For years, accountants and bureaus have been offering payroll services, taking a massive burden off the hands of their clients. However, the payroll profession has changed dramatically over recent years with the introduction of Auto Enrolment. A significant 1.2 million small and micro businesses are set to start staging between June 2015 and the beginning of 2018. The Pensions Regulator defines small businesses as employers with 5 to 40 workers and micro businesses as having one to four workers.
The thought of choosing the right payroll provider has exasperated with the new AE employer duties that need to be completed. Some software providers are avoiding auto enrolment completely, while others are offering AE features with limited functionality or at a high extra cost. If you have payroll clients they may have an expectation that you will handle the AE setup and ongoing duties for them. For bureaus, it will be important to discuss the options with your clients as early as possible.
Auto Enrolment Functionality
Payroll software will play a vital role in ensuring the success of Automatic Enrolment. Many of the functions necessary to comply with Automatic Enrolment duties are process-driven and can be handled by technology. Your payroll clients will need to access their employees to ascertain who they have to automatically enrol and who will have the right to request to join.
The Pensions Regulator recommends that payroll software should automate the majority of these processes, such as assessing employees’ eligibility, producing employee communications, monitoring employees’ ages, and earnings on ongoing basis, producing the required reports and much more. It will be important to check with your software provider to see if it can handle the requirements of Automatic Enrolment. From that point on, it is all about efficiency and there are several questions that need to be answered first in order to start making a profit from these jobs.
So what should you be looking for in potential payroll software to process AE more efficiently? These 10 questions outline key factors to ease the decision making process.
1. Does it support your chosen AE pension schemes?
2. Will employee assessment be automated?
3. Is enrolling employees problematic or effortless?
4. Can it produce employee communications based on individual’s work status?
5. Does it allow for Postponement?
6. Are employees being continuously monitored by the software?
7. What are the limitations regarding the number of employees or employers that can be set up?
8. Will it make contributions and deductions?
9. Does it allow you to produce the required reports?
10. Are auto enrolment features and support charged at an extra cost?
Discover how the right payroll solution will empower you to improve profit margins and increase the turnaround of clients. This step by step guide details how the correct systems in place with fully optimise their payroll operations for efficiency. Check your have full AE functionality.
In 2012, the UK law on workplace pensions changed forever. By law, employers must now enrol their employees in a pension scheme and contribute towards that scheme. Every employer with at least one staff member now has new duties. These responsibilities include placing those employees who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme where these employers, must also contribute towards the pension.
Employers are experiencing information overload when it comes to their new AE obligations. 1.2m small and micro businesses are set to start staging from June 2015. A large portion of these employers may lack the knowledge and resources to be able to process these AE tasks. Research by The Pensions Regulator reports that only 60% of employers due to stage between June 2015 and Nov 2015 have begun to plan for their Auto Enrolment duties, with a significant decline of 52% reported among employers due to stage in 2016.
The big question remains, will you help your clients prepare for Automatic Enrolment?? Whether you are a payroll professional or accountant, this change to the law will mean that your payroll clients may come to you to seek advice on the easiest way to fully comply. Automatic Enrolment is presenting accountants with a unique opportunity to offer additional services to existing clients thus bringing in new business. If accountants decide they do not want to take on this type of work then they run the risk of losing business.
Accountants will need to take time to consider the AE opportunity for their business. This AE platform presents a stepping stone for them to increase turnover, acquire new customers and build a lasting relationship with your current client base. To achieve this increased revenue, it will be essential that your payroll clients know that you are open for Auto Enrolment business. Make sure you have the correct tools and processes in place to streamline AE and increase profits. By taking the opportunity to identify payroll systems that reduce costs and resources and maintaining a strong level of best practice, then accountants will reap the rewards. It further provides a competitive edge to you over other accountants who refuse to provide AE as a service to their clients. Savvy accountants are already capitalising on auto enrolment and it has become a viable and profitable part of their practice.
Auto Enrolment Webinars
BrightPay has joined forces with Accounting for Growth to help accountants with payroll clients. The AE webinars are specifically tailored to support accountants in processing Auto Enrolment efficiently.
On the 24th March Patrick McLoughlin will present ‘Using Auto Enrolment to attract your Ideal Clients’ where he will give you practical and helpful tips to attract new business. Patrick’s presentation will help you to avoid the fee bargainers and focus on clients happy to pay premium fees for a premium service. Business owners are crying out for more information and help to comply with the legislation. You will never find a market more receptive to your support and services.
Paul Byrne from BrightPay will present ‘Embrace Auto Enrolment to increase Profits’. With the tsunami of auto enrolment staging dates ready to hit the UK’s small businesses, accountants are deliberating whether to embrace auto enrolment and whether it is worth the time and effort. Discover how all Bureaus can benefit financially from Auto Enrolment. Find out how and why AE should be a chargeable service.
Register today for our webinar to take the stress, hassle and pressure out of dealing with payroll clients.
Free Registration – Book your place here.
Written by Karen Bennett – BrightPay, auto enrolment software.