Now that larger businesses have auto enrolled their staff, it's the turn of small to medium sized enterprises to get to grips with the auto enrolment process. One of the major concerns amongst many will be just how long the process will take, and how much resource it will require from their business in terms of manpower.
In 2013, research by the CEBR, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that the process should take the average business 103 days. However, the latest research shows that auto enrolment requires much less time than previously thought, which will be good news to micro, small and medium businesses that are yet to stage.
The most recent research was done by Dr Iain Clacher, the Associate Professor in Accounting and Finance and Deputy Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Finance at the University Of Leeds Business School. In his report, 'Automatic Enrolment: The Payroll Perspective' Dr Claire surveyed a wide range of businesses and payroll providers across the UK and found that previous estimates were now inaccurate. The average times for businesses with less than 50 employees is 17.5 days and for those with more than 50 this rises to just 21.5 days. Although with Smart Pension businesses can become compliant within just hours.
The reasons are thought to be threefold:
- Payroll and pension providers are now much more experienced in the auto enrolment process, speeding up matters.
- More payroll products and systems have auto enrolment functionality built into them, enabling efficiencies in the process.
- More information and advice available, making decision make simpler.
This reduction in the average time it is taking employers to stage is encouraging, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Claicher. "In looking at the experience of payroll bureaux, bookkeepers, accountants, and so on, it is clear that the process of getting firms compliant with AE is becoming ever more efficient."
"As we move through staging dates to firms who do not have in-house payroll, we are seeing huge gains in efficiencies, as the payroll experts used by employers have a huge wealth of hard-won experience and they are bringing this with them. Payroll professionals are making auto enrolment work for their clients."
Full results of the survey will be released by the Dr Gleicher and the University Of Leeds Business School on 16th September.