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News & Events

Pegasus Software Blogs
By Peter Griggs 03 Apr, 2017

As a business in the 21st century you are up against constant pressure to operate efficiently and competitively, and technology advancements like the cloud have made it achievable. With 48% of SME’s set to increase spending on cloud services this year, we take a look at 7 reasons why you should consider moving your accounting practices to the cloud.

1. Security

Believe it or not, accessing data in the cloud is far safer than accessing your data on premise. Cloud server providers invest in the strictest physical and digital security processes, more than any business can usually afford in house. Plus, by accessing data online you’re eliminating the risk of storing sensitive information on your device which becomes open to all if it’s lost or stolen.

2. Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits of cloud is the flexibility it brings. You are no longer tied to your desk and can access your data wherever you are at the click of a button, as long as you have an internet connection. This is ideal for businesses that are constantly on the go.

3. Cost savings´╗┐

Moving to the cloud can actually bring you cost savings as you don’t need to pay large fees upfront for software, or pay for users that you don’t know if you’ll need a year or so down the line. Cloud based software is scalable and can easily be upgraded as and when you need. Software and security upgrades can also be managed easily by the server provider so you don’t need to experience lengthy downtime or the inconvenience of running them yourself. Plus you no longer need your own in-house servers which could save you thousands.

4. Routine back-ups

Back-ups are done routinely as a matter of course, reducing your risk of data loss from human errors and system failures. Plus, it’s a big job that is passed over to someone else, freeing up your time so you can focus on running your business.

5. Real-time information

To run your business efficiently it’s important you have accurate information at your fingertips when you need it. Cloud technology gives you just that, real-time information at the click of a button so you can make smarter business decisions, even when you’re away from your desk.

5. Keep up with the competition

The market is changing at a fast pace and if you don’t move with the times then your competitors will. Can you afford not to adopt cloud based accounting software?

5. Free up your hard-drive

With cloud technology everything is stored online so you don’t actually need to install software onto your system, freeing up space on your systems for everything else you need to run your business.

These advantages are some of the many reasons why 48% of SME’s are looking to increase spending on cloud based accounting software this year. If your business is looking to increase productivity, efficiency and flexibility then a move to cloud based software could be what you need.

Replacing an on-premise solution with the cloud removes a host of associated direct and indirect costs with a simple, single monthly subscription fee. When comparing ongoing on-premise against cloud, they can look comparable at first but the real savings are from looking at your indirect costs as well which include. 

By Peter Griggs 03 Mar, 2017

The 2016/17 payroll year end ends on 5 April 2017 which means it’s almost time to process your year end, a busy time for any business running a payroll. The introduction of RTI back in 2013 made the process much simpler, but it can still be an understandably daunting task for some. Here at Pegasus we’re with you every step of the way to help things run smoothly, so let’s go through the key steps and dates for your diary.

Send your final FPS and/or EPS by 5th April 2017

You should send your final Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before your employees last payday before the tax year ends on 5th April. If you don’t send your FPS by 5th April 2017 it’ll be classed as a late submission but HMRC will actually accept them until 19th April 2017. After this date they’ll no longer be accepted and you will need to send an Earlier Year Update submission (EYU) instead which highlights the difference between your last submitted report and the final figures for the 2016/17 tax year.If you need to send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) then you should send this by the 19th April 2017. If you make submissions after this date you may be charged a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month your report is late.

Update employee records to transfer payroll into new tax year – as soon as possible

A large, but essential, task is updating the payroll records for every employee working for you on or before 6 April 2017 (throughout the tax year), regardless of how much you pay them or whether they have now left the business. You’ll need to prepare a payroll record, identify the correct tax code to use for them in the new tax year and enter it into your payroll software. The tax code increases are as follows for the 2017/18 tax year commencing 6th April 2017:

  • Employees with L based tax code – increase by 50 points
  • Emergency tax code will be 1150L wk/mnth 1
  • Employees with an M suffice tax code – increase by 55 points
  • Employees with an N suffice tax code – increase by 45 points

HMRC may send you tax code notices for individual employees. If this happens then you should overrule the standard increase values.

  • P9T form – HMRC will send you a P9T form highlighting any employees that need a new tax code.
  • P9X form – this will contain general changes for any employees whose tax code ends in an L.

For new employees, use the information provided on their P60 from their previous employer.

For employees who pay Scottish rate of Income Tax, make sure they are set as being a Scottish taxpayer.

Update your payroll software – as soon as possible

It’s important to update your software so you’re using the new rates and thresholds for the new tax year on 6 April 2017.For Opera 3 the updated software also includes a new advanced payments and deductions list that can assist with gender pay gap reporting.. If you’re using a Pegasus payroll solution it’s easy, and your fully trained Pegasus partner can guide you on this.

Give your employees a P60 by 31st May 2017

A P60 outlines everything you have paid your employees throughout the tax year, along with any deductions, and should be given to every employee by 31st May 2017.

Report expenses and benefits by 6th July 2017

If you’ve paid employees any expenses through your payroll then you’ll need to tell HMRC about these via a P11D submission. The P11D will show HMRC how much Class 1A National Insurance you owe – which must be paid by 22nd July 2017. Take a look at the Pegasus P11D Organiser for help with this.

For further advice on running your payroll year end take a look at the guidance information on the  HMRC website  or call the o-a-sys team on 01233 812050.

By Peter Griggs 08 Feb, 2017
A recent survey by   Strategy Analytics   predicted that the total global mobile workforce will rise to a staggering 1.87 billion by 2022, a figure which equates to 42.5% of the total workforce. The spread of good Wi-Fi access and increasing levels of 4G coverage, combined with rapid advances in mobile technology, have resulted in mobile working becoming a reality for more and more businesses out there. In fact, a 2014 survey by Office Angels found that one third of workers think that commuting to work will be unheard of by 2036, suggesting that mobile working is very much the way forward.

With ‘mobile working’ once restricted to email and phone calls, the rise of enterprise applications especially over the last 12 months has led to more businesses embracing mobile working in its true form, changing the way they operate, increasing efficiencies and enabling employees to work remotely without any compromise to performance.

One area where new solutions are doing away with unnecessary complexities is payroll. With the right solution in place, organisations can provide employees with remote access to their payroll-related information such as personal data, pension information, holiday entitlement, payslips and P60s. Not only can employees access this data on the go via a mobile device or web browser, but the capability is there to edit their own information too. This remote, ‘self-service’ access for employees takes the pressure off busy payroll teams by eliminating payslip printing and postage and the extra admin involved, as well as the time it takes to respond to employee enquiries. With employees responsible for their own data entry, there’s also less margin for error as no re-keying of data is required, which is often where mistakes occur. What results is a faster, more efficient service provided to all employees, and a payroll team which has to spend less time on admin, leaving them more time to focus on value-add activities.  

A different area of the business that can benefit from mobile solutions is sales. The time lapse that occurs between taking an order while visiting a customer and the actual placement of the order with head office can lead to delays in fulfilment and even cancelled orders if the required items are not in stock. But the capability now exists to place orders instantly via a mobile device while with the customer.  

Mobile apps are available with a live link to the back-office order processing system so that sales orders can be placed instantly, including taking the customer’s signature, without the usual delays in orders being submitted to HQ. The sales person can check stock levels and the customer’s account status, including customer-specific pricing; they can also suggest alternatives for out-of-stock items and showcase additional products. This minimises the possibility of orders being cancelled due to stock unavailability and can add extra value to a sale. Working in this way also reduces admin time for sales people, allowing them to spend more time on the road pursuing further orders. The sales cycle is shortened, with order updates readily available every step of the way, increasing efficiencies for the business and improving the overall experience for the customer too.
Another area that can be significantly enhanced by remote access is employee timesheets. Regardless of their location, employees can use an online application that creates a smooth workflow for the completion, submission and authorisation of timesheets and automates their inclusion into the payroll run. This means there’s no need for the payroll team to import numerous spreadsheet-based timesheets for every payroll run, again greatly reducing the time spent on admin and the margin for error.  

The business world is playing catch-up to the increasingly powerful, intuitive and useful consumer mobile apps that are part of our everyday lives, developing enterprise solutions which create much-needed business efficiencies. As more and more businesses recognise the many and varied benefits that true mobile working can bring, these enterprise solutions will only improve further still. Exciting times ahead, so watch this space.  

More information on remote access to   payroll information ,   mobile sales order submission   and   remote timesheet entry .

To find out how Pegasus Software can help increase your mobile working capability, contact enquiries .
By Peter Griggs 26 May, 2016

For any business there is no greater asset than its employees, and it’s no secret that keeping them happy leads to greater efficiency and productivity. A happy employee makes a happy business but the question is; how do you keep employees happy, motivated and loyal? You’re first idea may be to offer a pay increase or a generous bonus, but as the old saying goes “money doesn’t always buy happiness”. In fact, some of the simplest and cost effective things can increase employee satisfaction the most.

1. Work-life balance

For many employees having some balance between their work and personal responsibilities is important. If possible, why not give employees the option to work from home occasionally or offer flexible working hours?

2. Career progression

Don’t wait for good workers to come to you saying they’re moving on, use your foresight and plan their career progression from their very first interview. Most good employees will be eager to learn and develop their skills so show them they’re valued with regular reviews and training opportunities.

3. Communication and be transparency

Employees don’t like to be left in the dark when it comes to business operations. Breaking down the barriers between management and workers with regular communications in the form of staff conferences, emails and one-to-one catch ups about the state of the company can build trust and go a long way in improving employee satisfaction.

4. Recognition

You’d be surprised how a humble “thank you” or “well done!” influences workers’ self-esteem. Nobody likes to feel their efforts are going unnoticed and a bit of gratitude will always be appreciated.

5. Good working environment

Your office doesn’t need to be full of state of the art equipment and the latest technology, but having a clean, tidy and most importantly, a safe work space is essential.

6. Allow freedom

When you give your employees freedom and responsibility you’d be surprised by what they can achieve. Where possible, cut the restrictions and let them develop their ideas creatively.

7. Have fun

Enjoyment is one of the simplest and easiest things to implement and can make a huge difference to the work environment. Work doesn’t always have to be serious and initiatives such as dress down days, competitions, team building days, fundraising activities and social activities such as drinks after work on a Friday and team lunches can work wonders. You’ll also get to know your employees on a personal level rather than just by job title, particularly new starters and those in other business departments who you don’t work closely with on a day-to-day basis.

8. Pay employees accurately and on time

The last thing employees want is a headache when they receive their monthly pay cheque. Clunky, out of date payroll systems can often cause inconsistencies resulting in late payments and incorrect tax, which can quickly disgruntle employees. New initiatives such as auto enrolment contributions, childcare vouchers and salary sacrifice create additional challenges for payroll departments and potential errors if systems can’t keep up. Make sure your payroll system is up to the job of catering for the demands of a twenty first century payroll, such as   Opera 3 Payroll & HR .

9. Be a good leader

Do you flourish under pressure or turn into a wreck? A good leader will remain calm, organised and offer employees clear guidance and expectations. If employees don’t know what they’re doing, or feel their leader isn’t up to the job they’ll quickly lose interest.

Of course there are many other ways too in which you can boost your employee happiness, the list is endless. However the most important note is not take your employees for granted, and don’t make the common assumption that throwing money at them will increase satisfaction, as it won’t, at least not in the long term.

By Peter Griggs 24 May, 2016

Summer has arrived and it’s the time of year when unplanned absence might be on the increase among your employees. Whilst the majority of staff illness will be genuine, popular sporting events such as the Euros, Wimbledon and Olympic Games, coupled with good weather could encourage some employees to push their luck and ‘pull a sickie’. In this blog post we’ll look at monitoring employee attendance so you can identify patterns and introduce processes to manage it.

The true cost of unplanned absence

According to  government research  , 140 million working days are lost each year to sickness and cost businesses £9 billion in sick pay. Unplanned absence can have a significant impact on productivity and profitability, especially within small organisations. Large amounts of absenteeism can also affect the morale within an organisation.

Monitoring employee attendance

For any absence policy to be effective, it’s vital to have accurate measurement in place as it’s impossible to manage absenteeism if you don’t measure it.

Most payroll and HR systems allow you to enter employee sick days, such as  Opera 3 Payroll & HR  . Recording your employee sick days accurately means the data is easily accessible for analysis. If you’re an Opera 3 user, you can export your data into Microsoft Excel using  Pegasus XRL  . This makes it easy to sort your attendance data and create graphs to highlight trends.

Analysing and tackling employee attendance

If you’ve recorded employee sick days in an accurate manner, you can then begin to analyse them to identify trends, discover possible reasons for absence and detect employees who have significantly higher absence levels than others.

Where should you start? Some key factors to look at are:

  • Day of the week  – Does your organisation see a higher rate of unplanned absence on Mondays or Fridays?
  • Previous absence  – Do any of your employees have long term medical illnesses which have resulted in a number of sick days? If so, perhaps you should look at introducing a private health care scheme to help employees get the treatment they need for a quicker recovery and return to work.
  • Type of illness  – Make sure you conduct a return to work interview and record the illnesses your employees are suffering from to help highlight recurring trends. For example, if several employees have reported stomach bugs and cold/flu symptoms then it could highlight issues with workplace hygiene. Remind your employees about the spread of infection and look for new cleaners if necessary. Whereas, if a high level of stress related sick days are recorded you might want to think about introducing a policy to address the work-life balance, such as flexible working.
  • Department  – If absenteeism is higher in particular departments compared with others it could highlight issues with motivation or management within that department. In this instance you could look at conducting employee surveys to uncover the deeper reasons behind the sick days.
  • Popular events  – Was there a big World Cup football match on late last night that could have resulted in some sleepy heads this morning?
  • Weather  – Was it the hottest day of the year? Some employees might see this as a good chance to hit the beach or beer garden!

Learn more about  Opera 3 Payroll & HR  and its capability for monitoring and managing employee attendance.

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