An ABA file is a file that is used by all major Australian financial institutions to specify payments to be made from one bank account to one or more bank accounts.
The most common way for employers to pay employees is via an ABA file which can be generated by their payroll software. Once you have your ABA file, it’s usually a simple matter of uploading it to your business internet banking portal and authorising the payments.
Setting up your business to generate an ABA file
Before you can generate an ABA file, you need to first set up the ABA settings for your business using the following steps:
- Navigate to 'Payroll Settings' > 'Payment Files' (under the Business Settings heading);
- Click 'Add' to create a new set of ABA settings for your business. You have the option to set up multiple bank accounts to pay employees from, but you only need to set up one account.
- Once you’ve filled in the ABA details click 'Save' and you will now be able to generate ABA files from within your pay runs:
What are each of the ABA settings for?
The table below provides more information on the purpose of each of the ABA settings:
|BSB Number||YES||The BSB number of the account that payroll payments will be made from|
|Account Number||YES||The Account number of the account that payroll payments will be made from|
|Account Name||YES||The Account Name of the account that payroll payments will be made from|
|Financial Institution Code||YES||The official 3 letter abbreviation of the financial institution that the bank account that payroll payments will be made from is registered with. e.g. the official Westpac code is WBC|
|Lodgement Reference||YES||The description of the payroll payment that will appear on the employee's bank statement. e.g. 'Payroll' or 'Weekly wages'|
|Name Of User Supplying File||YES||This is the name of the user or business that is creating the ABA file. The most common value is the business name.|
|APCA Number||YES||This is a 6 digit number provided by your bank. If you’re not sure what this number is, you’ll need to contact your bank. It’s often listed on their website and for some banks such as the ANZ you can provide any 6 digit number (such as 000000)|
|Include Self Balancing Transaction||NO||Selecting this option adds an additional “Self-balancing” transaction to the end of the ABA file which is required by some financial institutions when generating the ABA files. You’ll need to check with your financial institution to determine if you’ll need to select this option (it’s often available on their website).|
|Merge multiple payments for the same account into a single transaction||NO||Select this option if your financial institution requires that only a single transaction be made per account per ABA file. This is occasionally required if you have spouses that have their pay paid to the same bank account, or an employee has multiple payments going to the same bank account. In this case, certain financial institutions require that those payments be merged into a single transaction.|
Generating ABA files
You can generate ABA files using the following steps:
- After you have finalised a pay run, click the 'Download Payment File' > 'Download ABA' button from the pay run 'Actions' tab (If you only have one ABA file set up, your ABA file will download automatically):
- If you have multiple ABA settings you will need to select the file you would like to use. To do this click on 'Download Payment File' > 'Payment File Settings' > select the required payment file details to use > save:
- click on 'Download Payment File' > 'Download ABA' button and your ABA file will download automatically.
- The system will remember which ABA settings you last used to generate your ABA file and will automatically select it for next time.
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