Getting your charity payroll ready for auto enrolment

You’re no doubt already aware of the Government’s legislation around workplace pensions and the need for employers to auto enrol employees into a suitable pension scheme – you’d certainly be hard pressed to have missed the large, furry ‘Workplace pension monster’ in recent TV ads.

But have you stopped to think about how auto enrolment is likely to affect your charity or not-for-profit organisation?

The move to compulsory workplace pensions isn’t just a concern for the private sector – it affects any organisation with employees, from large corporations down to the charity with one part-time admin person on the books. If you employ someone (and they’re over 21 and earning more than £10k per year), you’re now legally bound to provide a suitable pension scheme for this employee.

And that change will have a profound impact on how you run your payroll.

The pain of auto enrolment

Auto enrolment is coming – in fact many small businesses and not-for-profit organisations are already nearing their ‘staging date’. You can find out your particular staging date on The Pension Regulator’s website using your PAYE reference.

Meeting those auto enrolment requirements by the time your staging date rolls around entails a fair amount of complex and time-consuming work.

To get a brief idea of what’s required:

1.     Research, source and choose a scheme – You can opt for the government-backed National Employment Savings Trust (Nest), but there are also a multitude of private schemes for you to choose from.

2.     Find out who’s eligible – You have to review your employees to see who is, and who isn’t, eligible to be enrolled into the scheme.

3.     Keep the right records – You need records on which employees are members of the scheme, how long they’ve been members and how much they’ve paid in contributions etc.

4.     Update your payroll software – It’s likely you’ll need to update your software so meets the requirements of making pensions contributions.

5.     Keep on top of the admin – Every month, you must check who’s eligible, who wants to opt out (and in), as well as keeping all the related records.

Phew! As you can see, this is no walk in the park. And, if you’re paying attention, you’ll have realised that a lot of these tasks revolve around your payroll and HR systems – and the need for an up-to-date solution that can meet the workload.

Find out more about workplace pensions

If you’d like to know more about the specific details of auto enrolment for your organisation, download our free guide here.

How auto enrolment changes your payroll requirements

Your payroll and HR systems will be the hub around which most of your workplace pension activity will revolve. So your system needs to:

· Keep accurate records on all your employees, including their age, salary and whether they’ve chosen to opt in or out of your offered scheme.

· Pay your employees’ contributions directly into the scheme in each monthly payroll, and record all these transactions.

· Match these contributions (if you’ve opted to do this) and make employer contributions, which will also need to be recorded.

· Give you the ability to pull off detailed reports on all your contribution payments and employee records.

· Provide an overview of your employees and their status prior to each monthly payroll run.

If your current payroll system can’t do all this, it’s time to move to a more flexible solution, that’s ready to meet the stringent requirements of auto enrolment.

QuickBooks Online as your payroll solution

So, what’s the best payroll solution for your charity to opt for?

At Gerrard Financial Consulting, we work exclusively with QuickBooks Online as our core accounting software. QuickBooks Online gives our charity and non-for-profit clients incredibly powerful accounting software as the financial centre for their organisation. But it also has a payroll ace up its technological sleeve…

Payroll is included in QuickBooks Online as standard. It’s not an expensive add-on, and it’s not a separate piece of software – it’s a fully integrated part of the main software. It can run your payroll AND meets your auto enrolment requirements.

· Fully auto enrolment compliant – You can assess your employees, create pension-related communications and monitor their contributions.

· Send RTI data – All your real-time information can be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs directly, meeting the need for digital filing.

· Automatic PAYE and NI calculations – Your employees PAYE and NI is worked out automatically each time you run the payroll.

· Generate P45s and P60s – You can check and create all your mandatory employment forms from within the software.

· Do everything online – No more paper payslips. Just email your employees with their pay details each month. And have all your records in once cloud-based solution that’s accessible to the whole team.

Talk to us about your auto enrolment needs

If you’re looking to deal with auto enrolment, come and talk to us about how we can help reduce the pain and hassle of getting your payroll up to speed.

We’ve helped a wide cross-section of not-for-profit clients to set up effective payroll systems for their organisation, simply by moving their accounts and payroll over to QuickBooks Online.

Give us a call and we can arrange a hands-on demo of QuickBooks Online’s payroll module – and talk you through how to meet your auto enrolment requirements.

Find out more about workplace pensions

If you’d like to know more about the specific details of auto enrolment for your organisation, download our free guide here.

You can see more about how the St Albans’ based charity, The Counselling Foundation, got on when they moved their payroll to QuickBooks Online. Follow their story in blogs and videos here.