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Monday, June 17, 2024

UK Payroll Processing Steps

Quite important when it comes to learning the payroll foundations for UK. I have seen resources struggling to get their heads around the processing part as they think that its complex. In-fact, breaking the process down to the below simple steps will anyone with the basic HCM and accounting acumen to pick up and skill in the payroll processing aspects. It's all about ensuring the data accuracy and the number right down to the pennies. 

Below is what the structure that you can save to pick up the nitty-gritties around the payroll processing. 

Processing payroll in the UK involves several steps to ensure that employees are paid correctly and that the company complies with legal and tax obligations. Here is an outline of the typical payroll processing flow in the UK:

1. Gather Employee Information

  • New Employees: Collect personal details, National Insurance number, bank details, tax code, and P45 from previous employer.
  • Existing Employees: Update any changes in personal details, bank details, tax codes, or any other relevant information.

2. Determine Gross Pay

  • Salaried Employees: Calculate monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly salary.
  • Hourly Employees: Track and calculate hours worked, including overtime.
  • Additional Payments: Include bonuses, commissions, allowances, and other variable payments.

3. Calculate Deductions

  • Tax Deductions: Apply PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax based on tax codes.
  • National Insurance Contributions (NIC): Deduct employee NIC and calculate employer NIC.
  • Pensions: Deduct employee pension contributions and calculate employer contributions (automatic enrollment compliance).
  • Other Deductions: Include student loan repayments, salary sacrifice schemes, court orders, union fees, etc.

4. Process Payroll

  • Calculate Net Pay: Subtract all deductions from gross pay to determine net pay.
  • Payroll Reports: Generate payslips for employees and summary reports for management.
  • Approve Payroll: Obtain necessary approvals from management or finance department.

5. Distribute Payslips and Payments

  • Payslips: Provide electronic or paper payslips to employees.
  • Payments: Transfer net pay to employees’ bank accounts via BACS or other electronic payment methods.

6. Reporting to HMRC

  • Real Time Information (RTI) Submission: Submit Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC on or before the payday.
  • Employer Payment Summary (EPS): Submit EPS if necessary (for example, if reclaiming statutory payments or reporting no payments in a tax period).

7. Maintain Payroll Records

  • Record Keeping: Keep accurate records of all payroll transactions, including payslips, RTI submissions, and any corrections or adjustments.
  • Year-End Tasks: Prepare and distribute P60s to employees and submit the final EPS to HMRC. Reconcile and close the tax year.

8. Compliance and Updates

  • Stay Compliant: Keep up-to-date with changes in payroll legislation, tax rates, and statutory requirements.
  • Software Updates: Ensure payroll software is updated regularly to reflect changes in tax codes, NIC thresholds, and other regulatory updates.

Tools and Software

  • Payroll Software: Use HMRC-approved payroll software for calculations, record-keeping, and RTI submissions.
  • HR Systems: Integrate with HR systems for seamless data transfer.
  • Financial Systems: Sync with accounting software for financial reporting and analysis.

Best Practices

  • Accuracy: Double-check calculations and data entries to avoid errors.
  • Confidentiality: Maintain strict confidentiality of payroll information.
  • Training: Ensure payroll staff are well-trained and knowledgeable about current regulations.
  • Audits: Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance and identify any discrepancies.

By following these steps and best practices, you can pick up the payroll aspects related to UK. 

Happy learning! 

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