Do you need to hire a SuperStream specialist?

28th April, 2016

Are you the sort of business owner who tends to do things yourself rather than outsource? This can save you money in the short term, but sometimes it leads to bigger costs (and headaches) later. When it comes to getting your business set up for SuperStream, it may be best to call in the specialists and save yourself a headache.

The deadline for implementation of SuperStream is fast approaching. From 1 July, all businesses with employees will need to comply with new rules for reporting and paying super.

If you’ve not already got this sorted out, you have a choice to make. Will you set up SuperStream yourself using your online accounting software? Or will you hire a SuperStream specialist to help you?

Small business owners are typically very resourceful. They are used to turning their hand to everything from making sales, running their Facebook page and day-to-day operations, right through to the nitty-gritty of bookkeeping.

But sometimes it’s best to outsource to a specialist — especially when, as with payroll, there are serious consequences if things aren’t done right.

Apart from this, time is your most scarce resource. Think carefully about what to do yourself and what to delegate. Most business owners get much greater benefit from focusing on sales, business operations and people than from doing the books.

Hint: Also read 5 signs you need a bookkeeper.

So, before you launch into the DIY option for implementing SuperStream, perhaps ask yourself a few questions. Is this really the best use of your time? What else you could do with your time? Can you be sure it will get done? What about the risks and costs of making a mistake?

After a bit of thinking — and given the closeness of the deadline and the importance of getting this done right — you might well decide that this is a time to call in an expert.

Where to find a SuperStream specialist

If you decide to get outside help, the obvious place to start is with your accountant. Ideally you’ll want your business accountant to be familiar with cloud accounting and SuperStream compliance, or have someone on staff who is.

But what if your accountant is not so tech savvy, or doesn’t get involved in the bookkeeping side? In this case you might need to seek out a bookkeeper to help you get set up. This doesn’t necessarily mean changing your accountant. It’s perfectly fine to work with a bookkeeper in addition to your tax accountant. Your accountant might be able to recommend someone, or you can ask other business owners you know.

Before you commit to working with a new expert, you’ll want to get a sense of confidence and trust in them.

The first thing to check is whether your SuperStream specialist has professional qualifications, such as CPA, or Chartered Accountant, or is a member of one of the professional bookkeeping associations (ICB or AAT). Also check that they are registered as a tax agent or BAS agent.

Apart from professional qualifications, it’s a good idea to find out how much experience your specialist has with SuperStream and their general experience with payroll. Ask some of their clients for testimonials if you want to get an even better picture.

Even with the a qualified expert, it’s important not just to leave them to it. As the business owner you should have a general idea of what’s involved, make informed decisions about software, and create a SuperStream Action Plan to keep track of deadlines for important steps in the process.

Be ready ahead of the deadline

The deadline for implementing SuperStream is 1 July, but don’t wait till June to get preparations underway.

It’s vital to give yourself and your advisers time to research the options and ensure you’ve got the set up right. Start now to get ahead of the deadline. This will give you and your advisers time to update your software, connect to a SuperStream provider, and have a test run.

If you get going now, you’ll have plenty of time to make sure everything is on order when the deadline comes. And by delegating to a specialist you’ll be able to keep working on your other business priorities.

Find out more about SuperStream and your online accounting software.