A common belief is that Automatic Enrolment is Workplace Pension Reform, but this is not the case. Workplace Pension Reform is the wider legislation that states employees need to be automatically enrolled onto a nominated pension scheme, when they meet certain criteria. Automatic Enrolment is the mechanism behind this process and is being introduced to encourage private sector savings. Please read on for our tips on handling Auto Enrolment via our 7 steps to staging.
1. Know your staging dateFirst of all, it is important to find out your staging date, find out by visiting The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website using your PAYE reference. 2. Assess your workforce Assess who in your workforce is an eligible jobholder and automatically enrol them into a qualifying pension scheme. An eligible jobholder is: - Aged between 22 and state pension age - Working or ordinarily working in the UK - Earning above £10,000* Workers who are not eligible jobholders will still have a right to opt into or join a pension scheme.3. Review your pension arrangements If you would like to enrol eligible jobholders into your existing pension arrangement, then please check it qualifies as an automatic enrolment scheme. A qualifying scheme, must have minimum contributions or it must provide a minimum rate at which benefits will build up. A scheme suitable for automatic enrolment must not:- Impose barriers to joining, such as probationary periods or age limits- Require employees to make an active choice to join or take other action prior to joining- Require the provision of extra information in order to stay in the scheme4. Communicate the changes to your workersInform your workers in writing of the changes detailing how they will be affected. The communication must be specific to the individual. The responsibility is on you, the employer to provide the correct information to the correct individual, at the correct time. 5. Automatically enrol your eligible job holders Make all eligible jobholders a member of an automatic enrolment pension scheme and provide the relevant information to your pension provider about your eligible jobholders.6. Register with The Pensions RegulatorShortly after your staging date, you need to register online to inform The Pension Regulator as to how you have fulfilled your new automatic enrolment duties. On an ongoing basis you will be required to maintain records about enrolled workers, their status within the scheme, the payment of contributions and the qualifying scheme itself. 7. Contribute to your workers’ pensionsOn your staging date, you must start to contribute to your chosen pension scheme on behalf of your workers. The minimum contribution rates that an employer must pay into their workers’ pension scheme will be introduced gradually over a 6 year period (from 2012 to 2018). This is known as ‘phasing’. The minimum overall contribution will be 2% rising to 8%. Where the employee doesn’t contribute towards the pension, the employer will be expected to contribute the full minimum amount. Phasing will apply to most but not all, your scheme provider will be able to tell you if phasing applies to you.
Handy HintUse TPR's online auto enrolment action planner to produce a calendar of what to do at each stage of the process. It will also provide letter templates and guidance notes.
*Automatic Enrolment earning threshold for 2015/2016. These figures are expected to change each tax year.Advanced Exchequer can help with Auto Enrolment! Call on 01202 298008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Auto Enrolment, AE, staging, Exchequer, Pension
Accounting Software | Topical
electronic document management (EDM) is one of the easiest and most effective
ways of reducing costs
of professionals spend time looking for files1 and worryingly, 7.5%
of all documents are lost2. In today’s busy working environment,
organisations cannot afford such levels of unproductive time. Unreliable
paper-based processes are not acceptable when today’s technology could clearly
have a positive impact on the bottom line.
The good news is that
Electronic Document Management (EDM) has the potential to deliver a good return
on investment, as well as being relatively affordable.
If your organisation has
not already adopted a document management system, have you considered how it
could help your business to centralise, digitise and streamline your existing
document processes to reduce paper usage and increase efficiency?
Users are able to turn
their office into a paperless environment, do more work with less resource and
collaborate more effectively with their colleagues. While all these benefits
sound great, many professionals are left asking “what actually is a document
management system and how can it help improve my organisation’s processes?”
By storing documents into
one centralised, efficient and secure environment, an effective document management
system will save your business money by cutting down on unnecessary storage
space, help to rationalise headcount whilst improving productivity and save
time by making document retrieval a smooth and fast process.
To learn more, take a few
minutes to read our quick guide ‘Document Management Uncovered’.
Get my guide here >
Tags: paperless, papertrail, EDM, Document Management
particularly SMEs, have long known the frustration and pain of tackling late
payments. Not only does chasing these payments eat up valuable time, it can
also affect a company’s bottom line by forcing them to use external finance to
cover gaps in cash flow, often leading to interest charges and incurring debts.
new Business Minister Sajid Javid has put the spotlight on the issue by
introducing a new enterprise bill, which will establish a small business
conciliation service to help settle late payment disputes between small and
large businesses. The bill was formally announced in the Queen’s speech at the
state opening of parliament on 27th May 2015.
the bill in in his first speech as the new Minister, Mr Javid said that this
year the average amount owed to a small business is more than £30,000. The
problem is also getting worse, as he revealed that late payments are set to
cost British businesses more than £40bn in 2015, up from £19bn in 2008*.
This is not just a concern for individual
businesses. Without strong cash flow SMEs can be reluctant to invest in growing
the company, which can in turn affect the wider economy
A new bill to support businesses in dealing
with this growing problem will be music to many peoples’ ears, but there are also
steps a company can take to make sure they are as well protected as possible
from the damage late payments can cause. These include running credit checks on
all new customers, creating a structured day-by-day credit control strategy
and agreeing clear payment terms that give no room for dispute.
Invoicing quickly and accurately is
also key. It sounds simple but it is something that many businesses fail to do.
can speed up the invoice issuing process as well as provide a record that it
has been sent, which can be vital if the problem should escalate.
technology, such as quality credit control software, to automate manual
processes can also enable a pre-emptive approach to payment delays, which
protects cash flow and saves time. A government paper** revealed that small businesses spend on average 130
hours a week chasing late payments, which equates to an average cost of £1,500
The new bill should support businesses in
fighting this problem and help the UK economy. However companies also need to
look at their own credit control strategies, processes and systems, and ask if
they are up to scratch, and if not can they really afford not to take action?
has developed an online calculator that allows businesses to work out their debtor
days and how they can be reduced. To use the calculator click here.
Tags: late payments , UK Government, Growing business, credit control, cash flow
Today’s professionals are facing increasing pressure to work
both faster and smarter. With this in mind, our latest guide ‘Top Apps for
Finance Professionals’ explores the most popular mobile apps which are helping
finance professionals to work more efficiently on the move.
Read on for
a preview or download the complete guide here.
businesses work more efficiently by storing
almost anything you could possibly imagine from a receipt, invoice, a ‘to do’
list to an article you want to read. Evernote also enables you to data in a
variety of formats including audio, text, and image, Twitter or even a web
page. It can recognise writing in images and capture it. Evernote will never
let you forget a thing and importantly, it backs up all the data and
synchronises all of your files between your smartphone, computer or tablet so
no matter what happens to your device, data will never be lost.
Doodle: a great time
saver for organising meetings and appointments. This app will let you send
a poll specifying your availability, and then recipients can then let you know
whether they’re busy, free or available. No more needing to find diary space across
multiple calendars. www.doodle.com
PaybyPhone – be on time for your next meeting and pay for parking quickly and
easily. These apps enables user to securely and remotely pay for parking. Don’t
worry about getting fined if your meeting over runs, simply extend your parking
via your mobile. If it’s been a long day it can even remind you where you
parked your car! www.paybyphone.co.uk www.ringgo.co.uk
sharing and syncing in the cloud. This app will save time and transform
your workflow by allowing you to access your files anywhere and eradicating the
need to email files back and forth. With a simple to use interface, files are
easy to upload and synchronise. If you’re a culprit for having files on
multiple devices, this app is for you. www.dropbox.com
eXchequer365: check a customer’s balance; establish
available stock; authorise an order or simply email a copy of an invoice to a
contact. You can also gain access to key business information, view account
and ledger details remotely and have access to tailored management reports and
authorise transactions. The perfect tool to keep you in control. www.eXchequer365.co.uk
For further information and to see more of the most popular
business apps available, download ‘Top apps for Finance Professionals’ here.
Tags: Evernote, Doodle, RingGo, DropBox, Exchequer365, top apps, finance apps
Is your business growing and putting more demands on your IT system? If
so have a read of our tell-tale signs that your accounting software is no
longer fit for purpose and may need upgrading.
1. Increased manual activitiesAre your employees resorting to manual activities such as
entering data twice in order to fulfill your business needs?
If the answer is yes,
you may benefit from investing in a new solution that is more aligned with the
size of your business and has the ability to provide more efficient data entry
will stop time wasting on duplicating procedures.
2. Reporting challengesAre you wasting time trying to find data, rather than
As your business
grows, you need the ability to see and analyse accurate data quickly and
easily. Upgrading your software could help by streamlining and automating
reporting processes, ensuring you can clearly and easily identify the lucrative
and unprofitable parts of your business.
3. There isn’t an app for thatCan employees access your accounting software whilst out
of the office?
Whether it’s giving sales the ability to check a customer’s balance or
availability of stock, or giving managers the chance to access tailored management reports, a
mobile app will allow employees to work more efficiently wherever they are.
Lack of data integration
Is your data stored in a range of locations?
If you answered yes, then you are
currently hindering your ability to collect, analyse and report on important
financial information in a timely manner. A system that stores data in a single
location will increase productivity and efficiency, leading
to more opportunities throughout your business.
5. Performance issuesAre you having to sacrifice
transaction history or other records because your data volume is increasing?
If you’re exceeding the limits of your current solution then you need to
consider new software that will eliminate the risk of having inadequate historic records. It will
also stop employees wasting time on tasks such as moving data to make room for
6. Insufficient controlAre you creating workarounds
to join up processes and fill in the gaps?
If you are creating workarounds then life is harder than it needs to be.
A seemingly small change in how your accounting software operates can have a
big impact for you and your colleagues, placing you firmly in control of your
Choosing to invest in
new software is a commitment of both money and time and the thought of
dedicating more resource to a new project can be overwhelming. But consider the
impact of not taking action – how much is time wasting and lack of analysis
costing your teams and hindering further business growth?
For more information
on how Exchequer can help growing businesses, check out our on-demand webinar.
Tags: accounting software, accounting app, outgrowing accounting software, webinar, Reporting
Late payment can be frustrating and costly for any
business with poor cash flow being the single biggest reason that businesses
Although it can seem daunting at first, implementing a
simple credit control process needn’t be complicated – check out our
infographic for seven steps to making sure you get paid every time!
Tags: credit control, infographic
Accounting Software | Infographic
Tags: credit control, top tips , infographic, webinar, cost savings
According to Deloitte’s latest research, which surveyed 118 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) last month (September, 2014), perceptions of economic and financial uncertainty increased in the third quarter for the first time in two years. With many unanswered questions surrounding the campaign - currency, tax, regulations, oil - to name a few, it’s no surprise that the prospect of an independent Scotland is thought to have played a dominant role in this change.
While Deloitte’s research points out that political developments can create uncertainty for businesses, its overriding message focuses on growth. Expansion is high on the agenda for many CFOs with risk appetite reaching a seven-year high. Furthermore, 35% of CFOs surveyed rated the introduction of new products or expanding into new markets a strong priority and 19% are looking to increase capital expenditure.
Regardless of your current size, the prospect of growth can bring with it many challenges. The ability to remain agile with quick and easy access to real-time information provides a firm foundation for decision making and business success.
We’re working with many growing businesses and organisations to streamline processes, save time and reduce costs. If you are growing or are looking to do so, visit our resource centre for more information.
You can download the full Deloitte report here.
Charities and not-for-profit organisations
have been eager to embrace the potential of mobile technology and those that
have are well placed to capitalise on the benefits.
A report published in November 2013 by
mobile network company Three found that donations through websites, social
media and apps now account for £26 in every £100 donated in the UK, with an
annual figure of £2.4 billion now being donated online and by mobile.
As advances in mobile technologies
accelerate, charities face the challenge of how to exploit new ways of working
while continuing to wrestle with limited budgets. This quandary has prompted a
growing number of charitable organisations to consider adopting Bring Your Own
Device (BYOD) schemes.
BYOD schemes allow employees and volunteers
to use their own mobile devices (laptops, tables, smartphones etc) for work
purposes and offer improved flexibility and productivity. For charities in
particular, the appeal of BYOD is obvious.
Dwindling budgets mean that many
organisations have insufficient funds to invest in updating IT hardware and
corporate mobile plans. This comes at a time when charities are facing greater
demands from staff to use smartphones and tablets to do their job by
accommodating flexible working. With more employees and volunteers showing a
willingness to use their own personal devices for work purposes BYOD has become
a tempting proposition.
Mobile technology significantly increases
productivity for field workers as staff can record information ‘on the move’
during visits and deal with queries as they arise. Essential transactional
information, such as expenses and time spent on projects, can be entered and
authorised remotely using a mobile device. This eliminates the need to return
to the office and trawl through mountains of paperwork.
The rise of mobile is also enabling
charities to better engage with stakeholders, supporters and younger audiences
to boost responses from their fundraising campaigns to drive donations.
Trustees are also using mobile devices to gain easier access to financial
information and can drill down to the detail in order to offer meaningful
advice on the allocation of scarce resources.
To meet this soaring
demand Exchequer is continually developing mobile applications to provide
organisations with remote access to key information via the Exchequer finance
system using smartphones.
While allowing staff and volunteers to use
their own devices may provide significant cost savings, it is essential that
charities create a consistent and coherent BYOD strategy to prevent data
security breaches and the inevitable loss of supporter trust.
By doing so
organisations can mitigate the threat of security vulnerabilities and empower
employees and volunteers to use mobile technologies to help generate vital
funds, without placing donor relationships at risk
access the white paper “Why every charity and not-for-profit needs a BYOD strategy”, click here.
Tags: BYOD, NFP
Even just a few years ago many business owners were contemplating their future with a weary sigh; there were fears about double dips and consumers hoarding their cash, unwilling to spend.But the good news is we seem to be over the worst - Britain’s economy grew last year at its fastest rate since the financial crisis. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that most major sectors of Britain’s economy expanded in the final three months of 2013, concluding its best showing since 2007. The economy grew 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter from October through December. Growth for the full year rose to 1.9 percent, which bodes well for the coming 12 months.A word of caution, however: while confidence has increased, this hasn’t translated into increased investment in business. Despite positive predictions, UK organisations are far from certain about their future. According to the Baker Tilly annual SME Distress Monitor, 96% of business owners said they were happy achieving their current level of success, 74% expect their workforce to stay the same, and only 23% plan to increase their sales and marketing spend. A large majority, 84%, are not willing to take on any more debt in 2014.In short, it looks like businesses are holding steady and seeing where this positive momentum gets them before they make any capital commitments.MDs that wish to make sure that their organisation remains resilient to the uncertainty surrounding the direction that the economy may take, need to ensure that their processes are structured and every operational parameter is managed, monitored, controlled, measured, reported and benchmarked to achieve optimum operational productivity and profitability. In 2014 now, more than ever, secure, strong and resilient management is critical and instant access to key performance indicators (KPIs) and the status of the business operation is key to thriving.Why not download the whitepaper in full ‘Thriving in uncertain times – 7 top tips for 2014’
Original article http://startups.co.uk/outlook-for-2014-and-what-businesses-need-to-watch-out-for/
Accounting Software | News | Topical
Our expert contributors provide news and views on business and finance issues, accounting software and industry solutions.www.exchequer.com