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 or telephone 01562 68211.

Opera 3 Version 2.14 Out Now!


Debt Management: get paid faster

To help combat late payments, a new Debt Management feature has been added to the Credit Management Centre for designing, generating and sending correspondence to debtors.

It’s flexible, so you can specify and design up to 9 levels of debt letters per company, or per individual customer if letters are customised. Plus, you can create up to 9 e-mail covers for each level of company correspondence, or use one e-mail cover for all levels of correspondence.

A new Design Editor provides intuitive formatting tools to tailor each level of correspondence. It includes mail merge fields, text fonts, sizes and colours, tables, bullet points and images.

Correspondence can be generated and sent in bulk or to individual customers; it can be sent via e-mail, or printed for customers that require a hard copy. Debt Management is available as standard to Opera 3 customers with the Credit Management Centre application on a current AMC.

Debt Management: get paid faster

Debt Management: get paid faster

Scheduler Service (2.00)

A new Scheduler Service (2.00) provides server-side processing for both printed and e-mailed Debt Correspondence. For printed correspondence, the Scheduler Service will create the mail-merged PDF files and print. For e-mailed correspondence, the Scheduler Service will generate and e-mail the mail-merged PDF files.

All generated debt correspondence is automatically recorded against the relevant customer with a Sales Ledger Note and Credit Management Diary Action. A new History form provides a view of previously successful correspondence, with the ability to drill down to the underlying PDF. A Summary report will also be available to provide an audit trail of generated correspondence.

Pegasus Web Xchange and Payroll Self Service (1.14)

Employee Pensions for better visibility

pension-iconTo give employees better visibility of their personal information, an additional menu option “Your Pensions” will be added to Payroll Self Service. This will allow users to view their pension information including details of their current pension provider, a summary of their current pension scheme, their current contributions and their auto enrolment status. Plus, they’ll be able to drill down to a detailed breakdown of their overall pension contributions and filter by pension scheme and/or year.In addition, users will be able to view a breakdown of the Opera 3 Payroll deductions that relate to pension payments.

Payroll Self Service Validator 

The enhanced Payroll Self Service Validator will validate new pension information to be extracted to Pegasus Web Xchange. In addition, an uplift to the interface will make it more intuitive and user-friendly.

CRM enhancements

The release includes a number of enhancements to CRM for improved communication and efficiency and better reporting.

Further Notification Services integration: improved communication and efficiency

Activities and Sales Opportunities will be integrated with Notification Services. Notifications can be sent to users when an activity is created, modified, cleared, deleted, or as a reminder when it is about to become due. This will affect Activities created in the following areas:

  • The Activity Tab available in: Company Processing, Contacts Processing (including Group Processing), My Company, My Record, Sales Opportunities Processing, Project Processing, Stock Processing, Service Contracts Processing, Equipment Register Processing and Helpdesk Management Processing
  • Resource Scheduler and Summary Scheduler
  • Daily Calendar, Group Calendar and SPM Today

Notifications can also be sent to users whenever a Sales Opportunity is created or amended, and as a reminder when an Opportunity has reached the ‘Next Chase Date’. This will affect Sales Opportunities created in the following areas:

  • Sales Opportunity Processing
  • The Opportunities Tab available in: Company Processing, Contacts Processing, Referral Methods, My Company and My Record More reports can be exported to Excel, for information sharing and further analysis

5 more reports are available to export to Excel:

  • Sales Pipeline Management: Sales Pipeline Report, Telephone List and Activity List
  • Helpdesk Management: In-Tray and SLA Monitor
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UPDATE: New Data Exports Are Now Available

Data ExportsData Exports that are now available:

Standard Life, Scottish Life, Aegon

In Development: Aviva, Zurich, BlueSky

To see the original article, please click here

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Data Exports To Pension Providers

Update: New Data Exports to Pension Providers, please click here.

Data Exports To Pension ProvidersMinster is a Pegasus partner that has been working with various pension providers to make Auto-Enrolment as simple as possible for its Opera payroll users.


Pegasus Opera II and Opera 3 payroll systems have an option to provide NEST integration, but there are many other options available to companies that are not available from Pegasus as standard.Our Pegasus developer has devised a number of data exports from a single payroll utility solution.

We currently have data exports available for:
People’s Pension, NOW: Pensions, Scottish Widows, Legal & General

In development we have:
Aviva, Aegon, Scottish Life, BlueSky, Zurich

Subject to demand, there is also consideration in the development of data exports for a number of other pension providers.  Please contact us with any requests that you may have and we will investigate the requirements for you.


Save the Date

Auto-Enrolment Event – Wednesday 22nd January

Auto-Enrolment EventAfter a successful event…

We are holding another auto-enrolment event on Wednesday 22nd  January for those who are enrolling within the next 2 years.

Please contact us and confirm your place if you wish to attend.

For more information and what attendees thought of the last auto-enrolment event, please click here.

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Success At Auto-Enrolment Event!

Success @ AE Event

Auto-Enrolment Event Held At Minster Offices

Success: As Auto-Enrolment is fast approaching for many SMEs, the need for information and guidance has become more and more desired.

This is why we decided to join forces with experts in the finance and pensions field and hold an event to provide the knowledge and know-how to set our clients on the right path. After inviting customers to this free event, we had a fantastic turn out. EVERYONE left with a good sense of direction and the right information to get them started. Throughout the presentation, it became clear that Auto-Enrolment isn’t something that JUST happens. It won’t work with a click of a button. It is a process in which companies are advised to plan for well in advance- up to 12 months in advance! They realised that should be preparing for Auto-Enrolment as soon as possible.

It became apparent that a lot of the attendees were not at a stage that they should have been at and the presentation really gave them an understanding about what they needed to do. One of the important messages everyone took away was that companies cannot avoid Auto-Enrolment. No one is exempt from the penalties of up to £10,000 a day, but the good news is there are people who can aid them through the process.

For all of our Pegasus customers, we will have a role to play in assisting with this big change and that’s why we came together with Chris Poole and Joanna Toon. We will be holding future events to fit in with other staging dates so if you would like to attend or would like further information, please call us on

01562 68211 or email us

What you said…

“Thank you for the Auto-Enrolment event.

The event was truly helpful and has guided me in the right direction for when and how to approach the Auto-Enrolment scheme, not only was it informative for the computer software aspect but also provided information about the background and workings of the scheme.”

Fiona Round
Harris Pipework Fabrications


“We found the Auto- Enrolment event very helpful and informative and a good insight into what is coming.

I think the pension company who attended gave a very good insight into it and it was not a real hard sales pitch.

Many thanks for this informative seminar.”

Jeanette Mills
Williams Ashton & Anderson Limited


“As my staging date isn’t until March 2015, I couldn’t initially see the benefit of attending the Auto-Enrolment event. However, after going along – I’m so glad I went! I now realise how important it is to prepare early. I found the whole morning to be really informative and it has encouraged me to be a lot more pro-active as it filled a lot of gaps for me.

I now feel ready to face Auto-Enrolment without worry!”

Tammy James
A J Lowther & Son Limited

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Save the date: Wednesday 25th September at 10:00am for Auto-Enrolment for Pensions workshop

pensions-save-the-dateFrom 1 October 2012, changes to the pensions law (the Workplace Pensions Reform) have started to affect employers.

Employers will have to enrol their employees into a pension scheme and pay into that scheme. We will be holding further workshops throughout the year, dates to be confirmed.


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Final Auto Enrolment – Oct 2014

To ensure a prompt start, there will be coffee registration at the office from 9am.

As Auto Enrolment is fast approaching for many SMEs, the need for information and guidance has become more and more desired.

This is why we have held numerous auto-enrolment seminars with pensions and finance experts to help our customers with any prep information that they may need. After the success and great feedback of previous events, we are holding our LAST EVER auto-enrolment event with advice from our software team.

As this is our last ever auto-enrolment event, we urge anyone who has any queries relating to our responsibilities to attend so as not to incur any unnecessary consultation charges.

 If you would like further information, please call us on 01562 68211 or email us at

Please note, due to popularity, you will need to register each person from your company individually


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Auto Enrolment Seminar – Jan 2014

Auto Enrolment - image of a Piggy BankFrom 1 October 2012, changes to the pensions law (the Workplace Pensions Reform) have started to affect employers.

Auto Enrolment means that employers will have to enrol their employees into a pension scheme and pay into that scheme. We will be holding further seminars throughout the year, dates to be confirmed.