Monthly Archives: September 2018

What to look for in a supplier portal

In the past decade, the retail landscape has seen major changes because of increased competition, new business models emerging, a more integrated supply chain and the increase of online retailing. As the industry continues to evolve, more businesses are getting on board with EDI and realising community enablement is an important factor that needs to be considered. As a result, many retailers, large and small, are starting to look at supplier portals.
A supplier portal is a web-based portal that facilitates collaboration and allows suppliers to trade with their customer without having to implement fully integrated EDI. It allows the retailer to get the full benefits of EDI.
The first decision that most retailers make is whether to do this in-house or outsource. Building a portal yourself can be costly and time consuming. This is where outsourced supplier portals come in. Some EDI supplier portals support basic EDI documents such as purchase orders (PO), purchase order responses (POR), advance shipping notices (ASN) and invoices (INV). However, supplier collaboration in retail supply chain gets more sophisticated than just exchanging trading forms.

So, what should you look for in a supplier portal?

Supplier enablement and management

The portal should enable all your suppliers and trading partners to get on-board, regardless of their size and technical capability. It should be a place for you to be able to manage the onboarding, offboarding, relationships with your suppliers and more.

No costs imposed on your supply chain

To maximise uptake, your suppliers should bear no cost when joining a supplier portal and trade electronically. In fact, imposing costs is an inhibitor to your suppliers getting on-board your EDI journey.

Advanced technology

This ensures the portal can adapt to new requirements as your business grows and the industry changes.

Continued development

If your portal supplier has a focus on R&D, you can rely on them to keep your business at the forefront of technology. It's likely they'll be introducing new functionality to you regularly.


It should follow the right standards and procedures to handle your sensitive business information.


Every business has its own needs, and even your suppliers may have their own needs. A supplier portal should be flexible enough to be customised for your business.

Ability to walk up to EDI integration

Some suppliers may not want to, or be able to implement full EDI integration from day one. Does your supplier portal allow them to start out on a web portal, and walk up to integration when they’re ready?

Bi-directional trade

If you’re in the B2B space, why not consider a portal that can enable you to get EDI efficiency from both your suppliers and your customers?

A central place for all business collaboration

The supplier chain isn’t limited to just procurement messages. Consider these things when looking at a supplier portal:
  • Enable trade through the exchange of purchase orders (PO), advance shipping notices (ASN), invoices (INV) and more.
  • Allow you and your supplier to maintain real-time product data. This means you will always have up-to-date product data at the time of placing a PO.
  • Be a place to source new products and suppliers, to expand your trading network
  • Share other business information like MIGs, new store openings and more.
MessageXchange’s complementary service, Colladium, is a central place for all your trading requirements. It enables you to remove the barriers to EDI adoption and collaborate more efficiently with your trading partners. Want to find out more? Check out Colladium here. Or, talk to us today.
Prepare for STP

Prepare for STP – Prepare for the future

In recent years, Australian companies have seen major reporting reforms required by the Government. SuperStream came into effect in 2016, and this year Single Touch Payroll (STP) becomes mandatory for all businesses. If you’ve experienced these changes, you’ll notice how big of a role technology has played. This is how Government, and many businesses alike, see the future. The Australian Government recently announced that they’ll be moving forward with e-invoicing, through which electronic invoices can be exchanged directly between software of trading partners. As well as this, MAAS and MATS are now mandatory for Superannuation funds. This reports contributions and account changes as they happen.
With the Government on a journey of digital transformation, it’s likely that other changes are on the horizon.
In mid-2019, the Australia New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) will be established to provide direction on how e-invoicing will be rolled out in the next few years. E-invoicing is expected to help businesses save an estimated $30 billion in transaction costs in the first 10 years. It is also expected that the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework will be adopted and ready to use by the end of 2019, making it easier for businesses to exchange invoices with companies in Europe, Singapore, Canada and the USA. These are all part of the Government’s digital transformation project to streamline B2G reporting and gain near-real-time visibility. It allows departments to have access to the same up-to-date information as businesses, their employees and super funds. Under these reporting initiatives, employers are required to report information in a standardised electronic format.
If you’ve chosen a technology partner to help you along the way, you’ll know how important it is to choose a long-term partner.
By selecting a long-term partner in the beginning, you’ll have a solution that will future-proof your business. It’s important that the solution you choose is flexible and complies with industry-wide frameworks to easily adapt to any new changes. It means that when the time comes for a change, you won’t need to go through the whole process of sourcing for a new provider and establishing a new gateway. Instead, you can use that time to focus on your business. Solutions like MessageXchange allow you to comply with Government legislation like SuperStream, STP and eInvoicing, as well as other needs like EDI. Want to find out more? Have a quick chat with one of our experts.
Your STP readiness checklist

Your Single Touch Payroll (STP) readiness checklist

If you’re about to start your STP compliance journey but aren’t too sure how to go about it, don’t worry. We’ve put together this guide on what you need to get STP ready.


Update your payroll software to the latest version You need to make sure that your payroll software is STP enabled. Work with your payroll software provider to update your software to the latest version. Of course, if you develop your own payroll software, make sure that your software can export the data that the ATO requires. STP file format and ATO connection If your payroll software is not connected to the ATO, you can work with a sending service provider (SSP) like MessageXchange, to transmit your STP files on your behalf. In this case:
  • Check if your software can generate payroll files in the ATO-required XML format. If not, check with the SSP if they can map (‘translate’) your payroll file to the format required by the ATO
  • Find out if you need any configurations or testing to start your STP process
  • Find out how you will receive the ATO’s responses.

Internal process

Review your payroll process to ensure:
  • You are paying your employees correctly
  • You are handling employees’ entitlements correctly
  • You employees’ details (address, date of birth, name) are up to date and in the correct format.
Under STP, you are not obliged to provide payment summaries (previously group certificates) to your employees, but you can still choose to do so. Decide if you want to continue to issue payment summaries.


Inform your employees that you are no longer obliged to provide payment summaries. The ATO will make the information that was available on payment summaries visible in their myGov account. They’ll see this under ‘income statement’. Advise your employees to set up a myGov account, if they haven’t already. With a myGov account, they will be able to see their income statement, year-to-date tax and super information online. The ATO have published information on how to setup MyGov accounts. Still have questions? Download our comprehensive guide to achieving Single Touch Payroll (STP) compliance.
Things to know about STP

5 things to know about Single Touch Payroll (STP)

Whether you’re a business getting STP compliant early or one who’s starting the search after a deferral, here are five things to know.

1. How to count your employees for STP

Counting employees is required to work out when you need to be compliant with STP. Businesses under 20 employees have until the 1st of July 2019 to comply, whereas businesses with 20 or more employees have been required to report using STP since the 1st of July 2018. You'll need to include the following in your headcount:
  • Full time employees
  • Part time employees
  • Casual employees who are on your payroll on 1 April and worked any time during March
  • Employees based overseas
  • Any employees absent or on leave (paid or unpaid)
  • Seasonal employees (staff who are engaged short term to meet a regular peak workload, for example, harvest workers).
And don't include these in your headcount:
  • Employees who ceased work before 1 April
  • Casual employees who did not work in March
  • Independent contractors
  • Staff provided by a third-party labour hire organisation
  • Company directors
  • Office holders
  • Religious practitioners.
If your organisation is part of a company group, all employees employed by all member companies of the wholly-owned group must be included.

2. Businesses with 19 employees or less

If your organisation has 19 or less employees, STP reporting has been made mandatory from the 1st July 2019.

3. What STP means for your employees

Although STP mainly affects employers, there are certain things your employees should be aware of. The Government suggests you inform your employees that you’re no longer required to provide them with a payment summary. Under STP, they will be able to view their payment summary, now called ‘income statement’, in their myGov accounts, at the end of the financial year.

4. Maintaining security of your payroll data

With STP, you are required to report sensitive information of your employees to the ATO on every pay run, such as their salaries, allowances, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation. Therefore security should be a top priority. When searching for an STP solution provider, check they adhere to rigorous security requirements. These include having a recognised security certification (such as ISO 27001), complying with the ATO’s Operational Framework and being whitelisted for STP by the ATO.

5. Australia isn't the first country to implement STP

There have been similar initiatives implemented in other countries, such as the PAYE RTI, implemented in the UK in 2013. According to a UK Government research, there have been positive changes to the reporting experiences of employers. 80% employers found end of year (EOY) reporting under RTI easier than or in line with their expectation, with 91% expecting the next EOY to be easier than in 2013. 75% of employers experienced minimal burden at EOY with RTI. 67% said that RTI has been very easy or fairly easy to deal with. As a sending service provider (SSP), MessageXchange has worked with a number of payroll software companies to provide a secure gateway for customers to achieve STP compliance. If you are using one of these providers, we’ve got you covered. And even if your payroll software is not listed there, let us know and we can help get you STP ready. Ready to go? Request a quote here. Need more info? Download our comprehensive guide to achieving Single Touch Payroll (STP) compliance.