Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Auto Enrolment

 

TA Boswell FPhe Government has introduced new legislation designed to help people save more for their retirement.

In conjunction with our friends at Alan Boswell Financial Planners, we are pleased to introduce a series of technical articles to assist you with the regulation and implementation.

Read our expert Technical Articles Here

All employers need to enrol their workers into a workplace pension. This process has already started with larger employers and a huge number of employers will be required to comply with automatic-enrolment (also known as auto-enrolment) legislation over the next few years.

Significant capacity issues are forecast, potentially limiting the support available to employers to enable them to meet their new duties.

 

How can Mint MIS help your business?

A key challenge in preparing for Auto Enrolment for many businesses is the preparation and presentation of payroll data in the appropriate format, as required by the individual insurance companies. We at Mint MIS, can assist you in obtaining and understanding your payroll data through the direct extraction of the information you need from your payroll database. We will then take this data and turn it into the appropriate format for submission to the insurance companies for quotation purposes.

As providers of Sage payroll software which is fully compliant for auto enrolment, we can help set up and convert your existing payroll data, so that you can quickly and easily manage your auto enrolment pension scheme using Sage. Visit our store here to purchase Sage payroll.

 

Contact Alan Boswell for more information on Auto Enrolment

D Perry headshot
David Perry
Head of Employee Benefits
01603 218388
07760 162340
Email: dperry@alanboswell.com.

Sage Codes and Keys

Did you know that Sage had over 5,500 customers call them to check their serial number and activation key in the lead up to tax year end last year.

To view your serial number and activation key > My account > Product and services > to see your activation key, and here is where you will find and select the relevant serial number. It couldn’t be easier, and will save you the time and hassle of phoning or emailing, with potential delays and the cost of time.  You can find everything you need on your account page on the Sage website, here you can find out

everything you need to know about you software including your serial number and activation key.

Tip: Your account number is shown next to your company name at the top of the page.

Email your customers and suppliers straight from your Accounts system

Tired of making invoices, remittances and other documents and have to post this to clients or even transferring the information onto email? Save time and money by doing this process directly from your Sage Accounts. Not only do you save money in your postage and stationary, but you save the time and hassle involved in doing so.

The benefits of doing this are that emailing is much faster than printing and posting said documents. You also have the advantage of being able to send this information or documents to multiple customers and suppliers in one go. Emailing the information from Sage is so quick and easy in fact that it takes just one click of a button, with quick email so send your email to your customer or supplier. Customer and suppliers also receive their invoices and statements instantly, and if you are using Sage pay, you can include a pay now button to encourage earlier customer payments.

It takes just a few moments to set up so why not making the switch to email straight away using the standard Sage Accounts email layouts? You can also customise your own layouts and even change these for each customer and supplier.

If you require information on how to set this up, please contact us and we can help.

Adding your company logo

Using your company logo on documents helps to present a professional image to your customers and suppliers. We here at Mint MIS know that it’s important to keep your brand present when you are communicating with current or potential customers.

Did you know that you can quickly and easily add your company logo to your Sage Accounts documents, avoiding the need for expensive pre-printed stationery? You can also send these documents straight to your customers and suppliers. These processes together could save you not only money but saves you time consuming processes.

Why not let your Sage 50 Accounts system help keep your brand present? Watch a video on customising your Sage 50 Accounts on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com

Reporting by department

If you use the departments feature in Sage 50 Accounts or Sage Instant Accounts Plus, there’s a range of reports available that give you a breakdown of values by department. You can easily design reports for each department to show you any information that you need. Departments could also be used as a location based reports for example an office in Norwich is one departments and an office in Ipswich is another department.

Using these reports you can quickly see sales, purchases and nominal values by department, to easily see how each department is performing. Watch a video on tailoring reports on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com

Save time with labels

If you don’t already use the labels feature in Sage Accounts, have you thought about how much time it could save you and how much easier it could make your stock control and despatch processes? We know that it is important to get jobs done as quickly and as professionally as possible, working with Sage labels can help in a number of ways including:

  • Mailing to customers and suppliers – If you spend time writing addresses on envelopes when mailing your customers or suppliers it’s going to take time, man power and money, did you know you can quickly print address labels for the accounts you need directly from your Sage Accounts system.
  • Despatching goods to customers – When you enter invoices or orders in Sage Accounts, you can print labels showing delivery addresses and order details for use in your warehouse, ensuring the right goods are sent to the right customers, saving time, money, and reducing the risk of error.
  • Stock control – You can easily print labels with your product details or bar codes to help you with stock control, allowing you to be more assured as to your stock levels and saves manually logging each piece of stock again saving time and money.

 

Whether you use Sage labels or your own stationery, it’s easy to adjust the label format to match, and you can choose what information appears on the labels to meet your needs, allowing to a fully customisable system, meaning you can create your own functionality and make the product as complex or easy as you wish.

5 Myths about Automatic Enrolment

Auto Enrolment has already begun for large businesses, and is just around the corner for small businesses. With not much time left, it appears that many business owners are worried and confused with what lies around the corner. In the article as well as our specialist edge (See above) articles we aim to take the stress of the unknown away.

The first common myth is that if you outsource your payroll then you do not need to worry about Auto Enrolment. This however is not true, as an employer you are legally responsible for making sure that you are compliant with Auto Enrolment. Information on what you need to do to prepare for Auto Enrolment can be found on our website at www.mintmis.com. The pension’s regulator recommends that you allow yourself and your company from 12 to 18 months in order to prepare and implement the requirements of Auto Enrolment.

A second myth is that if you ask your payroll team to work extra hours, then you will have no need for change in your systems. With compliance a mandatory requirement of Auto Enrolment the new pension’s arrangements will have to be introduced into your system or indeed a new system. With new processes, you will likely find that the administration burden of additional record keeping and data submissions to the pension’s regulator may be a step too far for your current team, with all the new and added pressures. To help you save time and money you could look to payroll software that automatically complies to the Auto Enrolment legislation, for a closer look at such software see our website http://www.mintmis.com/sage-50-payroll/.

The third myth is that because it is believed that many people will opt out, that you do not need to have everything set up in time for your staging date. Scottish Widows recently conducted a survey that contradicts the original belief that as many as 30% of workers could opt out of Auto Enrolment. They found that only around 8% of people will be looking to opt out of the scheme. You are also as an employer, required by law to automatically enrol any eligible worker (Aged above 22 to 74, earning above £9,440 and working within the UK).

The Fourth myth of Auto Enrolment is that if you already have a pension scheme within your workplace, mean you don’t need to worry about Auto Enrolment as you can offer your employees this scheme. Auto Enrolment is part of the Workplace Pension Reform. If you are an employer within the UK then you are by law obligated to address your current scheme and compare it to the requirements of Auto Enrolment and make any changes that may be required to make sure that you’re scheme complies with the new laws. You will have new legal duties and conditions that you may find your existing scheme does not meet. You will also need to make sure you asses all of your employees eligibility for Auto Enrolment and not just those who are in your current scheme, as all eligible workers must be enrolled, and it is their decision if they choose to stay within the scheme or not.

The final myth is that you don’t need to start Auto Enrolment too early as you can use the 12 weeks postponement to gain extra time. Auto Enrolment will take you time to plan and prepare for, which is why we advise you do this well before you start your staging. Once you have made all necessary arrangements however, Auto Enrolment is manageable once you get to grips with it. Postponing Auto Enrolment will not necessarily make things easier for you and your payroll team to manage. There are certain rules that need to be followed and these could cause problems and more work, such as the obligatory letter you need to send your employees if you do choose to postpone, telling them you have postponed, and then once you begin to stage you must reassess your employees.

Don’t be held back and confused by mere rumours that you may hear. Putting off your responsibilities now will only mean hassle in the long run. There is no need to panic about Auto Enrolment; we have many useful resources on our website www.mintmis.com and in our up and coming newsletters including our Specialist Edge segments by David Perry. We also sell fully compliant software with the Auto Enrolment Legislation which can be found at http://www.mintmis.com/sage-50-payroll/.

Make the most of the VAT module in Sage 50 Accounts

We want to make sure that you get the most out of your Sage 50 Accounts software. Sage Accounts 2014 is known as the VAT edition and we think it important to demonstrate and provide an overview of the features. We recognise that many businesses using Sage 50 Accounts are not maximising the use of the full VAT function within Sage.

VAT within the Sage 50 Accounts has its own dedicated section. Within this section you may also find VAT walkthroughs showing you all you need to do in your system to submit your VAT through to HMRC in four easy steps within the VAT wizard. The VAT wizard allows you to calculate and reconcile VAT returns easily. Once you have calculated your VAT you can receive and store your submission receipt, so you can feel reassured that you have calculated and submitted you VAT return accurately and on time. This is a time saving process which means you free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Another method that allows you to take comfort that you have submitted and accurate VAT return is the VAT verifier. Use the verifier to make sure that your VAT return contains the necessary transactions before you submit them. There is no need to worry about if the system is up to date, Sage will automatically update its system to make sure that you are complying to the latest legislation, so you can be confident that you are taking all the necessary steps to complete your VAT return.

Another benefit of the VAT function within Sage is that you are able to submit your VAT returns directly to HMRC online, which is now a legal requirement for most businesses. To complete this process simply fill in the return on screen as you would on paper. Before you can submit your completed return, you will be asked to read it through to check, and confirm that the figures are correct. If you have used the VAT verifier then you should be confident that the figures are indeed correct. As soon as your return reaches HMRC’s system, an Acknowledgement page will show on screen, meaning you know that your return has been successfully submitted. You can also then set up an email reminder that will let you know when your next return is due to be submitted.

It is also important to note that when you submit your VAT return online that you will be required to pay any VAT that is due. You will be able to pay this via direct debit, online banking and telephone banking, as well as other methods, including Sage Pay.

 

If your business requires different tax codes, then Sage 50 Accounts allows you to do so. You are also able to set up different tax rates to suit your business; this is particularly useful if you are involved in international trade. There are 100 VAT codes available in Sage 50 Accounts. To enter or change VAT tax rates, use the configuration from the settings options. In this menu click the Tax Codes tab and the required code, click edit, enter the new percentage rate, tick if the VAT rate is for an EC Code, enter the description and click ok, and finally click apply to use the new code within your system.

For more help and advice, visit our Technical area or contact us on 01603 516350 or email us at enquiry@mintmis.com

Automate your banking

Many people are unaware of the fact that you can make transfer transactions from your bank account in Sage and upload them to make transactions through internet banking.

In fact, it is possible to do this with all major banks, meaning you can save time, taking away the need to travel to the bank, as well as a quick transaction process, and you reduce the risk of processing errors, so if you are not making the most of your product, why not give it a try, to save you time and money.

You can also use the e-banking to help reconcile your bank account in Sage, importing statements from your online banking software and automatically matching the transactions.

SSP percentage threshold scheme

From the 6 April 2014, the percentage threshold scheme is being abolished. This means any statutory sick pay (SSP) due after this date won’t be eligible for reclaim.

However, employment allowance has been introduced. Entitled businesses will be able to reduce their employer national insurance (NI) contributions by up to £2,000 per year. Once HMRC have released more details on who is eligible for this, we’ll let you know.

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