Choosing UK payroll software to manage your company payroll can be a very wise move to make. When used properly, it makes the complex world of employment taxation much easier, streamlines the payroll process, and even allows those without payroll expertise to manage their company’s payroll effectively, accurately and in full compliance of HMRC regulations. As with the introduction of anything unfamiliar however, there are a number of challenges to overcome when using payroll software for the first time, but luckily these challenges are easy to face.
The difficulties of software
Software exists to simplify payroll, but many companies wrongfully think that in buying software they can simply put their feet up. No matter how you manage your payroll, you should never let anything lure you into complacency, and you should appreciate the challenges that come with adopting a new payroll system.
Different software packages come with different features and different working layouts, and you will likely find some easier to use than others. People often forget that providers offer software trial periods, so make sure you use them to your advantage. Take a trial period for 60 days with leading UK payroll software here.
Once a choice is made, another problem is not spending enough time to truly get to know the software, its features and how the processes work – make sure you know the software well before you use it for real, otherwise you will make the change harder for yourself.
Manual software features
PAYE processes and reporting are made simple with RTI payroll software, with income tax, national insurance contributions and other deductions automatically calculated and applied by the software. The software will also create the figures you require to report to HMRC automatically, as well as figures you need for when an employee leaves.
Despite the automation that software provides, you still need to keep your eye on the ball and appreciate all of the manual tasks you will still be required to perform. Take payroll calendars for example. Good payroll managers come with a visual calendar to manage working hours and leave, including annual leave, sick leave and other types of paid and unpaid leave. While many aspects of payroll are handled automatically by such software, the employee calendar must be updated manually during periods of leave. Depending on the employee’s employment contract, you may need to input manually whether the leave is paid or unpaid. Other challenges include non-automatic deductions and additions, setting up pension schemes, and managing multiple pay frequencies and company departments.
These are well-known challenges, but when you go with a great provider, you will be given information, reminders and hints to help you in situations where you are unsure. You should also think about what help and support services are provided, and the quality of the software documentation and tutorials – these are very important to help you overcome the initial challenges and become comfortable and effective with the software.
There is an additional challenge in 2013/2014. The year-end reporting requirements to HMRC are changing to real time reporting, so if you have just started using UK payroll software, ensure you and the software you have chosen are fully prepared for the switchover in April.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net