QuickBooks has unveiled its new Advanced Payroll tool, designed to cater for accountants and payroll bureaus with multiple business clients that have more complex payroll needs.
Released to coincide with National Payroll Week, the solution accounts automatically for employee leave and deductions such as pensions, travel loans, childcare vouchers, student loans, gym memberships or medical insurance.
Other features touted by the package include automatic submission of contributions information to workplace pension providers and automatic posting of RTI filings to HMRC.
The new solution expands the company’s payroll offering, which also includes QuickBooks Online (QBO) Standard Payroll and it will be available in the Simple Start, Essentials and Plus versions of QBO.
As an introductory offer, the software company is offering Advanced Payroll for £1 per paid employee per month until 5 April 2020. After this date, it will be available at £8/month subscription fee + £1 per paid employee/month. Users can sign up for the deal until 15 November 2019.
The new solution also includes a new employee online portal that highlights key real-time insights and updates. Employees can download an app for iOS and Android smartphones to see their payslips, submit leave requests, log in expense claims and update their personal information.
With the new product, QuickBooks aims to provide its subscribers with a ‘one-stop shop’ that combines payroll and business finance, eliminating the need to use additional software.
By giving more autonomy to employees and the employers, who can approve leave requests, time sheets and shifts, QuickBooks claims to reduce the amount of time it takes to run payroll and reduce the risk of manual data entry errors for the accountant.
Small businesses overpaying tax
As QuickBooks explained in a recent statement, the new payroll solution is the developer’s answer to what it views as the most pressing payroll issue small businesses face: paying too much tax. According to research conducted by the software provider, 45% of SMB employees across the UK have paid too much tax as a result of errors in their paycheck.
“Taxes are complex and the research shows that significant overpaying of tax is caused by payroll issues, such as being on the wrong tax code, or errors with deductions such as childcare vouchers,” said Shaun Shirazian, head of product at Intuit QuickBooks UK.
“Small businesses in particular have so many different areas of a business to manage, often with limited support in terms of man-power. We want to be able to give these business owners the tools and support they need to help their employees get paid properly and accurately.”
According to the CIPP’s Future of payroll report 2019, holiday pay calculations and expenses and benefits are still among the most common causes of concern facing payroll departments, a problem that software providers are addressing with process automation.
Bringing payroll in-house
Accounting firms’ attitudes towards payroll have noticeably shifted in recent years. Formerly seen as time-consuming and a potential drain on resources, payroll is now increasingly becoming part of the core services offered by many practices.
This is due in part to the flexibility and degree of automation that cloud providers are providing with new software, but is also due to client demand. Hard-pressed businesses are increasingly demanding the ‘everything under one roof’ type of service model rather than using several different firms for their bookkeeping, tax and payroll services, for example.
If accounting practices do not offer the full package they may well lose out on new business or struggle to retain clients. The perception for many small businesses is that it is more efficient to use one firm for everything rather than two or more to cover their needs.