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Get started with a free 30 day free trial
Buy Lightning Payroll
Packages starting from $199
Buy Lightning Payroll.
Packages starting from $199
Here is a list of answers to our most common support enquiries. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for in the list below, please send your question to support@lightningpayroll.com.au and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

How Can I Set Up Online Backups?

Lightning Payroll has a built-in Online Backups feature which provides a way for you to easily save your important payroll data to the cloud. These online backups are encrypted and saved securely on our servers. In emergency situations this feature can help you to retrieve your data through your subscription.

Note: You will need a reliable internet connection, an active Lightning Payroll subscription and to have registered for this service for the feature to work correctly. See below for more information. This additional online backup service can be misused and needs to be used responsibly. We offer this as a handy extra feature and cannot guarantee the data will always be available, nor accept liability for user error or loss of your data. For this reason it is always a good idea to manage your backups yourself in addition to using this online backup feature. Please see this FAQ for more info.

To setup automatic online backups go to Tools >> Online Backups.

If you haven't yet set up online backups you will be asked to Register and create a password before you can continue. Passwords need to be at least eight characters in length, and for security reasons this password is not the same as your website and/or password application.

If you have already registered and need to connect another computer to your existing online backups you will be asked to Login and enter your password. If you have have forgotten your password, the Login screen contains a Forgotten Password area which can email through a password reset code to your nominated email address.

Once you're logged in to your Online Backups you can send a backup to our secure server to save the data currently in your program, or you can restore a previously created backup file to continue working on it. The Computer ID field is where you can add a description of the computer you're working on, or a description of the backup file you're creating. The image below shows how backups might be shared between an office computer and a laptop which share the same Lightning Payroll subscription. Only click Restore Backup if you wish to 'wind back the clock' and restore Lightning Payroll's data to an earlier point in time.

We recommend you tick the box to Automatically Backup. Also, do not click Logout unless you wish to disable the online backups. Just click Close.

Note: There is a FIVE backup limit for each active Lightning Payroll subscription. Once the limit has been reached, any new backups will automatically overwrite the oldest existing backup.

Why Can't I Restore a Backup File?

Usually a backup (.lpb) file can be restored under the Tools menu of Lightning Payroll. If the Restore Backup option is greyed out or unavailable then you are on a trial licence. This option is only available to users on a paid subscription to the software.

If you only want to restore the backup to view old data you can put Lightning into a read-only (unlicenced) mode. You will not be able to make any changes in this mode, but backups can be restored.

To switch from trial mode to unlicenced mode you need to delete the trial licence manually while the application is closed down. This file is located in the following location depending on your OS.

Windows: C:/Users/Your User's Folder/AppData/Roaming/LightningPayroll/licence.txt

Mac: ~/.LightningPayroll/licence.txt

How Can I Backup My Lightning Payroll Data?

Since Lightning Payroll is a desktop application, the data is safely stored in your own computer. We recommend you make yourself familiar with the backup features in the program.

To create a backup file, click Tools >> Create backup. This saves an entire copy of your payroll data (for all companies) into one compressed file (.LPB file extension). These files can then be restored via Tools >> Restore backup.

Lightning Payroll can also make regular automatic backups to a designated folder under Settings >> Backups >> Backup your data automatically.

We recommend that you regularly place a backup on an external memory device in case your local hard drive fails. See below for a short video on how to make a manual backup file

Why Doesn't An Allowance Appear On An Employee's Payment Summary?

Sometimes an allowance needs to be shown separately to gross payments on an employee's payment summary.

For this to occur the allowance needs to be marked as Itemised under Employees >> Allowances/Deductions >> Allowances.

If you are updating an allowance to correct a payment summary, meaning you have been using the allowance all year long whilst it has been not marked as Itemised then you'll need to do one more step for the changes to be reflected on the payment summary.

All you'll need to do is re-apply the corrected allowance settings to any pays where the employee received that allowance throughout the current financial year. You can do this quickly and easily by using the new Retrospective Tool in Lightning Payroll.

To access this tool, first make sure you are on the most recent version of Lightning Payroll by clicking Check for Updates Now? on the bottom of the Lightning Payroll window.

If you are up to date, then go to Tools on the top left hand corner of the screen and select Retrospective Tool from the dropdown.

In the new window, set the date range for which you want to adjust pays that include allowances. In this case, we have set it to cover the whole financial year.

You can then select the employee or employees whose allowances you wish to adjust. As you can see here, we will be adjusting David's allowances retrospectively so that they are correctly itemised.

On the next screen, make sure Allowances is selected from the dropdown. Below, you will be shown all the pays within the previously set date range for the selected employee/s that include allowances.

Tick the boxes on the left to select the pays individual you'd like to adjust allowances for. If you want to edit allowances for all pays, click Select All/None.

Once you have selected the pays with allowances that you wish to adjust, hit Confirm Pay Selection.

On this screen, you will be able to select the allowances to edit and view their current settings. Firstly, select the allowance you wish to adjust from the Must be filtered by description dropdown. You will then see all instances of that allowance during the date range you originally set. You can then select the ones you wish to change and click Edit.

An Add/Edit Allowance window will now open for you to make adjustments. Tick Itemised? and then click Save. You will be asked if you wish to make the changes and then to confirm the changes. Once this is completed, you will now see that the selected allowances show True in the Itemised? column.

You can complete the previous step for any other allowances that need to be adjusted. Once you're finished adjusting the required allowance, click Close on the bottom right to finish.

How Do I Process EOFY and Lodge With the ATO?

Currently, the ATO allows the following methods of lodgment for your annual PAYG payroll activity. You must lodge the report by 14 August. The ATO's EOFY lodgement options are:

  • Online via Lightning Payroll using Single Touch Payroll (Available on either Windows or Mac. Requires an AUSkey). Click here to learn more about this method.
  • Online via Lightning Payroll using SBR (Available on Windows computers only. Requires an AUSkey). Click here to learn more about this method.
  • Online via the ATO Business Portal website using an EMPDUPE file (Available on either Windows or Mac. Requires an AUSkey). Click here to learn more about this method.
  • Paper via the post. Only accepted on the official ATO stationary/forms. Lightning Payroll's printed payment summaries are only suitable for giving to your staff. Click here to learn more about this method.

Please select from one of the above options.

How Do I Change Financial Year Dates?

By default, Lightning Payroll takes care of your financial year start and end dates. These default to 1/7 -30/6 each year.

If a pay period ends on June 30th (or earlier) all of its figures will fall into the older financial year.

If a pay period ends on July 1st (or later), all of its figures will appear in the newer financial year.

Usually you won't have to change a thing, but sometimes your pay run end date falls into a different year to your actual payment processing date. In this case you will need to adjust financial year boundary dates so that the pay run end date is within the financial year it is being paid, which is how the ATO prefers it to be. This can be done under Company >> Financial Years.

These dates act like fence posts which section off all pays within a period of time, rounding them up to be processed in the End of Year and Single Touch Payroll sections of Lightning Payroll.

How Can I Edit Payment Summaries?

If you need to make adjustments to payment summaries, click the Advanced button on the Payment Summaries screen. You can then change the values as needed.

If you wish to undo any manual adjustments made in this screen, simply click on the Refresh button.

If you have already lodged this payment summary to the ATO, and then need to resubmit your edited version make sure to tick the Amendment? box before resubmitting.

Why Don't my Group Tax Totals Match With End of Year?

If you find that your End of Year totals are not matching with your Group Tax report. Here are the most common reasons and how to fix them:

Refreshing End of Year Data

This is usually the case if only one, or a few of the employees are not matching. It means you may have made some corrections to pays throughout the year after already entering into the End of Year area of the program, you may have to refresh the End of Year section so that it draws in the latest changes you've made to the pay data. Highlight the altered employee, and click Refresh to update the figures on their payment summary.

ETP Payment

If an Employment Termination Payment has occurred during the year (redundancy, wages in lieu, etc.) it will be displayed on a second page of an employee's payment summary.

Financial Year Boundaries are Incorrect

If every employee is not matching when you go to the End of Year section, then there is probably a pay run being left out, or an extra one being included in either the report you're using, or in the financial year being processed. Try running the group tax report again being careful that the dates match the financial year you're processing. If you need to adjust the financial year boundaries You can do so under Company >> Financial Years.

Please click here for more information.

Itemised Allowances

If an employee's allowance has been marked as Itemised under Employees >> Allowances/Deductions >> Allowances it will be separated from the gross figure on the employee's payment summary in the End of Year section.

The gross which appears under Employees >> Year to Date is inclusive of any itemised allowance similar to the gross YTD amount on their payslip.

End of Year via Paper Form Submission

Submitting end of year on paper (by post)

If you would like to lodge your annual payment summary report on paper, you can do so using the ATO’s paperwork. If you haven’t received a stationary pack from the ATO and wish to submit on paper you can order a PAYG payment summary statement here.

Note: The ATO does not accept documents printed from Lightning Payroll. Lightning Payroll can provide printed payment summaries suitable for your staff however, through the Payment Summaries button in the End of Year section of the program.

End of Year via EMPDUPE

Submitting end of year using the EMPDUPE method.

You will require a valid ABN and an AUSkey to lodge using either of these online methods below. To register for an AUSkey, or for more information regarding AUSkeys click here. These are managed by the Australian Business Register who can be called on 1300 287 539 (1300 AUSkey).

Using the ATO’s Business Portal website, by submitting an EMPDUPE/ECI file.

Here's a tutorial video demonstrating how to generate an EMPDUPE file using Lightning Payroll's End of Year assistant.

Here's how to Lodge the EMPDUPE file online using the ATO Business Portal:

Note: This method is not compatible with Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers. We recommend you use Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox.

  • Visit the Business Portal website.
  • Click 'Login' (at the bottom of the page).
  • Click 'Run' or 'Yes' to continue past any security/Java notification messages if they appear. They will usually appear along the edges of the window.
  • Select and unlock your AUSkey with your password (call 1300 287 539 if AUSkey fails).
  • Click 'Lodge file' (on the lower left-hand side of the screen).
  • Click 'Choose File' or 'Browse' to locate your ECI/Empdupe file.
  • Select 'Test' if you wish to submit the file for testing.
  • Select 'Lodge' to finalise and submit to the ATO.

End of Year via SBR

Submitting end of year using the SBR method.

You will require a valid ABN and an AUSkey to lodge using this method. To register for an AUSkey, or for more information regarding AUSkeys click here. These are managed by the Australian Business Register who can be called on 1300 287 539 (1300 AUSkey).

Here's a tutorial video demonstrating how to submit from Lightning Payroll's End of Year assistant.

Expired AUSkeys

AUSkeys can expire, and Lightning Payroll can detect an expired AUSkey. If yours has expired or is invalid it will appear in your credential list like so. Contact the Australian Business Register for AUSkey support on 1300 287 539 (1300 AUSkey).

How to View Your SBR Submission Receipt

If you would like to view what was submitted, gather an ATO reference number for your submission, or access success/failure messages from your SBR lodgments you can go to Company >> SBR Submissions and click View beside any submission to see an overview of what was lodged with the ATO.

A failed submission will occur if the ABN in the chosen AUSkey credential did not match the ABN of the company being submitted.

Where Can I View Past End of Year SBR Submissions to the ATO?

How to View Your SBR Submission Receipt

If you would like to view what was submitted, gather an ATO reference number for your submission, or access success/failure messages from your SBR lodgments you can go to Company >> SBR Submissions and click View beside any submission to see an overview of what was lodged with the ATO.

Here is an example of a failed submission. In this case the ABN in the chosen AUSkey credential did not match the ABN of the company being submitted.

How Can I Print Payment Summaries/Group Certificates?

Normally you'd print or email payment summaries at the same time as you lodge with the ATO, but they can be accessed separately any time of the year, and as many times as you like. Lightning Payroll doesn't 'close anything off' in the End of Year section. Retrieving payment summaries (group certificates) is very similar to retrieving payslips

To do this, simply click End of Year, select your financial year (FY) and click next. You will then be prompted to select the employees you wish to view/print Payment summaries for, and follow the prompts.

Once you are looking at the Payment Summaries screen, click the Payment Summaries button and Lightning Payroll will generate your employees PAYG summaries in a printable PDF format.

Where Can I Find The Latest End Of Year Checklist?

Click here to see the latest Lightning Payroll EOFY checklist mailer. This gets emailed out to all active users each June.

How Can I Update to the Latest Version of Lightning Payroll?

Click the Check for Updates Now? at the bottom of the program to check for any newer versions.

Reinstalling or updating your software fixes most issues if they should arise.

If updating fails for some reason, you can download the latest version directly from the links below:

(your data is safe and will not be affected by reinstallation)

Download for Windows (Windows 7 and above)
Download for Mac OSX (Version 10.11 and above)

If you find your auto-updates say they are working but you are being returned to the same version of the program you probably have a broken update patch on your computer. Please click here for a short guide on how to fix this issue.

 

How Can I Check What Version of the Software My Computer is Running?

To check which version of the software you're currently using, go to the top of the screen and click:

Help >> About (on Windows)
Lightning Payroll >> About Lightning Payroll (on Mac OSX).

The version number starts with the financial year. This makes it easy to tell if your version of the program is operating on the latest tax tables, which get updated each financial year by the ATO.

The best way to update is by clicking Check for updates now? at the bottom of your program. Click here to find out more on how to update your software.

What Options Are Available When Emailing Employees?

Lightning Payrolls also allows you to configure additional preferences for emailing employees.

To view this options, go to Employees > Details > Email Options.

In this menu, you have the following options:

  • Alternate email: Entering another email here specifically to send payslips to
  • Email Payslips?: This tickbox lets you choose whether you want the employee to receive payslips by email or not
  • Email payment summaries: This tickbox will also allow you to email PAYG/group certificates directly to employees at the end of financial year.

What Are the System Requirements?

Lightning Payroll is a desktop application compatible with Windows 7 (and above) and Mac OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) and above.

It is not designed for use on mobile (E.g. IOS, Android, etc) or server-based operating systems. Lightning Payroll is not recommended for screen sizes below 15 inches.

What are the Different Employment States?

Employees can have different states or statuses in Lightning Payroll. These states are 'Active', 'Inactive', 'Terminated' and 'Deleted'. These are explained in detail below.

Active: an active employee is one who is currently working and being included in pays. This is the default states when you add an employee and is indicated by the 'Active pay recipient' box for that employee being ticked in Employees >> Pay Settings >> Pay Rates.

Inactive: an inactive employee has not been terminated but is not currently working or being included in pays. This is indicated by the 'Active pay recipient' box for that employee being unticked in Employees >> Pay Settings >> Pay Rates.

Terminated: a terminated employee has been officially terminated in the program. This is done during the employee's final pay in the Edit Pay screen. Terminated employees show up in red in the Employees list when you tick the box 'show terminated employees'.

Deleted: A deleted employee has been completed removed from Lightning Payroll. If you delete an employee using the 'Actions' button in the Employees section, all their past and present data will be removed.

NOTE: Deleting employees is not recommended. If an employee has left your company, you should terminate them through the Pays screen instead.

Where Can I See a Demo of Lightning Payroll?

Here is a demonstration of how to process a pay in Lightning Payroll.
Check out more on our Youtube channel.

Can I Purchase Lighting Payroll For Less Than A Year?

Lightning Payroll is only available as an annual subscription. There is no option for a subscription term less than one year.

Will I Lose The Data I've Entered When My Trial Expires?

As Lightning Payroll is a desktop-based application, the data you enter into your free trial will be saved on the computer you've been working on, even after your free trial expires. This means that if you decide to purchase the program after the free trial expires, you will be able to pick up where you left off and continue entering data without losing what's already been done.

The trial version of the program you've been using will be unlocked and able to be used as the full version once payment has been made and your Subscription ID is entered into said trial version.

How Can I Set Birthday Reminders?

If you would like to create a birthday reminder for an active employee go to Settings >> Reminders. Click on the box next to Birthday Reminders On, which is located at the bottom left of this screen. Select how many days notice you wish to have. Then click on Create Birthday Reminders For Active Employees.

You can edit each reminder by clicking on the pencil icon and saving those changes. When entering into Lightning Payroll, that is when you will be notified of the birthday reminder.

How Can I Import Data Into Lightning Payroll?

Lightning Payroll is not able to import data from any other software.

All data will have to be entered into the program manually.

Can I Install The Program On Multiple Computers?

A Lightning Payroll subscription allows you to download the program onto two separate computers. However, the two installations do not talk to each other automatically, and do not allow simultaneous use. Keeping in mind that Lightning Payroll is a desktop based application, not an Online application.

 

 

Where Can I View Order History and Tax Invoices for Licence Payments?

You can view your licence order history, as well as print and download .pdf copies of your tax invoice/s for licence payment via our website. You will need to login to Client Login on our website, then click on My Account, then click View Your Order History. From here you can see the list of your orders under this account, and click View on the order you'd like to see.

To print or download a .pdf copy of the tax invoice for your chosen order, click on Show Tax Invoice, then select either Print This Invoice or Download A PDF Copy from the buttons on the top right-hand corner of the page.

How Can I Purchase Lightning Payroll?

To purchase an annual Lightning Payroll subscription it just involves going to the 'Buy Now' page of our website, choosing a licence to suit your needs from the options available, registering an account and making payment.

Once your payment has been confirmed you will receive an email with a subscription ID number which needs to be entered into the program when you open it for the first time.

Please Note - When using a trial version you have not yet registered an account with Lightning Payroll.

How Can I Pay For My Annual Subscription?

You can pay for your annual subscription over the phone with us, or through our website via Client Login >> My Account >> View/Renew/Upgrade Subscriptions.

You have two options for payment:

  • Using a Visa or Mastercard to make a credit card payment, which is instant; or,
  • Making a Direct Deposit payment to us through your bank account. Please not that paying by Direct Deposit means we will need to wait until the funds clear in our account before we're able to provide you with your new Subscription ID to use the program. This usually occurs by the next business day after your transfer.

Where Can I Download the Latest Instruction Manual?

Click here to download a PDF of the latest user manual.

How Do I Enter Existing Leave Balances?

If you are new to Lightning Payroll and setting up an employee with existing leave balances, you can enter your these amounts in their first pay. Once you have gone into the Edit Pay screen for an employee, you will see the Leave Balances Edit button on the left hand side of the screen. Here is where you will be able to enter your initial balances. Previous amounts need to be added to the system generated accruals from the current pay run.

For example:

Let's say that the employee’s leave balance on their most recent payslip shows 45 hours and 30 minutes of annual leave (45.5 hours). When you click Edit Pay >> Edit Leave Balances you will notice a small amount of leave has accrued. For example, our employee works 38 hours a week, and so they will accrue 2 hours and 55 minutes of annual leave (2.92 hours). You will need to add this amount to their leave balance as of last week. So for this example we would add 2 hours and 55 minutes to our original balance of 45 hours and 30 minutes, which will result in a total 48 hours and 25 minutes (48.42 hours). This is the updated leave balance as at the end of their first pay period inside of Lightning Payroll.

To find out more about Editing Leave Balances check out Chapter 4.2 of the Lightning Payroll user manual.

How Do I Add Additional or Custom Leave Types?

You can set up custom leave types in the program for things like RDOs, Time in Lieu, and Bereavement Leave by going to Company >> Leave Balance >> Create Leave Balance and creating the leave type here. Once the leave type exists in this area, you will need to go to Employees >> Leave >> Leave Accruals and use the green plus symbol to add the recently created leave type to each employee who requires it.

How Do I Correct or Adjust Leave Totals?

If one or more of an employee's leave balances have accrued incorrectly, or have been set up incorrectly, they can be manually corrected.

Leave balances as at the most recent completed pay can be amended under Employees >> Leave >> Leave Entitlement Adjustments. If you know the correct balance already, simply overwrite the incorrect balance with the correct one.

If the total you wish to enter is from another period of time than the most recent completed pay, you can go to Pays >> Last Pay Run >> Edit Pay >> Edit Leave Balances and adjust the balance from whichever period you like.

If you don’t know the total and need to recalculate, you can use Lightning Payroll's leave calculators, seen to the right-hand side of the Leave Entitlement Adjustments screen. For more information, please see Chapter 3.7 of our Lightning Payroll user manual.

How Do I Pay Leave?

To process leave for an employee, go into the Pays section of the program and then click the Edit Pay button for the employee taking leave. In the Leave tab you can use the green plus button to add a new leave item, or the pencil icon to edit an existing leave entry. Simply select the type of leave you will be paying and alter the other values as necessary. The employee's ordinary time hours will be reduced by the amount of leave taken, to help prevent accidental overpayment.

Paying out leave in advance

If an employee is going on leave, and you would like to pay them for all of that leave in the one pay period, tax calculations will need to be advised within the program. This can be done at the bottom of the the main Edit Pay window by spreading the tax calculations over multiple pay periods.

For example, if you pay weekly and you intend to pay the employee for two weeks leave that they'll be taking, in addition to the week they have just worked, the amount of pay periods you would need to enter would be 3.00 .

Employee is cashing out their leave

If an employee wants to be paid out some of their annual leave, or long service leave, without actually taking it, then (unlike in the above method of out paying leave in advance) you would leave the Spread tax over... option set as the default 1.00, and click OK.

How Can I Check When My Subscription Expires?

When your annual subscription is within 60 days from expiration Lightning Payroll will remind you whenever you open the program. We don't automatically invoice our users.

To manually check the expiration date on your Lightning Payroll subscription or to view your other subscription details, open the program and click Tools >> Licence Details.

To find out how to renew, or upgrade your subscription to allow more employees click here.

You can also view your subscription expiry information by logging into your account under Client Login on the top right of our website.

Why is the Trial Version Asking for Licence Details?

If you have downloaded the free trial and you are being prompted enter licence details, it is likely you have already used the trial previously on the same computer.

The trial lasts for 30 days from the first time you run the trial version. If your trial has now expired, we also offer a 30 day money back guarantee for first time subscribers to Lightning Payroll.

However, if you are certain you have never used the trial before but it is still asking you to enter details, please contact our support team.

I Have Paid For My Licence What Happens Next?

Once you have paid for your annual subscription you will receive an Invoice through to your registered email address with a new subscription ID.

To enter the new subscription details into Lightning Payroll go to Tools >> Licence Assistant >> Enter Registered Email Address >> Subscription ID >> Download Licence >> Install.

Once the Install diaglox box disappears you have successfully installed the new licence.

 

Why Is Lightning Payroll Asking Me For My Licence Details?

After opening Lightning Payroll, you may occasionally be prompted to enter your licence details. This will occur if your subscription has expired, but it can also occur from time to time for security reasons, and to ensure that you're running the latest version of Lightning Payroll.

If this occurs, please enter your registered email address and subscription ID number. Your subscription ID is always a six-digit number. This number gets emailed through when you renew your subscription each year, and it can also be seen by logging in to your account here on our web page (shown below).

If you are unable to login, you can reset your password here.

Licence Errors

If you encounter a Signature Invalid for Licence error (shown below) when entering your licence details, please see here.


If you encounter an error saying The number of registered systems has reached the maximum allowed by this licence (shown below) then your subscription ID has already been used on two separate computers since renewal.

You'll need to remove your licence from one of the two other computers under Tools >> Licence Details >> Remove System before it can be re-used once again.


If you encounter a Local Licence Install screen (shown below) when entering your licence it may mean that you're on an older version of Lightning Payroll. Click here for help updating Lightning Payroll to the latest version.

It can also mean that Lightning Payroll is unable to connect to the internet. Please check your internet connection, and if that fails try disabling third-party antivirus/firewall software, as they may need to have an exception created.

How Can I Renew, or Upgrade My Subscription?

To renew your annual subscription, you will first need to login using your email and account password. If you are unable to login, you should reset your password.

Once you have logged in to the My Account section, simply click View/Renew/Upgrade Subscriptions.

Signature Invalid For Licence Error

If you are getting a Signature Invalid For Licence error when trying to enter your licence details, this means one of two things:

  • Your subscription has expired and you will need to renew your licence to continue using the program as normal; or,
  • Occasionally, we have to get everyone to update beyond a particular version of the program. We do this by making the Online Licence Install box pop up upon opening the program, requesting you enter your registered email and subscription ID; when these details are entered, you will get a Signature Invalid For Licence Error. At this point, if you know your licence is not expired, you should click Cancel to the Online Licence Install and then click on the Check For Updates Now button in green writing on the bottom toolbar of Lightning Payroll. Once updated to the latest version, the program will ask for your licence details once more, at which point you can enter them again, and they will be accepted.

Reset or Remove Application Password

If you would like to reset or remove the application password for Lightning Payroll, you can do this under Settings.

To reset the password, go to Settings > Password and enter and confirm the new password you wish to use.

To remove the existing application password, click Remove Application Password on the bottom right.

If you cannot get into your program at all, you will need to contact our support team for assistance.

Why Can't I Login to this Website?

If you are a current paid subscriber to Lightning Payroll you can log in to your account at the client login link at the top of this page. If you have forgotten your password, please reset it here.

If you are a trial user you will not yet have an online account. You can sign up as a new user after selecting the appropriate subscription package here on our purchase page.

I've Forgotten my Password for Online Backups

If you cannot remember your password to login to the online backups portal, you can reset it by clicking Forgotten Password.

A reset code will be sent to your registered email address. You can then choose a new password, confirm the new password and input the reset code you will have received by email from Lightning Payroll.

 

How Do I Process a Pay?

To process a pay or pay run in Lightning Payroll, click on the Pays button at the top of the Lightning Payroll window.

 

When you click on the Pays button, you will be taken to the current or most recent pay run. If you want to go back to an earlier pay run, you can click Last Pay Run on the left. To go to future pay runs, click Next Pay Run on the right.

 

When processing a pay run, all pays are initially marked as Pending until they're either saved, or marked as complete.

 

To get started, you can click the Edit Pays button above the list of employees to edit the pays in order. Otherwise, you can click Edit Pay beside any employee's name on the right to edit that individual pay entry.

 

Once you have begun to edit a pay entry for an employee, you will be able to enter their hours worked for the pay period on the top left in the Hours section.

 

If you need to pay leave to an employee, you can add this in the Leave taken in this pay section. Click here to find out more on how to pay leave.

 

Tax and Super amounts are calculated automatically and are shown on the right.

 

Once you are happy with the employee's pay entry, click Save and Next on the bottom right to save and progress to the next employee or click Save and Close to go back to the pay run.

 

Once all the pay entries for your employees are marked as Complete, you will then be able to create the payslips and process Single Touch Payroll for this pay run.

 

Click here for more information on creating payslips, or click here for information on processing Single Touch Payroll.

 

You can also watch our video tutorial on how to process a standard pay in Lightning Payroll.

How to Enter Paid Parental Leave Payments

If an employee needs to receive paid parental leave payments, you can set this up as a custom pay rate under Employees >> Pay Settings >> Special User Defined Pay Rates.

Click on the green plus button to add a new custom pay rate. For the description, enter a name for the pay rate (e.g. paid parental leave).

Then, click the Rate Type dropdown and select Special. You can then specify a dollar amount for the pay rate below. Enter the pay rate specified for the employee's parental leave. This will typically be a daily or weekly. You can enter the figure and then change the Units option from Hours to Days or Weeks as you prefer.

If you need to prevent super from being calculated on on this pay rate, tick the Overtime? box. Finally, click Save.

If you need to turn off leave accruals during this time, you can disable leave under Employees >> Leave >> Leave Settings.

You will now be able to select this pay rate when processing pays for the employee. If you have disabled leave, set a reminder (under Settings) to enable it again once the employee returns to work.

How to Enter WorkCover Payments

If an employee needs to receive WorkCover payments, you can set this up as a custom pay rate under Employees >> Pay Settings >> Special User Defined Pay Rates.

Click on the green plus button to add a new custom pay rate. For the description, enter a name for the pay rate (e.g. WorkCover).

Then, click the Rate Type dropdown and select Special. You can then specify a dollar amount for the pay rate below. Enter the pay rate specified for the employee's WorkCover. This will typically be a daily or weekly. You can enter the figure and then change the Units option from Hours to Days or Weeks as you prefer.

If you need to prevent super from being calculated on on this pay rate, tick the Overtime? box. Finally, click Save.

If you need to turn off leave accruals during this time, you can disable leave under Employees >> Leave >> Leave Settings.

You will now be able to select this pay rate when processing pays for the employee. If you have disabled leave, set a reminder (under Settings) to enable it again once the employee returns to work.

How Do I Edit Existing Payslips?

If you need to make corrections to an employee's payslip, you will need to navigate to the relevant pay run for which that payslip was issued.

If the pay run was in the past, you can go back to earlier pay runs in the Pays menu by clicking the Last Pay Run button on the left. You can also click and hold the Last Pay Run button for 2 seconds and then release to see a list of previous pay runs for a quick selection.

Once in the appropriate pay run, you will need to click the Edit Pay button on the right hand side to make changes to the employee's pay. If the Edit Pay screen is locked, you can unlock it by clicking the padlock icon on the bottom left. Once you've made the necessary changes, click Save + Close.

You can generate a new Payslip that will show the changes made by clicking the Payslips button.

How Can I Reinstate A Terminated Employee?

If you would like to reinstate a terminated employee go to the Employees tab >> Click on Show Terminated Employees >> Select the employee you wish to reinstate >> Then click on Actions and Reinstate Employee.

How Can I Terminate an Employee?

To terminate an employee in Lightning Payroll, please go to Pays screen. Edit the employee's pay and press the Terminate Employee button in the lower right-hand corner of the Edit Pay window. Follow the prompts from there to terminate.

How Do I Enter A Public Holiday?

You can set up a pay rate for Public Holidays in the case that you would like public holidays separated from a full time employee's Ordinary Time; it is generally not advised to put through a full time employee's public holiday hours as annual leave, as full time workers will generally be paid for a public holiday as ordinary time.

To set a public holiday rate up for multiple full time employees, go to Company >> Pay Rate Groups >> +New Group and give the group of rates a name (eg. Public Holiday Rates). Next, click on the green plus symbol on the right and give the rate a description such as Public Holiday, leave all other settings as they are, and click Save. Finally, add all employees who will need this rate using the green plus symbol below the rate you have just created.

Now, when you go to pay a public holiday for a full time employee, you will select a second line of pay in Edit Pays and select your new pay rate, Public Holiday, and enter the amount of public holiday hours your employee did in this particular pay run.

How Can I Change My Pay Run Dates?

If your pay run dates need to change for pays going forward, simply go into Company >> Pay Dates and click Edit. This will let you select the Pay Period End Date of the appropriate pay schedule (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) and the pay runs will adjust dates accordingly.

Pay Period Start Dates cannot be edited and are a result of the previous pay period's end date.

If you have made mistakes with past, completed pay run dates then our support staff may be able to assist.

How Do I Enter or Edit Past Pays?

To enter pays retrospectively in the program, you will need to go to the Pays tab, then hold down the Last Pay Run button on the left, and skip through to the pay period you'd like to start entering pays from. Once in the pay run you're after, you can edit pays like normal, then, once all relevant pays are complete, you can click Next Pay Run on the right and complete the next pay run, and so on, so forth.

If your employees' names are not in the pay run you skip back to, you can click on Create Pays to add them into the pay run. If you cannot add certain employees to a past pay run, please see the second paragraph of this FAQ.

It is also possible to edit past pays, though please bear in mind this would be done only in a few specific scenarios, as you do not generally want to edit any values that had been paid out at the time, being that you want to have accurate records of what was paid and accounted for at the time (even if there is a mistake in there).

If you find yourself in a scenario where you need to edit a past pay, you will need to skip back to the pay run in question, click Edit Pay to the right of the employee's pay you're editing, then click on the little padlock button at the bottom left of the screen to unlock the pay for editing, then proceed as usual.

How Do I Print and/or Email Payslips?

Printing and/or emailing paylips is done from the Pays tab of the program. Once a pay has been saved to a Completed status, you're able to print a payslip for that particular pay by clicking on Payslips >> This Pay Run and ensuring either Print payslips or Print and email payslips is selected at the bottom of the box, before clicking Next. Select the employees you'd like to print a payslip for and click Next, then select Preview/Print Payslip; you can now print the payslip/s by clicking on the printer icon on the top left of the preview. You can also save the payslip as a .PDF by clicking on the red floppy disc icon next to the printer icon at the top left of screen.

You can also print multiple payslips for employee/s using pretty much the same process, except you would select Payslips >> Multiple Pay Runs in the beginning of the process instead, and put in the date range you'd like payslips for.

To email payslips from the program, you will first need to have Lightning setup to email out by completing the steps listed here. Then, for the employees you'd like to have receiving their payslips and/or pay summaries via email, you will need to go to Employees >> Details >> Email Options, enter their email address, and tick Email Payslips? and/or Email Payment Summaries?. Once these two things are set up, you're free to email payslips out from the Pays tab using the same process as above, but selecting to Email payslips or Print and email payslips.

How Can I Adjust What is Shown on the Payslips?

If you would like to adjust what information is shown on payslips, you can do this for each employee in Employees > Pay Settings > Payslip Options.

This section allows you to select what types of information can be shown on payslips including:

  • Leave entitlements (including custom leave types)
  • Year-to-date totals for pay and super
  • Hours and rates of pay
  • whether leave balances are shown in hours or days.

Can I Process Pays In Advance?

If you would like to process pays in advance, you can do this by navigating to future pays using the 'Next Pay Run' button in the Pays screen.

From there, you can edit and save the pay entries as normal for each employee.

If the pays are being processed now but will not be paid until later, you will need to ensure that the processed date for the pays is set to the date the wages will be paid.

If you use the direct entry option to pay wages, please ensure the processing date for the direct entry is set to the date the wages will be paid to employees. Once the file is created, the processed date for each entry will be updated.

If you do not use direct entry files, you can edit the processed date for each entry manually by clicking the Edit Pay button on the right hand side and then clicking the pencil button on the top left of the employee's edit pay window. You will then be able to manually adjust the processing date. Repeat this until each entry for each employee has the correct processing date.

How Do I Setup A Salary Sacrifice?

To add a Salary Sacrifice for an Employee you will find this under the Employees tab. Select the employee to the left of the screen. Click on Pay Settings >> Salary/Wage Sacrifice and click on the green plus symbol to add in the sacrifice & Save.

How To Setup A Deduction?

To setup a deduction for an employee go to the Employees tab >> Select the Employee on the left hand side >> Click on Allowances & Deductions >> Deductions >> Click on the green plus symbol to add the deduction & Save.

This deduction can then be seen in the Pays tab >> Edit Pay for this employee >> Click on Allowances/Deductions >> Deductions. You can edit the amount manually by clicking on the pencil icon.

Note: If the deduction is required in a past completed pay, you will have to unlock that pay by clicking on the padlock in the bottom left hand corner. Then click on Allowances/Deductions >> Click on the green plus symbol under Deductions & Save.





 

Can I Add My Company Logo to the Payslips?

You can add your company logo to the payslips by going to the Pays screen, clicking the Payslips button and selecting 'Configure Payslip Logo'.

Tick the box to turn Logos on and then select 'browse' to choose the image. You can adjust the height or width of the image by adjusting the measurements in the logo menu.

The preview will show you how the logo will look on the payslip. Once you are happy with how the logo will appear, click 'Close'.

How Do I Add a Missing Employee Into a Pay Run?

You can add employees into a pay run they're missing from in the Pays tab, by clicking on Create Pays from the particular pay run they're missing from, selecting the employee/s to add, then clicking Create. By having Create Full Pay? ticked at the bottom of the Create Pays screen, the program will use the hours and rate of pay set in Employees >> Pay Settings >> Pay Rates to pre-fill the pay for you; rest assured, you can still edit these pays like normal using the Edit Pays buttons on the main Pays tab.

If you have added a new employee and you're not able to find them on the Pays tab or add them using Create Pays, it is most likely that you have set an incorrect Start Date for the employee when adding them to the program. You can fix this by going to Employees >> Details >> Employment Dates and updating their Start Date to the correct date, then go back into Pays and the pay run you're after, and said employee should automatically now be in the list of people to pay.

How Do I Delete A Pay?

To delete an Employee's pay, go to the Pays tab.

In line with the Employee you wish to remove, there will be a Mark as Complete button greyed out. You will find this to the far right of the program.

Right click on the Mark as Complete button and Delete.

 

How Do I Create Additional Pay Rates For Employees?

It's possible to set up various additional pay rates for employees in Lightning either individually or in groups.

To set up a pay rate to be applied to a single employee, go to Employees >> select the relevant employee from the list >> Pay Settings >> Special User Defined Pay Rates and add the rate in; this pay rate will then be available from the drop down list of pay rates in the Edit Pays screen.

To set up a pay rate that can be applied to a group of employees, go to Company >> Pay Rate Groups >> New Group and add in the pay rate, then Edit Employees to add said pay rate to a group of employees; this pay rate will then be available from the drop down list of pay rates in the Edit Pays screen for every employee you have selected.

How Do I Create An Additional Pay?

To add a pay click on Create Pays, select the employee(s) whom you wish to record a pay for within that period. Then select the date you would like this pay to be processed or if it were a past pay, the date it was processed.

The tickbox at the bottom of the window which says Create Full Pay if ticked will filter the information from the Pay Settings for each employee.



 

What Kind of Reports are Available in Lightning Payroll?

Lightning Payroll offers a full suite of easy-to-use reports that can be accessed via the Reports menu in the program.

Ready to use reports include:

  • Pay reports
  • Taxation reports
  • Superannuation reports
  • Allowance and deduction reports
  • Leave taken and leave forecasting

You can also generate fully customisable reports through the Employee Report Builder and Pay Report Builder options in the Reports menu.

All reports allow you to view any current or historical data you have entered into Lightning Payroll.

All reports can be saved as .PDFs and printed. Select reports can also be exported from Lightning Payroll in .CSV format, allowing you to use them in Microsoft Excel.

How Can I Delete A Custom Report?

You can delete custom reports you've made in the past as they become obsolete to your business needs.

To delete a custom report, go to the Reports tab, then click on either Employee Report Builder or Pay Report Builder; wherever you created the custom report initially. Next, click on Open Report and select the report you'd like to delete from the drop down list, then click Load.  You will now see there is a Delete Report option at the top right of the screen, click this and then click Yes to delete the custom report.

How Do I Set Up Rostered Shifts in Lightning Payroll?

Lightning Payroll allows you to create shift types and schedule a roster for certain shifts and employees. These rostered shifts can then be used to fill-in your pays, saving time on data entry.

Please click here for related timeclock information.

Company Shifts

To begin setting up shifts in Lightning Payroll, go to Company >> Shifts.

To add a new shift type, use the green plus on the right. After that, just make sure to add any employees who may be required to work this shift at the bottom of this screen.

When editing a company-wide shift in the New Company Shift screen, the times, durations and pay rate are just defaults, or placeholders for this shift type. If a shift type is likely to change, that's fine, because any shift can be tailored for a particular employee or a particular date elsewhere, as described below.

Employee Shifts

If an employee tends to receive a particular pay rate, allowance or happens to work a shift on a regular basis you can configure this information under Employees >> Shifts.

All company shifts linked to an employee will be visible in this screen. To customise a shift for an employee use the pencil button to the right of the shift.

Note: If an employee has been assigned to any departments, these will be available for allocation at the bottom of this screen, and be reflected on departmental reporting once rostered shifts are imported into the Pays area, later on.

Roster Shifts

Rostered shifts can be viewed, edited and manually scheduled under the Rosters section of Lightning Payroll.

Repeating shifts will generate automatically when you first view a pay run within the Rosters screen. If you accidentally edit or delete any rostered shifts and wish to bring everything back to the starting point again, use the Reload Repeats button.

To add or edit rostered shifts to be worked during this pay run click the Edit Shifts button.

To add a new, one-off shift manually, use the green plus button. You will then see the New Rostered Shift screen. When creating a shift, keep in mind that break durations are not paid.

Options

The Options button provides a way for you to customise the display of your Rosters screen. For example, you can set your business operating days and hours so that the program does not display unnecessary days or time periods on the screen. If you roster your pay runs two or three pay peridos in advance, you can set the default pay run offset, which tells the program how far into the future the Rosters screen should display by default.

Rostered Shifts and Pays

Rostered shifts are automatically used to populate the pay information in Lightning Payroll, whenever they have been created. The absence of a roster shift will mean pays generate using the employee's default settings configured under Employees >> Pay Settings.

You may wish to use the Rosters section, but not have rostered shifts modify your Pays. If this the case, go into Employee >> Pay Settings and tick the box to Ignore rostered shifts when generating pays.

How Do I Install Lightning Payroll on a New, or Replacement Computer?

Installing Lightning Payroll on a replacement or additional computer is a three step process:

1) Download and install the program using the appropriate link below:

Download for Windows (Windows 7 and above)
Download for Mac OSX (Version 10.11 and above)

2) If you are given a free trial press Enter Paid Subscription Details to enter your details into our Licence Assistant (also found under Tools at the top of the screen) using your email address and six digit subscription ID number. Your ID gets emailed to you upon renewal each year and can be found in your website account here, or on any existing LP installation under Tools >> License Details.

3) Restore a backup (.lpb file) through Tools >> Restore backup (or Tools >> Online Backups if you use that feature).

Each LP subscription can be used on two computers at one time, but this does not mean the data is automatically shared. Lightning Payroll is a desktop app and stores its data locally (on your PC hard drive).

If you run your program between two systems please ensure you keep both copies of the payroll data up-to-date by regularly creating and restoring backups. Our Online Backups feature is the best way to do this.

 

Can I Import Data Directly into Lightning Payroll?

Lightning Payroll cannot import or export payroll data directly from - or to - another program or application.

If you are starting with Lightning Payroll after the current financial year has already begun, you can enter year-to-date (YTD) figures for each employee as YTD adjustments in the Employees section or by prefilling earlier completed pays in Lightning Payroll.

How Can I Add a New Employee?

Before you get started, it is recommonded you collect the following information from your new employee:

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Bank account details (BSB, account name, account number)
  • Super fund details (fund USI and employee's member number)

Below are some links which you may find helpful when a new employee starts working for you:

To add a new employee, go into Lightning Payroll and click Employees >> Actions >> New Employee.

This will bring up the new employee assistant. Follow the prompts to fill out the employee's details. If you don't have all the available information now, you will still be able to add it to the employee's profile later.

NOTE: If the employee does not yet have a TFN, the ATO has more information about placeholder TFNs here.

You can also watch our short tutorial video on the company and employee setup process.

How Do I Get Started in Lightning Payroll?

If you are using Lightning Payroll for the very first time, there are a couple of steps you will need to follow to get up and running.

Step 1. Add your Company

The first step is to add your Company into Lightning Payroll. Lightning Payroll does not limit the number of companies you can use in the software. To add a new company, simply click Company >> Add new company on the top left of the Lightning Payroll window.

When adding a new company, you will need to enter your company name and ABN. You will also need to specify whether your pay period is weekly, fortnightly or monthly and specify which day of the week your pay period ends on.

 

Step 2. Add your Employees

The next step is to add your Employees into Lightning Payroll.

Before you get started, it is recommonded you collect the following information from your employees:

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Bank account details (BSB, account name, account number)
  • Super fund details (fund USI and employee's member number)

Below are some links which you may find helpful when a new employee starts working for you:

To add a new employee, go into Lightning Payroll and click Employees >> Actions >> New Employee.

This will bring up the new employee assistant. Follow the prompts to fill out the employee's details. If you don't have all the available information now, you will still be able to add it to the employee's profile later.

NOTE: If the employee does not yet have a TFN, the ATO has more information about placeholder TFNs here.

You can also watch our short tutorial video on the company and employee setup process.

How Do I Enter Allowances?

Allowances for individual employees can be entered under Employees >> Allowances/Deductions >> Allowances using the green plus icon.

If you have common allowances to share amongst your employees, you can create company allowances under Company >> Allowances

If you wish to itemise an allowance separately within an end of year or Single Touch Payroll submission be sure to tick the Itemised? box when editing or creating your allowance.

If you wish to edit multiple pay allowances at the same time you can do so under Tools >> Retrospective Tool.

 

How Do I Email Payslips or Payment Summaries from Lightning Payroll?

Lightning Payroll can email payslips and payment summaries to your employees, so long as you've configured the SMTP server settings found under Company >> Email

Lightning Payroll acts as a basic email client which can log in to your email account. Since each email provider has their own SMTP server settings, you will need to speak with them to get the right setup information.

Here's an example of how these settings would look when configured with a Gmail account.

Some users who happen to be using these Gmail settings are still encountering errors. A recent change to Google's security settings is the cause of this. Click here and select Turn On to authorize Lightning Payroll to send emails through your Gmail account if you encounter this problem. If you'd like to read more about this change to Google's Gmail security settings you can do so here .

In addition, you can receive copies of the payslips you send out. This can be configured under Company > Email by ticking the 'Send me a copy?' box. Make sure you have entered your email address above.

How Do I Setup Departments?

Departments can be configured in Lightning Payroll as a way for you to run reports on different cost centres within the application.

Departments are created under Company >> Departments.

Employees and their default pay % allocation can be assigned to departments under Employees >> Details >> Departments.

If a pay's departmental % allocation changes you can edit the department's allocation for specific pays under Pays >> Edit Pay/s >> Dept % (at the top of the window).

You can edit departmental % allocation for multiple pays/employees at once under Tools >> Retrospective Tool.

If you use shifts these too can be allocated to a department, under Employees >> Shifts, when editing a shift.

The best way to run reports for departmental pay data is via the Custom Reports area under Reports >> Pay Report Builder. Simple design your ideal report by selecting the appropriate columns and tick the box to Group by department.

What is a Direct Entry User ID?

When creating a direct entry payment file, or processing super you may be prompted for a User ID, which usually resides under Company >> Bank Account >> User ID.

This is always a six digit number.

For most major banks (ANZ, Westpac, NAB) it is six zeroes (000000). For CBA it is 301500. For any other financial institution you will need to contact them and ask for the Direct entry User ID, or APCA ID.

How Do I Make Payments Using a Direct Entry Banking File?

The quickest and most accurate way to make bulk payments through Lightning Payroll is by using a Direct Entry (.ABA) file.

These files can be generated for pays and for super and then uploaded to most Australian banks, resulting in an automated, batch funds transfer. This means you can pay multiple employees at once or multiple super funds at once.

To create a direct entry file for Pays click Pays >> Direct Entry.

To create a direct entry file for Super click the Direct Entry button after sending Superstream messages within either:

  • Super Fund Deposits >> Superstream Contribution >> Superstream Summary
  • Super Fund Deposits >> Create Deposits >> Superstream Summary

Your bank should be able to guide you through the process of importing a direct entry file, but to help get you started we've rounded up some direct entry instructions for the most common banks. These instructions may change and are current as at March 2016. Please contact your financial institution for the most up-to-date instructions.

NAB Connect Instructions - (1300 888 413)
Westpac Instructions - (1300 655 505)
CBA CommBiz Instructions - (13 23 39)
ANZ Instructions - (13 33 50)

User IDs

When creating a payment file you may be prompted for a User ID, which belongs under Company >> Bank Account >> User ID. This is always a six digit number. For most major banks (ANZ, Westpac, NAB) it is six zeroes (000000). For CBA it is 301500. For any other financial institution you will need to contact them and ask for the Direct entry User ID, or APCA ID.

How Do I Enter Existing Year-to-Date Figures?

If you are beginning part way through a financial year and need to add existing year-to-date (YTD) figures for your employees, there are three options to do this:

The first option is to enter all the previous pays for the financial year into Lightning Payroll. This can be done one-by-one in the Pays screen by navigating back with the 'Last Pay Run' button. This option is time consuming but it does provide the greatest amount of detail.

The second way is to generate a single pay for each employee immediately prior to the first official pay you will complete in Lightning Payroll and add in each employee's gross, tax and superannuation figures.

The third option is to complete a YTD adjustment for each employee in the Employees section. If you have the year-to-date (YTD) figures for each employee, you can enter these under Year to Date >> Adjust YTD Totals. Lightning payroll works forward from these amounts as you complete pays.

To find out more about the YTD area, check out Chapter 2.5 of the Lightning Payroll user manual.

My Company is Changing ABN and/or Ownership. What Do I Need to Do?

If the company is changing ABN and/or ownership part way through a financial year but all or most employees are remaining, the most common solution is to split the financial year on the end date of the final pay for the old company.

To do this, make sure you have completed the final pay under the old ABN and make a note of the end date of the final pay period.

To split the financial year between the two companies, go to Company (next to Reports) > Financial Years.

Click the pencil button to edit the current financial year and change the end date to match the end date of the final pay period of the old company and click 'save'.

Then, click the green plus button to add a new financial year. Set the start date to be the day immediately following the end date of the old company and set the end date to be the proper end of the financial year.

Finally, update the company details section and put in the new company details and ABN.

At EOFY, it will be possible to generate two pay summaries for the financial year for each employee, one for each company.

How Do I Connect Lightning Payroll to the Internet if I'm Behind an Authenticated Proxy?

If your company uses a network that involves an authenticated proxy you may have to enter settings under Settings >> Proxy to allow Lightning Payroll to access the internet. This means Lightning Payroll is able to keep you up-to-date with automatic update downloads and allows you to connect to the ATO via SBR and to the national Superstream network. All of these features require Lightning Payroll to have internet access. Contact your network administrator, or IT department for appropriate settings if you're unsure of what to enter.

Here's an example of a proxy setup:

What Things Does Lightning Payroll Calculate?

Lightning Payroll is able to calculate your employees Super, Tax and Leave Accruals out of the box.

Lightning uses the latest tax tables built in to calculate the correct tax amounts for each of your employees. To make sure the correct tax is calculated for your employee, make sure you enter their correct Tax File Number in the Employees > Tax Rates > Tax Settings.

Lightning will also take care of calculating your employees' holiday, sick and long service leave entitlements on a pay by pay basis. You can choose which settings you'd like to use when setting up a new employee and Lightning will take care of the rest. You can also enter existing leave balances for employees.

Finally, Lightning is setup to calculate the standard 9.5% Super Guarantee by default. You can alter these settings in Employees > Super.

 

What does the Supplier Not Authorised - CMN.ATO.AUTH.008 Error mean?

If you receive the STP error code CMN.ATO.AUTH.008 it means that the Supplier/Tax Agent AUSkey used to make this Single Touch submission is not authorised to submit on behalf of the client

  • As a tax agent/supplier, log in to the ATO's Access Manager (not AUSkey Manager)using your credentials.
  • Select Whose business I can access on the left hand side.
  • If your client's business is not listed, it means they have not appointed you to act on their behalf. According to the ATO your client must:
    • Login to Access Manager using their client/company credential.
    • Select Who has access to my business on the left hand side.
    • Click on Appoint new business and enter the the ABN of the agent/supplier to act on their behalf.
    • Press Continue and set the permissions (for STP make sure that the View and Lodge permissions for Payroll Event Form are ticked).
    • Select all and Clear all can be used toselect or clear all available permissions.
    • Click Save to preserve the changes.
  • Once the client has appointed you as their supplier you can log back into your ATO Access Manager to check that it has worked.
  • Click on Whose business I can access on the left hand side and confirm your client's business details are displayed.
  • If errors still occur please contact the Lightning Payroll Support Team.

    What is the Difference Between a New Event and an Update Event?

    There are two types of STP messages you can send from Lightning Payroll, a New Event and an Update Event.

    A New Event is the most common submission type and is the recommended way to send Single Touch information to the ATO.

    Update events are most commonly used to submit amendments made to pay runs already lodged. They can also be used for submitting terminated staff who are not available for a New event submission as they were not paid within the pay period being lodged.

    New events cannot be sent for pay runs processed/paid in the past.

    Update events cannot be sent for pays processed/paid in the future.

    Lightning Payroll collects YTD values using the pay run end date, and lodges using the pay period's most recent processed date within the same financial year. If you wish to see the processed date being used for a STP submission, click Pays >> Single Touch >> Submit Payroll to the ATO >> Help.

    For more information on STP events and guidelines, see here.

    How Can I Renew or Register for an AUSkey?

    You will need to fully register for an AUSkey if you:

    • Do not yet have an AUSkey and wish to connect your Lightning Payroll to the ATO.
    • Have forgotten your AUSkey password.
    • Get an error from Lightning saying it cannot detect an AUSkey on your PC.
    • Have an expired or invalid AUSkey credential.

    How to get or renew an AUSkey?

    • Visit the AUSkey registration page.
    • Click the big Register for an AUSkey button at the bottom of the page.
    • Complete the required registration form (clicking Next through each page).
    • Note the verification code shown at the end of the form process.
    • Follow the instructions to click the link in the AUSkey email you should then receive.
    • Follow the prompts to enter your verification code and download your AUSkey. (Most users will need to install AUSkey software to finish this step, which can be a bit tricky. There are many AUSkey software options there, so if you're having no luck with oneparticular option, try another)

    Both Standard and Administrator AUSkeys are acceptable so long as they have STP PAYEVNT permissions activated within the ATO Access Manager.

    For any further help and support with AUSkeys please contact the AUSkey support team on 1300 AUSKEY (1300 287 539).

    How Do I Process End of Year Using Single Touch Payroll?

    Before You Begin Single Touch Payroll:

    You will require a valid ABN and an AUSkey to lodge using either of these online methods below. To register for an AUSkey, or for more information regarding AUSkeys click here. These are managed by the Australian Business Register who can be called on 1300 287 539 (1300 AUSkey).

    Lodgement:

    To submit your end of year using Single Touch Payroll, first ensure that you have updated Lightning Payroll to at least version 2020.1.0 or higher.

    Make sure you have completed your final pay for the financial year. In this final pay, click the Single Touch button, then select Submit payroll to ATO.

    Select Create a new event and make sure all the current employees listed above selected. Be sure to tick Final pay for the current financial year?.

    On the next page, select your AUSkey credential, enter your password and click Submit.

    If you had employees who were terminated earlier in the financial year before you started using Single Touch, make sure to follow the below steps as well:

    Once you are back in the Pays screen, click the Single Touch button again and select 'Submit payroll to ATO' once more.

    Then, select Create an update event and only select any employees who were not included in the new event. Finally, be sure to tick Final pay for the current financial year? once more.

    On the next page, select your AUSkey credential, enter your password and click Submit.

    ATO Responses:

    To check for responses simply go into Single Touch >> Single Touch Mailbox and Lightning will see if anything has been returned from the ATO. Responses take anywhere from two minutes to three days to come back. The program will not recheck until at least two minutes from the last check. 5 minutes is the typical turnaround

    How Do I Process Single Touch Payroll?

    From July 2018 the ATO will require that employers (with 20 or more employees) align ATO reporting with their pay schedule and submit employee YTD figures using the Single Touch Payroll reporting standard each time pays are made to employees.

    Read the ATO's Single Touch Factsheet

    Read our April 2018 Single Touch Mailer

    To process Single Touch Payroll in Lightning Payroll simply complete your pays as usual then click Single Touch >> Submit Payroll to ATO.

    To check for Single Touch Payroll response messages from the ATO click Single Touch >> Single Touch Mailbox.

    See Chapter 4 of our Lightning Payroll user manual for more detailed information on processing pays and submitting Single Touch Payroll in Lightning Payroll.

    This video tutorial demonstrates how to submit Single Touch Payroll information to the ATO.

    What Does It Mean If I Get An Auskey Permissions Error - CMN.ATO.AUTH.007

    If you receive the STP error code CMN.ATO.AUTH.007 it means that the AUSkey used to make this Single Touch submission does not have sufficient permissions.

    To increase your AUSkey permissions please:

    • Visit the ATO Access Manager page (not the SBR AUSkey Manager page).
    • Log in using your company's administrator AUSkey. If you are unable to login please contact the Australian Business Register AUSkey Support Team.
    • Click on Access and Permissions over to the left.
    • Click on the blue name link for the desired Single Touch Payroll AUSkey credential.
    • Scroll down the following page and ensure that beside Payroll Event Form (under ATO Transactions) the two boxes are ticked to View and Lodge.
    • Save your changes by clicking Save at the very bottom of the page.
    • Return to Lightning Payroll and resubmit the pay run through Single Touch using your updated AUSkey permissions under Pays >> Single Touch>> Submit Payroll to ATO >> Send updated/amended YTD info to the ATO.
    • Two minutes later, go into the Single Touch Mailbox and it will check for ATO responses regarding your resubmission.

    Why Is the AUSkey Credential box Empty?

    An error can occur during the Single Touch Payroll process where you are unable to select an AUSkey credential from the dropdown. It will seem like all the options in the dropdown box are blank.

    If this error occurs, then Lightning is unable to properly load your AUSkey credentials due to weak user permissions. Lightning Payroll needs to be installed with full administrator privileges in order to be able to properly process Single Touch Payroll.

    Please reinstall the software (from here - MAC/WINDOWS).

    If reinstalling on Windows, make sure to select Install for all users on this computer. If this option is not available to you, you will need to make changes to your Windows user profile so that it has administrator privileges.

    How Do I Backup My AUSkey For Transfer to Another Computer?

    If you already have an AUSkey 'keystore.xml' file on another computer or on a USB and wish to transfer it to your payroll computer, see these instructions provided by the ATO.

    Why is Lightning Asking Me For a Location ID?

    A Location ID is required by Lightning Payroll for PAYG reporting (STP and End of Year). This value is also known as a PAYG Branch ID. The default value is 1, which means your company has one PAYG Reporting branch.

    The ATO states that "A branch is formed where a business entity separately registers its branch to suit the structural, management and accounting arrangements of the organisation. When an entity registers a branch for GST or PAYG purposes, the entity is called the 'parent entity'."

    You will need to register with the ATO for additional PAYG branches. See here for more information - https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/Register-GST-or-PAYG-withholding-branch/

    STP Invalid XML Error

    If you are receiving an 'Invalid XML Error' when attempting to submit your Single Touch, it usually means that there is an issue with the personal information of the employee named in the error message.

    Examples of this include the employee's address being more than 38 characters long or otherwise a non-standard character in the employee's name (such as ö or é).

    If you're not able to identify the issue, please go to Settings > Backups and click Send Backup to Support. Please include a brief description of the error. Once you have sent the backup, please give our support team a call on 07 3051 5895.

    STP failed to collection authentication token error

    If you are receiving this error, you will need to check the following:

    • Make sure your computer's time and date are correct .
    • Check that you are connected to the internet.
    • Ensure your AUSkey is not expired (when you select it from the Credential drop down under 'Submit Single Touch', it should say VALID on the right hand side). If your AUSkey is expired, you will need to renew it.

    Once you have checked all the above, please try resubmitting. If you still receive the same error, please contact our support team.

    How Can I Setup Single Touch Payroll?

    Getting ready for Single Touch Payroll is easy with Lightning Payroll. Usually you only need to make sure there is an AUSkey

    If you already have your AUSkey installed on your computer, you do not need to do anything else to link your AUSkey to Lightning Payroll directly. Lightning Payroll will automatically find and recognise your AUSkey.

    The only other step is to make sure your Lightning Payroll program is up to date. To do this, click Check for updates now, at the bottom of the Lightning Payroll program. If an update is available, click Yes.

    You are now ready to go.

    What is Single Touch Payroll?

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new initiative for reporting your employees' tax and super information to the ATO. It is required for all businesses to begin using STP from the 1st of July, 2019.

    STP is built into the latest version of Lightning Payroll and only requires a valid AUSkey installed on your computer to use.

    STP allows you to report the rolling year-to-date (YTD) figures for each employee at the end of every pay period. It doesn't change how you pay your employees or how you make their superannuation contributions. STP is a reporting tool only.

    For more information, you can visit the ATO's STP page here.

    What are the Due Dates for Super Payments?

    The due dates for Superannuation payments can be found here. Usually super needs to be paid by the 28th of the first month following the end of a quarter.

    With regards to the Small Business Clearing House end of year super deadline:

    "To make sure super funds receive your payments before the 30 June end of financial year deadline, your payments must be received by the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) no later than close of business 21 June 2019."

    Superannuation payments are only considered to be paid for taxation purposes once they have been received by the super fund, not the date paid/sent.

    How to Check that You're Setup for Super

    To ensure you're completely ready to begin processing super through Lightning Payroll, please ensure the below steps have been followed:

    • Make sure all employees have been linked to a Super Fund:
      • You can link an employee to their chosen fund under Employees > Super > Superannuation fund and clicking the green plus button to add a fund for the employee. If the super fund you wish to link to the employee is not in the drop down list, you will need to add it to the list of super fund providers. Click here for information on how to do this.
      • When linking an employee to a fund, you will need to ensure you have their member number entered correctly
      • If the employee has only one super fund, make sure the box marked 'is Primary Fund?' is ticked. The primary fund is fund where all super levy payments for the employee are to be sent.
    • Make sure that your business bank account details have been entered under Company > Bank Account. Make sure the bank account you will be using to pay the super has been added and is selected under the Bank Account for Super drop down.
      • NOTE: the User ID refers to the ID required by your bank for processing Direct Entry files. To find out what the User ID is, please contact your bank.
    • Make sure your ABN is registered for SuperStream:
      • If it has been more than 2 weeks since you first subscribed to Lightning Payroll and you have only one ABN, you will have already been automatically registered for the SuperStream.
      • If you have more than one ABN or your ABN has changed, you will most likely need to register this new ABN for SuperStream. Do this go, to our website here and login to the Client Login on the top right. You can then add the new or additional ABN under SuperStream Registrations.

    How Can I Register for SuperStream?

    If you need to register an additional company for SuperStream, you can do this via the client login portal on our website.

    Login to the client portal on the top right of the Lightning Payroll website. Once logged in, click on 'SuperStream Registration (Additional Companies)', add the company name and ABN and click 'create'.

    Please allow 1 to 2 weeks for your additional company to be registered with SuperStream.

    What is a USI?

    The Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI) is used in SuperStream to uniquely identify an APRA fund and/or its superannuation product which an employee (member) is contributing to. 

    These are kind of like a superannuation product code, required in Lightning Payroll to be able to send SuperStream messages from the program. Your employees will need to provide these USIs to you along with their member information if they are with a typical APRA super fund. They can get a USI by contacting their super fund.

    USIs are best entered into the program under Settings >> Super Fund Providers >> Create Super Fund (Online Search).

    How Can I Resend SuperStream Messages when the Super Fund/s are Holding the Deposited Funds?

    Sometimes you may need to resend the accompanying SuperStream messages for Super Fund deposits that you have already made. This may be due to the messages failing or otherwise not being received by the Super Fund.

    To resend messages for deposits you have already paid, you can follow the steps below:

    1. Go to the Super Fund Deposits screen and make a note of the 'Deposit Date' of the Super Fund deposits for which you need to resend the messages.

    (NOTE: If you cannot see any deposits listed, or you cannot see the correct deposits, you can click 'Show Search Filter' on the bottom left and use the 'Show Deposits by Date' menu on the left. Widen the start and end dates to display more deposits based on when they were created.)

    Then, click on the SuperStream Mailbox button. Inside the Mailbox, set the 'dates between' dates to be the same as the 'deposit date' of the deposits that we will be resending the messages for. For example, if the deposit date is the 4th of April, 2019, set the 'Dates Between' to be 04/04/2019 to 04/04/2019

    In the box below, you will see the sent messages for your recently created Super Fund deposits.

    2. Click View next to the first message that will need to be resent.

    3. Then, click Manually Fail on the bottom right of the message information screen and confirm that you wish to fail the message. Finally, hit Finish.

    (NOTE: If you are not able to manually fail the message, this means the message is already failed and you can just hit Finish and move on to the next step.)

    4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the remaining messages.

    5. Once all the original messages have been set to status 'Failed' or 'Manually Failed', click Contributions Report on the bottom right of the Mailbox screen. Make sure the start and end dates are set to the sent date of the original messages. Then, 'select all' and click OK.

    A SuperStream contributions report will be generated with each Super fund and their reference ID on each line. Save or print this report.

    6. Back in the main Super Fund Deposits page, click on the SuperStream Contribution button.

    Under 'Show Deposits by Date', set the date range to once again be the same as the 'deposit date' of the original deposits.

    Make sure to click 'Include Paid Deposits'

    7. Select all the deposits you wish to resend and then click Next on the bottom right.

    8. On this screen, you will be shown the amounts to go to each Super Fund. Click the pencil icon to edit the ABA reference for each fund. Delete the current reference and replace it with the reference ID for that Super Fund from the SuperStream Contributions report you created earlier.

    Complete this step for every Fund listed on the screen.

    Once completed, click Next again and on the SuperStream Summary page, click Send Messages.

    Once the messages have been finished sending, click Finish. You have now successfully resent the SuperStream messages.

    How Can I tell If My Superstream Message Was Sent Correctly?

    Below is a great way to find out if your Superstream message was successfully sent:

    After you have sent your Superstream message/s, go into the Superstream Mailbox. Click Check Responses to refresh the mailbox with the latest message info from the Superstream network. You might not have any responses yet, but don't worry. This is common.

    Using the date and message status filter boxes at the top of the mailbox, search for the messages you've just sent.

    Click View beside the message you'd like to check.

    If your Superstream message was successfully processed by the network, and forwarded to the super fund there will be a value beside Conversation ID. This acts similarly to a tracking number on a parcel and is the unique identifier for that particular message. It can be provided to a super fund if needed.

    How Do I Pay Super in Lightning Payroll?

    Superstream is the ATO's superannuation payment standard. Lightning is superstream compliant and allows you to send superstream payment information to Australian super funds.

    This brief video tutorial demonstrates how to make Superstream compliant super contributions using Lightning Payroll. For more detailed information, we recommend you read our Superstream checklist, or read Chapter 6 of our Lightning Payroll user manual.

    Why am I Receiving a Failed Validation Error for SuperStream?

    If you are attempting to send SuperStream messages and receiving a 'failed validation' error, please check your internet connection.

    This error is usually caused by an internet connection problem or otherwise a problem on the SuperStream network end. If your internet connection is functioning, please wait 12-24 hours and try again.

    How Do Amount and Age Thresholds Work for Super?

    Below is a brief explanation of how the Super Amount Threshold and Age Threshold work. Before you alter your super calculations, be aware that the automatic 9.50% superannuation guarantee levy is calculated monthly, not on just one pay period - even if you pay weekly or fortnightly. To correctly double check super calculations you will need to add up all ordinary earnings and all super levy calculations for an entire month before comparing the figures. Checking the super calculations in only one pay period isn't the right way to go. The reason this occurs is the $450 super threshold.

    Here’s an example:
    If David regularly earns $200 per week, he will not be owed super until the third week of the month.
    Week 1 Earnings = $200 (has not reached beyond $450 threshold, thus no super owed)
    Week 2 Earnings = $200
    Month-to-date = $400 (still has not reached beyond $450 threshold, thus no super owed)
    Week 3 Earnings = $200
    Month-to-date = $600
    Having now crossed the $450 threshold for the calendar month, the 9.50% guarantee is now due to be paid on the $600 earned so far in the month.


    Each week to follow in this case would calculate the 9.50% on that particular pay’s ordinary time amount, as the threshold has now been crossed, and will then reset at the start of every calendar month.

    Please note that if Age Threshold setting has also been ticked for a staff member and they're under 18, they must meet the above $450 threshold requirements as well as working at least 30 hours per week, in order to earn super for a period.

    How Do I Edit A Super Funds' Details?

    If you need to update a super fund as they have provided a new ABN or USI, you should follow the process to Add A New Super Fund, rather than editing an existing super fund, as you want to have an accurate record of the funds and accounts you've sent messages and money to previously. 

    Super funds will not provide you with their up to date bank account details, but rather their current USI (and ABN), which will bring forth their current banking details through the SuperStream network.

    Please note that Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) are treated differently to traditional super funds, and their details can be edited by going to Settings >> Super Fund Providers in the program, and clicking Edit Provider to the right of the line the SMSF is listed in.

    How Can I Add a Self Managed Super Fund

    Adding a self managed super fund into Lightning Payroll can be done in Settings > Super Fund Providers.

    Click on 'Create Super Fund (SMSF/Manual Entry)' and select 'Self Managed Super Fund' from the Type dropdown.

    Note: You may need to input an electronic address. This is used for correctly routing SuperStream messages for the fund. The person with the self managed fund should be able to provide this.

    How Do I Get Super Funds' Bank Account Details Into Lightning?

    Super funds' individual banking details are brought forth through the SuperStream network using each fund's respective USI. Super funds will no longer give you the bank account details themselves, but rather, will provide you with the USI for the specific type of super fund your employee is registered to within their fund umbrella. Please note that Self-Managed Super Funds are entered differently and do not have a USI.

    To bring these banking details forth, you will need to go to Settings >> Super Fund Providers in the program, then click on Create Super Fund (Online Search) and enter the USI you have been provided for the respective fund, and click Next. On the next page, the super fund and all its details should show up with a box to the left of it which will need to be ticked, and you can then click Finish

    You will now have the super fund, as well as all of the fund's banking details added to your list of available super funds which can then be attached individually to your staff, along with their member number, via  Employees >> Super >> Superannuation Fund in the program.

    It is recommended that you occasionally go into Settings >> Super Fund Providers and click on Populate Fund Data >> Select All >> Next, which will refresh all funds' latest banking information as per the SuperStream Network, as these details can change from time to time from the super funds' end.

    How Can I Resend SuperStream Messages and Super Deposits when the Super Fund/s have Returned the Money to my Account?

    Sometimes, one or more Super Funds may not be able to match funds you sent to the relevant member. In this situation, once you have received the money back, you will need to send a new message for the deposit and transfer the money again.

    To do this, you can follow the steps below:

    1. Go to the Super Fund Deposits screen and make a note of the 'Deposit Date' of the Super Fund deposits for which you need to send the money again along with a new message.

    (NOTE: If you cannot see any deposits listed, or you cannot see the correct deposits, you can click 'Show Search Filter' on the bottom right and use the 'Show Deposits by Date' menu on the left. Widen the start and end dates to display more deposits based on when they were created.)

    Then, click on the SuperStream Mailbox button. Inside the Mailbox, set the 'dates between' dates to be the same as the 'deposit date' of the deposits that we will be resending the messages for. For example, if the deposit date is the 4th of April, 2019, set the 'Dates Between' to be 04/04/2019 to 04/04/2019

    In the box below, you will see the sent messages for your recently created Super Fund deposits.

    2. Click View next to the first message that will need to be resent.

    3. Then, click Manually Fail on the bottom right of the message information screen and confirm that you wish to fail the message. Finally, hit Finish.

    (NOTE: If you are not able to manually fail the message, this means the message is already failed and you can just hit Finish and move on to the next step.)

    4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for any other messages that will need to be sent again to the Super Fund along with the money.

    5. Once all the relevant messages have been set to status 'Failed' or 'Manually Failed', click Finish.

    6. Back in the main Super Fund Deposits page, click on the SuperStream Contribution button.

    Under 'Show Deposits by Date', set the date range to once again be the same as the 'deposit date' of the original deposits.

    Make sure to click 'Include Paid Deposits'

    7. Select all the deposits that you will be resending the money for. Click Next on the bottom right. You will then be shown a screen confirming the amounts to be sent to each Super Fund.

    Once completed, click Next again and on the SuperStream Summary page, click Send Messages.

    Once the messages have finished sending, click Direct Entry to create and save a file to upload to your online banking portal later so that you can resend the funds to the relevant Super Funds. Finally, click Finish. You have now successfully resent the SuperStream messages and created a new Direct Entry file ready to upload to your online banking portal to transfer the money.

    How Do I Add a Super Fund to Lightning Payroll?

    Connect An Employee To An Existing Super Fund

    Existing superannuation funds can be connected to your employees under Employees >> Super >> Superannuation Fund and click on the green plus. Clicking the pencil will allow you to edit an existing employee/fund association. You can add more than one fund per employee if you need to. Make sure you tick Is Primary Fund? beside their primary super fund (The fund which will receive all super amounts by default). The Registration Date field can be set to today's date. It simply provides a means of tracking when an employee switches to a different super fund, if they ever do.

    Create A New Super Fund

    If a super fund you wish to add is not available in the pre-filled list you'll need to create a new super fund under Settings >> Super Fund Providers.

    Method 1: Online Search

    The Online Search method is the easiest way to add most super funds since all you need to begin is the employee fund's ABN or USI(unique superannuation identifier). Lightning Payroll then uses this information to connect to the ATO's Fund Validation Service and download the related information for any fund/s you've searched for.

    You'll then see the search results downloaded from the registered ATO super fund registry. Simply tick the box beside the super fund/s you would like to add to the program and then click Finish.

    Method 2: SMSF/Manual Entry

    For self managed super funds or non SuperStream compliant funds you will need to set them up manually under Settings >> Super Fund Providers >> Create Super Fund (SMSF/Manual Entry). For major funds the most important information to include is the Fund Name, the ABN and the USI . Lightning Payroll can complete the rest of the fund information (bank details, telephone, etc.) using the Populate Fund Data tool, demonstrated below. You can obtain super fund ABN/USI information from your employees, from the super funds directly, or from the ATO's Super Fund Lookup page .

    Self-managed super funds have an electronic address (ESA) instead of a USI.

    This example sets up an Australian Super product. Once the primary information has been entered, you can also Populate Fund Data to refesh the fund info against the product USI (non-SMSF funds only).

    Select the fund or funds you wish to download details for and click Next.

    If the ABN and USI are correct, the ATO's fund validation service should locate details and they'll be displayed in the upper box. If no extra details were found, the previously selected fund appears in the lower box. Click Finish and the chosen fund profiles - formerly only partly complete - now include extra information.

    Once you've created the fund just remember to attach it to relevant employees under Employees >> Super >> Superannuation Fund >> Add Super Provider by marking the fund as Primary.

    How Do I Check For Superstream Response Messages?

    To check for SuperStream message responses go into the Superstream Mailbox located within the Super Fund Deposits area. Click Check Responses and your program will start to download any message updates, or error details.

    If an error response is detected, you'll notice that the original Superstream message will no longer have a status of Sent. It will most likely have changed to Failed, or Progressive. You can find out more information about the error by clicking View beside the message. To get more info, we recommend contacting the super fund directly. It is actually quite rare to receive responses, since super funds are only required to respond when an error has occurred. If everything went through fine your messages are likely to stay in a Sent status. If you are confident that a super payment was successfully received and processed by the fund, you can mark the message as complete yourself.

    For more detailed information on the Superstream Mailbox, please see chapter 6.9 of our user manual.

    How Can I Delete Unused Super Funds?

    You might not be able to delete an unused super fund if it is still connected to an employee or an old deposit, but here's how you can at least make it Inactive and get it out of the way.

    • Go to Settings >> Super Fund Providers.
    • Click Edit Provider beside a fund you wish to get rid of.
    • Set the type to Non-compliant Super Fund.
    • Enter a fake ABN of 10000000000, which is the number one followed by ten zeroes.
    • Untick the Active? box at the bottom.
    • Save the changes. The unused fund is now hidden.

    To view your hidden/inactive super funds, tick the Show Inactive? box at the bottom of Settings >> Super Fund Providers.

    How Can I Enter Employee Reportable Fringe Benefits?

    If you would like to enter Reportable Fringe Benefits for an employee, you can do this in Employees >> Tax Rates >> Reportable Fringe Benefits.

    To add in benefits for a particular financial year, click the pencil icon on the right hand side for the relevant financial year.

    In this next screen, you can also set Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions for the employee for the selected financial year.

    How Do I Update To The Latest Tax Tables?

    Lightning Payroll has the ability to calculate tax on pays from the 2013 financial year through to the current financial year. Each June we release an update which includes any tax changes for the approaching financial year.

    The best way to tell that you're using the current financial year's tax tables is to check your software's version number. To check which version of the software you're currently using, go to the top of the screen and click:

    Help >> About (on Windows)
    Lightning Payroll >> About Lightning Payroll (on Mac OSX).

    If you'd like to ensure your version of Lightning Payroll is the latest available, click here to find out how to update your software.

    To view tax tables for the current financial year, you can visit the ATO here - https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Tax-tables/

    Where Do I Enable HECS/HELP/TSL?

    To enable HECS, HELP or TSL withholding for an employee you need to go into the Employees >> Tax Rates screen and tick the appropriate box beside that employee's name.

    How Do I Set Up Tax for Employees on a Working Holiday?

    From 1 January 2017 employers will need to register with the ATO to be able to tax staff using the working holiday tax table rates. Once your company has registered you will be able to apply the working holiday tax scale to applicable employees within Lightning Payroll under Employees >> Tax Rates >> Special Tax Rates >> Working Holiday Tax Scale >> Use Working Holiday Tax Scale.

    We've also added a report to help keep track of working holiday pays under Reports >> Tax >> Working holiday tax scale summary. This helps show which tax scale has been applied to each of your employees' pays.

    Can I Submit TFN Declarations in Lightning Payroll?

    TFN Declarations can be submitted using Single Touch Payroll.

    Once your employee has filled out and signed their TFN Declaration you can configure their tax settings under Employees >> Tax Rates.

    Next, enter the TFN signed date at the bottom of that same window and tick the box to Submit TFN Declaration with next new Single Touch Payroll lodgement. The TFN dec information will be passed on the the ATO in the employee's next s STP report.

    Why is Lightning Payroll Calculating So Much Tax for One Employee?

    The most common reason why an employee is being overtaxed is an incorrect Tax File Number. Lightning Payroll uses an Australian Tax File Number validation system which is checked in real-time by simply entering a TFN into an employee’s Tax Rates screen. If the TFN displays in green, it is valid. If the number shows up in red, it is invalid (seen below).

    If you find the TFN you’ve been given is invalid please use eight zeroes (00000000) as a temporary ‘valid’ TFN while you wait for the employee to verify their correct TFN.

    How Do I Use the Lightning Payroll Timeclock App?

    Lightning Payroll includes a mobile Timeclock app for Android devices (Android version 4.4 and above) which can provide a way for you to precisely record when employees start and finish work. All hours and shifts recorded in the Lighting Payroll app can then be downloaded/synced with the Lightning Payroll Pays screen, filling out pays in seconds.

    Please click here for related shifts and rosters information.

    Download & Installation

    The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Lightning Payroll Android App on the Android device or devices you wish to use as a Lightning Payroll timeclock. To download the LP Timeclock, head over to the Google Play Store and follow the prompts to install the app. Updates will then be handled through Google Play.

    Get it on Google Play

    Connect Your Android LP Timeclock to Lightning Payroll

    When you open the Android LP Timeclock app for the first time it will ask you to enter your Lightning Payroll subscription details and to login. This will connect the Android device to your Lightning Payroll account. If you are unsure of your account login details, they can be found inside Lightning Payroll under Tools >> Licence Details.

    When you first login your device will show you the Not Authorised screen, since it still needs to be authorised from the other side, within your Lightning Payroll software. Once authorised you will be able to view company and employee data and begin clocking in and out of shifts.

    To authorise the Android device, open Lightning Payroll and go into Company >> Shifts and click Check For Devices.

    The device will then appear, and allow you to give it a nickname for easy recognition and to set it to Active, confirming its connection to the company you are editing. To save the authorisation, click Send Updated Employee Data, and you should see a confirmation message.

    To update the newly authorised Android device, click the Refresh button at the bottom of the Not Authorised screen, or restart the app.

    Clocking In and Clocking Out

    Now that the device has been connected to your Lightning Payroll software, you're ready to go. The LP Timeclock app has been designed to be used on any number of devices that you wish to connect to your company. Ideally it would be used on a single device for all employees to share, but it is flexible enough to be installed on each employee's device if it needs to be used off-site.

    If you are using the device as a timeclock for more than one company, you will see a company selection screen by default. For most users however, only a single company will be connected to the device, so the employee selection screen will be the default home screen. To clock in, an employee just needs to tap their name and enter their timeclock pin.

    Their Timeclock PIN is a four digit number which is set to 1234 by default, but can be changed for each employee inside Lightning Payroll under Employees >> Details >> Timeclock Pin.

    Note: If you make any changes to an employee, their shifts or their Timeclock Pin, you will need to got into Company >> Shifts and click Send Updated Employee Data to update the device. Restarting Lightning Payroll refreshes devices automatically.

    Once the pin has been accepted, you will either a list of their shifts, or an error screen advising that they have no shifts set up yet.

    If no shifts are visible, then you will need to set them up in Lightning Payroll under Company >> Shifts as demonstrated in our related FAQ.

    If all is well, their associated shifts will be shown. The employee can then select the appropriate shift that they'd like to clock into.

    They'll then be instantly clocked in. Press OK to be returned to the beginning.

    Clocking out is achieved by repeating the process. The employee must select their name from the list, and enter their four digit Timeclock PIN. They will then see the shift they are currently clocked into.

    Press the Clock Out button to clock out.

    Importing Timeclock Data Into Your Payroll

    The most important part of the process is the importing of the timeclock data into your pay run. This is done in Lightning Payroll under Pays, using the Timeclock Sync button.

    The Timeclock Sync window shows any completed timeclock shifts that are available for importing into the current pay run. You can set these shifts to round up, down or two the nearest minute, five minutes, etc. if you like.

    The tickbox to Include Unrostered Shifts allows you to import shifts into your Pays without having to have those shifts pre-scheduled within the Rosters screen, as described in our related FAQ. Importing an unrostered, timeclock shift will automatically create a rostered shift which is what the Pays screen uses to gather worked hours, allowances, and pay rates from.

    For raw timeclock information, including details on all shifts currently underway, their is a timeclock report. This report can be found under Reports >> Timeclock.

    How Can I Setup the Online Employee Portal?

    The online employee portal allows employees to add or adjust their contact and bank account details, submit time sheets and clock in and out of available shifts independently using time clock

    Once activated, employees can access their personal portal by visiting the Lightning Payroll website and clicking Employee Login on the top right.

    Before activating a portal account for an employee, make sure the employee's email address has been added under Employees > Details > Personal.

    The portal can be activated for a selected employee in Employees >> Details >> Online Portal.

    Clicking Activate will allow you to begin selecting what features of the portal the employee can use.

    Personal Details - Selecting this will allow the employee to update their contact details and time clock pin (if the employee uses the LP timeclock app on Android devices)

    Bank Account Details - Selecting this will allow the employee to add, edit or delete bank account details for receiving their pay. The employee can also specify if they wish to have their pay split between multiple accounts automatically.

    Any changes the employee makes to their personal or bank details in the portal will be automatically synced to Lightning Payroll the next time the program is reopened

     

    Manual Time Entry

    This is where you can select whether the employee can clock in and out of available shifts or add and edit time sheet entries via the online portal. To activate this, you will first need to ensure you have created shifts and assigned them to the relevant employee.

    Allow Employee to Clock In and Out Through the Timeclock? - Selecting this option will allow the employee to clock in and out of selected available shifts directly via the portal. Clock in and out data entered by the employee can then be synced directly to the employee's pay in Lightning Payroll.

    Allow Employee to Manually Edit Their Timesheet? - Selecting this option will allow the employee to manually edit their start and end times for selected available shifts. Timesheet data entered by the employee can then be synced directly to the employee's pay in Lightning Payroll.

    For more information about shifts, please refer to the section Setting Up Shifts in the Rosters chapter of the Lightning Payroll manual.


    Completing Activation

    When you are satisfied with the settings, click Refresh Employee Portal to complete the portal activation process. The employee will receive an email with details on how to log in.

    Activate Multiple Employee Portals

    The employee portal can be setup and activated for each employee individually, however, if you wish to have multiple employees use the portal with the same settings applied, you can use Configure Multiple Employee Portal Settings under the Tools menu.

    Why Does Lightning Payroll Keep Updating to the Same Version?

    If you are attempting to update Lightning Payroll to the latest version but after each update you find yourself on the same version as before, there are two options to fix this:

     

    Option 1 (Windows Only)

    • Close down the Lightning Payroll program.
    • Download this file by right-clicking and saving to your desktop for instance (zipped version here if it gets blocked).
    • Double click the file from your PC and it should delete the broken Lightning Payroll update.
    • Go back in to Lightning Payroll and click Check for Updates Now? at the bottom of the screen.

    If this fails, please download and reinstall the full application using this link.

     

    Option 2 (Windows and Mac)

    Windows:

    • Close down the Lightning Payroll program.
    • On your keyboard, press the key with the windows icon + R  at the sametime.
    • In the dialog box that opens up, type in %localappdata% and click OK.
    • In the new window that opens up, double click on the Lightning Payroll folder.
    • Double click on the folder named updates
    • Delete the two folders named frozen and prepared
    • Go back in to Lightning Payroll and click Check for Updates Now? at the bottom of the screen.

    If this fails, please download and reinstall the full application for Windows using this link.

    Mac:

    • Close down the Lightning Payroll program.
    • Click on Finder and then on the top left select Go and then Go To Folder.
    • In the dialog box, type ~/.LightningPayroll/updates and click Go
    • Drag the two folders named frozen and prepared to the trash.
    • Go back in to Lightning Payroll and click Check for Updates Now? at the bottom of the screen.

    If this fails, please download and reinstall the full application for Mac using this link.

    How Do I Contact Your Support Team?

    Our support team can be reached on 07 3051 5895 or by email at support@lightningpayroll.com.au from 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (QLD Time, excluding public holidays).

    Why is an Employee 'Locked'?

    If you are trying to edit a past pay in the Pays screen, these are usually locked/unlocked using the padlock button at the bottom of the edit pay window.

    If however, you ever see one or more employees listed as Locked under Employees, it is usually due to a licence issue.

    If only some of your employees are listed as Locked then you are exceeding the allowed number of employees for your current licence tier, and will likely need to upgrade.

    To check the expiration date or the employee limit of your currently installed licence/subscription, go to Tools >> Licence Details .

    Note: Sometimes terminated staff affect the limit if they've been left active within the program. Click here to learn how to terminate . If all terminations have been kept up-to-date and you still can't pay all the staff you need to, you'll just need to upgrade to the next licence tier.

    If all employees are listed as Locked then the program does not detect a valid licence/subscription at all. This means you'll be in 'read-only' mode and will only be able to do things like view and print information, but not add employees or enter pays. Perhaps it has expired, or you're yet to enter the new subscription ID number which gets emailed through each year following payment under Tools >> Licence Assistant.

    Why Might I Be Getting Email Errors?

    There are a number of reasons why you might be receiving email errors.

    We recommend you go to Company > Email and click Send a test email to help diagnose the problem.

    Most email errors (such as a socket error) are due to incorrect or missing SMTP server settings. You'll need to check with your email provider to ensure you have the correct Server Name, Port and Encryption details in Company > Email > SMTP Server Settings.

    If the error message you receive mentions a 'username/password' or 'authentication' error, you need to ensure the correct username and password for the email account are entered. Again, you can get these from your email provider.

    Why Can't I Open Lightning Payroll?

    If you are ever unable to open Lightning Payroll, please try uninstalling and reinstalling the software. This issue can occur for many reasons, such as Windows/Mac/software updates or antivirus interference. This solution is fairly simple and reliable however, and best of all your pay data is safe and won't go anywhere.

    Windows
    To uninstall, click on Start >> All Programs or All Apps >> Lightning Payroll >> Uninstall. If you don't see this option, try right-clicking on Lightning Payroll for an uninstall option. You can also uninstall programs from the Windows Control Panel.

    Once you've cleared out the current version of Lightning Payroll, you can download and reinstall Lightning Payroll from here (Windows XP and above).

    Mac OSX
    To uninstall Lightning Payroll on a mac, click on Finder >> navigate to Applications >> right click Lightning Payroll >> select Move to Trash. You can also simply use your mouse to drag Lightning Payroll from the Applications folder down into the trash can.

    Once you've done that you can download and reinstall Lightning Payroll from here (Mac OSX versions 10.11 and above).

    Another Possible Windows Startup Issue - User Account Privileges

    Some Windows users can encounter issues when opening Lightning Payroll due to insufficient privileges on their Windows User Account. Lightning Payroll requires Administrator privileges to function fully.

    While uninstalling and reinstalling Lightning Payroll is a reliable fix if the program is not opening, this issue is commonly related to user rights. Simply running Lightning Payroll as Administrator may fix the issue. Please see below for info on how to run Lightning Payroll as admin.

    To run Lightning Payroll as administrator simply right-click the Lightning Payroll shortcut on your desktop or taskbar and then click 'Run as Administrator'. This can look a little different depending on your version of Windows, and on Windows 10 you'll have to right click the shortcut, and then also right click on Lightning Payroll within the shortcut.

    Why Can't I Put My Licence On Another Computer?

    Each Lightning Payroll subscription has two seats, meaning it can only be installed on a maximum of two machines at one time. To install your licence onto a third computer within twelve months you will need to remove the licence from one of the computers that you will no longer be using.

    You can do this on the computer you will no longer use by opening Lightning Payroll and going to Tools >> Licence Details and clicking Remove System.

    If you cannot access the unneeded computer you can release your seats via your Client Login, here on this website. Go to the subsription area and press Release? beside the subscription you would like to reset. You will then be able to re-enter the licence into Lightning Payroll on the two desired systems under Tools >> Licence Assistant.

    Note: This will not delete any of your payroll data on the computer from which you remove the licence.

     

    'Database is at a Newer Version' Error?

    This error usually occurs when restoring a new backup into an older version of the software

    Please download and reinstall from the appropriate link below to fix the error.

    Download for Windows (Windows 7 and above)

    Download for Mac OSX (Version 10.11 and above)

    LP Virtual Assistant