treasurer, they may appoint another person to act as treasurer with the approval of the minister. The wardens’ ability to delegate the performance of some of their responsibilities to others is important, particularly in larger churches.” see http://www.sds.asn.au/Site/103125.asp?ph=cpTherefore another person can be delegated, and would generally be a trained person where they are not an “officer” (warden or parish councillor). We would recommend that this decision be documented.
2. True & Correct
The statement that the activity report should be True and Correct – usually refers to taking reasonable and responsible steps to ensure that it is accurate.
The reasonable steps are:
i. Implemented an ATO and Sydney Diocese recommended and accurate Accounting System
Xero Accounting Software that accurately and reliably:
– calculates the GST & PAYG
– Calculates PAYG
– Calculates and reports the BAS
– includes default tax codes which increases the accuracy and consistency
– enables individual transactions to be edited to ensure the correct tax code for a particular transaction.

ii. Contracted a bookkeeping company that is suitably qualified and experienced to perform the payroll transactions, produce reports & lodge reports with the ATO.
Performing the following actions on a regular basis to ensure reasonable accuracy of the accounts:
– Ensures that all bank accounts reconcile to the bank statements
– Reconciles the Wages Payable account – ie net wages paid = the net wages processed through the payroll system
– 2 x Annual Payroll Reconciliations – ie Payroll Reports = General Ledger + Total of IAS/BASs reported to the the ATO during the year.
The auditors also require and check this
– Monthly reviews the Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss reports against budget for obvious errors
– Quarterly reviews the GST Transactions for obvious errors
– Provides support & training.
– Performs annual GST recalculations and also compares to the totals reported to the ATO during the year – to take up any adjustments made after BAS has been submitted
– Performs superannuation reconciliations quarterly
– Performs other Balance Sheet reconciliations at least annually
– All Balance Sheet and Payroll reconciliations are also checked by the Auditor

iii. Contracted an accounting firm that is suitably qualified and experienced to perform an annual audit of the church accounts
You understand that, whilst the audit is not exhaustive, the audit will review processes, reconciliations, larger variances and transactions. This will check that the control processes are sufficient. By this, we would expect that the auditors do not find anything that would lead them to question that the accounts do not represent a true and fair view of the church’s finances.

iv. Monthly Reports
Monthly reports are conducted
– the Profit & Loss Report is reviewed monthly. Variances to budget are investigated
– the Balance Sheet is reviewed monthly

Therefore, given the above, we would say that the IAS/BAS should be:

Signed by
 one of the treasurer, a churchwarden or any parish councillor. This can be delegated if the person being delegated has some training and accepts the task.

True & Correct
Given the above, we believe  reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the reports submitted to the the ATO are accurate. One simple additional step that an authoriser could perform is to compare the PAYG & GST being authorised to the previous PAYG & GST as paid to the ATO.

Q. Why does the BAS/IAS Activity Statements need esigning?
The ATO requires us to get approval for each and every BAS before lodgement.
To do this we are using an Adobe E-Signature program that is approved by the ATO
We will send you an email to E-sign the document. This includes the instructions that are easy to follow.  eSign Instructions

To approve

  1. Review Documents from the email
  2. Login into the Xero Portal.
    If an existing Xero user log in using your existing email address and password
    If you are not a Xero user, you’ll need to provide some details and create an account.  At the top click out of demo into the name of the entity you require.
  3. Review the cover letter, declaration and form details, then click Start.
  4. Follow the instructions provided in the form.

To decline a request to e-sign

  1. From the return, Click Options, then select I will not e-sign.
  2. Enter the reason for declining.
  3. Click decline.

esigning with Xero Tax 

MEA GST
Claiming GST from MEA Payments

Q.  How do we claim back the GST from the MEA account expense?

If you are entering the a reimbursement of GST from the MEA Liability account.

  1. Allocate the total of the expense (GST on Expenses) from the MEA Liability account.
  2. Allocate the GST component to the MEA Liability Account  (BAS Excluded)
  3. Allocate the GST to “GST refunds” or “GST recovered from MEA Account” as a negative figure (BAS Excluded)
  4. Make payment to reimburse the staff member for the total of the expense (unless a direct debit to the account).

    (Click on the image)


Q.  How do we account for the GST component if the expenses have already been entered & paid?

If the expense has been paid and debited to the MEA Liability account as BAS Excluded already then you need to record the GST component only. Produce a bill for $0.

  1. Allocate the GST x 10 to the GST account (GST on Expenses)
  2. Allocate the GST x 10 to the GST account as negative figure (BAS Excluded)
  3. Allocate the GST amount as a negative figure to “GST Refund” account or “GST recovered from MEA Account”

(Click on the image)

                                 

Q.  What if the benefit of the GST component of his MEA expenses is given to the minister?

If the parish has decided to give the minister the benefit of the GST component of his MEA expenses you will need to enter the MEA payment showing the GST component.  Then transfer the GST amount from the main account to the MEA account.

  1. Allocate to the MEA Liability account the expense that has incurred GST as (GST on expenses)
  2. Allocate to the MEA Liability account the expense without GST  (GST free expenses)
  3. Transfer the GST amount eg $ 46.03 from main account to the MEA account.

(Click on the image)

 

CLAIMING GST
Claiming GST 

Q. Do we charge GST on Hall Hire?
Hire of a hall is subject to GST unless the amount charged is less than 50% of market rent.
GST is not charged for transactions between entities eg Uniting Churches & Uniting Church Organisations,  Anglican Churches & Anglican Organisations.   GST Guidelines produced by Sydney Anglican Diocese 

Q. Do you charge GST for transactions between members of the same Religious Group?

  • You do not charge GST as the churches are part of a a member of a GST Religious Group and all supplies that are made between members of the group are excluded from GST.

 

 

MINISTRY EXPENSE ACCOUNTS

Ministry Expense Account – Anglican
The Anglican Church advise:

Q.  How much can you salary sacrifice to your MEA account?

11.1 A Minister’s Expense Account is a way of keeping account for the minister of benefits provided by the parish (eg, travel, housing, etc) plus amounts sacrificed from the stipend, and the expenses paid from that account. Currently the tax legislation does not limit the amount of the stipend which can be sacrificed under stipend sacrifice arrangements. However, it is recommended that the amount sacrificed should not exceed 40% of the stipend allocated. Refer sections 6.14 and 6.15.  Guidelines for Remuneration

6.13 It is important to note that while non-cash benefits provided to members of the ministry staff are exempt from tax and payment summary reporting, social security and family assistance legislation may take the value of many exempt benefits into account when assessing eligibility for various Centrelink income support payments – refer section 4.

Q. What can be claimed from the MEA Account?

The type of expenses which may be paid from an MEA on behalf of a member of the ministry staff include (but are not limited to) –

(a) Expenses in relation to the purchase, financing and operating costs of a motor vehicle (including a bicycle) used for ministry purposes; expenses for local, domestic or international travel related to the pursuit of the member of the ministry staff’s pastoral duties and professional development; expenses of the member of the ministry staff’s spouse and/or children in directly accompanying the staff member or spouse on ministry related matters; and expenses of the member of the ministry staff’s spouse in representing the staff member on ministry related matters.

(b) Costs associated with the provision and upkeep of the residence in which the member of the ministry staff lives; eg, rent, loan repayments, electricity, water, gas, council rates, insurances, security monitoring and building maintenance. Where a loan has a redraw facility any amount redrawn should not exceed the amounts previously repaid from sources other than the MEA. 12

(c) Education, professional development, supervision, mentoring and professional debriefing costs for the member of the ministry staff, including but not limited to books, DVDs, etc, conference fees.

(d) Ministry related expenses including but not limited to telephone, mobile, fax, internet connection, subscriptions, periodicals, newspapers, computer software and hardware, provision of home office furniture, equipment and supplies, clerical shirts and liturgical attire, hospitality and cleaning costs, gifts made in relation to ministry (eg, parish offertory, CMS, etc) and other expenses incurred in respect of a member of the ministry staff’s duties.

(e) Education expenses of the ministry staff member’s dependent children.

(f) Private health insurance premiums for the ministry staff member and family.

g) Personal contributions to superannuation. Refer section 7.10.

(h) Other expenses of the ministry staff member that are approved by the parish council

Q.  Can the balance of the Ministry Expense Account be paid out to the minister when leaving position?

The minister can produce invoices & receipts to make claims against the MEA account to clear the balance.
If a cash payment is made it becomes taxable income but Anglican Minister’s can transfer the balance of their MEA account to the new church where he is taking up a position.

 

Ministry Expense Account – Uniting
Uniting Church advise:

Q.  How much can you salary sacrifice to your MEA account?
PAYG is to be deducted from the taxable portion of the stipend (70%).
The remaining 30% (or up to 30%) can be placed into the MEF and is not taxed.

Q. What can be claimed from the MEA Account?

All expenses may be paid from a Minister’s Expense Facility, except for the following:
o Fines or penalties imposed by Federal, State or Local Government such as traffic infringement notices;
o Taxation levies, (including payment for the preparation of annual returns);
o Child support or other Centre Link payments;
o Offerings and donations to Deductible Gift Recipients;
o Tax deductible costs (ie payments from these accounts cannot be used as tax deductions); and
o Cash withdrawals;

The use of the MEF allows those in ministry to so order their finances that may either be claimed through their MEF account or through their taxation return.

Q.  Can the balance of the Ministry Expense Account be paid out to the minister when leaving position?

The minister can produce invoices & receipts to make claims against the MEA account to clear the balance.
If a cash payment is made it becomes taxable income.  Uniting Church ministers are required you to draw on the balance and close the account.

EMPLOYMENT

Payment of Services

Q. What is the procedure to pay Itinerant Preachers?

Generally if the payment is made to the individual these people should be treated as employees (which requires the person to provide their TFN and the parish to withhold tax, produce an annual payment summary and include this payment in its annual reporting). Certainly if the person is an ordained minister then the presumption must be that the payment (even if it was called an honorarium) is in connection with the individual’s income-producing activities. That view would be reinforced if the individual’s circumstances showed they were an itinerant preacher, ie they regularly preach at different churches.

There are 3 circumstances where this may not apply –

If the recipient provides such services for not more than 2 days in a quarter there is no requirement to withhold tax (but the parish would still need to prepare an annual payment summary).

If the recipient’s circumstances demonstrated they provided voluntary services that were unrelated to their income producing activities. This may be the case if they were a lay person, had another source of income related to their professional training/skills, and the preaching was a very occasional activity.

If the payment was made to an organisation (such as the parish to which the person was licensed) rather than to the individual.

Q. How do I work out if a worker is a contractor or an employee for tax and super purposes?

A Contractor

  • must be engaged and paid to produce a result
  • quotes for a job for the service provided
  • decides what hours to work and what expertise is needed
  • must provide their own tolls and equipment
  • is responsible for their own work and must fix erros
  • has their own insurance cover (Public Liability,, Income Protection, Professional Indemnity)
  • uses a business name and ABN
  • has a business premises
  • advertises to the public at large (“word of mount” is not enough)
  • has a range of clients and provides services to the general public
  • is free to accept or refuse work
  • is in a position to make a profit or suffer a loss
  • is free to delegate work to other entities.

 

Q. How do we pay people for their services?

Correct categorisation & documentation is required when making payments to people for their services.

Since the implementation of the new tax system in 2000 the following applies when an organisation is paying people.

A supplier of personal services is either:

  1. An employee,
  2. A supplier, or
  3. A person not carrying out a enterprise – it is is made as part of a private recreational pursuit or hobby
  4. A Volunteer

The correct procedure/documentation for these must be followed as below:

1. An Employee:

  • a Tax File declaration form is required to be completed and submitted to the ATO
  • Employee must be paid under the Fair Work Commission– Read More  

2. A Supplier

  • Must have an ABN.
  • They may or may not be registered for GST

Must supply a valid Tax Invoice – Read More

3. A Person not carrying out an enterprise
If payment is made to a person who is not an employee or does not have a registered ABN,  this form is required to be completed and kept with any other supporting documentation. If this form is not completed, then the paying organisation is obliged to withhold 48.5% of the amount and submit to the ATO in the next BAS

4. A Volunteer
    Volunteer paid in cash as a honorarium, reimbursement or allowances – Read More

FRINGE BENEFITS FOR PUBLIC BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION EMPLOYEES

Fringe Benefits

Q 1. How do we process Salary Sacrifice & Fringe Benefits Tax Free processes for Public Benevolent institutions (PBI)

A salary sacrifice arrangement is also commonly referred to as salary packaging or total remuneration packaging. It is an arrangement between an employer and an employee, where the employee agrees to forego part of their future entitlement to salary or wages in return for the employer providing them with benefits of a similar cost (to the employer). The employee is likely to place greater value on the benefit than its cost to the employer.

An effective salary sacrifice arrangement will detail the amount of salary or wage income to be sacrificed, and it must be entered into before the employee becomes entitled to be paid and before any work is performed.

Under an effective arrangement, all of the following apply:

  • the employee pays income tax on the reduced salary or wages
  • the employer may be liable to pay FBT on the fringe benefits provided if the fringe benefits are greater than approved amounts within the FBT year.
  • salary sacrificed superannuation contributions are classified as employer super contributions – not employee contributions – this means they are taxed in the super fund under tax laws dealing specifically with this subject
  • the employer may be required to report certain benefits on the employees’ payment summary.

The approved amount for employees of public benevolent institution (PBI) can sacrifice in the current FBT year is currently $15,899. After this FBT is payable.

Some Rules/Limitations/Details

  1. The details of the amount to be sacrificed per year must be agreed before the period it relates to starts. The employee must only sacrifice future entitlements to salary or wages in return for the employer providing the relevant fringe benefits.
  2. The maximum non-superannuation amount that can be sacrificed currently is $14,421 or $15,899 during the FBT year. This amount may vary from year to year
  3. The FBT year is 1st April – 31st March
  4. The “Grossed up” value of the sacrificed amount will reported on Annual Payment Summaries. That is, there is a tax benefit, but the grossed value of your wages incl these benefits will be used in calculating other government benefits eg Family Assistance. See this ATO webpage for more details about this
  5. Benefits must be paid to a 3rd party or expenses can be reimbursed.  The employee can not directly or indirectly receive a payment from the salary sacrificed amount. Income Tax is payable on the amount received by the employee.
  6. The employer will keep a record of sacrificed monies not yet paid for each employee
  7. At termination, outstanding sacrificed monies, will be taxed and the paid to the employee.
  8. The cap still applies regardless of the number of months the amount is accrued.
  9. The cap is calculated based on the amount paid to the 3rd parties – not the accrued but not yet paid out amount within the FBT year period.

Examples of what can be paid for with the sacrificed salary:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Household utilities such as gas, electricity and water
  • Car expenses including petrol and registration
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Loan/Credit Card repayments

 

Grossed up Value & FBT

The maximum (Capped) threshold that PBI’s can access and receive the FBT exemption is $30,000 grossed up value. Payments above this amount are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax and is payable by the employer. The employer does not want to pay or administer this as the FBT rate is 49%. Therefore, the administration processes around dealing with this must be clear and adhered to.

The Grossed up value calculation formulae

There are 2 Gross up rates depending on the FBT Type:

  1. FBT Type 1 – This rate is used where the benefit provider is entitled to a goods and services tax (GST) credit in respect of the provision of a benefit. The Gross up rate for Type 1 is 2.0802
  2. FBT Type 2 – This rate is used if the benefit provider is not entitled to claim GST credits. The Gross up rate Type 2 is 1.8868

Type 1 example:

= $14,421 x 2.0802

= $29,998.56

Type 2 example:

= $15,899 x 1.8868

= $29,998.23

NB the maximum Grossed up value to receive the FBT free benefit is $30,000

Reportable fringe benefits amounts and grossing up

Regardless of whether the benefits provided are type 1 or type 2, only the lower gross-up rate is used for reporting on employees’ payment summaries.

Type 1 or 2 – our recommendation

We strongly recommend that, regardless of the 3rd party payment, that all payments are treated as Type 2. The benefits of this approach is:

  • It is much easier to administer – no need to collect & maintain Tax Invoices to claim the GST
  • The employee receives a higher tax free benefit

Administration
The main functions of the administration Salary Sacrifice & Fringe Benefits Tax Free processes for Public Benevolent institutions (PBI) are:

  1. Employee Agreement
  2. Payroll
  3. Payment of sacrificed monies
  4. Monitoring & Reporting
  5. Annual Payment Summaries

Employee Agreement

The salary sacrifice must be agreed in writing before the period worked begins. There must be written documentary evidence of the arrangement agreed by both the employer and employee.

Benkorp clients are to:

  1. complete the Employee Details form before the Salary Sacrifice begins
  2. Public Benefit Institution Fringe Benefits Applicable, Tick Yes
  3. Salary Sacrifice Payments for Employees of PBI’s
    • Enter your regular payments – additional lines can be added
  4. Complete the remainder of the form
  5. Employee & Employer must date & sign, then send to Benkorp – [email protected] – along with other payroll documentation before the period begins

Payroll
The Salary Sacrifice is accrued within each payrun in a separate liability account for each employee

Payment of sacrificed monies
Upon instruction by the employee, payments will be made to the 3rd party organisations. These payments are allocated to each employee’s liability account. As noted above, we strongly recommend that all payments are treated as BAS Excluded. Therefore the GST credit will not be claimed.

The process for paying 3rd party organisations your sacrificed monies

Regular Payments

Will be paid as per the details provided in the Employee Details

Irregular Payments

  1. Employee submits an invoice to be paid by the employer, or
  2. Submits an invoice, already paid by the employee to be reimbursed

Other payment options

There are several ATO approved Debit Cards that can be used to pay 3rd parties monies that have been salary sacrificed.

Please see this webpage for one of these.

Using these Debit Cards significantly reduced administration time for the employee and the employer.

Monitoring & Reporting

The balance of the employee liability account is the amount still owing to the employee

After month end reconciliations are completed, a report of transactions and the balance of this employee liability account will be available for each employee as required

Annual Payment Summaries

The salary sacrificed during the FBT year will be totalled and grossed up.

This amount will be included in the Annual Payment summary for each employee.

XERO

Benefits of Xero

Saves Money

Ongoing Costs Xero from only $50 per month with Payroll
Not locked into fixed term contracts
Set Up – No software installation required
Computers NO expensive computer or servers required

Saves Time
NO difficult installations or Upgrades

• Xero provides updates approx every 6 weeks – automatically – while you sleep
• Current versions of MYOB can be complicated and cumbersome to install
• Desktop versions of MYOB – the same version of MYOB needs to be installed on each computer using MYOB

FAST and EASY
• Many features to reduce time data entry & reconciling
• Comprehensive Bank Rules to automate data entry
• Automated bank feeds for main Australian banks, easy to manually export & import bank transactions from other banks
• No Backups required – your data is already backed up more than you can do
• Internet does not need to be fast – 3G & Satellite works well
• Real-time collaboration with advisors & Unlimited users – No Syncing required
• Benkorp has been Certified Consultants with MYOB for 18 yrs. Benkorp is a Gold partner with Xero.
After setting-up and using over 85 Xero accounts for three years, we believe Xero makes accounting so much easier.
• Beautiful User interface
• Audited Financial Reports can be easily produced from within Xero

Security
Xero takes security seriously
 – is more secure than we can possibly do ourselves
Xero says: “Our software has never been breached and we have never lost any customer data. We invest heavily to protect your sensitive financial information against unauthorised access and system failures, ensuring your data is guarded to the highest level.”
For more details see http://www.xero.com/au/accounting-software/security/

Convenient
UNLIMITED users & Access anywhere, anytime there is internet access
• Office, treasurer, bookkeeper, board member can access Xero at the same time
• MYOB Account Right products:  1.  “online” but require syncing & user management – can create problems
2.   each user must have the exact same software version installed on their PC
Scanned documentation can be attached to every transaction

Improved Financial Management
• Monthly budgeting and Budget Actual Variance reporting by projects (not available in MYOB)
• Financial Reporting by Tracking Categories – transactions can be allocated to an account (CoA) and up to 2 extra categories eg allocate transactions to Church and/or Ministry/department or Property/Building.
This enables Income & Expense reports by building, department, or ministry.

More Features
Fixed Assets
 – Xero includes manages Fixed Assets, calculates depreciation, creates depreciation schedules – saves you money!
Payroll Portal – employees have access to Xero to see their payslips & apply for leave
Expense Reimbursements – employees upload expense receipts to be approved and reimbursed o Xero provides updates approx every 6 weeks – while we sleep o Mobile App to Do invoicing, expenses and track cashflow on the go.
Multi-Currency & Automatic Superannuation Payments ($60 per month version)

Security
Our software has never been breached and we have never lost any customer data. We’ve invested millions to protect your sensitive financial information. We continue to invest heavily, protecting against unauthorized access and system failures. We provide a level of security and data protection no small business could ever afford to maintain for their own system yet Xero is available at a low monthly cost.
• Our banking partners require us to maintain security measures that meet their high standards
• We operate multiple redundant servers at tier-one data centres, guarded 24/7/365
• We run offsite backups nightly, full backups weekly and transaction log backups of our database every 10 minutes so we can immediately recover your data if necessary (we have never needed to, but we practice regularly)
• Our security partners continually audit our security with penetrative testing, unannounced and deliberate attacks to measure our vulnerability to outside hackers As a publicly listed company, Xero is subject to full audit scrutiny of all systems

Credibility
Xero is a publicly listed company in NZ & Australia that was founded in 2006. We’ve raised $85m in funding to make sure we can thoroughly serve our customers around the world, long into the future. If you compare Xero to the existing accounting software companies like Intuit, Sage or MYOB, they’re too big and too slow to respond to customer needs and changes in technology. On the other hand, tiny startups are too small to support a comprehensive product with customers all over the world. Xero is designed to sit in the sweet spot: big enough to build and support an outstanding product, yet nimble enough to deliver innovative features that respond to your changing needs.

• We have over 300 developers, designers, and support people to deliver a comprehensive accounting product that’s smart, reliable and easy to use
• Raised $85m from shareholders and strategic investments by industry leaders Craig Winkler, Sam Morgan and Peter Thiel
• Our Board and management team have a proven track record of building highly successful businesses
•We are a global company with teams in New Zealand, the UK, Australia and the USA”

Report Layouts

Q. How do we change the layout of reports?

Xero has released its new layout editor which allows you to customize nearly any aspect of a financial report, as well as a new report center experience. This brings unparalleled reporting power to Xero with the flexibility to suit any user.

Some examples of things we can do now are:

  • Balance Sheet – choose the columns we want to see and create another column to calculate the change
  • Profit & Loss report – as the Balance Sheet above + change the words Profit & Loss to Surplus (Deficit)

Please watch the videos on this blog:

https://www.xero.com/blog/2016/07/change-the-way-you-work-with-reports/

My Payroll & Leave

Q.  What is My Payroll?

My Payroll (is the employee portal) where you can view your payroll details and payslips, enter timesheets, request leave, print a payment summary, and change your employment details for the organisation.

To View, Save and Print a Payslip

  1. Go to Payroll, then click My Payroll.
  2. Click the Payslips tab.
  3. Select the pay period you want.
  4. Click Print to open the payslip as a PDF in another browser tab.
  5. Print or save the payslip.

To Submit a timesheet

Submit a timesheet for approval so your earnings, leave and holidays calculate correctly in your pay.  If you’ve taken leave during a pay period, you’ll need to submit a leave application for those hours. Don’t include leave hours within your timesheet.

  1. Go to Payroll, then click My Payroll.
  2. Click the Timesheets tab.
  3. Click Add Timesheet.
  4. Choose a pay period from the Period list.
    If the pay period you want isn’t there, your payroll administrator or manager may have already added a draft timesheet for that period.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Enter your timesheet information including the earnings rate, tracking category (if the option is there), and the hours you worked for each day.
  7. If any of your hours are on a different earnings rate or tracking category, click Add another line and enter the information.
  8. (Optional) If you want to save the timesheet and send it later, click Save Draft.
  9. When you have completed your timesheet click Submit.
  10. Click in the Selected Approvers checkbox and select one or more people to approve your timesheet. NB Select your employer. Do not select the Benkorp Staff.
  11. Click Submit to send it to the approver(s).

If you have worked on a Sunday or done a split shift you will need to add these lines to your timesheet. 

If you have an RDO arrangement in your employee contract, enter the RDO hours you have worked – eg 2 per week, on a separate line on the timesheet screen. You will not be paid for these hours, but accrue them for your RDO/TIL leave requests

Your timesheet should include the applicable categories.

  1. Normal earnings Rate – Award
  2. Normal earnings Rate – Award – for RDO hours worked (2 hrs per week)
  3. Sunday Overtime
  4. Split Shift Allowance – (record same hours as lodged for that day for extra 1.91% per hour)
  5. Public Holidays (if this is a normal working day for you)

Your timesheet may look like the hours are inflated due to the Split Shift Allowance but this will process properly

Except for Public Holidays, do not enter hours in the timesheet for hours not worked. Your leave hours will be added to your hours in the payrun process.

To Approving Time Sheets

Approver is to check that all the information is correct. This includes:

  • The From and To dates
  • The number of hours leave the employee is taking.  This may need to be manually calculated – especially if the employee is part-time or does not have enough hours of leave accrued.

Approver is to check that the staff member has:

  • Go to Payroll, then click MY Payroll
  • Click the Team Management
  • Select a Timesheet to approve
  • Check the Timesheet.  Check that the employee has:
  • selected the correct pay rate
  • entered both weeks
  • enter the correct number of hours for each entry
  • if applicable, make sure they have added
    1. RDO hours worked over 38 hours
    2. Sunday Overtime
    3. Public Holidays added (if normal work day)
    4. Split leave hours  (total of hours worked that day)

To Request leave in My Payroll

Request paid or unpaid leave through My Payroll, the employee self-service portal.

  1. Go to Payroll, then click My Payroll.
  2. Click the Leave tab.
  3. Click New Leave Request.
  4. Complete all details:
    • Type of Request – Select the leave type.
    • Description – Add short text. This isn’t included on your payslip.
    • Approver – Select one or more people to approve your request.
    • Start Date and End Date – Select the first and last days of your leave.
    • Hours – Edit the hours if needed, for example, if you are requesting a part day.
  5. Click Request.
  6. Click in the Selected Approvers checkbox and select one or more people to approve your leave.
    NB Select your employer.  Do not select Benkorp staff
  7. Select the Approver

To Approve Leave

Approver is to check that all the information is correct. This includes:

  • The From and To dates
  • The number of hours leave the employee is taking.  This may need to be manually calculated – especially if the employee is part-time or does not have enough hours of leave accrued.1. Go to Payroll, then click MY Payroll
    2. Click the Team Management
    3. Select a Leave to approve
    4. Check the Leave request

     

    • Please check that the dates and what are normal working days for this staff member.
    • Calculate the hours your staff member is employed during that period.  (eg Mon, Tues, Thur x 7.6hrs)
    • Enter the hours applicable for the period.
    • Do not include public holidays in the leave requested.

5. Ensure that the correct number of hours to be taken is entered for each pay period
6. Click Approve

Here are some links to instructions for other possible issues when dealing with Timesheets & Leave requests:
Approving or Rejecting Leave Requests
Approve & Reject Leave & Timesheets

Q. Why are leave balances displayed differently in Xero in the employee’s profile, the Leave Balance report and on the payslip?

  • The leave balance in the individual employee’s profile is immediately adjusted for all ‘approved’ leave requests, regardless of the leave date (past or future).
  • The leave balance on online payslips reflects all ‘approved’ leave requests processed in the payruns.  So the current accrued balance to the date of the pay period.
  • The leave balance report reflects all ‘completed’ leave ie; leave which has been processed through a pay run.

 

PROCESSING

Bank Transactions & Bank Feeds

Q.  How do you import Bank Transactions
If you do not have direct bank feeds, they are not available for one of your accounts or you need to import transactions up to the day your direct bank feed started you will need to manually import your data.  Look at the dates of the last import and start that day.

Xero should find duplicates and not import them but helps to pick up any transactions that may have happened after your last import.

Each bank is a different in how to export the bank feeds so you can import into Xero.

      Instructions for:

Q. How do you Set up Bank Feeds

Bank feeds let you automatically import account transactions into Xero from your bank or other financial institution. Once bank feeds are up and running, you’ll no longer need to download and import bank statements to get transactions into Xero.

There are 3 types of bank feeds

Banks and institutions supplying direct feeds in AUST

Setup is easy
To set up bank feeds, add your bank account in Xero.  If you can select your bank or financial institution’s name in the Find your bank search box, bank feeds are available for this bank.

Next, finish the setup

  • For direct feeds, check that your account type is eligible, then complete a PDF application form.
    Some banks also let you apply through online banking.
  • For Yodlee and PayPal feeds, set up and activate these feeds while you’re logged in to Xero.


Video Instructions

Allocation of Deposit paid for a Property

Q:  Where do we allocate a deposit paid for purchase of property?  

I suggest the parish should just show the deposit under Other non-current assets 1-4000.

On settlement you should reverse the deposit and take up the full cost of the new property, probably all under Land 1-31xx (at cost) as an interim arrangement. In due course the parish will then need to reverse this single ‘cost’ entry and replace it with the UCV (in 1-31xx) and the insurance replacement valuation (in 1-32xx) when this information becomes available, plus a revaluation adjustment which impacts 3-3100.”

Please also be careful about the GST:
If you are planning to rent the property for more than 75% of the GST-inclusive market value of the accommodation, then the income & expenses relating to that property are Input Taxed. This means you do not charge GST and you cannot claim the GST that you pay.
If you are planning to rent the property for less than 75% of the GST-inclusive market value of the accommodation, then the income & expenses relating to that property are GST Free. This means you do not charge GST and you can claim the GST that you pay.

See this link for more information: https://www.ato.gov.au/non-profit/your-organisation/gst/gst-concessions/#noncommercialactivities

Restricted Funds

Q.  How do we process gifts and donations and received for specified purposes, called “Restricted Funds”.

There are accounting standards to be followed to ensure the that current accounts reflect the actual receiving and appropriation of monies in the current period, as well as utilising funds specified in prior periods.

Accounting Procedures
1. When money is received for a restricted purpose
Allocate the Gift/Donation to the appropriate Income account, with a note/memo that it is for the Restricted Fund.
Accounts to 4-1310, 4-1320 or 4-1330.  This is just the normal entry when money is received.

2. Transfer the Gift Amounts to Restricted Funds Allocation
The transfer identifies that there are Gifts received in the General Income that are “restricted” and not available for general budget expenses.  This is a new entry that can be done as each amount is received into Gifts Income 4-1310, 4-1320 or 4-1330, or it could be done monthly, or annually. The $ amount must match the credit to Gifts in the previous entry. Recommended “at the time” or monthly, not annually

3. When money is spent for a restricted purpose
Allocate the spending to the expense or asset as per the “restriction” on the Fund, ie the designated or intended use of the gift/donation
This is just the normal entry when money is spent.

4. Appropriation of the restricted fund
Appropriate Funds to the spending that has happened for the “restricted purpose”, such as build or a new staff person
This entry can be done as each spending is entered and allocated, or it could be done monthly, or annually. The $ amount must match the debit in the previous entry. Recommended “at the time” or monthly, not annually.

Recommended “at the time” or monthly, rather than annually because any interim P&L and Balance Sheet reports will be distorted by the movements in the Gifts and/or the Restricted Funds
Note about GST

GST is taken-up at the time of the spending transactions, and does not affect the Funds accounts

 

 
Superannuation Information

Q. Is Xero SuperStream compliant?
Yes Xero is superstream compliant if you have a premium plan. First make sure that you are SuperStream ready. (All superannuation funds must have a USI number, an employees must have gender,  phone number, email address, and superannuation member number recorded in their employee details.  You need a Electronic Service Address, ABN and bank details for a Self Managed Superannuation Fund.  |
This is an article of the ATO website re Electronic Service Addresses
https://www.ato.gov.au/super/superstream/self-managed-super-funds/electronic-service-address/

Q. Who is eligible for Superannuation Guarantee?  Is there a maximum age?
Under the superannuation guarantee, employers have to pay superannuation contributions of 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings if:

  • when an employee is paid $450 or more before tax in a month and is:
  • over 18 years, or
  • under 18 years and works over 30 hours a week.

This applies to full-time and part-time employees and some casual employees, and includes temporary residents.
Superannuation has to be paid at least every 3 months, into the employee’s nominated account.

From 1 July 2013, eligible employees aged 70 years and older will be entitled to compulsory employer contributions (known as Superannuation Guarantee—or SG—contributions). If you’re aged 70 years or older, you may be entitled to receive SG contributions from your employer (from 1 July 2013) if you: are working earn more than $450 (before tax) a month and aren’t subject to any SG exemptions.

Q. How do we set up the Xero Automatic Superannuation function in Xero?
Then if you have not done  this already, set up the Xero Automatic Superannuation function in Xero.  If your subscription is the new Premium 5 or above, the Xero Automatic Superannuation function is included in your subscription for free. If you are using the Xero Standard plan, the extra $10 per month is worth every cent!

The process to set up the Automatic Super payment function in Xero is very simple:

  1. Register for Xero Automatic Superannuation Payroll>Superannuation
  2. Process Superannuation payments.

Q. How to lodge and approve superannuation payments?

For detailed instructions on how to do this see these 2 Xero links:
(these videos also show you how to lodge & approve the superannuation payments)

https://help.xero.com/au/Payroll-Super-AutoSuper

https://tv.xero.com/detail/video/5131029610001/paying-superannuation-australia?autoStart=true&q=superannuation

Terminations

Q.  When an employee is made redundant or terminated – what SGC superannuation is payable?

1.  Superannuation IS payable on 

  • Payments in Lieu of Notice
  • Wages to Termination

2. Superannuation NOT payable on

  • Unused annual leave
  • Unused LSL
  • Unused LSL leave and annual leave loading.
  • Genuine Redundancy Payment

Refer to the ATO website for full list of Ordinary Time Earning categories that attract superannuation
https://www.ato.gov.au/business/super-for-employers/how-much-to-pay/checklist–salary-or-wages-and-ordinary-time-earnings/

YEAR END PROCEDURES

Payroll & Annual Income Statements

Q. How do you do a payroll reconciliation for 1st July to 30th June?

Here are the main steps to process your Payroll Year End: 

  1. Make sure that all pay runs for the year have been processed & filedPicture1
  2. Reconcile the Bank account used to pay the wages
  3. Check that the Payroll Clearing or Wages Payable Account is zero
  4. Reconcile payroll reports to general ledger – The purpose of this step is to increase the likelihood that all pays have been processed through the payroll system and the annual Income Statement will be correct. Xero Blog on STP Finalisation

Run the Payroll Employee Summary Report for the year & export into a spreadsheet

Payroll Employee Summary

 
From 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016  
Employee Earnings Deductions Tax Super Net Pay
Employee 1 $74,951.82 $36,813.84 $4,680.00 $0.00 $33,457.98
Employee 2 $38,305.40 $0.00 $4,744.00 $3,638.93 $33,561.40
Employee 3 $85,310.71 $49,079.70 $4,104.00 $10,807.02 $32,127.01
Employee 4 $88,442.45 $48,397.44 $5,328.00 $0.00 $34,717.01
Employee 5 $48,143.66 $23,766.59 $1,872.99 $7,883.40 $22,504.08
Total $335,154.04 $158,057.57 $20,728.99 $22,329.35 $156,367.48
             

Total these. The total must equal to the totals from the Payroll Employee Summary

63610 Admin Salaries $38,755.27        
61150 MEA Entitlements $158,057.57 $158,057.57      
61110 Ministers Wages $148,697.31        
Leave Accruals ($9,906.25)        
Leave Accruals ($449.86)        
63620 Admin Super       $5,248.01  
61170 Ministry Super       $17,081.34  
21330 PAYG Payable     $20,728.99    
           
Total $335,154.04 $158,057.57 $20,728.99 $22,329.35   

Run the Payment Summary Details Report as at end of June 

Employee Gross Payments PAYG
Employee 1 $38,137.00 $4,680.00
Employee 2 $38,305.00 $4,744.00
Employee 3 $36,231.00 $4,104.00
Employee 4 $40,044.00 $5,328.00
Employee 5 $24,376.00 $1,872.00
Total $177,093.00 $20,728.00

Compare the Gross Payments to Earnings – Deductions

$335,154.94 – $158,057.57 = $177,097.37  

– Difference is $4.37 – This is acceptable as the cents are removed from Gross Payments

5. Make any corrections via an unscheduled payrun and file

6. After checking each staff member is correct Finalise STP

Q.  What is the process in issuing annual Income Statements?
We do a payroll reconciliation for the 1st July to 30th June then finalise the STP for the current FY.

1.  How do we do a  Payroll Reconciliation for the 1st July to 30th June?  (Verify the payroll data matches the general ledger)
Check out the instructions  Xero Blog on STP Finalisation

2.  Employees accessing their Annual Income Statement 
https://www.benkorp.com/stp-for-employees-what-to-tell-your-employees-about-stp/
Employees can access their Annual Income Statement electronically via their My Gov account or their tax agent. Otherwise they need to contact the ATO for a paper copy.  The employer no longer sends the employee a copy.  

 

BAS Reconciliation

Q. How do we do a BAS reconciliation for the 1st July to 30th June period?

 Prepare a spreadsheet – recording all the details from the BAS’s already submitted.

BAS Reconciliation qtrly.xls or   BAS Reconciliation mthly.xls

  • Enter the name of the organisation and the year.
  • Produce the GST & Payroll reports for the full financial year and enter the details in column F
  • Produce the GST& Payroll reports for the last quarter and enter the details in column H
  • Review Column I.  This column reflects any changes, additions or deletions to transactions in periods after the BAS has been submitted to the ATO.  If no changes have been made during the year, this column will be zero or near to zero.
  • If changes have been made after the BAS’s have been submitted, amounts in this column with reflect this.  Investigate further is these amounts are large.
  • If it is determined that the GST effect of changes in any one reporting period is greater than $3,000 then the BAS for that period must be submitted.
  • If it is determined that the GST effect or changes in any one reporting period is less than $3,000 then use the figures in Column G for the final BAS for the period.
  • Review Column G.  If these figures are to be submitted, see notes above, review.
    NB Negative numbers cannot be submitted on a BAS.
  • Column J – enter the amounts submitted in the last BAS.  Note reasons for variances to Col G.

Notes about W1 and W2 – especially for churches
W1 should not include post tax deductions
To Calculate W1 run the Payroll Activity Summary Report

W1 = Total Earnings – Deductions + post tax deductions (and any other non pre-tax deduction eg Advance Repayments.
This includes Employee Beneficiary fund deductions (Uniting Church)

PAYG  Enter the PAYG Payable Balance as at 30th June.  This should be close to the W2 payable in the last BAS – if not investigate.

GST  Enter the GST Balance as at 30th June.   This should be close to the total payable in the last BAS – if not, investigate.
NB – this will be affected by any GST included in the AR & AP balance as at 30th June.  Run the Aged Receivables and Aged Payables detail reports with “outstanding GST” ticked.

Audit Process

Q. What is the audit process at the end of the financial year?
     Prepare a folder to gather all the information required for the current year.

Cash & Bank

  1. Ensure all transactions entered into your accounting system to the end of the financial year.
  2. Ensure every bank account has been reconciled and balance agrees with the bank statement.
  3. Review any unreconciled items and investigate if older than 2 weeks.
  4. Create soft copy of all bank statements for the financial year
  5. If the bank balance in your general ledger is different to the balance on your bank statement, create a bank reconciliation report and file in the Audit folder.
  6. If applicable reconcile any Petty Cash & create a statement or declaration verifying any Petty Cash Balance at the end of the financial year.  Save a copy into your audit folder.

Receivables & Provision for Bad Debts

  1. Create a Debtors/Accounts Receivables report (if any) as at the last date of the financial year. Compare this with the Debtors/Accounts Receivable balance in your year end balance sheet. Investigate if it differs.
  2. Create a Debtors/Accounts Receivables report (if any) as at the last date of the financial year and save a copy on the Audit Folder
  3. Review the old outstanding invoices and determine the likelihood of collection of each invoice. Total the invoices unlikely to be collected and create an adjusting manual journal against Provision for Bad Debts accounts
  4. Reconcile Prepayments account,  Bonds/deposits and Received Donations for Missions.
  5. Pay out Received Donations for Missions liabilities.

Land, Buildings and Contents

  1. Obtain the most recent Land Valuation Certificates in connection with all Parish land/properties and place a soft copy in the Audit Folder
  2. Obtain the Schedule of Buildings & Contents which is provided by the Property Trust Insurance Officer and place a soft copy in the Audit Folder
  3. Compare the valuations stated in these certificates/Schedules to the year end Balance Sheet values.
  4. If they are different, create an adjustment via manual journal against the asset account (s) and the revaluation account to ensure that they equal.

Creditors

  1. Create a Creditors/Accounts Payables report (if any) as at the last date of the financial year. Compare this with the Debtors/Accounts Receivable balance in your year end balance sheet. Investigate if it differs
  2. Create a Creditors/Accounts Payables report (if any) as at the last date of the financial year and save a copy on the Audit Folder

Other Payables

  1. Create an Excel reconciliation of Superannuation payable and place in the Audit folder
  2. Create a reconciliation of PAYG & GST payable (Excel) and place in the Audit folder
  3. Place in the Audit Folder copies of BAS’s lodged by the Parish during the year including the first BAS lodged after the end of the financial Year. Note that the reconciled PAYG and GST should equal the BAS lodged after the end of the financial year
  4. Create a manual journal to accrue the audit/audit fee

Provisions & Payroll

  1. Calculate and document the value of outstanding Holiday/Annual leave as at the end of the financial year. Create an adjusting manual journal against Holiday Leave Provision and wages accounts. Place the document in the Audit folder
  2. Calculate and document the value of Long Service Leave accrued (if any) for non-ordained staff with calculations of accruals for the year. (Accruals start at 5 years continuous service and are generally payable after 10 years). Create an adjusting manual journal against Long Leave Provision and wages accounts. Place the document in the Audit folder.
  3. Place soft copies of PAYG summaries for all employees in the audit folder
  4. Create an Excel payroll reconciliation comparing the payroll reports with the general ledger accounts for wages, stipends, MEA superannuation and PAYG. Place the document in the Audit folder.

Other Documents to be saved in the audit folder

  1. Copies of attested offertory count sheets for the year
  2. Expense vouchers/invoices for payments made during the year. Soft or hard copy. If using Xero hopefully you have already attached these to all the transactions so not necessary to provide.
  3. Create soft copy of the Signed minutes of Parish Council meetings.
  4.  A copy of your live computer ledger with the type and version of the programme used and any passwords required. If using Xero just organise for the Auditor to have the appropriate user access.

Church Year End Audit & Assurance Review Preparation 2019 checklist 

Dec Year End Audit Preparation Checklist for Churches – 2018

SINGLE TOUCH PAYROLL

Single Touch Payroll

Q: Where can we find out information about Single Touch Payroll?

We have written a number of articles about Single Touch Payroll.
Our Latest News is available at https://news.benkorp.com/

Articles about getting ready for Single Touch Payroll on 1st July 2019 are

 

Q: How do you set up Single Touch Payroll?     

Please follow the instructions from Xero.
Setting up STP https://central.xero.com/s/article/Set-up-Single-Touch-Payroll-STP

Q: How do you File STP with the ATO?

Follow the instructions from Xero
Filing STP with the ATO: https://central.xero.com/s/article/File-your-employees-pay-and-super-with-Single-Touch-Payroll-STP

Q: How do you fix an error in the Single Touch Payroll Submission?

Please follow the Xero instructions
Fixing an Error in STP Submission: https://central.xero.com/s/article/Fix-a-filing-error-in-a-Single-Touch-Payroll-STP-submission

Q.  How do we lodge our Single Touch Payroll for only 1-4 employees

You can lodge directly irrespective of the number of employees.  The if you only have 1-4 employees and you don’t want to lodge and the agent can lodge on your behalf – this can be done quarterly at the same time as the BAS, however STP enabled software must still be used.  There are no options to lodge via the Business or the Agent portals.

Q. Will Employees get a Annual Payment Summary once Single touch payroll starts?

To access the employees annual payment summary (Income Statement) will need to either
• set up a MyGov account 
• tax agent can access via ATO to prepare tax 
• request a paper copy

Q.  After we submit process the STP Finalisation to the ATO, what report can we produce to check the total year went well and when employees want reports?

Once an organisation has opted into Single Touch Payroll (STP) it’s no longer an ATO requirement to produce employee payment summaries.  If an employee requires a copy of their payment summary, they can log into their MyGov account.  Alternatively, the can request this from the ATO directly.

Xero is considering producing a report to allow employees to view these details.  As a workaround the organisation will be able to see the previous payruns that have been filed by running the Payroll Activity Summary (which shows gross earnings) or Payment Summary reports (which shows taxable earnings).

 

© Benkorp Management Services 2019