Hostage to your Salary Packaging software provider?

Salary Packaging Alternative Rout

Aytunc Tezay
Founder & Chairman – LeasePLUS Group of Companies

Recently a LinkedIn contact working in the Health industry approached me to ask what other Salary Packaging software options are available in the market.
If you currently use the same tired, inflexible and uninspiring software as many others in the market place, I recommend you read on!
For many years software providers have provided the same old and clunky salary packaging software to its clients and ignored the need to upgrade the look, feel and functionality of its product. My LinkedIn contact was told that their software was being refreshed, however it will come at a cost through significant higher licencing costs. The alternative is….. well… there isn’t an alternative because the current version which they have been using and putting up with for so many years is no longer going to be supported. Or the other alternative given to my LinkedIn contact was to have the same company providing the software, outsource the whole salary packaging administration function – how convenient!
This doesn’t seem very fair does it? Clients who have been patient and loyal over many years supporting software that hasn’t met expectations, are now being forced to pay more or get out!
If the story above relates to you, there is now an alternative – MySalPack.
The MySalPack software is a web based solution to facilitate the processing and reporting of salary packaging in the Corporate, Rebatable, Public Hospital and Not-for-Profit employment sectors. The functional aspects of the MySalPack software is to support the business by automating the processing of data efficiently and accurately while meeting all regulatory and compliance requirements.
One of the significant strengths of MySalPack is the MyKiosk customer portal that delivers live data and information to employees about their salary packaging account on both their desktops and mobile devices.
This is achieved by understanding the specific requirements of the various organisations within each industry sector. MySalPack has the capability of supporting both the outsourced as well as the in-house solutions, integrating robust security, audit and importantly flexible reporting capabilities.
Key features:

  • Ability to calculate Meal Entertainment and show the share of saving and admin as a separate line item.
  • To incorporate direct data feeds through file transfer protocol from Payroll to take into account specified factors for calculating an employee’s package.
  • Uploaded files are produced in the correct format for loading into Payroll and includes an adjustment file for any changes.
  • Automation of banking details can be loaded from Payroll to reduce manual entry, reducing error rates and improving productivity and compliance.
  • Detailed evidence register that updates automatically when a package is entered or copied from a previous year.
  • Efficient reporting tools including payroll reconciliation after each pay.
  • Easier access to updating of tax rates, benefit items, cost centre and facility lists, pay periods and banking.
  • On-line calculators for General, Novated Leasing, GST worksheets plus many more features, that can be emailed, saved and printed.
  • Form letters can be produced based on criteria, including the bulk send out of renewal letters each year.
  • Novated Leasing functionality with the ability to interface to external systems if required.

The team behind MySalPack is a Australian company called SafeCode who can provide you with further information and demonstrate the software.

website safecode.com.au
phone 1300 20 82 77

Why Novated Leasing? – Not For Profit Organisations

Leigh Skelton is the Finance Manager of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC),a Not For Profit Organisation delivering much needed health, social, welfare and community development programs to local Aboriginal people.

In their latest company newsletter, Leigh describes all the reasons why he loves his Novated Lease with Car Leasing Options.

Click here to read the excerpt.

If you are a Not For Profit Company and would like to know more about offering this service to your employees, contact us on 1300 69 30 77.

Federal Budget 2015 – Workers pushed into higher tax brackets

Hundreds of thousands of Australian workers will find themselves in higher tax brackets after [the] federal budget left tax brackets unchanged.

The failure to reset tax brackets will push the average full-time worker, earning $78,000 a year, into the second-highest tax bracket in 2015-16, with any earnings over $80,000 subject to a 37 per cent tax rate, 39 per cent including the Medicare levy. As a result, the average worker will be slugged an extra $1200 in tax a year, and the average income tax rate will rise from 21.7 per cent to 27.4 per cent over the next decade.

It’s not a pretty picture.

The picture is even less pretty for the thousands of individuals who will pushed into the top tax bracket, which kicks in at $180,000… “This makes the top marginal rate 49 per cent, giving a 10 per cent hike in the marginal tax rate, so beyond $180,000 the employee loses almost half of every extra dollar earned…” notes HLB Mann Judd Sydney taxation services partner Peter Bembrick.

For families at the lower end of the pay scale, increased earnings can also mean the unwelcome end of government benefits, such as family tax benefits.

“It is important that people know their effective tax rate and not just their marginal tax rate to determine if how hard they are working is worthwhile, especially those in the lower brackets,” says the managing director of  BFG Financial Services, Suzanne Haddan.

Prescott Securities senior economist and financial adviser Alan Hutchinson says there are a number of options for taxpayers who are in danger of jumping into a higher tax bracket.

Cutting back on the hours worked is one option, although possibly not the best if there are mortgages and school fees to pay, he says. Another strategy is salary sacrificing into superannuation.

“Salary sacrificing is the main strategy available to people wanting to avoid bracket creep, and it is the one that works,” says Hutchinson.

ipacSecurities head of technical services Colin Lewis says salary-packaging motor vehicles and laptops used for work-related purposes may be an option for some employees as a way of reducing assessable income.

Employees of public benevolent institutions such as public hospitals or not-for-profit organisations are still able to salary-package almost anything including living expenses, education costs, loan and mortgage repayments, rent, credit card payments and bills, he says.

AFR Contributor

*Source Bina Brown – Australian Financial Review

See the full report here.

RBA Maintains Run of Record Low Rates

True to economists’ expectations, the RBA has again left the cash rate untouched during September.

In his monthly statement, Governor Glenn Stevens sighted the decision to leave rates on hold was heavily influenced by the high Australian dollar and increasing unemployment.

“Monetary policy remains accommodative. Interest rates are very low and have continued to edge lower over recent months as competition to lend has increased. Investors continue to look for higher returns in response to low rates on safe instruments. Credit growth has picked up a little, including most recently to businesses. The increase in dwelling prices continues. The exchange rate, on the other hand, remains above most estimates of its fundamental value, particularly given the declines in key commodity prices. It is offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy,” Stevens said.

The RBA has repeatedly stressed the likelihood of “a period” of low and stable interest rates since it met February this year, noting
the tepid improvement in investment outside the resource sector, alongside significant increases in house prices and a growing pipeline of home building.

The cash rate has now stayed at 2.5 per cent for 13 months, the longest period of interest rate stability since 2006.

MyMortgagePlus opens its doors

MyMortgagePlus has begun operations this month and is an integral part of the LeasePLUS Groups plans to deliver value adding financial service products to its clients.

MyMortgagePlus offers a fee free service to undergo a health check on your current mortgage or look at lending possibilities for those looking to get into the property market.

We cover areas such as;

  • Pre-approvals for new home buyers/upsize/downsize
  • Investment lending
  • Bridging finance
  • Salary cap benefits – mortgage repayments can be included
  • First home buyers with little deposit

We can also look at debt reduction strategies to maximize the repayments you are making thus reducing the life of the loan and potentially saving thousands.

My Mortgage PLUS have access to 30+ lenders thus allowing competitive rates with fixed rates as low as 4.6%.

Additionally My Mortgage PLUS is able to order property profile report on just about any property – which can be very handy for those looking to gain an understanding of their local area and can even produce sale price history to provide you with an advantage when looking at property purchases.

With such a competitive market it is ideal to review your home loan every 3 years as an absolute minimum.

I would encourage all my contacts who have a home loan or considering the possibility of a new home or investment property to contact our consultants at www.mymortgageplus.com.au or to call 1300 73 77 88.

AUSTRALIAN MOTOR INDUSTRY SUMMARY – JULY 2014

Top ten makes

Toyota retains the top sales position in the July monthly market with 16,486 vehicle sales, ahead of Holden with 8,990 and Hyundai third with 8,048. Toyota, with a market share of 18.1%, holds market leadership in year to date terms. Holden’s July result sees it in second position with a market share of 10.1%, with Mazda’s market share of 9.2% placing it third. Hyundai, with a market share of 8.9%, is in fourth position. Ford is in fifth position with share of 7.5%, ahead of Nissan with 5.9% market share in year to date terms.

Report for the month of
Jul-14
Year to date
Jul-14
Year to date
Jul-13
Month
Jul-14
Standings Marque Volume Share Volume Share Volume Share
1 Toyota 117,591 18.10% 123,543 18.60% 16,486 18.30%
2 Holden 65,763 10.10% 61,684 9.30% 8,990 10.00%
3 Mazda 59,958 9.20% 60,812 9.20% 8,048 9.00%
4 Hyundai 57,948 8.90% 55,988 8.40% 8,351 9.30%
5 Ford 48,452 7.50% 51,237 7.70% 6,210 6.90%
6 Nissan 38,606 5.90% 49,139 7.40% 5,451 6.10%
7 Mitsubishi 37,718 5.80% 42,984 6.50% 5,042 5.60%
8 Volkswagen 32,562 5.00% 31,359 4.70% 3,991 4.40%
9 Subaru 23,161 3.60% 23,815 3.60% 3,121 3.50%
10 Honda 18,151 2.80% 26,175 3.90% 2,708 3.00%

Source: VFACTS Report July 2014

2014 Federal Budget

FRINGE BENEFITS TAX AND SALARY PACKAGING

FBT rate
The FBT rate is being increased from 47% to 49% to align with the highest marginal tax rate inclusive of the Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2%. Whilst the increased income tax rate will apply from 1 July 2014, the increased FBT rate will not apply until 1 April 2015. Further, whilst the Temporary Budget Repair Levy applies until 30 June 2017, the FBT rate is to drop again as of 1 April 2017.

Changing the FBT rate also changes the FBT gross-up rates, as follows:

2014-15 FBT year 2015-16 FBT year 2016-17 FBT year 2017-18 FBT year
FBT rate 47% 49% 49% 47%
Type 1 gross-up 2.0802 2.1463 2.1463 2.0802
Type 2 gross-up 1.8868 1.9608 1.9608 1.8868

Salary packaging
The reason for increasing the FBT rate is stated to be “To prevent high income earners from utilising fringe benefits to avoid the levy”. But you would need to salary package a lot of income to take advantage of this 2% differential. For instance, packaging $20,000 would only produce a saving of around $400.

So whilst there appears to be an opportunity in both the year ending 30 June 2015 and the year ending 30 June 2017, for high income earners to take fringe benefits in the period where the lower FBT rate applies, it would only be useful to the extent the employee earns above $180,000 and the minimal savings probably mean they are unlikely to bother.

Not-for-profit caps
In order to protect the value of fringe benefits provided in the not-for-profit sector, that otherwise diminishes with an FBT rate increase, the annual caps for concessional treatment are to be increased. Confirmation of the new amounts has not yet been provided.

FBT rebate
The FBT rebate (currently 48%) is to be aligned with the FBT rate as of 1 April 2015.

Leight Penberthy
Chief Executive Office

*Source Elizabeth Lucas – Grant Thornton Australia

Media release – Innovation patent supplied to SalaryPackagingPLUS for its MySalPack software

We are proud to announce the grant of our innovation patent 2014100041 by the Australian Patent Office on 20 February 2014. This patent covers our SalaryPackagingPlusTM product, and is testament to the creativity of the team involved.

I especially thank Linden Footman and Abhi Mishra who worked tirelessly to overcome the many hurdles that are inevitably faced in creating a product such as this. Their problem solving skills were key in achieving a quality product.

I thank also Ronnel Magdaluyo who was employed by us to write a proportion of the code under the direction of myself, Linden and Abhi.

New deal a PLUS for Sharks

The Cronulla Sharks have joined forces with finance and leasing services company LeasePLUS in what can be described as an Australian first.

One of Australia’s most respected financial services companies, LeasePLUS have partnered with the Sharks to offer a wide range of vehicle finance and leasing services to the clubs’ wider corporate network of clients, members, sponsors and fans, as well as to organisations within the Sutherland Shire and wider Sydney community.

These services include Novated and Operating leases, Fleet Management, Vehicle sourcing and a range of other salary packaging opportunities.

To be known as SharksPLUS, the new business officially opened its doors in early March and will be powered by the experienced team at LeasePLUS, a company which operates under the same values of quality, respect, growth and courage that they began with over a decade ago.

Mr Aytunc Tezay, Group Managing Director at LeasePLUS explained that SharksPLUS has come about after a lot of hard work with the final product set to become a potential bonus to a wide range of Sharks stakeholders.

“We have worked with the Executive team at Cronulla Sharks for the past six months to bring this program together and we are not aware of any other initiative like it in Australia and especially in the NRL,” Mr Tezay said. “LeasePLUS were impressed with the desire for the Cronulla Sharks to provide its supporters and sponsors with what can be described as a highly valuable and tangible benefit in relation to their motor vehicles.”

Peter Legg, the Sharks General Manager Finance and Corporate Services expressed a similar belief, confident this new initiative would provide financial advantages for all concerned.

“The Sharks have a great network of corporate support, including many businesses small and large and we believe we can offer them and their staff a way to save money, while also supporting the Sharks in a different way,” Legg added.

LeasePLUS focuses on delivering a stress free process for clients looking to secure a new vehicle, with long term cost-savings with further additional benefits.

They have also made a significant investment in technology to create advanced systems across its broad range of products and services, with SharksPLUS having immediate access to this advanced technology delivering client centric solutions with a minimum of fuss to its clients.

LeasePLUS further supports the relationship with the Sharks through its knowledge and experience across a broad range of industries including healthcare, emergency services and other corporate sectors.

However it is LeasePLUS’s industry leading customer service to both the employers and their employees that remain the major platform for future growth and success and makes LeasePLUS certain they can deliver significant value to this newly formed partnership with the Sharks.

To find out more, or to speak with a SharksPLUS consultant, call Customer service on 1300 79 95 47, email info@sharksplus.com.au, or go to the website at www.sharksplus.com.au.

Read the article here

Sharks and LeasePLUS in car sponsor deal

NRL club Cronulla has established a joint venture with sponsor LeasePLUS to provide novated car leasing services.

The two entities have established a separate company, SharksPLUS, that will attempt to source clients from within the football club’s sponsors and small-to-medium-sized businesses in the Cronulla shire in Sydney’s south.

LeasePLUS founder and group managing director Aytunc Tezay says the Sharks and his company will share in any profits the joint venture makes. “What will happen is that the Sharks will handle the promotion and marketing side of the business and Lease­PLUS will stand behind it and offer the novated car leasing services,” Tezay says.

The entity has already been established legally and has begun operating ahead of a full launch before the Sharks home game against the New Zealand Warriors on April 5.

Tezay says the business will aim to win support from Sharks existing and prospective sponsors and will appeal to the SME market in the Cronulla shire.

“This is going to be a perpetual ­on-going concern with no expiry date. The success of the venture will dictate the length of the deal.”

The Sharks have been attempting to sign sponsors after a year of off-field issues, including being heavily fined by the NRL, and coach Shane Flanagan being suspended in relation to a investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority into the team’s conditioning program in 2011.

Read the article here