Saturday, April 28, 2012

KPMG's Irony

How ironic that one of the world's leading accounting firms, KPMG (my old firm in fact), failed to pay any of its 11,000 UK staff yesterday (as it was meant to have done).

Payroll World reports:
"KPMG says it “holds its hands up” to a human error at the firm that has led to its entire UK workforce not being paid on time.

Normally staff at the big four accountancy firm are paid on the 29th. If that falls on a weekend, as it does this month, they are paid the Friday before. 

But a human error has led to 11,000 staff having to wait until Monday to receive their wages.

A spokeswoman for KPMG told Payroll World that the problem was not with its supplier but originated within the firm.

“We hold our hands up over this, it was caused by a human error within KPMG,” she said.
An email was sent to all staff this morning explaining the problem.

“We hope we told people in time to adjust any direct debits or payments from their accounts if they needed to. Our HR and finance teams are ready to help anyone who may face any hardship as a result of the mistake,” she said."
KPMG may need to follow their own advice re payroll systems:
"Review the systems – how robust are systems around payroll and what safeguards are in place to ensure that the correct amounts of tax and NIC are properly accounted for?"
Interestingly KPMG issued a press release in March about RTI and a survey conducted by KPMG which said:
"The survey also revealed that many employers were still relatively “low tech” in their approach to payroll: a surprising 25 percent of respondents said they did not use software to run their payroll, 22 percent still make payments by cheque and nearly half (49 percent) said that their payroll was not linked to their HR systems.
Over four in ten respondents (42 percent) said they had not reviewed their payroll processes within the last year and almost a fifth (18 percent) said they had not done so for three or more years." 
I am a firm believer in creating an opportunity from a crisis (or in this case a cock up), this cock up provides KPMG with an ideal opportunity to review its payroll systems.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Economia and Ken Frost Asleep at The Wheel

Both Economia and myself were asleep at the wheel regarding this error relating to HMRC interest rates:
"As was quite correctly pointed out yesterday, by a loyal and observant reader, Martin Casimir's assertion that HMRC does not pay interest on tax repayments is wrong. HMRC (as I noted in the comments section) does in fact pay 0.5% (perversely it charges 3% for late payments).

I wrote to Martin yesterday about it, and Bloomsbury have acknowledged that they were wrong and will be asking Economia to correct their copy.

It is shameful that Economia (the professional magazine of the ICAEW) and myself (an FCA) didn't spot it when we published Martin's quotes!

So well done and thanks for pointing that out, and mea culpa on my part for being asleep yesterday!
I am hanging my head in shame today!