Inland Revenue payroll accreditation: The developers' view

With pressure mounting on corporate payroll managers and software developers as mandatory electronic efiling for PAYE returns looms in the 2004/05 tax year, software developers are beginning to voice concerns about the Revenue's approach to standards and accreditation.

Dennis Keeling, chief executive of the business software trade body BASDA, said the complaints reflected major problems. "This is a legal requirement, it's not voluntary."

There are two aspects to the official approval system.

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Comments

IR Payroll Standards not a hindrance

acctsoft | | Permalink

The Inland Revenue Payroll standard is designed to ensure that the software is capable of calculating all aspects of the payroll data accurately to the nth degree. One of the issues is that IR Payroll Standards includes calculations for functionality that some smaller employers may rarely use, however developers will have to include these functions. Importantly, an employer purchasing the software that has achieved the IR Payroll Standard accreditation can use it knowing that ‘it does what it says on the box’.

For most developers, developing different versions for a specific type of employer is out of question, so they will develop one version that covers all the calculations required by the payroll standards. Most software will include additional functionality to suit the target market.

Having been involved with development of Andica Payroll Software http://www.andica.com/andica_payroll_software.html that has gone through the Inland Revenue Payroll Standard accreditation and the Inland Revenue online filing accreditation, I feel rather than being a hindrance, the IR Payroll Standards and the online filing tests are benefiting developers and providing a confidence factor to users.

It is important for employers to be aware that while the online filing will become mandatory for payroll software, the IR Payroll Standards is not a must at present. Most payroll software vendors will have some form of online filing capability, there are only about 30 that have achieved both the accreditations. Inland Revenue lists software that has achieved IR Payroll Standards on http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/ebu/acclist.htm

Weekly payroll end of year problems

Anonymous | | Permalink

Interesting to see the comment made: "If you process weekly payroll on Thursday, you're going to have to complete the run, pay your people and submit the year-end returns within 24 hours - that's a big challenge," said Ford, of Sage.

This is not a problem for Datafile Software payroll users. They simply run the weekly payroll, and the system automatically creates a history file so that the information can be processed later and filed on line prior to the 19th May. Of course the payroll managers can run the normal payroll the following week. What is the challenge!