Is payroll the most important service?

10 December 2018

Most accountants and bookkeepers offer payroll as a service line, as almost an add-on to the audit and accounts production and tax matters of the business, just to provide that one-stop shop facility.

How many times do we go into prospective meetings with potential clients and talk about accounts, filing deadlines, tax matters and almost as an afterthought mutter those immortal lines….’oh yes we also do payroll’?

What is the impact on the client relationship if a disclosure in the accounts or a figure in the accounts is wrong…it is most probably not disastrous! Get the business owners tax wrong or the companies tax wrong by not claiming a relief is regrettable and possibly provides for an awkward meeting/conversation but potentially salvageable. Get the payroll wrong for a number of the business’ employees and you are into a different ball game. Strained employee/employer relations lead to very strained business owner to adviser relations and can quickly lead to client relationship breakdowns.

Payroll provision is not just about making sure the employees’ net pay is correct, although that is important, it is now about pension calculations; student loan calculations; liaison with HMRC through RTI; liaison with pension companies over contributions, eligible employees, opting in opting out; maternity pay regulations; sick pay regulations and much more.

Unless you are a large business which has a bespoke HR or payroll department then this is almost just part of the accounts department duties, which could lead to problems for one reason or another.

If payroll is giving you a headache, then speak to our dedicated payroll team or your local or usual UHY contact.