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Sage Payroll

Sage Payroll

 I'm doing Sage Payroll year end for all of my clients. Sage says you should check various figures:

Check each employee's NIC to the P35

Check each employee's PAYE to the P35

Add up the monthly P32 reports and agree to the P35

Does anybody actually do this? Isn't one of the reasons people buy software programs because the programs do things like this properly. If they have any doubts then they shouldn't be selling the software.

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16th Apr 2010 20:11

Sage Payroll

Yes I quickly check the P11's against the P35, and have never found an error, but not each months P32's, (nor do I reprint these when doing the year end wizard). I just print one P32 for months 1 to 12 and compare the totals. These checks take the same amount of time as it would to print the 12 months P32's again, so is not a problem.

As I am the one processing the payrolls each week/month, I trust myself that the figures are right, as I know what I am doing.

However, I have on occasion, been asked to file a clients payroll year end using their backup. With these I check absolutly everything, including checking for missing weeks/months on the P11s.

Unfortunately Peter, unlike you and I, not everyone who uses Sage, or any other Payroll software, knows what they are doing. These year end guides are written for those people who need to be lead by the nose.

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16th Apr 2010 20:49

Sage ask you to check from the same data

With the P32s Sage ask you to print them out immediately before the P35 so the figures will agree.

What people should be checking - especially in the cases that you mention - are the P32s and other reports printed at the time of processing and comparing them to P32s and the P35 printed at the year end. Unfortunately, this is a major exercise.

It seems strange that a client will go all through the year running the payroll and only at the year end get somebody else involved. I appreciate it is important to get it right before sending anything to HMRC but I would have thought the same applies to employee's wages.

I think somebody either has the expertise to run the payroll properly or they don't.

I run about 10 payrolls once a month and one fortnightly payroll. My other payrolls are once a year. It's not a vast amount but given the years I've been doing it I feel confident. If I was running a small payroll once a month I wouldn't feel too confident unless I did it very slowly or very methodically.

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16th Apr 2010 23:15

P32's

Yes Peter, I totally agree with everything you say.

I run 8 weekly (yes some still pay weekly), 1 four weekly and 9 monthly payrolls and have been using Sage for this for over 10 years.

I think one of the most important things that an inexperienced person should check is that there are no missing weeks/ months on the P11's. This could be caused if they forgot to update at some point during the year, which would throw the entire years calculations out, and would not be picked up just by checking the P11's against the P35 as these figures would still agree, and might not be noticed if they printed their P32's quarterly.

I had a client, who ran their own monthly payroll, do exactly this last year in month 3. Luckily I went in to run their year end and noticed that there was something wrong with the tax deducted on the P11's for month 4. I had to roll back to month 3 and reprocess the rest of the year. This, of course, also resulted in the employees and employer owing tax.

-- Witch-Queen

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By Anonymous
19th Apr 2010 08:48

Instant Payroll

We run Moneysoft for the practice, but have a client who does his own using Instant Payroll.  So I go along to 'hold his hand' whilst the year end is done.  I used to use Sage, so thought I had a handle on it.

However...

Their instructions are so long winded it is unbelievable.  They insist you check each month's P32 (and imply that it may not work if you don't).  And the online submission would not work due to a SSP problem.  It eventually turned out that the program needed an update.  Whilst I was on their website, I noticed that the waiting time for a phone call was over 100 minutes!  I think they put the waiting time up to encourage users to use the website for solutions.

So a routine year end, which would probably have taken 15 minutes in Moneysoft, took over 3 hours!  I suddenly remember why I changed...

 

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By Anonymous
19th Apr 2010 13:51

shame @ neil

Neil ... Blatant advertising! Not relevant to the question being asked!

Moderators please remove that posting!

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19th Apr 2010 15:33

Duly deleted

No adverts here guys, c'mon now!

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20th Apr 2010 09:57

Sage Payroll

In reply to 'Anonymous' regarding thier client on Instant Payroll.

Yes, the year end instructions are long winded, but they are aimed at (what shall we call them?) 'the technically challenged'.

This is necessary, as is proved by the fact that despite these long winded instructions, you still had to go along to your client and 'hold his hand'.

At one point last week, a client told me, the wait time was 88 minutes. (which is why she phoned me for help instead) So I can believe it got to over 100 minutes. Maybe this proves that the instructions are not comprehensive enough?

With regards to Moneysoft, which is used by one of my clients who runs an employment agency, (and you can imagine how many employees they have had during the year), I have just reconciled his payroll to his net pay and PAYE in his year end accounts and fould numerous errors. I have found that these errors were caused by the fact that, once a week has been run, it is not locked in Moneysoft.. This has allowed payslips to be changed when an error has been made on someones pay, rather than adjusting it the following week. This has been done regularly during the year and often after the accounts journals have been posted from the Employers Summary. This has resulted in the accounts for net pay and PAYE being wildly out of balance and took me several days to sort out.

I have, on occasion, processed his payroll for him when he has been away, and found the whole process in Moneysoft clunky and slow compared to Sage.

I run 18 payrolls in Sage Payroll Bureau and, in total, it took me 2 and a half hours to run the year ends for all of them.

-- Witch-Queen

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By Anonymous
03rd Jun 2010 21:27

Not as stupid as it seems...

"Add up the monthly P32 reports and agree to the P35. Does anybody actually do this? Isn't one of the reasons people buy software programs because the programs do things like this properly."

Opening balances don't get included on the P32 (which month would they be shown in?) but they do get included on the P35. Experience tells me that some people enter P45 information incorrectly as opening balances - a quick check to see if the P32 totals match the P35 figures will show up that error. Seems like commonsense advice to me.

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03rd Jun 2010 21:39

Very stupid

“Opening balances don't get included on the P32 (which month would they be shown in?) but they do get included on the P35.”

Where does the opening balance appear on the P35?

“Experience tells me that some people enter P45 information incorrectly as opening balances - a quick check to see if the P32 totals match the P35 figures will show up that error.”

What’s P45s got to do with this? I’m not talking about people I’m talking about Sage.

“Seems like commonsense advice to me.”

In what case would a P32 generated from Sage not agree to a P35 generated from Sage?

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By Anonymous
03rd Jun 2010 23:02

Hmm...

 "Opening balances don't get included on the P32 (which month would they be shown in?) but they do get included on the P35.
Where does the opening balance appear on the P35?"

In the tax or NI column as appropriate!

If you take on a payroll client part-way through the year, you might enter opening balances into employee record based on the P11s supplied by the client. Those opening balances will show on the program's P11 and form part of that employee's tax/NI totals on the P35. But they won't appear on any P32 as they don't 'belong' to any particular month.

"Experience tells me that some people enter P45 information incorrectly as opening balances - a quick check to see if the P32 totals match the P35 figures will show up that error.
What’s P45s got to do with this? I’m not talking about people I’m talking about Sage."

Well it's people who use software. So it makes sense to account for the fact that people sometimes do things wrong.

If you enter a new employee's P45 figures in the opening balance section instead of the P45 section, that's wrong. Doing the check that Sage advised would show up that error, allowing you to correct it so you don't file an incorrect P35.

"Seems like commonsense advice to me."
In what case would a P32 generated from Sage not agree to a P35 generated from Sage?"

In the example I gave above.

 

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03rd Jun 2010 23:51

Sage don't mention it as a reconciling item

I didn't know what you meant when you said opening balances.

It's a long time since I remember taking on a payroll client part way through the tax year from another payroll.

I've just looked at Sage's Payroll Year End Guide and they give several reasons for why P32s wouldn't reconcile to a P35 but none of them relate to opening balances. Have you used Sage Payroll recently?

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By Anonymous
04th Jun 2010 00:09

So what was the point of this thread?

Why didn't you just read that guide at the start and answer your own question?

Hopefully you now understand why it suggests that you check things and you realise why the P32 may not match the P35. As for opening balances, try it out and see if I'm right or not.

 

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04th Jun 2010 00:29

Same point as at the beginning

“So what was the point of this thread?

Why didn't you just read that guide at the start and answer your own question?”

I’m not sure you understand. If Sage didn’t mention it as a possible reconciling item don’t you think that is significant?

“Hopefully you now understand why it suggests that you check things and you realise why the P32 may not match the P35. As for opening balances, try it out and see if I'm right or not.”

Excluding the “opening balances” you mention – which Sage don’t seem to recognise as a cause of differences – the P32s and P35 printed at the year end will always agree because they are using the same data.

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