1.8m small or micro entities are due to stage between 2016 and 2018. These responsibilities are severe and there’s no way out of them. For these businesses, payroll software will play a role in handling this burden.
But auto enrolment remains an unknown quantity for a lot of accountants. “I have been speaking with a lot of accountants and what has surprised me is that a lot of them haven’t exactly got into auto enrolment in a big way,” says BrightPay's director Paul Byrne.
Byrne will tackle these topics during his Accountex talk on 12 May, where he will suggest a way SMEs with the assistance of their accountant can ease this problem through automating auto enrolment.
There’s no escaping auto enrolment. So it is important these businesses are prepared. “They have to get pension schemes sorted out, decide which pension scheme they’re going to go with, and then they haven’t to ensure they have the systems in place…” lists Byne.
“Form filling and manually logging on to websites to complete employee details of every pay period – that would be a nightmare. They wouldn’t have time for it,” adds Byrne.
Outside of the workload, the consequences of SMEs missing their staging date are bleak. For example, if you missed it by three months you are than liable for the employee deductions as well, as your own contributions – and from there the fines escalate.
“People are going to try and hide from them or just going to get it wrong,” warns Byrne.
But a lot of this auto enrolment work can be completed by the click of a couple of buttons in payroll software.
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.