Are you ready for your auto-enrollment


One aspect of payroll that needs to be taken care of right away is auto-enrolment workplace pensions.


  • I run a business
  • My business is still active
  • I employ at least one person
  • At least one employee is aged between 22 up to State Pension
  • At least one employee earns over £10,000 per year (£833 per month / £192 per week)


Did you answer ‘YES’ to the above criteria? If so, you are now required by law to offer a workplace pension scheme. You will also be required to make contributions to the pension plans of employees who are paying into the scheme.


By 2018, this will apply to all employers.


You should have by now received notices from The Pensions Regulator however if you are unsure about your staging date, just follow the link below.


This staging date is extremely important as this is when your employer duties begin. Should you not comply within the relevant timescales, it can become extremely costly for your business.


The Pensions Regulator has begun to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to employers who miss their staging date deadline, which left ignored, can escalate into a County Court Judgement and could negatively impact the company’s credit file and their ability to secure funding in the future.


THIS IS NOT JUST A WARNING!!! A client came to us in June 17 with a staging date of October 16 and due to various reasons had not completed their relevant duties. They have received a fine of £11,000! In addition to this they were also required to back date their employer AND employee contributions which was calculated at approx £5,500.




The following are general steps which employers are required to complete:


Confirm contact details – Inform The Pensions Regulator who should be contacted regarding help and guidance for your company pension.


Choose a pension scheme – NEST/NOW/PEOPLES PENSION


    • Assess your workers – Work out who is eligible
    • Aged between 22 and state pension
    • Earning over £10,000 per year (£833 per month / £192 per week)
    • Write to your staff – Within 6 weeks of your staging date
      • Letters to all eligible employees explaining how auto-enrolment applies to them and the ability to opt-out.
      • Letters to all non-eligible employees giving them the option to opt-in.
    • DECLARATION OF COMPLIANCE – Within 5 months

    Declaration of compliance is an online form that must be completed to let The Pensions Regulator know how employers have met their legal duties for automatic enrolment.

    All businesses have five months from their staging date to complete the online declaration of compliance. If your declaration of compliance is not completed, The Pensions Regulator assumes your auto-enrolment duties have not been fulfilled and is likely to issue you with a fine.

    Feeling overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? Spending valuable time trying to understand the rules & regulations?

    Let us reduce the time and stress for you and take advantage of our Pension Set-Up Scheme.

    Give us a call and take advantage of a free 30 minute consultation.  

    RODEN ASSOCIATES – 01324 446 204













































































Key things to consider when you are starting a business – bookkeeping

Starting a business is exciting and scary – taking that great idea and turning it into something workable sees you investing a huge amount of effort to deliver the end result.  Mixed in with the highs and lows are the practical and essential parts of running a business and sadly, at some point, you do have to turn your attention to what you may feel is the more mundane.  However, these are the ones that can make a difference to whether you keep trading or not – managing your business finances.

VAT registration

When anyone starts a business, putting the effort in to keep on top of their bookkeeping is essential – it helps with planning, forecasting and making sure they are operating profitably.

To begin with your turnover may not be that high; however, as soon as your taxable turnover has reached £85,000 over the past 12 months or if you expect it to reach that figure in the next 30-day period, then you need to register for VAT. There are some exemptions and we can discuss those with you if you have any uncertainties, but for most businesses, this is a fact.

There are benefits and downsides to VAT registration and it is possible to register before you reach the threshold, but once you reach the threshold, the choice disappears.  Registering before you reach £85,000 can, for example, be helpful from a trust perspective with your clients – they will view you as an established business; but of course, it comes with the requirement to undertake the VAT return process.

And of course, once you are VAT registered, you need to be aware of Making Tax Digital (MTD) but only if you have reached the £85,000 threshold.  If you have pre-registered for VAT before reaching that turnover figure, you don’t need to worry about MTD yet.


MTD has been around for a few years now as the government introduced the concept and then began the roll out.  As someone new to business, you may not be aware of what is entailed so here is a quick recap, MTD is applicable if your business is VAT registered and has sales that are subject to VAT that are above the VAT threshold of £85,000.  We covered it in more detail in our blog – Making tax digital.

As long as you are registered for VAT and reach the threshold, then you need to comply with the new requirement to provide VAT returns electronically and directly to HMRC.  To enable you to do this, you currently have two options:

1  Choose to use MTD-compatible accounting software which is able to store records of transactions affected by VAT, transfer the information directly to HMRC’s systems and files the VAT returns directly to them.

2  Use a spreadsheet such as Excel which needs to be API enabled or use bridging software to link and transfer the data to HMRC.  This must be automatic though and not manual.

The alternative is to work with a bookkeeper or an accountant who will operate as your agent and provide the data to HMRC on your behalf.

Running payroll

Taking on your first employee can also be a pretty momentous day – it normally happens when you have completed your third month of working 12+ hour days, every day, and you finally accept you cannot do it all.  But with an employee comes the added task of operating a payroll for them with the tax and NI deductions and tax codes and yet more work.  This is another task that can be outsourced to a reputable bookkeeper and they will simply expect you to provide some straightforward information to them on a weekly or monthly basis.  You are happy and so is your employee.

You don’t have to do it all yourself

When you start out in business, money does tend to be tight and you may make decisions on that basis, not fully considering that if you free yourself up to grow the business, that might really be a more cost effective way to move forward.  Talking to a reputable bookkeeper could make all the difference in those early days to free you up to do the fun things and enable you to focus on the reasons you decided to start your own business in the first place.

Do let us know if we can help you.

 Book your free consultation today

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