British entrepreneurs tackling Payroll Year End for the first time

An estimated 350,000 UK SMEs will experience complications with Payroll Year End this year, citing added levels of complexity due to Auto Enrolment and Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE.

A survey of 355 UK business owners found with more than a quarter of small businesses (27%) said the addition of the two compliance issues had made the obligations of year end more complex.

With a record 581,173 new companies registered with Companies House in 2014, huge numbers will be carrying out their Payroll Year End for the very first time. Yet the study also highlighted the challenge of getting it right with one of every fifty small businesses found to have been fined for an incorrect Payroll Year End submission at some point.

The survey asked bosses what one piece of advice they would give to help minimise the pain around Payroll Year End, with having the right software chosen the most popular choice at 44%.

More than a third (39%) said not leaving Payroll Year End to the last minute was the most important, followed by 11 per cent who recommended working with an accountant.

Nick Longden, Sage One UK general manager, said: “Many businesses see Payroll Year End as a necessary evil, and despite the advent of RTI it can still be a big challenge for firms. The Chancellor’s Budget announcement that the Annual Tax Return is being abolished will have been music to the ears of many entrepreneurs, but the reality of Payroll Year End means they could still face an equally large challenge.

“Thousands of businesses will be doing a Payroll Year End for the very first time, and to help them we’ve pulled together some best practice advice based on our work with more than 800,000 businesses in the UK. For new business owners in particular it’s about making time, focusing on the task at hand, having the right software to do the hard work for you and not being afraid to draw upon advice and support if you need it.

“The key is to be in control, so owners need to take some time and act in advance. Failure to do so could lead to a fine due to rushing and making mistakes with the figures being submitted.”

With Payroll Year End fast approaching, Sage One has identified a series of top insider payroll tips for making the process as stress free as possible:

  • Plan as soon as possible – the realities of running a business mean that preparation for Payroll Year End can be postponed time and again, until you’re really up against it. Carve out 20 to 30 minutes now to think about what you need to do and you’ll be glad you did!
  • Hide yourself away when it’s crunch time - distractions are everywhere and many of them are just too tempting to ignore. When you’re completing your payroll year end, go somewhere quiet where you can avoid them.
  • Don’t overlook advice and support – you may be a one-man/woman band, but that doesn’t mean you have to power through without any support at all. Resources such as the Sage One Support Hub contain answers to Commonly Asked Questions, as well as help centre articles and even a Video Hub which contains bite-sized advice videos with multiple specific tasks.