Moneysoft Payroll won't connect to HMRC

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A client of mine - an accountancy firm, is having difficulties filing Moneysoft payroll data with HMRC.

Error message is "Connection to the HMRC Transaction Engine is being blocked by some other software (e.g. a firewall)",  Now this worked fine up until 5th April, but this has been popping up ever since on just one pc.  Another pc on the same LAN does not have the same issue.  I've removed all the usual suspects (e.g., Norton, HP Wolf security), and rolled back MS updates installed since then, without success.  My client is able to access HMRC services on other programs, such as VT, TaxCalc and Iris, but not Moneysoft.  I've tested the connection with Moneysoft's utility and it shows there is no blockage.  The client is able to login to HMRC's portal using the credentials entered into the Moneysoft application.  This is a Windows 11 pc, and so is the other pc where it does work.

Both Moneysoft and HMRC advise consulting the IT department who will resolve the problem - er - that's me!

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Replies (18)

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By rmillaree
09th May 2024 09:14

you may get a response here but the advise to engage an it expert rather than an accountant is the way to go.

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By FactChecker
09th May 2024 14:51

A cheap shot would be ... Windows 11, well whaddya expect then?
But that doesn't really help you - other than, amongst all the other things you've tried, have you tried putting that PC back to Win 10 (as part of the 'recreating things as they were' when it last worked)?

The infuriating thing with technology is that the answer is always logical - if only one knew *which* bit of the logic was in play.
Something has changed, but it's a bit trial'n'error trying to get to the point where only one variable makes the difference between failure & success.

Have you tried installing Moneysoft on one of the other PCs?
Until someone (you or bought-in IT technician) tries this you haven't even narrowed down the first hurdle:
- Is it something to do with Moneysoft and/or HMRC?
- Or is it something on the PC or its internet connection?

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By FactChecker
09th May 2024 14:57

A random guess (based purely on the timing) ... have you asked Moneysoft whether they read and complied with the email from HMRC issued on 1st May to software developers - headed "HMRC APIs - Cipher changes"?

"As per our previous communications, on 30 August 2023 we updated our test services to remove support for a number of cipher suites which are known to be more vulnerable to attack.

We’re planning to roll out these changes to our live (production) environments on 7 May 2024. While we expect the change to happen that day, we’re not able to provide an exact time.

To ensure that this security change has not impacted your application, we strongly recommend that you test your applications against the relevant services to ensure that your connectivity is not affected:
* Transaction Engine External Test Service:
https://test-transaction-engine.tax.service.gov.uk/submission
* API Platform Sandbox:
https://test-api.service.hmrc.gov.uk
If you can continue to test successfully, you don’t need to take any further action."

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By rmillaree
09th May 2024 15:26

wowsers kodus for your ability to dig thqay one out of the drawer fact checker.

must admit when we have had monesopft issues it has tended to coincide with major microsoft updates where they reset or mes aroud withbn security settings.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Ken Moorhouse
09th May 2024 18:12

I did receive that 1st May email from HMRC. The first time my client had this difficulty was at the end of April, so unless some kind of early patch was implemented I don't think Moneysoft would be at fault here.

Always worth pointing out though, so thank you for drawing my attention to it!

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Ken Moorhouse
09th May 2024 18:03

Thank you for taking the trouble to respond.

This does work on another pc, which is also running W11. Yes, I know: Windows 11.

I will find out if back tracking to W10 is acceptable to my client. This is a brand new pc supplied originally with W11 on it. The other pc was originally supplied with W10 on it and has been updated via MS Update. Hmm that difference in original OS could be significant.

The other pc is running on the same LAN, and there's nothing weird setup in the Router used by both pc's.

Because other programs (TaxCalc, Iris and VT) have no problem communicating with HMRC on the pc in question, I'm inclined to believe this to be a Moneysoft issue, but can't be certain.

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Replying to Ken Moorhouse:
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By FactChecker
09th May 2024 19:25

"This is a brand new pc supplied originally with W11 on it.
Hmm that difference in original OS could be significant."

It's been a while (over 10 years) since I had to worry about such things - at the sharp end as it were - but in the 'bad old days' some hardware manufacturers were prone to pre-installing an OEM variant of the op sys.

Not as bad as the mid-80s where they each had their own version of DOS (with such enormous variability that we had to create a 'lab' with over 30 of them on which to test new releases of our software before labelling it as 'supported for XXXX') ... but quite possibly with a few different default settings (one of which may be the culprit for your environment).
But that's a LOT of variables to work your way through - so good luck!

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Ken Moorhouse
09th May 2024 20:53

The working pc had Moneysoft installed on it in W10 days, and the pc has had Moneysoft upgraded since then, with the W11 update done at some indeterminate point in between. The non-working pc has had Moneysoft installed on it afresh.

I'm going to check library dependencies for both installations. I had a peek at the handshaking going on on the failing pc and see there's a lot of TLS exchanges in there. Maybe something there, or version of TLS perhaps?

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By happyface
11th May 2024 10:28

Hi Ken,
I am having the same problem with Moneysoft when I tried to submit FPS yesterday. This is the first time I have encountered this issue after so many years of using this.

Have you resolved this issue, and if so, can you advise how you dealt with this? It seems to be a recent problem and I suspect it is Moneysoft's issue.

I have disabled firewall and even then it can not submit to HMRC.

Anybody, please help.

Many thanks

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Replying to happyface:
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By Ken Moorhouse
11th May 2024 15:39

happyface wrote:

Hi Ken,
I am having the same problem with Moneysoft when I tried to submit FPS yesterday. This is the first time I have encountered this issue after so many years of using this.

Have you resolved this issue, and if so, can you advise how you dealt with this? It seems to be a recent problem and I suspect it is Moneysoft's issue.

I have disabled firewall and even then it can not submit to HMRC.

Anybody, please help.

Many thanks

My client has been involved with other matters, so have not been able to re-visit this as yet. I will certainly update this thread when/if a solution is found.

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Replying to Ken Moorhouse:
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By happyface
13th May 2024 10:12

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the response. I have also got a response from Moneysoft support. They said that without notice HMRC has stopped accepting submissions for machines using windows 8.1.
I have since migrated to a higher version and everything works now.

Kind regards

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Replying to happyface:
By Silver Birch Accts
16th May 2024 15:53

Dear VT User

From 7 May 2024, HMRC removed support for CBC ciphers (ciphers are a method of encrypting transmitted data). As a result of this, Windows 8.1 or earlier cannot be used to submit MTD for VAT returns to HMRC.

Any users who are using Windows 8.1 or earlier and who wish to submit MTD VAT returns to HMRC, will need to upgrade their PC/operating system to Windows 10 or 11.

Regards
VT Software Ltd

This seems very similar.

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
16th May 2024 19:24

Moneysoft released an update today, but frustratingly they don't obviously tell you what they have updated.

Does anybody know of a Moneysoft change log?

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Replying to Beach Accountancy:
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By rmillaree
17th May 2024 08:59

have you asked them for details if something has gone wrong? i would expect support there would at least look into your query.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By FactChecker
17th May 2024 17:48

I assumed that Beach Accountancy was making a slightly different point.

It is - or at least was in my (not too distant) day - a basic mark of quality standards that any new publication (whether of documentation or of the software itself) would be accompanied by a Change Log. At a minimum this should set out every aspect that might be impacted for a user (whether as simple as an extra 'allowable value' or as complex as an entirely re-designed process) - with both an explanation of why the change was necessary and what improvement it brings, as well as of course how to potentially change your own process/usage.

Personally I always believed in going several steps further - but, although these were welcomed by clients, they never caught on amongst competitors.
What steps?
Publishing on an open forum the logs (redacted only insofar as was necessary to protect individual and client privacy) of the 3 areas under constant supervision for the potential to lead to software changes:
- Legislative changes (compliance - from known to merely rumoured)
- Change requests (enhancements - from current clients)
- Defect reports (investigations and workarounds and fixes)
[There was a 4th such log, but far less frequently reviewed or indeed of interest to most clients as it was similar to the Legislative one but focussed on technological changes that are enforced from time to time by Microsoft and other standards.]

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By markabacus
21st May 2024 16:58

Moneysoft working fine for us, Win 10 PC. Cld be a firewall setting?

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Replying to markabacus:
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By FactChecker
21st May 2024 19:41

"Moneysoft working fine for us, Win 10 PC"
... as it is for OP - whose problem started when trying it on a Win 11 PC.

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By Andy McA
10th Jun 2024 21:56

Hi, did you manage to resolve this? I have the exact issue running on a PC with Windows 10 and currently nobody has any answers or ideas on what could be causing it? Have tried submitting with all firewall settings off but still no success.

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