Apr 2017


Auto Enrolment - Increased workload or increased opportunity for Bureaus?

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!

Increased opportunity?

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.

Increased workload?

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.

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Posted byKaren BennettinAuto EnrolmentPayroll Software