44% of business owners unsatisfied with the help they're received from their accountant regarding auto enrolment

Business owners are facing heavy fines as a result of being let down by their accountants when it comes to auto enrolment

03 APRIL 2017, UNITED KINGDOM
Summary
Research by The Financial Management Centre shows that 44% of business owners feel let down by their accountant when it comes to their auto enrolment processes. Auto enrolment was introduced in 2012 to help reduce the strain on the State benefits system and has been rolled out in phases across different sized businesses since. However, research shows that business owners don't feel prepared or knowledgeable enough to implement a scheme themselves and require more help from their accountants than they are currently getting.

[03/04/17] The figures are in and they aren’t promising. Research from The Financial Management Centre show that 44% of business owners claim to be unsatisfied with the help they’ve received from their accountant and 32% say they haven’t received any help from them at all.

This Government initiative was introduced in 2012 to help reduce the strain on the State benefits system and has been rolled out in phases across different sized businesses since. It’s now the turn of SME’s to introduce a qualifying workplace pension scheme but it appears there is a nationwide lack of knowledge on the topic amongst business owners, despite The Pension Regulator’s campaign. 36% of people are simply unaware of the fines for failure for non-compliance; starting with a fixed £400 penalty followed by escalating daily penalties starting from £50 per day for small employers with 1 to 4 staff and £500 per day for those with 5 to 49 members of staff, these can soon add up. What’s worse is that businesses who fail to pay these fines will receive a County Court Judgement (CCJ), which is held on their credit record for six years if they don’t pay up within 30 days.

Stuart Masters, Managing Director of The Financial Management Centre, said:

“It’s shocking to hear how many business owners are unsatisfied with the help available regarding Auto Enrolment. The Financial Management Centre have been offering an Auto Enrolment solution for around 18 months now and I’d strongly advise anybody who’s not yet sorted their’s to get in contact with their accountant as soon as possible and avoid any unnecessary fines. As the number of businesses reaching their staging date increases, demand is expected to outstrip supply and I’d suggest that you sort things out as soon as possible and don’t wait until the last minute. Our process looks after everything meaning you are compliant and avoid the onerous administration.”

Auto Enrolment was first rolled out to the UK’s largest employers and the responsibility now lies in the hands of small-medium sized business owners to make sure everything is in place before the October 2018 deadline. Many people are failing to save for retirement and find themselves unable to live comfortably off a State pension. It’s hoped that Auto Enrolment will help to tackle these problems, especially as we’re living far longer than previous generations.

It’s the business owner's responsibility to ensure that they’ve complied with the rules, but it seems they believe it’s also their accountant’s and The Pensions Regulator’s responsibility to ensure that they are “in the loop” and know exactly how to implement this initiative into their businesses. The Pension Regulator's Compliance and Enforcement bulletin for October - December 2016 shows that in those three months Compliance Notices increased by 25% from 25,384 to 31,680, one off £400 Fixed Penalty Notices have increased 42% from 6,912 to 9,831 and Increasing Penalty Notices (between £50 and £10,000 per day) have increased a staggering 143% from 607 to 1,477.

ENDS

For further information please contact

Becky Nolan

becky@3manfactory.co.uk

(01772) 915 005

Stuart Masters is available for comment.

NOTES TO EDITOR

  • Auto Enrolment a government initiative to help more people save for later life through a pension scheme at work. It’s compulsory for employers to automatically enrol all eligible workers into their pension scheme and make contributions to it every pay period.
  • One of the benefits of Auto Enrolment is that employees don’t have to take any action themselves, therefore making saving money for retirement as easy as possible.
  • The statistics from the first paragraph of the release come from a survey ran by The Financial Management Centre on a vast database of businesses.
  • The Financial Management Centre provides small to medium sized businesses with the professional, flexible and affordable accounting support they need.
  • Stuart Masters is the Managing Director of The Financial Management centre. He’s spent almost 20 years in accounting with a significant amount of time focused on Outsourcing and the provision of bookkeeping and financial management information for businesses. He’s considerable experience in franchising having worked with and on behalf of franchisees and franchisors as accounting clients and more recently having been involved with both the operations and development of a franchise network.
  • The Financial Management Centre contact details:
  • Email: info@tfmcentre.co.uk
  • Telephone number: 0800 470 4820
  • Address:

Basepoint Business Centre,
Metcalf Way,
Crawley,
West Sussex,
RH11 7XX

Quotes
"“It’s shocking to hear how many business owners are unsatisfied with the help available regarding Auto Enrolment. The Financial Management Centre have been offering an Auto Enrolment solution for around 18 months now and I’d strongly advise anybody who’s not yet sorted their’s to get in contact with their accountant as soon as possible and avoid any unnecessary fines. As the number of businesses reaching their staging date increases, demand is expected to outstrip supply and I’d suggest that you sort things out as soon as possible and don’t wait until the last minute. Our process looks after everything meaning you are compliant and avoid the onerous administration.”" Stuart Masters, Managing Director of The Financial Management Centre, said:
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