Payroll Apps to Help You Manage Your Practice

Running a veterinary practice is busy and demanding. One of the many hats that an owner or practice manager wears is HR management, which involves payroll processing and compliance. Payroll and wage compliance is an important part of future proofing your business. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keeping employment records stored securely
  • Providing pay slips to employees
  • Calculate tax withheld on wages accurately
  • Updating pay rates in accordance with Fair Work award changes
  • Lodging and paying superannuation correctly and on time
  • Tracking employee entitlements correctly, such as annual leave
  • STP filing to the ATO with every pay run

Single Touch Payroll (STP) was implemented from 1st July 2018 where employers with more than 20 employees started reporting employee’s payroll information to the ATO. From 1st July 2019, employers with 19 or fewer employers were required to report through STP, and from 1st July 2021, closely held employees (such as family members/directors) will need to reported through STP.

STP works by sending tax and super information from your STP-enabled payroll or accounting software to the ATO as you run your payroll.

From 1 January 2022, the second stage of STP will become mandatory. This will report even more information to government agencies through the STP lodgements. All modern payroll systems will be upgraded for the new reporting.

There are lots of apps that tackle different payroll tasks but the key is to have them integrated so they all talk to each other within your accounting system.  Whichever system you choose, it is vital that the setup is done correctly so that the day-to-day usage works smoothly and with no errors.

KEYPAY is rostering and payroll software with features that include Employee Self Service, allowing:

    • Automated updates to wages rates when the award is updated by Fair Work Australia.
    • On-boarding new staff – Employees can directly input tax file numbers, superannuation details and personal details
    • Electronically submit information such as leave requests, timesheets and expenses from their own device.
    • The practice to manage timesheets, leave requests, pay slips and more, on the go – even with the mobile app.
    • A clock in/out function
    • Single Touch Payroll (STP) Reporting to the ATO with every pay run.
    • Online rostering and timesheets for single or multiple locations
    • Employee messages and communication
    • Process payroll and calculate tax withheld
    • Easy superannuation payments with inbuilt clearing house
    • Employment document storage
    • Payroll figures are exported to the accounting software for your accounts

DEPUTY is also a rostering and timesheet app which operates differently to KeyPay in that the payroll is actually run in your accounting system. Features are similar Keypay and include:

    • Online rostering and timesheets for single or multiple locations
    • A clock in/out function.
    • Employees can keep track of their shifts and apply for leave from their own device.
    • Announcements and messages can be shared with everyone in the News Feed.
    • Automated updates to wages rates when the award is updated by Fair Work Australia.

These apps are designed to be integrated into online cloud-based accounting application such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks and others. For smaller and start-up practices, special payroll software apps may not be necessary.

ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE PAYROLL – all the standard accounting software have simplified payroll functions which may be sufficient for a smaller number of staff. Usually, it will not include rostering and Award updates but will include:

    • Payroll calculation,
    • Employee access to submit leave requests and view pay slips
    • STP lodgements, and
    • Superannuation clearing house

Apart from payroll, there are applications to help with many parts of the business process such as accounts payable processing, inventory, appointments and so on. There is no need to implement all apps together initially. Start with one or two apps and build up as you see the need, or as good apps become available. The secret to apps integrating smoothly is in the setup. If you are tech-savvy you will be able to do it yourself or your bookkeeper could do it for you.

Once the apps are integrated, the operations should be seamless and quick, reducing duplication and minimizing human error. Strong apps become even stronger when operating together.

When choosing the right apps for you, consider the following:

  1. Does it target the pain points in running your business?
  2. Does it work on the devices you use?
  3. Does it integrate with your other technology?
  4. Cost vs time saving?
  5. What is the support like?
  6. Is there a free trial to test usability?

With the right systems in place, you can decide which tasks can be delegated or run from outside the clinic premises. You can have your business running more efficiently, saving you time so that you can focus more on your patients and still keep an eye on your business health.

More importantly, you have the foundations that enable you to increase your profitability and grow your business without increasing the administrative workload.

By Joanne Crumpton, Director of ECJ Online, and Aine O’Malley, Manager of ECJ Online

This article is designed to provide generic information only and should not be viewed as a recommendation to act or financial advice. Individuals should seek advice from a qualified adviser to ensure their actions are commensurate with their financial needs and requirements. Whilst every effort has been undertaken to ensure accuracy of information at the time of publication, the information contained within the article may have changed prior to and subsequent to the article’s publication.

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