Avoid Inaccurate Payroll Data That Affects Employee Benefits and Tax Credit Payments

HMRC are warning employers that it is vital to capture and report employee hours accurately for RTI (Real Time Information) to work. Payroll data inaccuracies mean that some employees receive too much or too little benefits or Tax Credits.

At a time when benefits are being squeezed and economic pressures are still making life a struggle for many people, your employees don’t want to be faced with either shortfalls in their benefits or overpayments that they subsequently have to pay back. It’s a sobering thought that inputting employee data incorrectly could have serious consequences for your employees.  It won’t only be the Tax Office you will need to reckon with, but also your disgruntled, unhappy employees.

Relying solely on your payroll solution may be short-sighted as the data sent to the tax office is only as good as the information that is collated – and it is a fact that manually collecting information on employee hours worked will inevitably lead to errors and inaccuracies. By investing in a workforce management solution that captures employee hours in real time and automatically feeds them directly into payroll, employers can reduce payroll and RTI errors input to zero in most cases.  It can also be used to ensure employees work their proper hours, keep within the appropriate working time directives and control other labour costs such as absence and overtime. By deploying workforce management you give yourself a chance to ensure the hours-related data on the RTI is correct and your employees receive the appropriate benefits; keeping both your employees and HMRC happy.

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Big Data is Big News (How ‘Payroll’ Can Go Strategic)

Big DataI recently contributed to an article in Payroll World that discussed Big Data and the need for Payroll to become more strategic by altering the way it works, automating key processes and embracing globalisation, centralisation and the use of new technology.  

Payroll can be much more than a simple cost of doing business – and I believe it can provide important insight that can be instrumental in maximising output of production, sales and customer service.

Payroll data can add strategic value to all departments; it can be used to compare payroll investment to productivity, sickness rates in various job functions and absence to management style. It can add significant understanding to what is happening within the organisation. A manufacturing company can use Big Data to analyse and understand the exact cost of producing certain goods. A service provider may review payroll investment related to customer satisfaction, and a retailer may optimise payroll cost to sales.

Being strategic is easier than you might think. The journey that goes along with Big Data can seem an overwhelming one but it doesn’t have to mean interpreting every line of data. The focus should be on the critical business questions, and identifying the data that will support them – this is where payroll can support them.

Find out more and download the full article here.

As always I would be happy to hear your views and comments.

Real Time Information – Are you ready?

Simon MacphersonMany of you will know from 6 April 2013 employers will have to start reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time. You may see this referred to as Real Time Information – or RTI.

This means that employers (or their accountants, bookkeepers or payroll bureau) will have to send details to HMRC each and every time they pay an employee, at the time they pay them and use payroll software to send this information electronically as part of their routine payroll process.

Although I am sure most organisations will already have electronic payroll solutions in place, I do wonder how many organisations have an efficient workforce management solution in place delivering accurate payroll hours and data to that system. I can only begin to imagine the chaos when organisations try to rectify the inevitable mistakes created by collecting hours manually, loading them into an electronic payroll data system and then loading all those errors in “real time” to a government system! It’s situations like this that makes me so proud of what we do for our customers.

Using a workforce management solution that automatically captures employee time electronically via terminals, biometrics, mobiles, laptops or tablets reduces payroll errors to zero and ensures accurate payroll, in “real-time”!

It will be very interesting to review the news after the first payrolls are processed in April and the mistakes roll in. I’d be very interested to hear from you with your experiences.