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Benefit Your Employees & The Environment With A Timesheet Management System

We live in a digital world where you’d be hard pushed to find any business without a computer of some sort. However, alarmingly, the amount of paper used by a full time office employee is estimated to be around 10,000 sheets a year with around 45% of that put in to waste.Timesheet Module

So it may be time to question: do we really need to print as much as we do or are we just stuck in our ways?

If your company uses timesheets, you’ll be familiar with the challenges that come with them; from misplaced paperwork on cluttered desks to running out of storage space. It’s no surprise many companies are re-evaluating their methods and systems to reduce paper processes. Not only does this save valuable admin time but it can also reduce printing costs and lessens the risk of human error.

However small, human error can have such large repercussions for a business and its employees. Having a reliable timesheet management system that links with your payroll can drastically improve data accuracy. It allows the employee to simply log on to the company’s secure portal and enter in the details eliminating the risk of inaccurate information. It also relieves the monthly monotonous data entry exercise for your finance team – saving time and money!

2018 has seen a rise in flexible working. While the advantages of smaller offices, less costs and happier employees definitely outweigh the negatives, this can also be another issue when it comes to those needing to complete timesheets when they can’t get back to the office.

If you have an employee that works from home, out on the road or has a flexible contract, the Timesheet Module in Pegasus Opera 3 allows employees to submit their timesheets completely remotely from a device of their choice. This allows timesheets to be created, recorded and submitted via their laptop, home PC, mobile or tablet. Once the timesheet is submitted, it gets sent to the delegated manager for approval which can then be imported seamlessly to the Opera 3 Payroll system. This reduces the risk of data entry errors whilst also giving more visibility to those who can strategically benefit by spotting trends and gaining more insight into the individual’s working patterns. By exporting the report in to a standard CSV file, the information can be further analysed in a spreadsheet enabling you to track, monitor and manage efficiency.

It’s worth noting that the Timesheets module can be used by any employee so you wouldn’t need to purchase additional Opera 3 licences.

Overall, having a smooth, user-friendly timesheet management system can greatly benefit the employer, employee and the environment. For more information, contact us.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

As you may have seen across the news, currently the gender pay gap is a very popular topic affecting a number of industries in the world. From Hollywood to Hartlebury, women in business are making their mark in their industries more than ever before.

You are likely to have read about how A-list stars like Reese Witherspoon are taking on Hollywood and currently making waves in the film industry with strong statements such as ‘We have to do our part to change the idea that a woman with passion and ambition is out only for herself’. Gender equality is a key topic and it seems that upcoming legislation is evolving to meet changing expectations within the workplace.

Gender pay gap reporting is one of the many steps towards equality in the work place and has been introduced to ensure there is no significant cumulative impact on a woman’s earning potential during her working life time. It is also aimed to give more transparency about gender pay difference, thus increasing the chances of action taking place. Gender pay gap reporting will be enforced from April 2018, making it compulsory for businesses with 250 employees or more to publish their gender pay gap figures to both their own public-facing company website and to the government online.

Organisations must publish their median and mean gender pay gap figures and the proportion of men and women in each quartile of the pay structure. Pay gap reporting must also include basic pay, allowances, paid leave, bonus pay and pay for piecework.

So how does this affect your company? You may be worried that this regulation may affect recruitment and company credibility, however companies are able to determine how they would like to publish their reporting – some may choose to publish a statement, authorised by an appropriate senior within the organisation.

If you work in a finance department, you’re likely to be considering how your business will gather the gender pay gap information most efficiently from your payroll system. Some systems may have specific reporting tools to enable you to find the information you need. Pegasus Opera 3 Payroll contains an extensive range of reports including End-of-Year reports, departmental reporting and much more. Pegasus now have new reporting available to allow you to access your payroll data, analyse the data and produce the relevant reports easily to assist with the compulsory gender pay gap reporting.  The Opera 3 payroll reporting tool also allows you to print reports and export the data in to Excel for additional data manipulation.

The gender pay gap ‘Snapshot Date’ is the date that employers must gather the information from in order to report their gender pay gap. This date is March 31st for public authorities and April 5th for all other employers. To be prepared, businesses should review the reliability of their payroll system and start to collate this information on the correct dates to begin preparing a report, in which they can write a statement on their findings.

For more information on accounting and payroll systems, contact Minster on 01562 68211 or email sales@minstermicro.co.uk.

New Financial Year, New Payroll

Do you think your payroll is up to standards? Does it do everything you need? With the new financial year creeping upon us, now is the time you need your payroll to be the best it can be.

Did you know 1 in 20 employees in the UK are paid using a Pegasus Payroll system?

With many features that are vital in helping your business run smoothly, Pegasus Opera 3 Payroll can greatly benefit your company and its processes.

The Award-winning Opera 3 Payroll & HR software is HMRC PAYE recognised and is designed with automated features to remove the strain out of processing your payroll, by helping out with tax, pension and employment legislation.

 

Key features of Pegasus Opera 3 Payroll

Click the orange links for further information on each feature.

  • Pegasus Opera 3 payroll allows you to submit Real Time Information (RTI) to HMRC.
  • Integration with pension providers allow contributions to the employee’s pension scheme can be sent electronically to NEST (National Employment Savings Trust).
  • Opera 3 Payroll and HR is customisable to meet your needs so forms can be changed, conditions added to fields and menus can be modified.
  • As a separate module, the Pegasus P11D Organiser can give you a management and reporting tool for employee benefits and expenses, making them easier to manage.
  • The payroll software now offers Email Payslips as standard, allowing you to move towards a paperless, more economically friendly office.
  • It also features salary sacrifice.
  • Web Xchange is a separate module that can integrate with Pegasus Opera 3 Payroll, which allows you to securely access Opera 3 data from your web browser on a number of devices.

Pegasus Opera 3 payroll also has many other useful features to help businesses payroll run smoothly and efficiently.

 

Please see the below video for more of an overview.

 

For more information please contact us on

01562 68211 or email sales@minstermicro.co.uk

New “KC” NI Code Prefix

Important information regarding the introduction of “KC” as a prefix for National Insurance numbers

This change was not included in the specification HMRC provided to payroll software developers this year. It’s also not catered for by the Government Gateway itself. As a result, Opera 3, Opera II and Capital Gold payroll systems do not accept NI numbers with the KC prefix, and FPS submissions containing these NI numbers are currently being rejected.

Until this issue is resolved, HMRC guidance to employers is not to enter NI numbers with the KC prefix into their payroll systems. We therefore advise users of Opera 3, Opera II and Capital Gold Payroll to leave the National Insurance Number field blank when adding a new employee with a KC NI number, and ensure that the employee’s name and address details are completed in full as HMRC will be using these as employee identifiers.

NOTE: Please contact HMRC for further information

Payroll now or pay a fine later – expert’s alert to businesses over living wage

Businesses across the county have been warned to check and update their payroll systems or risk a severe penalty.

The alert has come from Worcestershire IT and payroll specialist Susan Marlow who says the vast majority of businesses have yet to revise their systems despite the new national living wage sweeping into effect from 1st April.

Mrs Marlow, finance director at Kidderminster-based IT and software provider Minster Micro Computers, says employers will have “nowhere to hide” when the changes come into effect due to stringent minimum wage checks by HM Revenue and Customs.

Under the new rules, every employee aged 25 and over will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour, a 50p per hour rise on the current rate.

Businesses failing to pay the increased rate could face a fine of £20,000 per worker – a message Mrs Marlow is pushing following a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills study that found 55 per cent of employers had yet to update their payroll accordingly.

She said: “Since the introduction of RTI legislation, there really is nowhere to hide for firms here in Worcestershire and with the new pay rules only a matter of weeks away, it’s vital they take steps to update their systems.

“Some businesses have complained the national living wage will put an additional burden on them but the law is here to stay. All the information that HMRC needs, including wages, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers, it already has.

“Even employers who are fully aware of the change and have budgeted for it have to take extra care to ensure their payroll system is updated and ready to pay the new rate from 1st April.”

Ms Marlow said companies had to make sure their software was capable of adjusting to the change.

She added: “Businesses shouldn’t assume their software or payroll bureau will advise or alert them. It’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure systems are ready otherwise they will face HMRC’s strict crackdown and hard financial penalties.”

Minster Micro Computers has more than 35 years’ experience in ERP and payroll systems and have ran numerous payroll-related seminars, including a focus on auto-enrolment and RTI. These sessions are run prior to the legislations coming in as part of their commitment to outstanding customer service.

Supporting a range of business sectors, the company is an accredited SAP Business One Partner and is a provider of Pegasus business software.

The Worcestershire firm supplies payroll software, training and implementation as well as IT support services.

Businesses looking for advice on updating their payroll systems in preparation for the 1st April changes can email susan.marlow@minstermicro.co.uk or telephone 01562 68211.

The Expo And The Egg

Exhibition Easter Egg Prize

Exhibition Easter Egg Prize

We have had another CRACKING time at the Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce expo this week.

Once again, it was held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern on Wednesday 4th March 2015.

The exhibition focused on local companies coming together and using the opportunity to network and offer services to each other. We met so many local, well established companies that are right on our doorstep and also managed to have a catch up with some of our customers who were either exhibiting or visiting the event.

Being a Pegasus Partner, means we can offer the very best advice and support to those who are currently thinking about reviewing their payroll processes, and this time of year is the perfect opportunity to explain what is available within this marketplace, and also provide companies with additional knowledge about Minster and what we do to help businesses flourish – we aren’t just an IT support company, we’re a business partner offering a complete service.

Kendall Wadley - Winner Of Easter Egg Prize

Kendall Wadley – Winner Of Easter Egg Prize

As well as Payroll season, it’s also nearly Easter and what better way to celebrate this than an Easter Egg give-away!
After collecting visitors’ business cards throughout the event, our conclusion was that EVERYONE has a love of chocolate and to ensure transparency (yes – people attempted to bribe us once or twice for the Minster egg!) we picked a friendly, but random, person from the assembled crowd to draw the lucky winner at the end of the show.
Congratulations Kendall Wadley – the lucky winners of our giant Minster (Thornton’s) Easter egg!

We met so many great people and made some new friends and what a fantastic and positive event, one which we were proud to be a part of.

 

Minster Are The Cover Feature For Chamber of Commerce!

Chamber of CommerceMinster are proud to be the cover feature for the latest edition of Business Direction (Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce bi-monthly magazine).

We were chosen for the cover feature due to our reputation of excellent service, quality and long-standing commitment to local businesses. We were given a series of questions to answer in order to highlight the importance of IT and how relevant it is to a companies growth.

Labelled as ‘Industry Leaders In IT Solutions’ , Nick and Susan Marlow answered questions such as ‘What are the main IT issues Minster deals with on a regular basis?’ and ‘Is legislation helping or hindering sector development?’, hoping to have given the readers more knowledge on how important it is to keep IT systems up to date and how a supportive IT company can help businesses.

Please feel free to click the link below, have a read and let us know what you think!

 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal passed an important new ruling on Holiday pay on 4th November 2014

The Employment Appeal Tribunal passed an important new ruling on Holiday pay on 4th November. This ruling was in favour of including overtime and commission when calculating holiday pay.

What does this actually mean?

Holiday pay must now reflect the worker’s actual normal earnings rather than just basic salary. If a worker’s earnings vary depending on the amount of work they do or the times that they carry out that work, their holiday pay should now be based on an average of their actual earnings calculated over a 12-week reference period. The type of payments that need to be included in the calculation include overtime payments, shift payments (eg unsocial hours payments) and travel supplements (although reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses would not be included).

How does this affect businesses?

All employers must now take into account overtime when calculating holiday pay. Employers are encouraged to prepare for this new ruling to ensure their business and employees are covered. Opera 3 Payroll and Opera II Payroll already cater for average week holiday pay and the accumulation of a holiday pay fund, by specifying which payment types are to be included in this calculation. More information can be found on the ACAS website.

 

Streamline Your Credit Control Processes With Opera 3 Credit Management Centre

The Opera 3 Credit Management Centre is designed to  help reduce bad debts, increase cash flow and improve the overall financial position of your business.CMC

The Credit Management Centre provides credit controllers and those involved in debt management with a centralised, easy-to-use tool which consolidates all of the information needed for effective credit control. Easy-to-understand, real-time graphs display your overall financial status so you can quickly see what is owed, who owes it and how much money has been promised by customers.

This gives you all the information you need to improve cash flow, reduce bad debts and improve the overall financial position of your business.

Debt Management takes tackling customer debt to the next level

The NEW Debt Management feature lets you create up to nine levels of debtor correspondence to chase late payments. It’s designed to boost your cash flow by helping you get paid quicker. 60% of small to medium businesses are now experiencing late customer payments. If you’re one of them, Debt Management is just what you need to get your cash flow back on track. Debt Management is just one of the key features available as standard to Opera 3 customers with the Credit Management Centre application on a current AMC.

Key Features

  • Easy to understand dashboard views of the overall financial position of your company and customers
  • Drill down behind key financial information, customer accounts, and transactions
  • Powerful filters allow you to manage customers that are over their credit limit and/or have overdue invoices
  • Create and organise customers into user definable Credit Management Groups according to their Debt
  •  Define custom Action Types and Outcome Types to be used with diary actions for recording activities and follow ups
  • Create and amend diary actions against individual customers or transactions, with an optional follow up reminder via Notification Services
  • Record and revise Promised Payments against individual transactions or at account level
  • Integrates with the Opera 3 Sales Ledger with instant access to the Account view for historical information
  • Easily put accounts on or off stop, increase or decrease credit limits, and re organise accounts into different Credit Management Groups individually, or in bulk
  • Dispute invoices and record the appropriate reason code
  • Print Statements, Copy Invoices and produce Debtors letters
  • Keep on top of actions due for completion with the Diary view
  • Additional Credit Management reports including: Promised Payments & Diary Activities that can also be exported directly to Excel
  • Integrates with Pegasus Instant Messenger (PIM) and Pegasus XRL

 

Salary Sacrifice Available For Opera 3 Payroll

With the advent of auto enrolment, salary sacrifice is becoming more and more popular with companies deciding to use it with their new pension schemes.

Payroll Payment Screen-Shot

Payroll Payment Screen-Shot

Under a salary sacrifice arrangement, an employee gives up some of their cash earnings in return for new or increased entitlements to non-cash benefits provided by their employer. Apart from pension contributions, such non-cash benefits include childcare vouchers, cycle schemes, travel, subsistence allowances and others.

Salary sacrifice can be financially beneficial for both employers and employees as it can reduce the amount of tax and National Insurance (NI) an employer deducts and pays to HMRC against the employee’s remuneration package. This happens when part of an employee’s remuneration changes from cash, for which tax and NI contributions are due, to non-cash benefits which are wholly or partially exempt from tax and NI contributions.

Opera 3 Payroll has been enhanced in order to automatically calculate both percentage-based and fixed-value sacrificed pension contributions and include them within the associated pension contribution files and reports.

There are many benefits to salary sacrifice in Opera 3 Payroll:

    • It’s very quick and simple to set up
    • Salary sacrifice can be used for both pension and non-pension sacrifices
    • A pension salary sacrifice can be based either on a defined value or on a percentage
    • Salary sacrifice information is printed on the payslip
    • Sacrificed values are included in pension contribution reports and pension contribution files
    • Pension salary sacrifice values are shown on the Employee History form
    • The employer’s NI saving can be added to the contribution
    • It’s included as standard with Opera 3 Payroll

If you decide to introduce salary sacrifice, Opera 3 Payroll will help you make a smooth transition, and you’ll be able to start benefiting from reduced costs simply and quickly.

Contact us for further information on Opera 3 Payroll & Salary Sacrifice.

Events

Opera 3 Event – Get Started!

As you may be aware, the end is in sight for Opera II with Pegasus advising that they intend to make an ‘end of life’ announcement within the next 24 months.

With this in mind, Minster have organised an Opera 3 event to go through details of how you can save money by upgrading early as well as the benefits your business will gain.

As well as Opera II customers looking to upgrade, this event is also suitable for those who are looking for an overview on Opera 3 as well as those who currently use it and would like to hear about future developments.

This complimentary event will include a run through of the added features of Opera 3 from both the Minster Team and Pegasus’s Product Specialists Steve Power and Sue Flavell.

For further information or the agenda please contact marketing@minstermicro.co.uk.

H&W Chamber of Commerce Spring Business Exhibition

After the success from the last Chamber expo we went to, we have decided to exhibit there again at the Spring Business Exhibition.

Held at the spacious Three Counties Showground, there is an expected number of 800 visitors attending (and counting!). We feel this is a great opportunity to meet new people, introduce ourselves to local companies across the region as well as showcase our expanding portfolio of offerings, including SAP Business One, Pegasus Opera 3 and our VOIP telephony product from 3CX. Also, due to the time of the year, we are also going to be offering out advice and solutions for your payroll.

Whether you are a current customer or are looking at seeing what Minster and other local companies have to offer, we would love to see you there!

Please note, as this event isn’t held at the Minster offices, there is no need to register your attendance with us. For more information on the exhibition, please contact us.

 

Real Time Information (RTI) Seminar

HMRC LogoRTI is being introduced to improve the operation of PAYE, making it easier for you, the employer, to operate PAYE. Employees will receive the information more quickly and it will help support the introduction of Universal Credits. We are holding a seminar on 29th January 2013 showcasing how Pegasus will be ready for the changes.