People will often say to me the role of payroll is ‘just to make sure everyone gets paid on time’ and whilst there is truth in that, it involves so much more. I am responsible for payroll and compliance for our clients in Fabulous Finance and when I was approached to take my turn for the rediscover campaign I thought I would provide an insight into what a working month looks like for me and how COVID-19 has impacted my role.
A typical working month in payroll
How many people, aside from those you work with, do you know who get paid on the same day as you? A few yes, but it differs from company to company. I run payroll throughout the month, I must know when each client pays their employees and ensure it is run on time to avoid incurring any penalties.
Week One – I run payroll for the clients who follow the HMRC Tax month, payday is the fifth of every month.
Week Two – I complete CIS returns for the relevant clients, the deadline for this is the nineteenth of every month and hefty penalties can be given if missed.
Week Three – I run mid-month payroll; this is usually for the smaller clients with very few employees.
Week Four – Is month end when the majority of payroll is run.
Some clients pay their employees weekly and this payroll is run every Monday in time for Friday.
Processing payroll has advanced hugely in recent years, despite this, it still requires a level of human interaction to ensure it runs smoothly. Payroll for a client is rarely the same every month, I need to be aware whenever anyone takes annual leave, is off sick, when there is new starter or somebody is leaving. I must ensure tax codes are correct and pension auto-enrolment is filed properly. I am heavily reliant on clients informing me of these details, without this I am at risk of paying people incorrectly. With my years of experience, I will avoid this at all costs and know exactly when I need to chase for any missing information.
In addition to payroll I am also involved with compliance for our clients. This means ensuring that they are registered with Companies House correctly and that all relevant documents are filed accordingly as well as keeping company registers up to date. Annually I must submit confirmation statements via Inform Direct for regulatory purposes.
Alongside this I look after the post, file accounts, and stay afoot with the latest rules and regulations I need to remain fully informed.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Payroll
In response to COVID-19 the Government introduced several schemes to support employers and employees alike. Of those, the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and changes to Statutory Sick Pay due to Coronavirus fell into my remit.
Changes in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Typically when someone is off sick, an employee will not receive pay for the first 3 days (these are known as waiting days) and will begin to receive SSP from the fourth day of absence. The new rules mean anyone absent from work due to Coronavirus is entitled to SSP from the first day they are absent. Clients have to inform me of these details so I can ensure employees receive the correct payment whilst off sick.
I guess I could have written an article solely based on Furlough – I have had to keep up to date with every iteration of the rules and keep abreast of all the latest guidance. Furlough claims run alongside payroll and now that clients are utilising flexi-furlough, there are even more calculations to do! That said, I do think it is a good scheme and is helping a lot of employers which can only be a positive.
I have a very thorough schedule to work to each month and am incredibly organised, this role would not be suitable for a scatter-brain. It keeps me on my toes and there is something new to deal with each month.
Here at Fabulous Financial we pride ourselves on the service that our team of highly trained and qualified finance professionals offer to a range of clients. We take the time understand your business, what you want to achieve and how we can assist you along that journey.
Be in business for yourself, not by yourself, contact us today, so that we can support you on your journey.
About the Author
Sarah Church is Payroll and Compliance Manager at The Fabulous Group a role she has 19 years experience in.
She is responsible for the smooth running of Payroll for over 500 employees each month. Sarah also oversees Company Compliance ensuring all relevant documents are filed to Companies House as well as keeping registers up to date. She is an integral part of the team who is incredibly organised and always up to speed with the latest changes in regulations.
When she can, she loves to get a way for a holiday in the sunshine for a well deserved break.