Articles and guides on payroll and staff.

Giving bonuses can be a great tool as an incentive for employees’s to improve performance or even reduce costs. It’s important to establish a measurable guide that the bonuses will be based upon otherwise they may see it as just another part of their pay and expect it without any effort.

Motivation

The most common types of bonuses are based on sales made, but you can be creative with what you base your bonuses on to achieve specific outcomes. If you are tying bonuses to a specific outcome remember that it should be something the employee has control over otherwise there will be no motivation to do things better.

  • If you are aiming to improve sales, bonuses could be calculated either as a percentage of those sales or a fixed amount for each sale made.
  • If you are looking to reduce wastage, bonuses could be calculated based on the weight of material saved.

Start by identifying what the outcome should be and work out how that could be achieved. Then look at how staff specifically contribute to that outcome and how you could measure that contribution. From there it’s an easy step to work out how you could tie staff bonuses to that outcome.

Calculation

For example your goal might be to increase profitability. Using our examples above we have identified that this can be done in two ways, firstly by increasing sales and secondly by decreasing wastage. Sales people might be rewarded with a 5% bonus on all sales above last years figures. Production staff might be rewarded with 10% of the cost of the reduced amount of product wasted compared to last year. As staff are motivated to either increase sales and reduce wastage costs the overall profitability will be improved.

While most bonuses tend to be monetary you could also offer non-monetary rewards such as shares, weekends away, free dinners etc.

Bookkeeping New Staff

Compliance

Keep in mind that bonuses should be shown on a separate line on employee payslips over their normal wages. Also check that while most bonuses are not considered normal hours they can be considered as normal wages for the purposes of calculating superannuation.

Communication

Ensure you communicate clearly with staff about who is eligible for each bonus type, how it is calculated and when bonus payments will be made so there is no confusion or disappointment when bonus time comes around.

Bonus plans that are poorly communicated seldom motivate your employees. Employees consider bonus programs that are not clearly stated as suspicious.

Bonuses can increase productivity, motivation, and hard work among your employees. They can really drive a team to excel; but if it is poorly managed, they can actually make employees feel discouraged and dissatisfied. If your aim is to drive employee behaviour, you must pay bonuses promptly. Show your employees the emotional connection between their behaviour / performance and the reward. Make sure your employees receive bonuses bonus within the agreed time frame. By paying the bonus promptly, you make it easier to publicise the win that led to that bonus.

Next Steps

Contact us today if you need help with calculating your staff bonuses or any obligations that go with that.

Making sure you have captured all the right information when starting a new staff member can save a lot of headaches later on and it’s easy to miss those details during the hectic first days and weeks when a new staff member begins.

The process begins before you even hold your first interview. Obviously by this stage you’ll have an idea of what kind of role you will be hiring for but have you written a position description? Having a well thought out position description can be helpful through out the entire process. Firstly it will help you define exactly what the responsibilities will be for that role so you have a good understanding of what to expect and what kind of applicant might be suitable. It can then be used to help you put together a thorough advertisement that will inform new applicants exactly what the position is about. If the new employee will be working under an award it can help you select the most appropriate minimum pay level by comparing it to the award classifications. The position description should then be provided to the employee as part of their employment agreement. Later on it can also be used as part of annual reviews as responsibilities may change or you want to gauge performance against their duties.

The next thing to consider is the employee agreement. You won’t be able to have this completed before hiring but you should have it mostly complete with the exception of some specific details. The employee agreement works hand in hand with the position description to give the employee a really good understanding of the expectations within the work environment and their role. The agreement should stipulate the employees details, their start date, the terms of their employment, remuneration and finally it might also lay out additional obligations like confidentiality.

Bookkeeping New Staff Interview

Starting a new job is stressful for most people so the first day is a good time to go through paperwork and gathering all of the required information rather than trying to go through job integral tasks.

As part of your welcome pack you should make sure you are getting the following information:

  • Employee Details – including legal name and address which is required for proper display on pay slips and end of payroll year reporting. Additionally you will want contact details such as a home or mobile number and a personal email address can also be helpful.
  • Tax Declaration Form – this is important for the preparation of pays and the calculation of tax withholding.
  • Bank Account Details – so you know where to transfer funds to, your system may also allow employees to have their pays made to multiple accounts.
  • Superannuation Fund Details – as there are regulated dates superannuation needs to be paid by you should get this information as soon as possible.
  • Emergency Contact Details – in case there is an issue you have other contacts you can call.

Depending on your work scenario there is other optional information that could be helpful:

  • Uniform Sizes – if your work provides these
  • Availability – for part time or casual employees

You might put together a hard copy pack of forms to capture the above information or you might be able to capture it online.

Our payroll system we use with our clients allows you to send out an email with a link to new employees so they can fill in all of this information online, straight into the payroll system. This reduces the chance of information being mistyped and saves you time as the employee puts their details straight into the payroll system. Once the employee has entered their information into the payroll system you can then double check everything and submit their tax declaration straight to the ATO online.

 

If you would like to find out more about how to capture the right information with your staff contact us today so we can help simplify your payroll process while you take care of business.

Whether you’re just starting to hire staff or you’re wondering if there is a better way to manage your payroll there are a number of things you should consider. To weed through the many payroll systems out there, you need to know what features to look for.

Using a fully featured payroll system can help you save valuable time and money so you can put all your focus on growing your business. You don’t have to be a payroll expert to use a payroll software, you just need to use a system that smoothly integrates with your business needs. Like most business systems you can now use online services for managing your payroll so you don’t have to worry about installation, updates and backups. Moreover, it gives you the freedom to manage and run your payroll from anywhere.

Choosing a payroll system can be easy when you pay attention to key factors. Consider what features you need from the below as that will help you pick the best payroll system for your small business.

Rostering

One of the first things you could ask yourself is, does your business need rostering and time sheets? If so you should look for a payroll solution that has this built in or at least allows you to connect with another solution. This will save you large amounts of time doing data entry from your time sheet system to your payroll system.

A good solution will allow staff to set availability and apply for leave making it much easier for managers to build rosters to suit. Managers should also be able to see cost forecasts while building rosters to ensure they are within budget.

Time Sheets

If your staff use time sheets to record their hours you could use the old sign in/out sheet then manually enter that into your payroll system or you can look for one that allows staff to do it electronically. You can get solutions now where staff can easily check in and out either on a PC or even through an app on their phone and then managers can sign off those time sheets at the end of the pay period before the payroll is processed.

Payroll Details

 

Integration

A lot of bookkeeping solutions like Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks have payroll options some with more features than others. There are also a number of payroll solutions external to these which may have additional functionality. No matter which solution you decide to go with see if it will integrate directly with your bookkeeping system to save you having to manually enter the journals each pay period and reduce the chance of headaches caused by mistyped figures.

Self Service Portal & Smartphone Apps

You may also want more advanced features like an employee self service portal or smartphone apps where staff can keep their information up to date, get access to pay slips, request time off and some will even have the option for reimbursement requests.

Compliance

There are two types of compliance when you should consider when choosing your next payroll system. Firstly you need to think about Wage & Award compliance ie are staff being paid the correct amounts and secondly are your statutory reports compliant with Government requirements.

Wages & Awards are a complex topic but some of the more advanced payroll systems now have award checking built into the product so when you do your payroll run it can help make sure staff are being paid what they should be.

With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll you must find a solution that supports this, especially if you have a larger workforce. Additionally consider if the system support any other regulatory requirements built in or if you have to manually deal with those.

Reporting

Just like your bookkeeping system reporting in your payroll system is essential to understanding your business better. Ensure that the proposed solution has all the relevant reports to make it easier to understand your payroll situation and that will help you make better business decisions in the future.

Next Steps

Alexilum’s YourPayroll system is a full featured payroll solution that includes all of the above features and more. Contact us today to find out more about how we can make payroll easier for you.

Employees are the backbone of an organisation. Being an employer, it is your duty to ensure that all payments go off without a hitch, on-time and every time. This is a core commitment on your part with your employees in return for all the hard work they put in your business.

Being a business owner you have full control of the payroll process. You can make it as easy and effective as you can. Your payroll process should be such that you don’t get a headache every time you have to do a pay run and it shouldn’t take up all of your time when you should be working on your business.

Every business has the freedom to choose it’s own payroll schedule by figuring out which is the best for their outfit and employees.

The most common payroll schedules in Australia are weekly, fortnightly and monthly. Before selecting a pay schedule, you should consider the following questions:

  • How many employees do you have?
  • Does your award specify a pay period?
  • Do you pay your employees hourly or salary?
  • Do you pay your employees for overtime?
  • How much does it cost you to process the payroll?

Each pay schedule has its own advantages and disadvantages. Below we take a closer look at each of these payroll schedules.

1. Weekly

Employees who are paid weekly receive approximately 52 paychecks a year. Most companies choose Wednesday to pay for the previous week.

Pros: Being paid every week makes it easier for employees to budget their own personal expenses.Employees do not have to wait for a long time to be compensated for their overtime.

Cons: Weekly payments do not always coincide with calendar months, which can make budgeting a little more complicated. Such frequent payments can be time consuming and take people away from their regular work.

Salaries Label

 

2. Monthly

Having a monthly pay schedule can be convenient because it’s easier to budget and staff get paid on (nearly) the same date every month.

Pros: Running monthly reports and making monthly budgets make things easier. By sticking to one payroll per calendar month you employees will know when to expect their payment.

Cons: Getting paid once month can put a financial strain on some of your employees, especially the low-income tier. More frequent payments will help them manage their finances more easily and will better align with things like rent. Finally your selected monthly payment date may fall on weekends so then you have to work around those as well.

3. Fortnightly

Fortnightly payments are a great compromise between weekly and monthly payments and is the most popular payment cycle in Australia.

Pros: Employees will get two (sometimes three) pays a month making it easier for them to budget. It’s also very common for big expenses like rent and car repayments to be fortnightly as well. This is good for businesses because you’ll be making smaller payments on a regular basis without it completely consuming your week.

Cons: You’ll find that in two months of the year there will actually be three pays instead of two. The two months affected change nearly every year so be mindful of that when preparing your budgets.

Next Steps

If you need help with your payroll or budgeting contact us today so one of our experienced staff can set you on the right path.

Are you ready for the Single Touch Payroll?

Are you wondering what it constitutes and how it will affect you?

What in Single Touch Payroll (STP)?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new government initiative that is designed to simplify business-reporting obligations. It is introduced by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for providing real time visibility over the accuracy and timeliness of organisations’ payroll processes. The goal of STP is to streamline the administration of employee payroll, tax and superannuation obligations for employers.

Effective from 1 July, 2018, all employers with 20 or more employees will be required to report payments such as salaries and wages, PAYG withholding and super information electronically through to the ATO directly from their payroll solutions at the same time they disburse salaries to their employees.

Employers who have fewer than 20 employees will also have the option of adopting STP earlier if they so choose but will become mandatory on them from next year, starting from 1 July 2019.

Adopting STP means that employers will not be required to complete any payment summaries for their employees at the end of the financial year because ATO would have received detailed payroll information in real time throughout the year. In short, there would be no need to manually submit collection of payments at the end of the year as all that would be done automatically.

Single Touch Payroll

 

How Does STP Work?

Each time employers pay their employees, they will report the tax and super information to ATO from their Single Touch Payroll (STP)-enabled payroll solution. They will not need to provide payment summaries to their employees for the payments they report through STP.

All employees will be able to view their complete payment information in ATO online services, that they can access through their myGov account.

How Does STP Affect Employers and Employees?

Effect on Employers

When employers report complete information of employee’s ordinary time earnings using STP, it enables ATO to calculate a reasonable estimate of their employees’ SG entitlements. In case employers are not paying the correct amounts, ATO will step in and require employers to pay their SG obligations. This will also reduce ATO’s reliance on employees to report non-compliance by employers.

STP will enable employers to take control and automate their payroll process. They will not be required to write cheques or manually input wages and superannuation data.

Affect on Employees

STP gives employees more control over their tax and superannuation balances. They will be able to monitor and actively manage them through their account on myGov. In addition to that, the ATO will make the following available to employees:

  • a drop-down list of all the superannuation funds the employee has a balance/account with;
    the default fund(s) of the employer; and
  • YTD payroll details, including superannuation balances and a consolidated view of all employers reporting for that employee.
  • Employee can also view and manage their tax position; they can consolidate superannuation balances and also apply for withholding variation if required, or correct TFN declaration details if necessary. STP relieves employees for being responsible for reporting non-payment of SG to the ATO.

Need More Information?

Contact us today to see how we can help you make sure your payroll is STP compliant.

Chasing your dreams of running a successful business can at times be very difficult, especially if you are a just starting out and looking to make your mark on the industry. There are many aspects to running a business and often a business owner has step outside their comfort zone. Managing payroll is one such aspect.

If you are a business owner or a manager of one, finances must be one of the top considerations for the success of your business. Payroll is at the heart of every business dealing with the most important asset, your employees. If you do it right, your business is more likely to grow and flourish in the long run. But if your business has a poorly-run payroll system, it can struggle to survive due to unexpected liabilities in the long term.

Payroll can be the biggest single expense of a company, which is why it is extremely important to process it accurately and efficiently. If you do not have extensive experience with payroll requirements, then running payroll all on your own can be very stressful, time-consuming and often intimidating at times.

Finding the right payroll solution for your business may seem like a daunting task. You may decide to hire an accountant, but it can cost a lot, you might purchase payroll software, but it would be too difficult to manage and operate if you do not have in-depth knowledge of the software and payroll system. Because of these reasons, many business owners outsource payroll. It saves money, frees up time and resources to focus more on your core business. It also gives you access to more technology and expertise to perform your payroll well. It reduces additional costs and risks.

Payroll

Alexilum is a leading business services company based in South East Queensland, Australia that provides comprehensive, full-featured payroll solution for businesses throughout Australia. We make Payroll easy and help you avoid all your payroll stress and hassles. Having a more accurate time and attendance record-keeping payroll solution can save money. We deliver peace of mind to you as the business owner, and free up valuable time that you can use to focus on expanding your business.

At Alexilum, we provide you a powerful and comprehensive cloud payroll solution that offer you the tools to empower employees, promote compliance, and manage employee costs in an efficient way. Our Payroll solution simplifies payroll process with automated notifications, super payments, leave and termination calculations. It seamlessly integrates with various accounting platforms (including Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks) and eliminate the use of paper time sheets, used to record employee start, finish and break times. In addition to that, it also helps you manage staffing costs by offering rostering functionality.

Payroll Details

Get in touch with Alexilum today to find out how we can help you with your Payroll.