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Is Auto Enrolment in Payroll Manager simple?

Considering switching

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I currently use Brightpay but thinking about changing to Moneysoft Payroll Manager as there is now quite a difference in price.

However, I do like how Brightpay tracks Auto Enrolment requirements and nudges me when things need doing. From what I understand of Payroll Manager, I need to run an assessment report each payroll. Does anyone who uses PM find this a chore?

Replies (19)

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By Tim Vane
07th Jan 2020 23:15

There is a reason that Brightpay prices are nudging ahead of Moneysoft. The former is newer, slicker and is clearly receiving ongoing investment. The latter used to be the gold standard but is looking more like the legacy retro code that it is. It’s my third year with BP and I wouldn’t consider switching back to PM as I fear it would now feel terribly clunky and still looks like Windows XP era.

Other opinions are available but my recommendation would be to stick with BP.

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By SXGuy
08th Jan 2020 06:58

I use PM and I don't see an issue. Never needed a nudge for remembering auto enrolment. It's quite easy to remember that if the dd has to be cleared by the 10th of each month to process it 5 days before hand.

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JCACE
By jcace
08th Jan 2020 09:55

I've never used PM directly, but have seen it in use. I find Tim Vane's response insightful and can't disagree with it. I have used BP for several years now and its intuitive handling of Auto Enrolment was the reason I moved to it and one of the reasons I have stuck with it. Added to that though are the ways it continues to be updated, improved and have features added to it. Money well spent and perhaps it can be added to your clients' payroll fees anyway.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
08th Jan 2020 10:30

I use PM. It’s just a case of filing separate reports:
1. File the RTI
2. File the AE assessment
3. (For NEST) file the AE payment (DD) confirmation

Job done.

I agree that it doesn’t automatically flag minimum wage, but surely that’s just a case if having it in mind for the first payrun after each time the rates change?

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By adamsmith72
08th Jan 2020 10:45

With regards to auto enrolment, I meant you need to manually assess each payroll who should be in a pension or not with PM according to their website.
With BrightPay as soon as I enter a new employee's pay it flags up what the pension position is.

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Replying to adamsmith72:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
08th Jan 2020 10:50

Yes and no - you run a report in PM that tells you the status of all employees.

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By alialdabawi
08th Jan 2020 11:14

I would echo Tim Vanes reply down to this being my third year with BP and I wouldn't consider moving back. Definitely recommend staying with BP - the extra fee pays for itself.

However, when using PM, I managed to do all such checks (NMW, AE, etc) without these being a chore.

BTDubs, PM has minimum wage flagging but it has to be switched on by ticking a box in the 'Employer Details' window.

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By Mr Hobbit
08th Jan 2020 13:23

I completely agree with @TimVane. Brightpay has improved beyond recognition over the past few years and it's worth every penny. I will be sticking with them.

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By Matrix
08th Jan 2020 14:25

The letters are great but I find myself manually assessing employees so I’m not sure if I am using PM correctly. If you have a lot of AE clients then look up the PM notes to see how it works if you really want to move. I rate PM very highly but if I had more AE clients I may move to Brightpay so think carefully before you decide.

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By adamsmith72
08th Jan 2020 15:03

I have quite a few AE payroll clients. One in particular has fluctuations in pay each month and also starters what seems like every other month, so it may be a false economy to move.

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By NYB
08th Jan 2020 16:23

Stick with Brightpay. It cant be bettered. Otherwise I feel that you are going backwards rather than sticking with a forward ahead of the game software provider. Ive used them for years and when recommended to others they have been thrilled with it.

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By Charlie Carne
09th Jan 2020 11:43

Does anyone here use KeyPay? It's an Australian payroll product that launched in UK last year. It's extremely well featured and relatively easy to use (at least for the 5 or 6 clients that I've put through it so far). Unlike BrightPay, it is fully in the cloud. I have my clients' auto-enrolment processes outsourced, so I don't currently need the payroll software to handle that for me but, if anyone here has experience of how it handles auto-enrolment, please let me know.

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By AdShawBPR
09th Jan 2020 11:46

I use MS and have been considering moving to BP (or another) precisely because of AE. For non-AE clients MS works perfectly and I wouldn't change it. I'm not very comfortable with MS's AE offering. Some of my clients are with Enrolex/Creative AE which does all the tricky stuff (letters, enrolment, opt ins etc) and tells me what to do each month. MS is fine for them. For another group of clients I use Smart pension where I have to be a bit more savvy about telling MS what to do re AE. That causes me a headache almost every month. In short, MS does what you tell it do just fine but you do need to know what you're doing and I need something which is a bit more 'smart' so that it guides me.

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By nickr
09th Jan 2020 12:47

I only use Moneysoft as I only process about 15 payrolls and my fees just cover the costs.

However if the payroll numbers increase than I would move over to Brightpay. I am not overly impressed with the Auto Enrollment with Moneysoft.

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By adam.arca
09th Jan 2020 13:05

I think it's horses for courses. And also a case of not letting the AE tail wag the payroll dog.

I use PM because I love the basic payroll functionality, especially the slick, intuitive, fast-to-use data entry. I personally felt BP was miles behind on that score when I trialled it 2 or 3 years ago.

I would agree, however, that the AE functionality isn't fantastic and you do need to have an idea of what you're doing: essentially, PM is a bit reactive in respect of AE and records what you've entered whereas it appears that BP is proactive and prompts the user.

That said, I've had no issues with AE under PM and it surely can't be a bad thing that you're forced to use a bit of brainpower rather than simply rely on your software?

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By AdShawBPR
09th Jan 2020 14:03

I do agree with you on not relying too much on the software however I feel in this case MS is adding another layer of complexity. When I asked MS what a particular setting should be they responded as follows: "... it makes absolutely no difference to anything in the program what those are set to. Those options are only there because Smart insist on including them in the files you submit to them - they are not used by our program or any other pension provider." This doesn't instill huge amounts of confidence!

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By coops456
09th Jan 2020 16:26

In fairness to MS, I've found Smart Pensions to be a right PITA! One reason why we won't take on new clients with any other pension than NEST.

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By coops456
09th Jan 2020 16:52

Adam.arca is spot on. Payroll is number one; AE is important but secondary.

We've looked at BP a couple of times, and yes its look and feel is more modern, but I was concerned about speed of entry.

Our biggest client is paying 150 people a week with variable hours, so it's got to be quick. You cannot beat PM for fast data entry.

I enter the hours, check for tax notices, then bring up the pensions assessment report. This tells me if anyone needs enrolling. Simples. You soon get into the habit.

Your mileage may vary depending on the pension provider, but using NEST is a doddle.

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By adamsmith72
09th Jan 2020 20:45

Having downloaded the demo I do find it much quicker for entering pay. Even more so for those with the same every month as you just click one button to copy it down.

And I'm very au fait with the mechanics behind NEST/Auto Enrolment as I made it my mission to at the very start when those companies sprouted up offering to do it for me for a fortune

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