overtime2New figures have suggested that very few small businesses are prepared for the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI), which is being rolled out from April 2013.

A survey of 500 small enterprises by Crunch Accounting revealed that 46% of small employers had no knowledge of RTI, while a further 35% said they were only vaguely aware of the forthcoming changes to payroll reporting.

The new RTI rules mean that payroll information including salary, income tax and national insurance must be submitted to HMRC monthly rather annually. The RTI scheme will be a requirement for larger organisations from this spring, but there will be penalties starting in 2014 for all businesses that are not compliant.

Furthermore, research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has indicated that employers are relying on their payroll providers to support their RTI compliance, increasing the risk that companies are not going to be ready for the April deadline.

Its survey of 200 HR and payroll professionals found that 99% said that their organisation needed some level of support to ensure it was ready to start reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time, while 52% of those surveyed expected their payroll provider to supply that support. However, only one in four believed that their payroll company had prepared their RTI software.

PwC’s HR Director, John Harding, said:

“RTI is about more than simply the payroll software; the quality of the employee data and the processes for collecting and maintaining are critical to compliance.

“Payroll providers need to make it clear to their clients the extent of their capacity to provide support and the associated costs. Employers should not underestimate the challenge of meeting the requirements of both RTI and auto-enrolment by April.”

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