Choosing Essential Small Business Payroll Software

Large organisations have full time accounting staff to prepare the payroll. Full time professionals employed or the payroll function may be outsourced to a payroll bureau. The payroll task in a small business often falls to the proprietor demanding even more time to familiarise with current payroll legislation and a not insignificant amount of administration time that could be better spent making profits than number crunching. Small business organisations with up to ten employees producing the weekly payroll can easily take an hour or more each week calculating the income tax and national insurance contributions . An hour that could be better spent earning profits or at the very least having an extra hour of free time each week. Free time that small business owner’s value at a premium since the majority of small business owners either work or think about work from dawn to dusk 7 days a week. Payroll software to satisfy the PAYE requirements can be just one part of making that small business more efficient.

Small businesses that fail to operate a sound payroll system can produce a negative effect on the employees. The pay an employee receives is expected, often spent or spoken for on receipt and provided the amount is a competitive rate would only rarely have an effect on staff relations. However operating a payroll system that does not provide each employee with a payslip is like telling your employee he has received a personal letter that was opened for him and discarded as not important. To the employee a payslip is very important. Every employer has a legal responsibility to provide employees with payslips and a P60 End of Year Employees Certificate. A Payroll Software package will satisfy both the legal requirement and the employee’s requirements. Failure to provide employees with payslips can only reduce the respect hat employee has for his employer. Every employee must receive a payslip that shows the amount of income tax and national insurance deducted from the gross pay. Employers must also calculate the employer’s national insurance contribution. Employers not using a payroll software package such as available from DIY Accounting Payroll Software must design their own payslip to give to employees to satisfy legal requirements.

Running a PAYE system and operating a payroll in the UK can be a burdensome task to comply with all the relevant legislation. Employers operating a PAYE system without the use of payroll software need to be familiar with evolving requirements of HMCE through their website and the extensive payroll notes contained on the CD-Rom which is sent out annually. To fully appreciate all the technicalities and complete all the correct documents such as the P11 Deductions Working sheet is time consuming. It doesn’t have to be a problem. Payroll Software can automate this knowledge and functions and is available at insignificant cost. DIY Accounting Payroll Software package is available for up to 20 employees at a cost of 15 to 25. That is a payroll software package that could save a small business over an hour a week, for twenty employees more like two hours, for less than 50p per week. All small business owners should at least consider suitable efficient payroll software.

Many payroll software packages are written using databases and can put many small business owners off using them due to both the cost and the fear of the unknown complexity of using such a payroll package. Many payroll software packages written on a database provide an excellent solution but have a tendency to be extremely politically correct and cover all potential rules and regulations and consequently become more complex to operate as they can demand at least a minimum knowledge of the payroll system. There are other PAYE solutions. The DIY Accounting Payroll Software is written on excel spreadsheets requiring no payroll experience and a minimum of entries to produce all the essential calculations of income tax and employees and employers national insurance. In addition excel copies of the time consuming P11 Deductions working sheet, P60 Employees Certificate and the P35 Annual Employers Return are all automated to save the small business valuable administration time. A significant advantage of a payroll software system written on excel is that it can also be used with an open office spreadsheet package but not least all the entries are visible and therefore transparent. Errors and mistakes can be easily corrected simply by changing the numbers on the payroll ensuring the payroll is produced both quickly and accurately. Payroll Software is an effective tool that should receive serious consideration by all small business proprietors.

Payroll Software also has the advantage because it can be simple and fast to use of avoiding late payments to the revenue and the consequent unwanted letters and potential fines this can invoke. By having all the information required for the monthly or quarterly revenue payments late penalties can be avoided and by producing the Annual Employers return on time small business owners can submit their returns online and receive a tax free online filing bonus. The current online foiling bonus being 150 and substantially more than the payroll software might have cost. And it’s Tax Free. As they say in Yorkshire. “If thar you ever gets owt for nowt, Tec it”

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Programs And Courses For Careers In Accounting And Payroll Administration

For those that are good with numbers and are looking for a highly lucrative career, Accounting and Payroll Administration might be the right path for you. Accountants and Payroll Administrators hold highly responsible positions in the companies they work for and need a variety of specialized skills, including auditing, payroll, bookkeeping, accounting, tax compliance knowledge, etc.

The accounting programs available today range from full Master’s degrees to Associates degrees, to certificate programs. In 2005, accountants were the most in-demand of all college graduates, with beginning Accountants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting earning an average of $44,000 annually, and experience Accountants for large corporations earning about $75,000-80,000. In addition to a career as a certified Accountant, there are a variety of options for those interested in working in the financial field without a Bachelor’s Degree, and there are programs and courses available for each. One of the more popular training programs available is the Accounting and Payroll Administrator Program.

Accounting and Payroll Administration

Unfortunately, in order to work as a certified Accountant, one must at least have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Still, there are many opportunities in the lucrative accounting and payroll administration field for those who are willing to take a few short courses. These job opportunities include but are not limited to:
- Payroll Administrator or Manger
- Payroll Coordinator
- Payroll Clerk or Assistant
- Accounting Analyst
- Bookkeeper
- Administrative Assistant
- Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerk
- Credit Officer
- Leasing Consultant
- Benefits Coordinator
- Collections Officer

Many of these highly responsible positions are quite lucrative, and provide a good basis for career advancement. The best way to obtain this type of accounting or payroll administration position is to sign up for a career training program.

Career Training Programs

There are a variety of Accounting career training programs available, both on the web and in a classroom setting. Most Accounting and Payroll Administration courses take anywhere from 8-12 months, and will teach you all you need to know to begin your accounting career. This includes basic training in payroll and tax compliance theory, overviews of accounting-related computer programs and an idea of debits and credits.

In addition to basic theories, Accounting and Payroll Administration programs are specially designed to give you the specialized skills for an accounting career, as well. Many even include an internship or practicum intended to give you the final skills you will need to be a success in your chosen career. Others specifically offer a Payroll Management Certification program, which is an attractive bonus for potential employers.

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Uk Self Employed Accounting Software And Self Assessment Tax Returns

In the UK anyone receiving earned income which is not taxed under the employers PAYE system is technically self employed. Anyone who is self employed and running a business in the UK must register that business with HM Revenue and Customs within 3 months of starting that self employed business and failure to do so can lead to penalty fines.

All self employed businesses must keep records of the financial transactions and submit these accounts annually to HM Revenue and Customs in the format of the self assessment tax return which are supplementary pages included in the self employed annual tax return.

Different standards for accounting by self employed business are applicable compared to the accounting requirements of a limited liability company and consequently much simpler Accounting Software can be applied. Accounting Software for a limited company invariably requires a double entry system of accounting that produces not just a profit and loss account but also a balance sheet. The Accounting Software has to deal with business bank accounts, debtors and creditors and produce reconcilable results.

While advisable for self employed businesses to maintain a separate bank account it is not an essential requirement. The Accounting Software used by anyone self employed should keep accurate records of fixed assets although it is not essential that this Accounting Software also produces a balance sheet. With these factors in mind Accounting Software for the self employed can be much simpler and greatly advantageous if that Accounting Software also produces the numerous and sometimes onerous burden of HM Revenue and Customs tax returns and working papers.

Self Employed Accounting Software Requirements

Accounting Software for anyone Self Employed does not have to be double entry. The Accounting Software can be a single entry system which makes the value of using Accounting Software based upon excel spreadsheets feasible and due to the simplicity highly desirable. Such Accounting Software being excel based is fast and easy to use, utilising all the benefits and advantages excel offers. Accounting Software that is also highly visible at the click of a button. Accounting Software on a database hides the financial transactions that the Accounting Software has to query to retrieve the required information. It is this element of an Accounting Software database that often requires some technical accounting knowledge to operate efficiently. Accounting Software written on excel spreadsheets is, due to its visibility, much easier to use and understand and requires little or no accounting experience.

Accounting Software written on excel spreadsheets makes an ideal solution for the self employed businessman. Good financial records are the key to the success of any self employed business and especially to the value of Accounting Software. A quality Accounting Software package is an essential component of your business to identify potential problem areas and capitalise on success to drive the business forward.

Accounting Software and HM Revenue and Customs Returns

Different types of Accounting Software are available for the Self Employed and some of this software has been specifically designed to cater for the precise size and requirements of the self employed business. There are basic Accounting Software packages available for the self employed business that is not vat registered and have no employees. Standard Accounting Software packages for the self employed business that is vat registered. The vat threshold limit at which businesses are liable for vat is 61,000 up to April 2007 and subject to possible changes after that date. Advanced and more sophisticated Accounting Software for the self employed who also employ staff are available with integrated payroll software included in the Accounting Software packages.

The best Accounting Software will not only produce your self employed financial accounts but also produce the HM Revenue and Customs returns. Accounting Software that has automated the vat returns each quarter, Payroll Software that completes the time consuming P11 employee deductions working papers and simplifies the P60 year end certificates and P35 employers’ annual paye return.

And most crucially Accounting Software that automates the Self Assessment tax return.

Accounting Software and Self Assessment Tax Returns

The Self Assessment tax return is a complex document for the initiated. It doesn’t have to be, for a small business with turnover under 15,000 the self assessment tax return can be completed by entering totals of self employed sales, expenses and net profit on page one. For larger self employed businesses more complex calculations are required. Capital Allowances, balancing charges, base periods and expense analysis are beyond many self employed. Self employed businessmen are experts in their field of operations and often require help with these accounting based elements that an accountant or Accounting Software can provide.

The best Accounting Software can take the simple lists of financial transactions and by clever use of formulae built into excel spreadsheets transform the year end experience by automating the production of the self assessment tax return. It isn’t impossible, if a calculation can be made mathematically then a quality Accounting Software package can automate the process using formulae within excel to produce the calculations and offer the Self Employed businessman an automated Self Assessment Tax Return.

A function that Accounting Software can do at a fraction of the price an accountant might charge for this service. Accounting Software for the Self Employed should produce the Self Assessment tax return as the end product. The Self Assessment tax return is the Self Employed end product of his financial endeavours and therefore the Self Assessment tax return has to be the end product of any quality Accounting Software.

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