Getting started guide

This guide explains how to use the application after completing the installation procedure.

Usage help

  • There are explanatory Pop-ups as well as a usage Overview available on the Help menu.
  • Before using the software, an Employer will need from HMRC a PAYE reference, a Collection reference, an online username and password.
  • Important: If being used for an existing company that has already processed payrolls elsewhere this tax year, then catch-up payrolls need to be processed here – see Starting mid-year below.

Initial Setup

  • Make the Employer name appear in the Company Selector (top left)
  • If the Employer name is not visible in the Company Selector, click the selector and choose the name from the drop-down list.
  • If the Employer name is not yet in the drop-down list, add the Employer to the system using the AddNew Employer menu on the top menu-bar.
  • When the correct Employer name is visible in the Company Selector, edit all the corresponding details on the right side Company tab.
  • Next, make all the employees appear in the left side employee list. For any that do not appear, add them using the AddNew Employee menu on the top menu-bar.
  • For each employee, enter all the correct details on the right side Employee tab.
  • To enable viewing of reports, please ensure that the Document System has been correctly installed as described on the installation page.

The payroll cycle each pay day – SHORT VERSION

  • Check that the Employee List on the left has the correct names and settings. Leaving, Left and Suspended should show as (1), (2) and (4) respectively – see LONG VERSION below.
  • Update the Next payday tab for each employee
  • Go to the Run payroll tab and select Week or Month
  • Press Start to initialise
  • Press Summary and check the summary of the payslips on screen. Keep a copy for records.
  • Press Payslips and print off the payslips for employees
  • When all done, press Commit to finalise. An FPS Full Payment Submission is sent to HMRC automatically.
  • Repeat next pay day.

The payroll cycle each pay day – LONG VERSION

  • Make sure the correct Employer name is showing in the Company Selector, which is the drop-down selector (top left).
  • Select each employee in turn on the left side employee list, ignoring employees who have left which are shown with (2) after the name, or who are suspended which show as (4).
  • For each selected employee, make the details on the Next payday tab correct, and change any items that need changing since the last payroll was run. Ensure that the correct setting for NIletter appears for each employee (see General RTI Help below).
  • For new starter employees, the periodnumber should be the week or month number of the first payment, after setting periodunit to W for weekly pay, or M for monthly pay.
  • Also for new starter employees, the startdate and starterdeclaration should be completed on the Employee tab.
  • If an employee is leaving and this is their last payment, set leaverstatus on the bottom of the Employee tab to 1, and add the date of leaving to the finishdate line just above. The leaverstatus setting will be changed from 1 to 2 automatically when the current payroll run is completed.
  • Where an employee has left and no further payment is due to be made, change leaverstatus on the Employee tab to 2 if it does not have this setting already.
  • If an employee has not left but is not due to be paid this time (irregular employees), change leaverstatus to 4 (remembering to change back to 0 when the next payment becomes due).
  • PAYE Tax Codes must be correctly entered on the Next payday tab and be changed if notified by HMRC. For a new employee with a form P45 that has a leaving date in the current tax year, the tax code on the P45 can be used on the Next payday tab. When entering tax codes, use the TAX_CODE setting. The weekone setting must also be correct and set to Y if week one or month one is indicated on the P45 or HMRC notice. For a new employee without a P45, the tax code should be set according to the Starter Declaration made by the employee and recorded on the Employee tab. For Declaration A, the code is the emergencycode (see Tax NI tab) and weekone should be set to N. For Declaration B the code is the emergencycode (see Tax NI tab) and weekone should be set to Y. For Declaration C the code is BR (SBR for Scotland) and the weekone setting is ignored.
  • Select the Run  payroll tab. The Week and Month indicators will show the next period to be processed, based on the periodnumber setting on the NextPayday tab for each employee. If the Run payroll tab is not showing the week or month you expected, then go back and review the periodnumber settings for each employee.
  • If the wrong week date is showing by the week number on the Run payroll tab, for example a Friday date when you pay on Saturday, change the value of the normal_pay_dayofweek setting on the Company tab from Friday to Saturday.
  • Select Week, Month or both as required on the Run payroll tab. The START button will now be activated
  • Press Start to initialise the payroll. There is no output at this stage. The Summary button will be activated.
  • Press Summary to produce a payslip summary on screen. This should be checked before proceeding. If nothing happens here, the document system has not been set up properly so press Cancel and check out Document System in Installation
  • Press Payslips to view the payslips on screen. They can be printed from the viewer.
  • Press Cancel at any stage to stop the payroll run.
  • Before pressing Commit, make sure that all the details shown on the Payslip Summary and the Payslips themselves are correct. Keep a copy of the Payslip Summary for your accounting records. Print the payslips. Press Cancel if anything is amiss.
  • Press Commit. This will send the RTI submission to HMRC, update the local database to record the payroll and automatically change the periodnumber settings on the Next payday tab to the next week or month for each employee.
  • After pressing Commit, distribute the payslips to your employees and pay them the amounts shown as Net Pay using your normal payment method.

Starting mid-year after using other software

  • In order to perform various calculations during the year and to produce year-end reports, this software needs a full record of employee payments for the tax year.
  • When transferring from another system, payroll runs from week 1 or month1 onwards will need to be processed again here, but with RTI disabled.
  • To disable RTI submissions to HMRC while processing historical data, change the setting RTI_enabled to N on the Company tab. No payslips will be produced while RTI is disabled.
  • IMPORTANT Please note that RTI cannot be disabled once a payroll has been submitted to HMRC by this software. So historical data must be entered BEFORE any live payrolls are processed.
  • While RTI_enabled is set to N, each past payroll for the current tax year needs to be cycled through in turn (week 1, week 2, week 3 etc.), updating the Next payday tab for each employee before each week is processed. No payslips are produced during this procedure, but Commit needs to be pressed each week. Any new employees that started after week 1 need to be added to AW-APPS Payroll at the correct week during this process.
  • After processing past payroll runs, check that AW-APPS corresponds with your previous software by comparing the Reports-Employee-PayRecord and Reports-Employee-DeductionRecord screens with the output from your previous software.
  • After past data has been fully entered into AW-APPS to match the payrolls processed in previous software, change the RTI_enabled setting back to Y to begin using live RTI submissions for the next payday.
  • Finally, when making payment of PAYE/NI to HMRC as indicated using this software, anything already paid using other systems will need to be deducted from the first payment shown by AW-Apps.

Processing a payroll on a Test basis

  • With RTI enabled on the Company tab, pressing Commit on the Run payroll tab causes payroll data to be sent to the live  HMRC Real Time Information service. For a test run in live mode, check the Test check-box before starting the payroll run. This will submit to HMRC on a test basis only. HMRC will attempt to validate the data, report any errors, then ignore it.  Local employee records will not be updated. Any printed output from test runs should be discarded.

Payments to HMRC

  • Select TaxPayable on the top menu-bar, followed by the tax month now due for payment.
  • Confirm the selection made after reading the details presented on screen.
  • A Tax Payment Summary and Tax Payslip will be produced covering each Company on the system. These can be printed. The payment should be made to HMRC to correspond with these documents.
  • The system will ask for confirmation that the payment will go ahead, and if so, it will mark the relevant employee records as tax-paid in order to exclude them next time.
  • Finally, in circumstances where the payment to HMRC is affected by other factors, such as the making of statutory parental leave payments to employees, an Employer Payment Summary EPS must also be submitted. Otherwise HMRC will expect a higher payment to be made for the month than is actually due. The system will advise when an EPS is required. To submit an EPS, make sure the correct company name appears in the Company Selector (top left), then choose from the top menu-bar Actions, RTI-general, EPS. For more on the EPS Employer Payment Summary, see the Support page FAQ.
  • Please note that this procedure should be followed as soon as the relevant tax-month finishes, before processing payrolls that fall into a later tax month. This is because the application includes all pay records in the next Tax Payable procedure unless they have already been marked ‘tax-paid’ by a previous Tax Payable procedure. This happens whatever tax month you select from the initial menu choices.

Backing up your data

  • Frequent backups will allow reversion to a recent period in cases where data files become corrupted or hardware fails. Without backups, such events may require all data to be input again from scratch.
  • To backup your data, the whole installation folder should be copied to another location. All necessary files are located in the single installation folder.
  • The default installation folder is c:\AWapps-201819 for the 2018-2019 tax year ending 5th April 2019, and similarly for later years. If you installed to a different folder (including on Linux systems), then backup that folder instead.
  • We recommend that the backup location is not on the same computer used for AWapps. Possibilities include USB sticks, networked computers or remote locations like Dropbox or Google Drive.

General PAYE and payroll help

  • Comprehensive guides to PAYE and payroll are available from HMRC at this web page and also at this web page. These resources have links to many related topics and should be used as the first port of call for anyone unfamiliar with payroll, PAYE or the RTI system.