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Get prepared for payroll year-end

Posted 2 weeks ago in Small business by Tori Seward
Posted by Tori Seward

If you’re like me, you’ll be wondering where the time has gone. It feels like just yesterday I was in a Christmas food coma! Turkey with all the trimmings, a mince pie, cheese, leftover turkey, another mince pie, Christmas pudding, more cheese? (oops)…you get the jist!

I’ve just finished packing away what was left of the Christmas festivities when BAM….. it’s March, hello spring! This can only mean one thing to all of us fortunate enough to work in payroll, and I’m afraid it’s not the Easter chocolate.

There’s something else just as exciting that March entails: payroll year-end. Sorry if you now have that slightly sick feeling in your stomach, like that moment you’re faced with the bill after insisting the next round is on you? Yep, we’ve all been there.

Well, let all those worries be gone! I’ve put together a useful guide which will (hopefully) leave you feeling confident that you’ve got this in the bag! I mean, how hard can it be?

Now, before I go any further, you may be thinking that this reading malarkey is just not for you, and that’s ok! We have some great year-end webinars that might float your boat so feel free to check them out. 

So, first things first. Give yourself time. Unless you’re one for doing things in a hurry and working up a sweat, then, free up your calendar, grab a coffee and follow the steps below before processing your final pay run or pay runs for 2017-2018.

Step 1: Review your opening balances

This relates to both the company and your employees. You’ll need to make sure any required opening balances have been entered into Xero to ensure all year to date figures are reported correctly. You will need opening balances if:

A)You transferred over to Xero part way through the tax year

B)You had any new starters part way through the tax year with a P45

Watch this video or read this help page to find out how.

Step 2: Review your payroll settings and reconciliation

Click into your payroll settings to review all the information that impacts your payroll reporting. If anything is incorrect you can update this before processing your final pay run.

To help you with this, click on the following links to check your payroll settings and carry out a year-end reconciliation. Keep this link handy as you’ll also need to refer back to this to reconcile your final pay run for the tax year.

Step 3: Process your final pay run

This is the same process you have been doing throughout the tax year, by clicking into Payroll > Pay Runs. If you don’t have any payments to make for the final period of the tax year, then you can post a NIL pay run.

Be careful with your payment date here. For this to be reported as the final submission of the tax year, your payment date will need to fall in month 12 (March 6 – April 5).

While this final Pay Run is in draft, it’s a good idea to have a look at your employees’ payslips to confirm year-end figures are correct.

Please remember to post your final pay run by April 19. Xero will automatically send an EPS (Employer Payment Summary) by April 19, which will inform HMRC that it’s your final submission of the year – easy peasy!

Step 4: Download your employees’ P60s and P11s

Now that your final submission has been sent, you can download your employees P60s. It is your duty as an employer to provide your employees with these reports by May 31. Please remember the P60 report will only display the total taxable earnings to date, this is something to look out for if the figures on here don’t match the year to date figures on your employees’ payslips. You can generate the P60 and P11 reports by following these instructions.

Step 5: Review your employees’ tax codes for the new year

Our Product team are on the ball and have already made provisions to uplift all employee tax codes ending in L, M, and N for 2018-2019. They will also update any Week1/Month1 indicators to Cumulative. We’ll let you know once this has been done so you can review these changes. All other tax codes will be carried over from last year and will need to be uplifted manually within the employees’ records.

While you’re in the employees’ records, it’s also a good idea to review their NI categories.

Step 6: Review employment allowance and directorship settings for the new tax year

If you were already claiming the Employment Allowance in the previous tax year, then the new annual balance of £3000 will automatically apply for 2018-2019.You can review these settings if you still wish to claim the allowance to ensure this indicator has been selected in the Payroll Settings.  

Now that we are starting a new tax year, you may wish to review/amend the NI Calculation method for your Directors. Find out how to review both of these settings here.

Step 7: Pension contribution uplifts

Tax codes aren’t the only thing that need to be uplifted for this new tax year. You will need to review the pension contributions too. Your pension provider can provide you with these uplifted values. Then, all you’ll need to do is overwrite the existing detail within the Payroll Settings > Workplace Pension tab. You’ll want to review the employee Pay Templates to ensure these new values are displaying here before you process your pay run for the new tax year.

If you’re connected to your pension provider through Xero for automatic submissions, you’ll need to make these changes directly with your provider. You can then Refresh your Scheme details in Xero to pull these changes through.

And that’s it! Don’t forget, if you run into any issues along the way you can reach out to our friendly support team and we’ll be happy to help!

One comment

Michael Davis
March 10, 2018 at 10.50 am

As a Business Management student with a minor in Accounting, you’ve got some good ideas about how to do the end of the year payroll summaries. Once I’ve completed my bachelor’s, I’ll be sure to remember these tips and apply them accordingly.

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