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Superstream – taking care of superannuation payments for your business

by Samuel Williamson

3 min read

With all you need to manage as a small business owner, it’s understandable if employee superannuation payments aren’t at the top of your list of priorities. Thanks to SuperStream, they don’t have to be. It saves you time by SuperStream-lining the handling of your superannuation requirements. If you’re not already set up with the new super system, you need to get onboard. Here’s how.

What is SuperStream?

SuperStream is the mandatory payment system for employee superannuation guarantee contributions. Unlike previous methods, SuperStream electronically sends money and data, via a standardised format, across the super system – between employers, super funds, service providers, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Using SuperStream, you’ll no longer have to make individual payments to the variety of super funds that your employees might be paying into – it can all be handled in one simple transaction.

How to set up for SuperStream?

Before you get started, you’ll need to collect the following information from each of your employees:

  • Employee tax file number (TFN)
  • The Australian business number (ABN) of the super fund they wish to pay into
  • Their super fund’s unique superannuation identifier (USI)

If your employees have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), you will need:

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

What are your options for meeting your SuperStream obligations?

When using SuperStream to make payments, it’s important to determine which payment option is right for you. You can choose from:

  • The super fund online portal: Many super funds – generally the larger ones – offer their own online system for electronic payments. If your employees are paying into several different funds, you will need to pay to each fund separately, which can be cumbersome.
  • A clearing house: A super clearing house makes super payments to your employees’ super funds on your behalf. So, instead of you processing multiple payments to multiple funds, the clearing house does – all you need to do is provide them with the relevant employee data.
  • The payroll system: One of the easiest methods for making superannuation payments is through a payroll system, such as QuickBooks Online. Most cloud-based systems give you immediate access to all your payroll data. But, be sure to check with your provider that the software is SuperStream ready; if it is you can quickly and easily generate ATO-compliant reports. Some providers, like QuickBooks Online, offer an integrated clearing house as well. This feature allows you to gather all your superannuation data and make the required payment through an online portal.
  • Messaging portal: If your data isn’t already SuperStream compliant, you can use a messaging portal to convert the information into a SuperStream-ready format to be sent to each fund.

What should you keep in mind when using SuperStream?

Once you’ve gathered the employee data and decided on the mode of payment that best suits your business, you should be ready to start using SuperStream. For the best system experience for you and your employees – and to ensure compliance – remember:

  • A super fund can have more than one USI, so double-check this number with your employee.
  • Be meticulous when filing all information; if there are mistakes, your payment could be rejected and marked as late.
  • You are still responsible for meeting your super guarantee obligations by the due date.
  • An employee’s contribution is only marked as ‘paid’ when the super fund receives it. This is especially important when using a clearing house, as they will have processing times you need to be aware of.
  • You’re required by law to send the payment and data together, on the same day.

SuperStream is designed to simplify the process of superannuation payments and compliance for all parties involved. So, take your superannuation requirements into your own hands and get started today.

Learn more about small business accounting with these helpful resources, or follow the link for more information on SuperStream with QuickBooks Online.

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