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Why accountants need to help business startups get their super sorted

Why accountants need to help business startups get their super sorted

When you’re helping a client set up their small business, get them started on the right foot with an easy to understand and efficient super solution.

Accountants understand that setting up a new business can be time-consuming. Between choosing the right structure, taking care of registrations and licences, setting up the accounts, and making sure they have a watertight business plan, it’s easy for super to become an after-thought. But it’s worth putting aside some time now to discuss super options with your client so it doesn’t become a headache later.

Without a compliant super solution at the ready, business owners could find themselves in breach of their legal obligations. They may also put their future financial security at risk.

It’s also important for small business owners to remember their own superannuation. Recent research shows that business owners and the self-employed have lower average super balances than employees even though they tend to be older, and that around one in four have no super savings at all. [1]

Establishing a default super fund

It make take a while for your client to build up their business, but as soon as they hire employees and start paying their super contributions, they’ll need to make sure they offer a fully compliant default fund. Unless an eligible employee chooses their own super fund, their contributions must be paid into a MySuper approved fund — a simple, low-cost fund that meets specific standards set by the government.

Essential Super for business is a MySuper approved fund, so your client may use it as a default fund to help them easily meet their super obligations.

Meeting SuperStream requirements

SuperStream was introduced in 2016 as part of the Stronger Super government reforms, with the aim of improving the efficiency and transparency of the super system. Under SuperStream, all employers must submit employee information and super contributions electronically (with an electronic funds transfer or BPAY®) via a SuperStream compliant payment channel.

This can be done using either:

  • A payroll system set up according to SuperStream standards. 
  • A super clearing house. Businesses with 19 or fewer employees, or less than $2 million in turnover, can use the government’s small business clearing house for free. 
  • The super fund’s online platform.

Essential Super for business takes the hassle out of SuperStream compliance by providing your client with a simple online platform to update employee details and pay their super contributions electronically.

Offering competitive fees and insurance

Meeting regulatory obligations, while extremely important, is only one part of what your client’s super

solution should offer. They also need a fund with competitive fees and appealing insurance options so

they can build their retirement savings and look after their employees’ future.

Essential Super for business won’t charge any fees to your client, and their employees will benefit from competitive fees. What’s more, members of the fund will automatically receive Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover if they’re under 60, provided they have money in their account within 120 days of opening it.

Maximising efficiency

As a business owner yourself, you know there’s enough to do when running a business, without spending hours each quarter managing super contributions.

That’s why Essential Super makes the process easy. Each business client has a dedicated NetBank dashboard to manage super contributions for employees. Regardless of whether employees are members of your client’s default fund, their own chosen fund, or an SMSF, your client will be able to enter their super fund information and pay super contributions online, in one easy location.

And they can manage super contributions alongside their other business accounts.

How to get started

To discover how Essential Super could help your clients start out on the right foot, learn more online, call us on 13 4074 (8am to 7pm (AEST), Monday to Friday), or email

[1] Research from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), Super and the self-employed, May 2016.

Things you should know: Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) is the trustee and issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435. This information is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for Commonwealth Essential Super and consider talking to a financial adviser before deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold this product. Ask us in branch for a PDS or you can access this online at Colonial First State is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (‘the Bank’). The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital by Essential Super. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. An investment in Essential Super is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. Where we refer to 'we', 'us', or 'our', we mean Colonial First State. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information. Colonial First State Investments Limited is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.