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We currently pay a book keeper who submits our wages through payroll, pays all the HMRC stuff and does all the book keeping accounts for us.  Unfortunately we have just had to pay a fine (£500) to HMRC because she was not filing our returns on time.  This also happened back in 2015 where we ended up paying a smaller fine.  At a committee meeting today this all came to a head and basically we are going to ask her to get professional indemnity insurance or we will not use her any more.  I do everything else to do with finances, pensions, balancing bank accounts etc and was wondering if it is something that I can take on?  Would be really interested in hearing how everyone else operates and do you use any software packages that do all this?  We are a small (4staff) charity run pre school.  I am really eager to hear your replies.

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We use Xero for our accounts and budgeting etc. It does have a payroll bit too - but I haven't used that part. We've been really happy with Xero as it means different people (Office manager, accountant, me) can log in and see what they need to and we can set differing levels of access. We're a bit bigger than you though and so it might be more complicated than you need. 

Are you PLA as they have advice people? http://www-new.pre-school.org.uk/payroll-services

 

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Yes we are members of the PLA but they don’t seem to have the pay roll service in Cornwall.  I am happy to take it on just wondering what systems are out there to make it as simple as possible.🙂

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49 minutes ago, zigzag said:

We currently pay a book keeper who submits our wages through payroll, pays all the HMRC stuff and does all the book keeping accounts for us.  Unfortunately we have just had to pay a fine (£500) to HMRC because she was not filing our returns on time.  This also happened back in 2015 where we ended up paying a smaller fine.  At a committee meeting today this all came to a head and basically we are going to ask her to get professional indemnity insurance or we will not use her any more.  I do everything else to do with finances, pensions, balancing bank accounts etc and was wondering if it is something that I can take on?  Would be really interested in hearing how everyone else operates and do you use any software packages that do all this?  We are a small (4staff) charity run pre school.  I am really eager to hear your replies.

Dear goodness zigzag - I would be beyond cross if that happened to me:(

My accountant deals with our payroll - I know deep down that I could/should do it myself but I would rather pay her to be honest and trust that she knows what she is doing.......

I keep my accounts (after a fashion - i have no talent for book keeping at all) and then I pass this all to the accountant at the end of each financial year and she submits the tax return for me - again, I'm sure that I could do this myself but I lack confidence in the accounting area

Gosh I would not be a happy bunny if someone else's inefficiency result in me having to pay a fine - I would have 'blown her out' the first time that you incurred a fine

(will be muttering to myself for ages now about how unjust that is)

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To say I was cross was an understatement!  We cannot afford this at the moment and have had to transfer the money from our contingency pot!  The thing is she has been doing our accounts for the past twenty odd years so things have really moved on in that time and I don’t think she has kept up, and although my confidence has grown in the responsibilities that I now have since our admin lady left I really am no book keeper! (It’s also one of those small village things where you don’t want to upset someone). But since the meeting this morning I am now contemplating doing it myself, hence wanting to know what others do.

Sunnyday I think I can still hear you muttering!🤫

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You can zigzag!

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We are using Sage ? My daughter does it, we pay about £6/7 a month, and we just log in hours for the month. Sage seems to do the rest (I think).

She uses it at her work (a small company) their accountant set it up for them when he retired.

I'm seriously hoping we are doing it right.

 

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16 hours ago, zigzag said:

Yes we are members of the PLA but they don’t seem to have the pay roll service in Cornwall.  I am happy to take it on just wondering what systems are out there to make it as simple as possible.🙂

We used to have an ex treasurer who was also an accountant so we employed her when she left the committee, eventually she was only doing ours and the sage updates are quite expensive so it was costing her more than she was charging us and gave up, we moved over to Devon PSLA payroll (we are not in Devon anyone can use it, cheaper if a PSLA member), we pay just under £3 per staff a month and buy the inclusive package £120 a year, that includes monthly payroll including pension and paye calculations plus all end of year, a monthly adjustment sheet (which they supply) is completed and emailed to them a few days before pay is due and a couple of days later everything turns up in the post, I then pay wages, paye and complete the nest pension schedule, very easy, I cannot fault the service, any emailed questions are almost instantly answered or you can phone, I am so thankful another manager recommended them when I was stressing about pensions. Look under ‘our services’ for payroll and what is provided.

https://www.pre-school.org.uk/devon

 

Edited by Mouseketeer
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33 minutes ago, Mouseketeer said:

We used to have an ex treasurer who was also an accountant so we employed her when she left the committee, eventually she was only doing ours and the sage updates are quite expensive so it was costing her more than she was charging us and gave up, we moved over to Devon PSLA payroll (we are not in Devon anyone can use it, cheaper if a PSLA member), we pay just under £3 per staff a month and buy the inclusive package £120 a year, that includes monthly payroll including pension and paye calculations plus all end of year, a monthly adjustment sheet (which they supply) is completed and emailed to them a few days before pay is due and a couple of days later everything turns up in the post, I then pay wages, paye and complete the nest pension schedule, very easy, I cannot fault the service, any emailed questions are almost instantly answered or you can phone, I am so thankful another manager recommended them when I was stressing about pensions. Look under ‘our services’ for payroll and what is provided.

https://www.pre-school.org.uk/devon

 

Do they also work out all the HMRC payments etc?  Also just wondering, I currently give all our invoices and receipts etc to the bookeeper who files them and records them in the accounts book and then makes up the end of year profit/loss sheet which then goes to someone else who verifies and audits it.  Do you do this part yourself?

I will look into the PSLA, thank you.

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They work out everything :-) I keep an accounts folder that goes to (or did) the accountant for auditing, but they also offer that as well so will look into that now to.

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Hi

I do our payroll and use sage like Louby Loo.  V straightforward I think.  It prompts you to make whatever payments are necessary and touch wood I haven't had any problems in three and a half years.  The helpline team are very helpful and available 24 hours (I have in the past called at about 01:00).

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Many thanks for all your replies and advice.  Mouseketeer has been amazing with her help and we are going to go with the PSLA as we are already members.  Just got to have a meeting with the bookeeper tomorrow to give her notice.  Not looking forward to that as she does mean well.

Thanks again for sharing the burden, I don’t know what I would do without  this forum🙂

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Can anyone recommend a software package that produces parents invoices? 

At the moment I am using an excel spreadsheet and printing out the invoice, however more and more parents are requesting their invoice by email (which I can understand).

 

 

 

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We use Instant Nursery Manager.  It has a couple of quirks, but on the whole has speeded up the invoice process.  

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I used Moneysoft, I think it was called Payroll Manager.  That did all the wages HMRC etc and helped working out things like SSP SMP etc.  They have a Facebook presence and really good phone helpline that I found really useful. 

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We use Payroll Manager- that was down to Cait singing their praises a few years ago. We had a Treasurer resign in the middle of the summer holidays and leave us in a dreadful mess. So now I do all the accounts in Excel and use PM for the payroll. Its brilliant and a couple of times when I've got stuck they've been very helpful. Even gave me advise on what to do and how to get out of the mess the previous treasurer had left us in. We had a committee member that set up a very simple  bookkeeping system for me (Excel) and is a qualified accountant so over the last couple of years (as she is no longer with us) will also audit them for us. 

I also have looked at a free website (that I cant find at the moment!) It is something that I keep meaning to use as it seems to be fairly easy and I would really like something that creates invoices for me rather than having to do them manually in excel. Unfortunately as already said I've forgotten the name!

 

I'll come back if I can find it

 

Edited by lynned55

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I found it  its called brightbook and is an free online web based accounting system. I haven't used it yet but it does look quite comprehensive and fairly easy to use. Hope it helps. I've just discovered that unfortunately it is for SMALL businesses with 1-5 employees- so no good for us!

 

 

Edited by lynned55

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I looked in to getting a payroll company on board a few years ago...we didn't use them in the end but they were really cheap! there are ,lots on google. I would defo be getting rid if she'd cost me so much...to heck with the being nice ! you're running a business!

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Just an update, we had a meeting and we have decided that we will sign up to the PSLA payroll scheme but that she will still do our books (which is what she is good at) this way we are covered and confident it is being done correctly but I will not have to worry about the bookkeeping, end of year etc.  So everyone is happy!  Thanks for all the input and advice.

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