How to streamline your payroll process

The payroll year-end is just around the corner, for all employers payroll is a critical aspect of their business that requires a lot of time, focus, and attention to detail if you have chosen to run your payroll in-house.

Every year, following your last pay run and before the 19th of April, you’ll need to send specific information to HMRC. This includes a final FPS and/or an EPS submission for the year. In addition, employees should be issued their P60’s by the 31st of May.

If you outsource your payroll to professionals then this process will be streamlined and stress-free every year. However, if you are still doing this internally then here is the key information you need to prepare for a stress-free year-end.

How to prepare for payroll year-end

There is no escaping the fact that the advent of the financial year-end can be extremely stressful for those tasked with meeting its demands. The payroll process involves several important factors such as; noting any benefits or expenses, keeping on top of any potential tax liabilities, and of course running the year-end payroll itself.

Here are some steps it is important to follow to prepare for payroll year-end.

1. Check when your payroll ends

In some circumstances, your payroll might not end on week 52, and instead, you may need to complete an additional payroll. This will mean your payroll could end in weeks 53, 54, or week 56.

This happens if you process payrolls weekly, two weekly, or four weekly. It can also happen if your usual payroll date falls on 5th April in any year ( of 4th April if its a leap year- 2024, 2028, and so on)

It is crucial you know exactly when your payroll ends in order to meet the deadlines provided by HMRC.

2. Check for leavers or new starters

If employees have left your business during the past year, or there have been new starters, now’s the time to check to ensure they’ve been processed. This might mean talking with managers and making sure clear lines of communication are open.

Once you start the new payroll year it is not easy to go back and fix mistakes if you have made any and you could be charged or fined for these mistakes.

3. Send your final FPS/EPS of the year

After you have worked out when your payroll is due and have made any relevant employees’ leavers it is now time to send your final FPS and, if required EPS.

The deadline for this is the 19th of April.

4. Process your year-end

Now is the time to process your year-end and produce your P60s. , You have completed the payroll year-end process! But don’t forget you need to get ready to start processing payroll for the new tax year as soon as possible.

Missteps or mistakes in any of these processes can have severe consequences for organisations with the threat of legal or financial repercussions from HMRC.

Many businesses find themselves with outdated and inefficient systems which make this process harder and the payroll year-end can end up costing businesses a significant amount of time and money each year. That’s why we always recommend outsourcing your payroll services to a team of professionals who have the time, knowledge, and systems needed to streamline this process for you. Pierce Accountants ensure your organisation is ready to meet your commitments in the upcoming tax year.

Common payroll mistakes and implications

Manual processing with spreadsheets or other basic tools can seem a cheap option, and it may be adequate for very small businesses. But it’s time-consuming and error-prone, and the complexity and risks increase as your business expands and you add more employees.

Some of the most common payroll mistakes are:
  • Processing payroll and paying staff late
  • Processing payroll incorrectly
  • Inadequate backup systems
  • Not enough trained staff
  • Inexperienced payroll set-up
  • Missing deadlines
  • Not understanding /applying legislation correctly
  • Missing manual amendments
  • Not claiming the employment allowance
  • Not assessing for apprenticeship levy

Some of the implications of making these mistakes are:

  • Financial costs
  • Impacts staff retention
  • Affect productivity levels
  • Damage your company's reputation
  • Named and shamed by HMRC on Gov.UK

Payroll providers automate many of the labour-intensive aspects of payroll, thereby reducing the mistakes that commonly result from manual calculations and data entry.

When doing this manually there’s no built-in mechanism to avoid mistakes, stay up to date with regulations or protect confidential information. That’s why it generally makes sense for growing businesses to automate the process using technology from software or a payroll service provider.

How to streamline your payroll process

By outsourcing your payroll to a team of professionals you no longer need to dread your payroll year-end or worry about making any mistakes. Payroll professionals help you have a stress-free year every year and leave you to concentrate on growing your business.

However, this is not the only benefit of outsourcing your payroll, payroll professionals also help you maximise your opportunities for the next tax year, update your systems to make sure they are as effective as possible and train your staff to use them confidently.

This can lead to an increase in employee satisfaction and a decrease in employee queries.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions then we can help you streamline your process.

  • Is your business growing but you’ve outgrown your existing methodology?
  • Is payroll administration and compliance becoming a nightmare for your team?
  • Do you need to get back time to focus on your core activity?
  • Is your existing provider letting you down?

Why should you outsource your payroll to Pierce Accountants?

Simply because we care!

We take time to understand your business and your data to ensure we can do as many sense checks prior to processing. We go the extra mile to help by:

Assisting in employee tax queries

Providing updates on legislation changes that impact you, your business, and your employees Going beyond processing - we ask questions if something looks incorrect Offering additional solutions such as e-payslips, Payrolling Benefits in Kind, providing nominal journals & bespoke reporting

Managing the full handover, and offering a smooth transition for you and your staff. We understand that you don’t want your employees to feel the effect of changing payroll providers - The experience will be positive.

Visiting your business during the implementation period to better understand your needs and requirements Arranging annual meetings so that you can meet with your dedicated advisor, and hear about our latest developments

Contact our Payroll specialists today