Payroll Fraud Prevention Strategies 

Payroll Fraud Prevention Strategies 

Has your business been a victim of payroll fraud? It’s more common than you might think, resulting in substantial losses, budgeting constraints, and perhaps even loss of trust in the workforce. The main issue faced by employers is – payroll fraud can take several forms and the methods are constantly evolving! 

Businesses across the nation are in a constant strive to avoid payroll fraud. After years of working in the payroll industry, we’ve seen it all by now. Even better; we’ve developed a number of strategies to help identify and prevent payroll fraud, keeping your business’ finances safe and sound. 

What is payroll fraud?  

Payroll fraud occurs when an individual unlawfully secures payment from an employer through deceptive means. This can be through various forms, including counterfeit national insurance numbers, submission of fraudulent documentation, falsely claiming eligibility to work in the country, or identity theft.  

It can also happen through exaggeration of hours worked by an employee or claiming expenses that they are not entitled to. This form of fraud is more difficult to detect than those above, however, it results in a loss of money and severely affects your company’s bottom line. So, how can you avoid it? 

 Prevention strategies 

Background checks  

Perform thorough background checks on all personnel tasked with preparing, submitting, and accessing the organisation’s payroll and accounts. This measure ensures that individuals hired for these roles are trustworthy and maintain high levels of integrity. 

Reviewing payroll reports  

It’s advisable to review payroll reports post-processing to verify that employees are receiving accurate pay. Additionally, cross-referencing employees’ addresses and bank account details is crucial to detect any instances of multiple payments to a single bank account, a common method of perpetrating payroll fraud. 

Limit unauthorised access to payroll information  

In organisations, it’s considered a best practice for individuals with a genuine need to access payroll data to be granted individual login credentials. Each employee should receive their unique login information for accessing payroll data, accompanied by a policy strictly prohibiting the sharing of passwords. 

Separate your processes 

For smaller businesses, it can often be the case that one person is responsible for several functions. Particularly within HR and payroll, where one person is often responsible for managing both. However, we recommend separating the two. This means that payroll processes can be verified by multiple people, rather than one person taking care of the whole process. This will help to ensure all payments are processed correctly and are therefore less vulnerable to fraud. 

Outsourcing payroll  

Lastly, one of the best ways to avoid payroll fraud is… to not do your payroll. While this may sound strange, outsourcing your payroll to a specialised team will ensure your payroll is processed accurately and safely. It’s a more efficient and cost-effective way to keep your employees paid.  

At FTPay, we take payroll out of your hands and into our in-house payroll bureau, staffed by experienced payroll operators. We can assist you in maintaining your payroll, meeting HMRC regulations, and most importantly – avoiding any forms of payroll fraud.  

 And there are our top strategies for payroll fraud prevention. Our help, however, doesn’t stop here. Our team of advisors are on hand to help you with any payroll queries should you need assistance. If you’re looking to outsource your payroll, please get in touch with our Commercial Client Director, Fabrice Legris, at fabrice.legris@fiandertovell.co.uk.  

FTPay: Stay Compliant with our Payroll Services

FTPay: Stay Compliant with our Payroll Services

Ensuring compliance with payroll regulations is not just a legal obligation; it’s the cornerstone of a well-functioning business. From tax obligations to employee benefits, the complexities of payroll management can often become overwhelming. However, with the right knowledge and resources, businesses can navigate these challenges effectively, whilst staying compliant.  

At Fiander Tovell, we offer outsourced payroll services that are designed to shoulder this burden for businesses up and down the country. We help to streamline their payroll processes, ensuring that they meet regulatory demands and, most importantly, paying their employees on time!  

Although we take the complexities of payroll compliance away from you, if you choose to outsource to us, there are still a few things you must do to ensure seamless operations on both sides.  

“What do I need to do?”, you might be wondering – we’ve compiled our top tips, so that, together, we can keep your business compliant!  

Accuracy – not approximation 

To process payroll accurately, we heavily rely upon up-to-date employee information. This may seem obvious but it’s very important. As a business, it is your responsibility to maintain all records for the entire duration of each employee’s tenure. This means accurately updating any personal information, which can change regularly – this information is likely to affect your payroll. 

We need to be kept up-to-date throughout the year to ensure all your employees receive the correct wages. This can range from bonuses, salary increases, maternity leave, etc. No matter what the change, you must keep an accurate record. This not only helps us to manage your payroll, but should you be subject to an investigation, you have all the records to prove your compliance.  

Managing Employee Expectations  

As an employer, it’s crucial to ensure that your employees understand what is required from them regarding payroll. This can be a variety of things, but the most common areas are company expenses and overtime. This may involve implementing a process for employees to record expenses and overtime properly. Whether you implement an automated system or explain how to document it, it is essential employees understand the policies and practices that affect their pay.  

Implementing these clear guidelines can deter employees from providing inaccurate information which will reduce errors in additional payments. 

Stay informed 

Legislation is an ever-changing scope, and you need to stay aware of any updates. Following on from the Spring Budget, there were a few changes that will affect payroll. Some of the headlines included a 2p cut to National Insurance and an increase to National Minimum Wage 

These changes will obviously impact your employees’ gross pay, hence why it’s essential you stay on top of any updates from HMRC. If not, you will be at risk of being penalised. We understand that staying up to date with any updates can feel like a juggling act. That’s why our team at FTPay are a great solution for businesses that don’t have a dedicated payroll team. With our expertise, we ensure all updates are implemented, allowing you to focus on core business operations with peace of mind.  

Making FTPay work for your business 

To fully benefit from our services, we conduct a thorough assessment of your payroll processes and requirements. We tailor our services to meet your specific needs, providing customised solutions that align with your business objectives. We have specific deadlines throughout the month for our clients to submit their monthly payroll data, so that we can process payroll with accuracy and compliance. You can find our payroll calendar here, with a full breakdown of dates throughout the tax year.  

Our goal is to simplify payroll compliance for your business, allowing you to focus on core operations, while we handle the complexities of payroll. With FTPay, you can rest easy knowing your payroll is in safe hands. 

If you require any further advice, or would like to enquire about our services, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our Commercial Client Director, Fabrice Legris at fabrice.legris@fiandertovell.co.uk  

Mastering the New Payroll Year 

Mastering the New Payroll Year 

As the calendar flips to the 2024/25 tax year, your business will be gearing up for several year-end processes. One critical aspect that requires dedicated attention, however, is your organisation’s payroll. Preparing for the new payroll year involves more than just updating your calendar and submitting forms; it demands a comprehensive strategy to ensure compliance, efficiency, and accuracy.  

At FT Pay, we’re experienced at dealing with the intricacies of payroll year-end, working with your business to ensure compliance, efficiency, and accuracy. Take a look below at how we can help to navigate your organisation’s payroll year-end. 

1. Ensure your Employee Payroll Records up to date 

First things first, you will need to inform us of any new starters or leavers in the past month. Year-end is the ideal time to make sure that nothing has gone unnoticed throughout the year. Double check that we have been informed of all new starters or employee exits, as these may be harder to correct once we have entered the new payroll year. Similarly, make sure that we have received any updates to any personal information, bank account details, and tax codes across your workforce. 

You will then need to inform us of any discrepancies in your workforce’s pay for March, whether deductions for sick pay, increases for a pay rise or a one-off bonus. 

2. Your final Full Payment Submission (FPS) and Employer Payment Summary (EPS) 

Before closing out on the current payroll year, we must submit your final FPS to HMRC on or before your employee’s last payday of the tax year (which will be on or before 5th April). Your FPS is a monthly report to HMRC informing them of the payments made to your employees and detailing any deductions to their pay for that month.  

When we submit your FPS to HMRC, we’ll also let them know that it’s your organisation’s final payroll submission of the year. As the final FPS of the year, your March report will also include your end of year information, including all the employees you paid in the tax year (since 6th April 2023), no matter how much you have paid them or whether they have left the business. 

We may also need to submit an EPS by 19th April, should you want to claim any payments or reclaim deductions, such as statutory leave or employment allowance. On the rare occasion that no employees were paid in the reporting period, you would only need to submit an EPS (no FPS needed). 

3. Conduct a Year-End Review  

Before finalising the transition into the new payroll year, conduct a thorough year-end review to ensure all necessary tasks have been completed. 

This includes reviewing payroll records, submissions, and compliance documentation to identify any discrepancies or outstanding issues. The deadline to easily correct wrong payments or deductions is 19th April. Following this, a new full FPS submission would be required. 

4. Giving Employees a P60  

We will provide your employees with a P60 form by 31st May, summarising their total pay and deductions for the 2023/24 year. All individuals who are employed by your business on the 5th April must receive a P60 – this is why it’s crucial to ensure that we have the most up to date records before we begin your year-end processes. 

5. Report Expenses and Benefits  

Although you’ll probably be more than ready to wave goodbye to the 2023/24 year, it doesn’t end with the P60 deadline! We will still require the information needed to report your employees’ expenses and benefits by 6th July. Following this, the deadline to pay any Class 1A National Insurance due on the taxable expenses and benefits by 22nd July.  

There are many payroll deadlines throughout the year – you can access our calendar of key payroll dates here: 

If you don’t already outsource your payroll to FTPay, why not consider making the switch entering the new payroll year? Our in-house payroll bureau is staffed by experienced payroll operators, who are eager to assist you in maintaining your payroll, meeting statutory obligations and paying your staff on time. 

To get in touch about your payroll year-end process or to enquire about our outsourced services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with fabricelegris@fiandertovell.co.uk. 

Introduction to our Payroll Services

Introduction to our Payroll Services

Managing payroll can be a stressful experience for any type of business, small or large. It’s crucial to have an efficient payroll function in place to solidify the success of your organisation. We recognise that constructing a robust payroll system internally can be challenging, but have you considered outsourcing? FT Pay, our payroll bureau, houses an experienced team of payroll operators, who are on-hand to help you maintain your payroll, meet statutory obligations and ultimately pay your staff on time!  

All we need from you is the monthly gross pay of each employee, with any commissions or adjustments, and then we can do the rest! As part of your outsourced payroll services, we will: 

  • Calculate net pay, PAYE and national liabilities 
  • Summarise and advise you of the liabilities due to HMRC 
  • Provide payslips and year-end P60s 
  • Provide BACs payment reports for uploading to your bank 
  • Prepare any in year P45s or P38s for joiners and leavers 
  • Calculate any statutory maternity, paternity or sick pay 
  • Liaise with your workplace pension provider to obtain/calculate the pension deductions and process these through the payroll 
  • Submit the agreed payroll data online to HMRC in accordance with the RTI requirements 
  • Where necessary, facilitate a “pay away” service 

Payroll Services: Benefits of FT Pay

By choosing FT Pay to manage your organisation’s payroll, we can guarantee a wealth of benefits for your business to alleviate any concerns you have.  

  • Control and Oversight 

We have a high level of control and oversight within our in-house payroll team over the entire process. We can ensure compliance across the whole system which includes precise calculations of net pay, PAYE, and national liabilities, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.

  • Confidentiality and Security  

Our management allows for enhanced control over sensitive employee data. This can contribute to increased confidentiality and security measures, reducing the risk of data breaches or unauthorised access to payroll information. 

  • Real Time Reporting  

Our system provides a real-time summary of liabilities due to HMRC, allowing businesses to stay informed and make timely payments, thus avoiding penalties and maintaining compliance. 

Additionally, with our team, businesses can quickly adapt to changes in personnel, tax regulations, or company policies. This gives you immediate access to relevant information and the ability to communicate directly with other departments facilitates a faster response to any payroll-related adjustments.  

If you feel as if your company would benefit from our payroll services or would like some more information please contact, Fabrice Legris, our Commercial Client Director: fabricelegris@fiandertovell.co.uk

Payroll Compliance: Our advice for a smoother process

Did you know that we have our own in-house payroll bureau here at Fiander Tovell? Yes, that’s right, FTPay is on hand to assist companies with the maintenance of their payroll, help them to meet statutory obligations, and ensure that their employees are paid in a timely manner. All we need to know is the monthly gross pay of each employee, along with any commissions or adjustments required for that month – then we can do the rest.

Although we take the bulk of the payroll process out of your hands, there are still a few things that you need to stay on top of so that, together, we can remain compliant. But what is it exactly that you need to do? We’ve collated some of our top tips to help employers get the payroll process right.

 

1. Organisation is key…

A disorganised payroll process will negatively impact the rest of your organisation. Having a game plan in place year-round will help to establish a consistent routine for meeting tax deadlines, submitting timesheets, and making payments.

Similarly, there will be changes throughout the year that are your responsibility to inform your payroll provider about. We will need to know about any changes to your employees’ wages, so that we can make sure they receive the correct payment. For example, if there are any changes to an employee’s pay, due to a pay rise or change in their working hours.

We would also recommend using an audit trail. Should you be subject to an investigation, this will help to protect the integrity of your business. Your payroll software may even have such a functionality installed already. Audit trails allow you to link transactions with the required supporting information, to validate any payments that may otherwise raise concern.

 

2. Do you know the legislation?

Payroll legislation is always changing, and you need to make sure you’re aware of any updates. In seasonal statements and budgets from HMRC, there are often updates to payroll related legislation. Income Tax, National Minimum Wages and pension allowances are just three things that changed in April 2023, with a knock on effect on your payroll process!

Speaking of pension allowances…

As an employer, you must offer a workplace pension scheme by law, which can be paid into by you, the employee and the government.

You should also automatically enrol employees into the pension scheme, should all of the following apply:

  • they’re classed as a ‘worker’
  • they’re aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • they earn at least £10,000 per year
  • they usually work in the UK

If you don’t have to enrol an employee automatically, then they can ask to join the scheme and you cannot refuse. You do not have to contribute, though, if they earn these amounts or less:

  • £520 a month
  • £120 a week
  • £480 over 4 weeks

As part of the company pension scheme, you must:

  • pay at least the minimum contributions to the pension scheme on time
  • let employees opt out if they ask
  • let employees re-join the scheme at least once a year if they have opted out
  • enrol employees back in at least every 3 years if you’ve opted out and are still eligible for automotive enrolment.

It’s important that you’re aware of which employees are on your pension scheme, how this impacts their gross pay, and how much you’re required to contribute each month.

 

3. Do your employees know what’s required of them?

There are certain elements of payroll that may be down to information provided by employees – for example, expenses and overtime. It’s important to not only have rigorous policies in place for expenses and overtime, but also to make sure that your workforce is aware of these. These will hopefully discourage employees from misleading you, and will help to avoid inaccuracies in extra payments.

Similarly, it’s also valuable to have strict deadlines for submitting forms such as expenses and overtime, so that you can then process them in time for month-end payments.

At Fiander Tovell, FTPay wants to help you achieve a smoother payroll process within your company.

If you require any further advice, or would like to enquire about our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch at payroll@fiandertovell.co.uk.

 

You can find our latest accounting and payroll advice here!