Friday, 1 May 2009

Staff wages may contain errors within small businesses

Surprise, surprise; A survey carried out by GfK NOP for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, 11% of small employers said they still use manual tables to calculate the tax and NI on their staff wages, despite computerised tools being freely available.
Using the manual tables entails, every pay day, looking up figures in several tables and then combining the numbers using simple arithmetic. For a typical employee, this involves looking up numbers in at least 3 tables and carrying out 8 arithmetic steps. The tables, complete with instructions, can be downloaded from HMRC’s website or ordered by telephone from the HMRC Employer Orderline.
There are many computerised tools available to make calculation of tax and NI simpler. These include commercial payroll packages, web based services and free tools on HMRC’s website. I think this is lazy and ridiculous especially because it’s free. Businesses who don’t do this are not progressing and will lose staff because of it.
The Payroll Site is one web-based service designed to make payroll calculations simpler. Managing Director, Steven Tucker, said "I'm amazed that anyone has the patience to use the manual tables for anything other than a one-off check. I tried this when I first operated PAYE a decade or so ago and I found it time consuming and error prone – and I’m a maths graduate." He continues, “That’s why we first launched our website: to make life easier for small employers, so they can just click a couple of buttons, print their payslips and get on with running their business.”.

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