More than one company set up all on the same ABN - what to do about employees?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
Hi There, we use Reckon hosted and have a number of different entities around Australia for which we have separate companies set up within Reckon. However, it is all with the one ABN. We have operated like this for years relatively smoothly. However, there are employees scattered throughout which means that when it comes to financial year end Payment Summaries are filled in manually. I would LOVE to be able to send them electronically to the ATO but do not know how to do so as employees exist in varies companies. 

Can I send them separately (though they have the same ABN)? Is there a way to combine the data?

Any thoughts and/or advice would be very much appreciated.
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Margaret Lokmer

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Posted 1 year ago

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John Graetz

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Hi Margaret.  To my knowledge, Reckon only has the ability to generate an EMPDupe file for each company file and I do not believe that there is any ability to amalgamate them into one electronic file as such.  However, there are some potential options.  The first thing that I would ask is this - who is paying the Group Tax each month/quarter and for that matter, how many different BAS returns are being lodged each month/quarter, presumably under the same ABN?  Is each entity doing its own thing?  I just don't understand how you could be doing this unless you are somehow going through a Head Office consolidation process at the end of each period.
The option that I could see you doing is to load the payroll information for all of the other employees into your own file, in bulk, at the end of each year and that way, you could generate an electronic file which covers all employees.  However, such a consolidation process could create other difficulties, depending on how many BAS reports are being generated each time.
Overall, my opinion would be that you centralise payroll into just one entity and then charge back the relevant costs to the other entities.  Then, everything affecting employee payments will be in just one place.
John L G
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Kevin Russell, Accredited Partner

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You could do this in notepad John. It would be far easier to setup a separate file purely for payroll and nothing else and journal in the figures once a month
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Margaret Lokmer

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Hi John, Thanks for your response. I operate out of the "Head Office" and we pay the PAYG each month. We are a religious order and have set up separate companies so each State's community can do their own bookkeeping. I amalgamate all the figures at the end of each quarter and submit the one BAS. 

I like your idea of loading the payroll in bulk, as it is I do this each quarter with all the other information (payroll included but as one aggregate figure).

We thought about centralising but it has it's own logistical issues within the organisation so keeping it separate works.

Kevin - I am unfamiliar what you mean about doing it in notepad. Can you elaborate?

I am more than willing to dump the data in at the end of each quarter or financial year - I just don't want to fill out Payment Summaries by hand this year!

Thanks again to both of you for your responses.

Margaret
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John Graetz

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I do not envy you Margaret, but obviously you have found a way to make it all work. I do not see the need to maintain yet another company file, just for payroll as that would mean that all of the "Head Office" staff would be outside of the main company file, making life even more difficult every time that you had to look at something relating to your own staff, but I do take Kevin's point that it is another option worth considering.  There would be a degree of complexity no matter which method was used.
John L G
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John Graetz

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Margaret.  You might not be aware that Chandra from Cosmic Accounting, a contributor to this forum, has a web based time sheet program as an add-on to Reckon, which could help you centralise your payroll, although there is a cost associated with this.
John L G
Hello Margaret
i have been reading the forum, your case is interesting , with all your employees all over the places as you have stated.  like to know say how many employees you have over 500 or so .
i have some ideas on this , if you wish to share with me please feel free to call me on 0407068942
office: 0295411338
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Gillian, Accredited Partner

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Hi Margaret,


Have a look at this....http://www.namich.com.au/empdupe/

might help

Gillian

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Cathy Branson

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Hi Margaret,
One of my clients has a similar situation. I just run payroll year end I each company file and send the various empdupe files to the ATO. One employee is paid from multiple company files and receives more than one payment summary. The ATO amalgamated all the info at their end with no problems last year. I just sent it all electronically via the business portal.

Cathy Branson
Speedy Bookkeeping
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Margaret Lokmer

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Thanks Cathy. If that is the case that would be the easiest option for me. I will investigate with the ATO. It will save a lot of data work my end.

I appreciate your response.

Margaret