Payroll – In House or Bureau?

You will need to consider whether you would prefer to run your payroll via a third party bureau or to keep the process in-house. There are many software packages available. The following are some things you may like to consider.

Payroll Software – Pro’s and Con’s

PRO’s

  • There are many software packages to choose from and they can be more cost effective than using a payroll bureau
  • You control the whole process including the processing schedule so may be more flexible when paperwork arrives late

CON’s

  • You need to make sure you are always fully conversant with the latest taxation rules
  • You will need to make sure you submit the HMRC returns by  the statutory deadlines in order to avoid penalties
  • Integration with the accounts software may not be possible so lengthy journals may have to be produced manually
  • You will have to deal with all crew queries
  • In-house processing could hinder the handing over of the payroll process in post production
  • You will have the responsibility of running the End of Year process even if this is several months after the production is finished or in the middle of filming
  • The payroll records will need to be archived in a way that they can easily be recovered should HMRC make any requests

Payroll bureau

PRO’s

  • Run by payroll professionals who are fully conversant with the latest regulations and always on hand for payroll advice
  • The bureau will do the heavy lifting of the payroll process saving your office time.
  • Payroll queries are handled by the Bureau who will keep historic records available
  • HMRC returns are processed by the bureau including the P46, P45 and RTI submissions; also they will undertake the End of Year reconciliation and return.
  • Payroll bureaux provide file uploads to reduce the time taken to process a journal

CON’s

  • If the costs are not already included in the budget then affordability could be an issue
  • You will need to collate and deliver the start forms and timesheets in an effective way to meet the process deadlines
  • Processing via a bureau can take longer; allow additional 2-3 days lead time