Accounting firms and payroll bureaus are increasingly moving into the cloud to offer clients a more flexible and streamlined payroll service. Many believe that payroll isn’t a profitable service due to the complexity of the work, the manual administrative time required and the increasing number of mistakes when it comes to recording employee leave.
The actual process of running payroll is straightforward enough due to easy to use features in payroll software. But what about the administrative payroll and HR related tasks such as processing & sending payslips, managing & recording employee leave, lost payslips, backing up your payroll data, sending payroll reports to clients and updating employee records? All of these tasks can take a considerable amount of managerial time to process and correct where errors have occurred.
The payroll landscape is changing and many payroll bureaus are offering clients a certain level of cloud functionality that automates otherwise time consuming tasks. Online access to payroll information for your clients and their employees offers significant benefits for today's bureau which can will streamline many workforce management tasks.
Storing payroll information and data protection continues to be a challenge for payroll bureaus. With an automated cloud backup tool you will never lose your payroll data again. You don’t need to worry about manually backing up your payroll data. Where you payroll software is integrated with the cloud, your payroll data will synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes whilst maintaining a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time.
The concept of a paper payslips that need to be downloaded and emailed or printed, enveloped and then posted in an outdated process. More and more, employees want their payslips to be accessible and securely stored online. Payslips and other payslips related documents such as P60’s, P45’s and employment contracts can be easily accessible on an employee self service online portal. With the cloud, payroll bureaus can avoid spending time printing, emailing and resending lost documents to employees. An online employee self service option allows employees to view current and historic payslips and access all HR employee documents.
A cloud client and employee dashboard provides 24/7 flexibility and control of payroll information. Clients can access all employees payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, employee contact details and can even approve annual leave requests. Employees can access their self service portal on their computer or via a mobile app to view and download payslips, easily submit holiday requests and view leave taken and leave remaining.
Cloud functionality allows for many payroll related tasks to be synchronized with your payroll software. Payroll bureaus radically save time as they no longer need to send payslips to employees, send payroll reports to clients, re-send lost payslips or manually process employee leave on the payroll software.
Annual leave approvals can be approved in the cloud and automatically recorded on your payroll software reducing errors and ensuring leave data is up to date at all times. Clients can view a company wide online calendar where they can easily approve leave while managing staff availability for their business. Employees can benefit as a cloud portal will calculate accurate leave balances in real time. Senior managers and supervisors can be given a high level access to approve holiday requests.
Payroll software systems that offer a fully integration with the cloud is a must. Integrated payroll and cloud allows both tools in share and synchronise your payroll data in real time. An online payroll tool that links to clients data that is saved on your payroll software can directly communicate with each other ensuring all information is current and correct.
Using the cloud to automate many daily payroll and HR related tasks will improve efficiencies for payroll bureaus, employers/clients and their employees. BrightPay Connect is one such cloud solution that fully integrate with BrightPay Payroll offering:
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A Japanese company is rewarding its non-smoking employees with an extra six days annual leave a year with pay.
This all came about when an employee from a marketing firm based in Tokyo, used the company's suggestion box to point out that his co-workers who smoked, worked much less than the non-smokers. The employee went on to outline how smokers took time away from their desks while the non-smokers had to hold down the fort.
In a clever twist, instead of punishing the smokers by deducting their pay or insisting that they make up the extra time, the company decided to reward the non-smokers by giving them an extra six days off a year with pay.
Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka also feels that this might encourage some of the smokers to quit because of the incentive.
The Huffingting Post has reported that 30 of the 120 employees are eligible for the extra six days off, and four employees have already quit smoking since the policy was put in place.
Is this something that you would consider in your workplace?
A few changes have been made on methods of making payments to HMRC:
HMRC would encourage all their customers to use the following methods to make payments:
These methods are more secure and can save the customer time and the expense of going to the Post Office or Bank.
As an employer, your declaration of compliance is a legal duty. If you do not complete it within 5 months of commencing your Automatic Enrolment (AE) duties, then you have not completed your legal requirements of Automatic Enrolment and may face fines. Even if an employer did not enrol any member of staff, a declaration of compliance must be completed.An employer can process their own declaration or authorise an agent to complete this on their behalf. The declaration is completed via The Pensions Regulator’s website. You can start the declaration now by clicking here.
Don’t delay or you could face prosecution – it is a criminal offence if an employer fails to put their employees into a pension scheme and/or provide false information in a declaration of compliance. The maximum punishment can be 2 years in prison if The Pensions Regulator proceeds with prosecution. The Pension Regulator’s checklist provides details of all the information you need when submitting your client’s or your own AE declaration.
You need your letter code and PAYE reference to access the online service. The letter code is unique to every employer and a 10-digit reference beginning with ‘1’. It is on all correspondence an employer receives from The Pension Regulator, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not know it or have never received it. To contact customer service you must provide:
An employer’s PAYE reference can be found on correspondence from HMRC when first registered as an employer or from their payroll software.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is ensuring that all employers fulfil their duties required by the Pensions Act 2008. It is essential that all employers understand that even if they employ only one person they have certain legal duties for Automatic Enrolment. And if they choose to employ a new member of staff after 1st October, 2017 those duties apply from the day the new employee starts.
Remember, Automatic Enrolment is a continuous duty for all employers, and does not end after the staging date or duties start date (if you don’t have a staging date).
Avoid penalties by understanding how to meet your duties:
All responsibility ultimately lies with employers.
Instead of a taxable cash Christmas bonus, why not give your employees a seasonal gift – a turkey or a nice bottle of wine?
In order to provide these gifts – it must be ensured that the gift falls under trivial benefits in kind.
Trivial benefits apply where the benefit:
Accordingly, gifts that cost under the £50 limit would qualify. It is also possible to provide employees with a gift voucher (not a cash voucher) where the limit is £50 or less. They can only be provided as a gesture of goodwill be it at Christmas or other such seasonal occasions.
Employers no longer need to report such trivial benefits on P11ds or PAYE Settlement Agreements (PSA). However, if the gifts have a value in excess of £50 or cannot be counted as trivial benefit, then the gift must be reported on the form P11d and Class 1A NICS may be payable on the value of the gift.
£300 Annual Cap
There is an annual trivial benefits cap of £300 that is applied to directors or other office-holders of “close companies” (close company is a limited company that’s run by 5 or fewer shareholders) and to members of their families or households. The £300 annual cap does not apply to other employees.