Don't be daft........HMRC said (somewhere near the start of this shambles) it will only cost a few hundred pounds for any upgrades. There's no way they would get any costings wrong is there ????!!!!*********
Both Brightpay and Moneysoft can be run on a trial basis. I tried them both and would recommend you do the same.
In case you are wondering, I found Moneysoft suited me best. 18 months after leaving Sage behind, I have no regrets.
The only time I have a problem with Moneysoft emails is when I update my computer logon password. I then have to update the password on Moneysoft. Tools - Email - Setup - Password. Also, you might want to make sure Moneysoft has the right settings for your new server, which looks like they are in the same place.
I used to use Sage (14 employees) but the price over the last 2 years rocketed (and that's before AE costs to come). I used the free trial on both BrightPay and Moneysoft. Both are very good, both are considerably cheaper, both have AE costs included and both are easier to use than Sage. My personal preference is Moneysoft. You can import the info from Sage via a csv file. Whatever you choose, I would recommend you write yourself a checklist for your chosen software and work through it each time until you can do it without the reminders.
Thank you for that Euan, I'll go back now make sure that my processing date matches the tax weeks correctly.
Date on payslip
I understand tax weeks (and yes my software does print it on the payslips) what I didn't know was that a tax week ran from Saturday to Friday. But, more to the point, our payslips have always been dated to reflect period paid, not payment date. I understand now that this is incorrect, but I took over payroll from someone else who ran it this way. Also, like many other small businesses I expect, I have had no training other than to learn the software used. While my payroll has always been run within the correct tax week, the small point with large ramifications for RTI regarding the date on the payslip, was unknown to me. I am very pleased to be able to correct this as of this week, but I think a lot of other small businesses will still be in the dark.
RTI 'on or before'
FPS must be sent 'on or before' payment is made. I think I've just realised why a lot of us are having a problem.
We are assuming 'on or before' physical payment is made, but what is actually meant is 'on or before' payroll processing date.
Our employees are paid up to the close of business on Wednesday, pay is processed on Thursday so (when they used to be paid by cheque), they could bank it on a Friday. The payslip has always been dated on the Wednesday, as this is when they are paid up to. Therefore, the FPS will always be late.
I took over doing the payroll, on a computer, nearly 10 years ago. I had no idea, until today, that a payroll week was set days. With the advent of payroll computer programmes, I think a lot of small businesses who now run their own payroll are also unaware and will start to receive fines in 2014-15 because there seems to be an assumption that everybody knows about the payroll week and the dates on the payslip.
stepurhan - I process wages in advance by taking a best guess at the hours they will work, based on the previous 6-8 weeks (we are a small company and only have 9 weekly paid employees). I make any adjustments to the next payroll I run. All payments are arranged and RTI filings are made before I leave.
Euan MacLennan - I assumed you meant outsource on a permanent basis, but that will cost far more than it's worth to us. Thank you for the link, I have copied the information to my ever growing list of RTI things to remember and thank you for being as informative as ever.
While your suggestions are OK in themselves, in the world of small businesses they aren't necessarily practical.
1. I presume this is a typo and you mean from weekly to monthly
Why should my workers have to change the period they receive their wages and manage their personal finances? (and a 3 week holiday is only a dream for a small business)
2. Yes, I could. For 1 occassion every other year (maybe), train up my other member of staff (and fix the mistakes when I get back) or add to our expenses and pay a bureau or our accountant for a 1 off service, if they were willing/able to do it on such an infrequent basis.
Surely HMRC should have built in an allowance for all small businesses to cover rare occurrences, to be applied against each individual small employer. (e.g. 1 per year per employer, where company has less than 20 employees).
What about small companies?
We are a small company and I am the only person who does the payroll. When I go on holiday, I pay a week in advance and sort the difference out the following week. No problem so far. When I returned from a recent holiday, a worker who was off sick when I left (3 days, no SSP form yet), came in the following week. I had worked out what he should be paid in that instance. However, as I didn't know for sure if he would be in or submit an SSP form, I couldn't process any hours/SSP. I had to rollback his record and reprocess so PAYE/NIC was correct and submit an FPS amendment. Again, no problem (I think) as it was only 7 days. If I had been away for 2 weeks would we be fined? If so, does that mean that I can never again take a 2 week holiday? Has HMRC made any allowances for this sort of scenario?