I don’t like pineapple on my pizza!

A simple statement like ‘I don’t like pineapple on my pizza!’ as a password can take more than one year and costs scammers more than $100,000 to crack.

This is a great password because it:

  • is easy to remember
  • has lots of characters
  • includes special characters such as an apostrophe, exclamation mark and spaces.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recently found that 75% of small business owners surveyed are responsible for their own IT and almost half say they don’t know enough about cyber security.

To help businesses stay secure, the ACSC have developed a range of resources including:

Key data targets
Potential targets by identify thieves include your:

  • AUSkey
  • business activity statement
  • employees’ personal information
  • business records containing personal or business information.

Top 10 security checks
Run through our checklist to see if your business is secure:

  1. Do you have an alarm system?
  2. Do you file documents containing personal and business information in lockable storage units?
  3. Do you secure your business files and employee information when they are not in use?
  4. Are your passwords changed on a regular basis
  5. Are employees automatically logged out of systems and computers locked when not in use?
  6. Do all your computers and devices have up-to-date security and anti-virus software?
  7. Do you perform background checks on new employees?
  8. Do you restrict employee access to systems and credentials like AUSkey?
  9. Can you track employee actions when dealing with sensitive and personal information?
  10. Do you regularly log into AUSkey Manager to ensure only those authorised to have access to the portals hold active AUSkeys?

Less paperwork when hiring

It’s time to say goodbye to the multiple paper forms that have been required when hiring a new employee.

Simply ask your new hire to use the pre-filled Tax file number declaration and Super Choice form via the ATO online services account linked through their myGov login.

All you need to do is provide the employee with:

  • your ABN
  • the type of employment they will be hired under (e.g. full time, part time or casual)
  • your nominated default super fund’s details, including:
    • the fund’s full name
    • the fund’s unique superannuation identifier (USI)
    • the fund’s ABN.

Once the employee prints and sends the completed form summary you can:

  • determine how much tax to withhold from their payments
  • pay super into their chosen fund.
  • keep it for your records (you don’t need to send it to the ATO).

Salary sacrifice changes

Many employees choose to forego part of their pay and instead have their employer contribute it to their superannuation fund instead.

Prior to 1 January 2020, employers could calculate the amount of superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC) they had to pay based on the reduced salary of an employee after their salary sacrifice had been taken out.

Change 1
From 1 January 2020, SGC must be calculated based on the gross salary, before the salary sacrifice is deducted. Employers will therefore need to make a higher superannuation contribution for employees who previously had their SGC reduced due to sacrificing part of their salary to super.

Let’s look at an example: An employee is paid $100,000 annually and sacrifices $20,000 to super. In 2019 the employer paid SGC on $80,000 – which end up being $7,600. Under the new rules, the employer now pays SGC on the gross salary of $100,000, which is $9,500 – this is an increase of $1,900.

Change 2
The second notable change is that salary sacrifice contributions can no longer make up part of an employer’s compulsory superannuation contributions. Previously, employers could event avoid paying any SGC if the employee sacrificed an amount equal or greater to the compulsory employer contribution.

Here’s another example: An employee receives an annual salary of $100,000 and sacrifices $15,000 to super. The compulsory employer amount of 9.5% on $100,000 is $9,500. Previously, the employer would not need to make any further contribution since the employee has sacrificed more than 9.5% to super. From 1 January 2020, the employer must pay SGC on the gross salary of $100,000 regardless of any salary sacrifice made by the employee. The employer now ends up paying an additional $9,500 per year.

We recommend checking your systems to make sure they calculate the SGC amount correctly. Employers can continue to claim a tax deduction for salary sacrificed super contributions and the sacrificed amounts won’t be subject to fringe benefits tax.