3 things your bookkeeper should know about

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3 things your bookkeeper should know about

Did you know the minimum wage is increasing? A quick summary of this and some other handy things to know.

Not only is July 1 looming as an important marker for financial year, there’s also some other important changes your accountant or bookkeeper needs to be on top of.

Here is a by-no-means-exhaustive summary of three important developments:

The new minimum wage

From July 1, if you are paying staff, be aware that the minimum wage has increased 2.9%, taking it to $606.40 a week or $15.96 an hour (for workers not on an award or agreement).
 
You can read more about the changes on the Fair Work Australia web site, but in summary you need to get this into your payroll system, checking what each of your employees should be getting paid. The Paycheck Plus site lets you calculate this. The Fair Work Ombudsman recommends signing up for an email alert letting you know about changes in your modern award.
 
We also found a lot of useful information here, about what happens to causals, trainees and apprentices. Casual employees not covered by an award nor agreement receive causal loading of 23% per hour from July 1, for example.
 

New PAYG withholding tax tables

 
With various tax changes, including tax cuts relating to the clean energy laws, the Australian Taxation Office has the new PAYG withholding tax tables for 2012 on its web site. This includes weekly, fortnightly and monthly tax tables for daily and casual workers. You’ll also find tables taking into account Medicare levy, student financial schemes and superannuation.
 

Easing the superannuation headache

 
It’s probably not up there on your list of favourite tasks, but there is some hope if you’ve got the job of managing super payments for your staff. Amidst the various changes to superannuation causing debate, new laws are going through parliament (called the Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2012) include changes aimed at reducing the time it takes to do the paperwork.
 
“The super system can be difficult to use for employers as each fund has its own data requirements and processes. These reforms will remove the need for employers to provide different information (or in a different format) to different funds,” Minister for Financial Services and superannuation Bill Shorten said in a statement.
 
If you have less than 19 staff, you are also eligible to use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. It’s a free service: you register your business, and use the site to record your payments and pay them in one go.
 
 
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