Accountants warn Cotswold businesses of the dangers of failing to keep on top of payroll

A Cirencester-based accountancy firm has issued a warning to businesses in the county about the dangers of running into difficulties when it comes to payroll.

The warning from McGills Chartered Accountants coincides with major changes to workplace pensions which came into effect last month.

The minimum contributions for employers and employees are changing, with the current employer contribution of one per cent of pay doubling to two per cent. Meanwhile, employee contributions triple from one per cent to three per cent.

Alison Palmer, a Partner at McGills Chartered Accountants, said: “The changes to workplace pensions are just the latest changes that firms need to keep up with when it comes to payroll.

“Payroll is not an area where employers can afford to let things slip, either. Failure to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW), National Living Wage (NLW) or make the correct level of contributions to workplace pensions all attract substantial penalties. Indeed, firms found not to be paying NMW or NLW are now regularly named and shamed by HM Revenue & Customs.

“Similarly, employers need to make the correct deductions for Income Tax, National Insurance, Student Loan contributions and items such as season ticket loan repayments.

“Meanwhile, failing to pay staff the correct amount on time each month will inevitably dent employee relations and impact on the performance of the business.”

She said that this is time-consuming and a considerable source of stress for business owners and managers.

“Outsourcing payroll can offer businesses far more wide-ranging benefits than they might imagine, freeing up time and resources that can be invested in growing the business.

“Businesses should look at how effectively they are managing their payroll and how much time and resources this is taking up,” she added.