Can be many things....
L&G don't do weekly so you have to "glue" four weeks assessment together and submit them....Aviva are the same.
Providers update submission formats and neglect to mention this to payroll software which then requires manual intervention.
Software does what you tell it (most of the time) and as it is used by human being occasionally it spits out the wrong data which needs the same human to step in.
Occasionally providers systems sometimes go wrong and when you attempt to correct submissions they only accept one pay ref period per day. This means that errors over a three or four pay ref period take three or four days to resubmit even when you know what the problem is!
If you have weekly paid staff and this has been going on for a while it may take weeks to rectify the problem.
It can be many things.....
No need for alarm bells....
There is nothing wrong with selecting a well run well financed Master Trust.
The sad news is there are precious few of them about. How many of the 70-80 schemes listed on the ABI/NAPF sites are actually well run and well financed? Many will go by the wayside as you suggest in your article Peter, SMART know this because they already contain two such master trusts within their own stable.
How many people know the difference between the way that a Master Trust is funded compared to a contract based pension scheme? Is this important...hell yes!
Tax relief is important to all who can claim it as well and how many schemes only offer Net pay as this is the way that Master Trusts traditionally grant tax relief. NOW:Pensions have just announced that they will pay any lost tax relief from their own pocket as they accept that lower earners have lost out because of this Net pay basis and this is fantastic news in my view.
How many people know the difference between Net pay and Relief at Source? Is it important...hell yes!
Master Trusts are not bad nor should they be vilified but by the same token people involved in dealing with them should understand what they are recommending for their clients and why.
As ever Chris your numbers serve as a reality check for any bureau dealing with AE for their clients. Some have not staged many yet and dealing with one or two is manageable maybe.
Its not until you scale this up or experience IT issues with a provider site that you realise how much time this can add to your day/week/month/year!
I keep saying this...AE costs extra money.
It will cost an employer additional money to have it dealt with or to deal with in internally as more work is being done. The payroll fairies do not process this stuff when everybody else is asleep. It costs a bureau money as they have to divert resource to this additional task which we now know adds time to each payroll.
Automation will help to reduce this further but will not make it go away completely so there is still additional cost when we have become as efficient as we can....and we are nowhere near that yet.
We are holding an event in Bristol which accountants and SME's can come to and get FREE AE guidance from experienced professionals to highlight this very point (as you know).....I really hope that people take advantage of the free help and look at this more closely for themselves.
Part of the solution.......
It would be really good to see as many businesses and any Payroll Bureaux (large or small) that need help at the open door event on the 15th April.Specialists in both Payroll and AE will be on hand to answer your one to one questions and several pension providers will be attending to provide direct information on how their solutions can be used to help you comply with the legislation. Attendees will be able to network with others in the same situation who are seeking their "starter for ten" on how to comply with this legislation.With nearly 500,000 businesses due to stage this year alone we really hope that this event is an easy way for anyone to access the ultimate database on what works and what doesn't.No need for hours in front of Google trying to get the right answer to the right questions.
I assume that any anecdotal evidence I supply will be treated as biased for whatever reason.....therefore I felt it appropriate to suggest a third party who is perceived as independent as that might be more useful to those readers who are sceptical.
It will make no difference to me as we already have had feedback in open forum at countless CIPP events over the last 18 mths or more.
It is also interesting that in this thread there are already accountants who either agree with my view or accept that there is more to AE than software and number crunching (as important as this function is to that part of the AE process).
My thinking is that by sharing my experience of the last couple of years working in AE and staging a couple of hundred clients would add some value and trigger one or two to look into the way they deal with things themselves. Few will use our proposition off of the back of this so there is little self interest in my comments even though again there is the perception that I am fishing for work on these threads.
Happy to share with those who want to benefit form what we have learnt...happy to learn form those who can tell me something I had not considered or not encountered either way I dont see I have anything to lose by sharing.
Its only scaremongering if its not true...
Feel free to give your PI insurer a call and ask if you will be covered when selecting pension schemes for your clients?
The activity is unregulated when advising employers so no breaches here and anyone can do it. But if it goes wrong for some reason will your PI insurer step in and pick up the tab for it......
It would be good to hear form a lawyer on their view as well if one if reading these threads??
The next great mobile phone scandal....
NYB....No shooting necessary.
I know lawyers that are already sharpening their pencils ready for that day.
They are looking at non-regulated people who "!recommend" schemes and they are looking at the tax relief method which has been provided by that scheme/recommendation.
My list was not meant as a criticism of your comment by the way.I have now been working with a number of the payroll software developers for nearly two years and assessment within payroll where possible works well. But as you point out, quite correctly there is sooooo much more to AE than number crunching. Glad your partnership is working out and your clients are benefiting from your "stick to what my PI covers me for" approach. Many other clients will not be so lucky as to have an enlightened proposition such as yours!
What doesn't software do...
It doesn't choose a pension scheme
It doesn't set up a pension scheme
It doesn't check to see if the scheme being used is a QWPS
It doesn't decide on a tax relief method
It doesn't check to see if the default investment fund is appropriate for the employees affected/enrolled
It doesn't answer employee questions
It doesn't tell you the best way to use postponement for selected employees
It doesn't supply provider specific employee comms (they are all generic) unless you write them yourself and upload them, assuming the chosen software can actually do that
It doesn't check to see if your PI cover will support you in the AE service that you supply to your clients
...other than that it seems to tick teh other boxes and is a good way to start!
My understanding is that Will and the team at Systemsync will make Pensionsync available to any software provider that wants to use it. Maybe its time to lobby the providers and see which ones will use the system and which ones won't.
Middleware is also an option where it works properly with payroll as systemsync can be made available through this medium and middleware can be is payroll agnostic. This would mean that if Sage say no to the integration you feel you need, then adopt a partner who will give you access to middleware which will?
In terms of cost, using middleware in this example replaces the need for the assessment module and so money saved here can be redirected to the cost of the middleware support. This can be cost neutral and may work for some bureaux?
Just a thought.....
I could not agree more. Government did not involve payroll at all in this process and have made it overly complex.
No business will get involved in activity does not benefit them and neither should they.Many IFA's are not getting involved for exactly that reason.
...and on your last point, I believe that there are already many who have not completed their obligations on time and this may get worse unless those who are wanting to get involved do not find a way to ensure engagement sooner rather than later.
There is an expectation on the part of smaller businesses (research tells us) that they all think that accountants are all over this and have it all covered, just like RTI. Unfortunately this is not like RTI and not all accountants have this covered...because it makes no sense for them to do so.
Going forward payroll will work with AE and the two will not work exclusively. This means if anyone running payroll chooses not to deal with AE they are choosing to move this function of their business on to someone else.
Partnering with a specialist service that deals with AE may be one of the ways that payroll chooses to deal with AE and retain their existing payroll business...or even expand it.