This year, accountants and payroll bureaus will see a large number of their clients approaching them to assist with auto enrolment (AE). The process of complying with AE requires payroll expertise to calculate pension contributions for employees who are eligible and for employees who choose to join or opt into the pension scheme. 2017 will see the largest number of employers reach their staging date. At the end of March, we saw a new record of over half a million employers who have complied and fulfilled their auto enrolment duties.
The sheer volume of small and micro employers going through the AE process represents an opportunity for payroll bureaus to add a new service to their existing payroll services. Many of these small employers will be using HMRC's Basic PAYE tools (BPT) which will not cater for the needs of automatic enrolment. Basic tools is just that, a basic tool. It will not carry out the employee assessment required, produce communications to send to all employees, cater for enrolment, produce payslips that show both employer and employee contributions or create the pension data file to submit to the pension provider. This lack of functionality with Basic Tools is another reason why your clients may look to you for help with their duties.
For employers who wish to carry out their payroll and auto enrolment tasks in house, they have the option to switch to payroll software that can support their employer auto enrolment duties. Check to see if your payroll provider can import from Basic PAYE Tools. BrightPay has a specially developed feature, where you can import your employer data into BrightPay from BPT instantly. There is no need for manual data entry. Some good providers even offer a free payroll software licence which includes auto enrolment to micro employers.
How much is auto enrolment software?
At this stage you should be aware that you should not have to pay an extra charge for auto enrolment functionality. Unjustifiably, some payroll providers are charging their customers for an auto enrolment module or add-on. Some are also charging per employee, per month which can be expensive. If you do the maths, you will soon see how this can add up over a yearly period. There are other payroll systems that can deal with auto enrolment but it can be a manual process of running reports every pay period with additional steps required to process your client through AE.
It is worth investing in payroll software that has automated auto enrolment technology. BrightPay has been developed specifically with payroll and auto enrolment automation in mind. Using an automated software will not only save you time but it can make you money. By improving efficiencies, bureaus will naturally increase productivity and profitability for each client. BrightPay can email payslips, send RTI returns, automate auto enrolment, manage holiday pay and a whole list of features.
An important thing to look out for is the ability to import your staff details into the payroll. BrightPay has the ability to import data via CSV file or FPS. You can also directly import each of your client's employer information into the program. At BrightPay, we have developed tailored import facilities from HMRC’s Basic Tools and Moneysoft where payroll bureaus can import multiple employer files at the same time. Read: Switching to BrightPay - Made Easier for you!
With the right, automated payroll tools, the process of auto enrolment should be very straightforward, seamless and, above all, a profitable exercise. Without doubt, auto enrolment should be an additional service that your payroll clients should expect to pay for. For many accountants and bureaus, auto enrolment has been the perfect platform to increase revenue. The smaller employer is likely to be the least prepared for auto enrolment and are also likely to turn to a payroll professional to outsource their payroll and auto enrolment tasks. Additionally, clients will want to avoid being fined for non-compliance by the Pensions Regulator. This is another motivation to use a professional to get it right first time round.
With the wrong tools, helping your clients through auto enrolment could end up being very costly and time consuming. Check how much your payroll provider is charging for auto enrolment. Your workload will be increase if you do not utilise an automated software. For example, your payroll software should automatically complete the employee assessment each pay period for you and then alert you of any new AE duties that need to be performed.
This assessment needs to take place on an on-going basis to monitor any changes to an employee's circumstance. If they turn 22 or if there is an increase in their earnings, they may become eligible. Auto enrolment does not just take place at staging, it is an ongoing process. As auto enrolment is an integral part of the payroll process, BrightPay believe that it should be an included feature as part of the price of your payroll package. Paying more money for auto enrolment software will eat into your profits and make for a poor bottom line.
BrightPay is the answer
BrightPay is a user friendly payroll package that makes your auto enrolment journey easy. BrightPay take the manual grunt work out of AE by automating employee assessment, enrolment, producing letters and is integrated with 18 pension providers. Book a BrightPay Demo where we will show how you can setup your clients in BrightPay and start the automated process once you reach your staging date. BrightPay will ensure that you can streamline your AE processing to maximise efficiencies and profits.
As we move into the new tax year, employers and payroll bureaus across the UK are reviewing their software packages to ensure their payroll processing is working at maximum efficiently. There are many things to compare between different packages, such as price, ease of use, automation and support.
BrightPay’s development team have been working hard this past year to add as many new features that benefit our customers into the 2017/18 version of BrightPay. The ease of switching to BrightPay was a key priority for us to simplify the transfer process from other software packages.
Importing from Moneysoft & HMRC Basic PAYE Tools
If you are switching from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools or Moneysoft, we now have a seamless import, bringing in both employer and employee information for multiple company files instantly. Watch this video to see how easily you can import from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools straight into BrightPay.
Importing from other software packages
When switching from other payroll software packages, the first step is to set up your employer information. For bureaus with multiple employers, you can access your database or csv file with a list of your clients along with their payroll information, then you can easily set up the employers using our new bulk employer import feature.
Once you have the ability to export the employer data from your payroll you can import a csv file or FPS file into BrightPay. This will allow you to instantly add all of your employee information into the payroll compared with manually typing in all of the information. If your current payroll software allows you to export your payroll information (such as Sage, IRIS, etc), the easiest way to import employees is via CSV file. This will import all employee information, including year-to-date figures if the transfer is mid-year.
If you cannot export such a file from your current payroll software, then you have the option to import using a Full Payment Submission (FPS) file. This will import all the information that is included on an FPS to HMRC, including NI letter, tax code and year to date figures. However, this method will not import information not included on the FPS, such as employee email addresses, bank details, annual leave entitlement, departmental allocation etc.
Along with an improved transfer process, we have also introduced a number of exciting new features this year, including the ability to batch send RTI submissions, export a payroll journal to accounting packages, automatically retrieve coding notices and much more.
BrightPay 2017/18 is Now Available
You can now purchase BrightPay 2017/18. The bureau licence is just £229 + VAT, per tax year including unlimited employers, unlimited employees, free auto enrolment and free phone and email support. The single employer licence is is £99 + VAT, per tax year and includes unlimited employees, free auto enrolment and free phone and email support.
At the 31st March over 500,000 employers have completed their automatic enrolment duties according to the most recent Declaration of Compliance reports from The Pensions Regulator. This report shows that over 7.6 million employees are now saving in a pension and for their retirement. In the first quarter of 2017 136,000 small and micro employers completed their declaration of compliance.
A Declaration of Compliance needs to be completed and submitted to the Pensions Regulator within five months of the staging date. A Declaration of Compliance is the employer informing The Pensions Regulator that they have met their automatic enrolment duties.
If you do not submit your declaration of compliance in time you may be fined. It is a legal duty that the declaration of compliance is fully completed with the correct information and submitted on time.
Should you be experiencing any issues regarding your automatic enrolment process or collecting the relevant information for your Declaration of Compliance contact The Pensions Regulator immediately. The Pensions Regulator's website has a help section: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/automatic-enrolment-registration-questions.aspx
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 for private and voluntary-sector employers comes into effect at the start of the new tax year. With that, large companies (i.e. those with over 250 employees) will legally have to reveal the gender pay gap in their workforce. Thousands of employers will begin recording their gender pay gap figures for the first time and must publish their results before the end of the tax year.
At 18.1%, the difference between the average pay for men and women is at an all time low. The new legislation hopes to drastically reduce the gap. Experts are suggesting that these reporting provisions will likely do more for pay equality than equal pay legislation has done in decades. The government are hoping that by exposing company’s pay disparities they will be forced to take action and eliminate gender pay gaps, arguing that it could increase annual GDP by £150 billion.
Unfortunately, the 18.1% pay gap does not show the differences in the rate of pay for comparable jobs. The Office for National Statistics has provided an interactive tool to discover the gender pay gap for your job. According to the government the reasons for gender inequality are complex and can include:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission will enforce the following rule where: Companies who employ more than 250 people must provide data about their pay gap, the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, a breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus and their gender bonus gap. This legislation applies to over 9,000 companies, with over 15 million employees.
Currently with HMRC if there is an underpayment of tax that is owed at the end of the tax year the process is that it can be coded out, by means of adjusting the tax code for the employee in the next tax year, or the tax is to be paid by the employee in full. From May 2017 onwards HMRC will make automatic adjustment to Pay As You Earn tax codes using real time information as they occur.
HMRC will be watching the data being submitted from Full Payment Submissions by employers and pension companies from April 2017 onwards. HMRC will then be assessing individuals and projecting whether an employee will be due to have an underpayment of tax by the end of the tax year. Where this occurs HMRC will amend the employee’s tax code in order for the collection of the tax be in the current tax year and not be left owed at the end of the tax year. This proactive approach from HMRC ensures that the majority of tax owed will be collected in the same tax year.
BrightPay 2017/18 is Now Available. What's New?
The release includes exciting new features to make your payroll and auto enrolment journey easier and less time consuming. Our development team have been working hard to bring you the best customer experience, improving BrightPay’s performance and responsiveness.
Payroll Benefits 2017-18 - Register before 6th April 2017
Employers who wish to payroll benefits in the tax year 2017-18 must register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) using the online Payrolling Benefits in Kind (PBIK) service before 6th April 2017 (if you had not already registered last year).
Auto Enrolment employer duties - Employee Assessment
Read our blog published on UK Business forums as we explain the ins and outs of what you need to understand your employee assessment process.
Have tried our latest add on - BrightPay Connect?
BrightPay Connect (previously named BrightPay Cloud) is an optional add on online tool that gives your clients access to their own dashboard. It allows you to automatically backup your payroll data to the cloud. Employees can log onto an online self service portal to view payslips and request annual leave. Bureau discounts for bulk purchases.
BrightPay Payroll & Auto Enrolment Training
At the end of the training session, participants will know how they can best use BrightPay to suit their payroll requirements, including:
Payrolling Benefits: What do you need to know? - Free Webinar
This presentation explains how to calculate cash equivalents for all of the different benefits employers may wish to payroll. It also provides best practice advice on the systems that employers should have in place to improve their workflow if they are interested in payrolling benefits for the first time.
For Payroll Bureaus
Review BrightPay on Accounting Web
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Auto Enrolment Webinar with Guest Speaker NEST
Over 750,000 employers are due to reach their staging date this year. Many of whom will choose NEST as their AE pension scheme. Join BrightPay & NEST as we take you through creating an effective AE pricing plan and how to easily set up NEST.
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