What is your Employer Accounts Office Reference? This is a mandatory item for submission of RTI returns to HMRC. As part of the year-end process the operator will be prompted for this value but you can pre-enter for them in the Payroll System Profiles after the upgrade.
Do you have a Corporation Tax or Self-Assessment Reference? These are optional items for the submission of RTI returns to HMRC but should be included where applicable. Again as part of the year-end process the operator will be prompted for these values but you can pre-enter in the Payroll System Profiles after the upgrade.
Do you pay the HMRC Monthly or Quarterly? Most employers pay monthly but if they pay quarterly you need to enable the option in the Payroll System Profiles for this (this can also be done after the update). The EPS submission reads the FPS submissions within the tax month/quarter as defined by this setting.
Do you pay employees by BACS? If so you need to enable the payment type for BACS in the Payroll System Profiles and enter the Service User Number. You also need to update employee records so they are using the new payment type. Again you can set these options now and can discuss changing the employee payment type on a global basis (A-Autopay to Z-BACS) with the employer. If you do enable BACS then it would be useful for the employer if you ensure that the appropriate employees have their bank details recorded in the system and flag up where this is not the case to the employer. Note that there can be confusion with use of the term BACS and this can be interpreted as uploading a payment file to the bank – you only need to use this option if submitted directly to BACS or via an agent to BACS and you have a Service User Number.
With regards to the BACS submission file the EM2 database contains at item 348 ‘BACS-HASHCODE’ this contains the seed data for the code that is used in the FPS submission. The first four characters of this item should be included in field 7 of the BACS output file. If this file is output by Datafile then this will need to be output via a User-Defined Report as you will need to output data from both the EMP and the EM2 file in one output.
Do you have any Deduction switches for Pension Contributions? If so you will need to set the AVC flag against these items in the Payroll System Profiles (again can do this immediately after the upgrade)
Do you process any Benefits in Kind through Payroll Switches? If so you are likely to have both a payment and a deduction switch (payment to add to Taxable / NI’able prior to payroll run, deduction to remove from employee net pay). You need to set the Benefit flag on both switches and can do this immediately after the upgrade.
Do you have any employees whose address is outside the UK? If yes then you need to create a new item on the employee file – COUNTRY (X25) – and include on the employee maintenance screen. This item should only be recorded if the employee lives outside the UK (the system will validate that the Post Code is blank before entry is accepted).
Do you have any employees seconded to work in the UK? If yes then enable the options within Payroll System Profiles to record these details (they will appear on the "third” screen of employee maintenance options). Seconded Employees are those still employed by an overseas business but working for the UK employer.
Payroll Menu Updates
As part of the upgrade the installation procedure asks if you wish to update the payroll menus. This update replaces all the standard payroll menu files – PR.D03 / PRREP.D03 / PRUTIL.D03 / PRPER.D03 / PRXML.D03 – with the default layout and includes the new submission options. If you choose to omit the menu update then you will need to add the new menu options manually. Note Professional users must update their menus as user configuration is not available on this product level.
Remember to make sure everyone is out of Datafile completely (no operators sitting on the sign-on screen). You also need to ensure operators close Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel if they are using the Datafile add-in’s.
Long-time users, generally those from the early days of DOS Datafile, could have separate locations set for DFPREF, DFGLOBAL and DFWORK whilst today they are generally all referenced to the same location.
As part of the upgrade the system asks for three paths – the programs location, the parameter files location and the data location. The parameter files location corresponds to DFGLOBAL and validates the entered path against the existence of the security file DIAMOND.D00 in this location. Where the DATAFILE.INI is set to use separate locations for these variables you may need to move selected files from DFGLOBAL after the installation.
Open up the DATAFILE.INI file and verify settings for DFPREF / DFGLOBAL and DFWORK - if variables share the same location then you can perform a standard upgrade. If the INI defines these settings to different locations you can still perform the standard upgrade but you will then need to move selected files via Explorer:
Copy *.XML from DFGLOBAL location to DFWORK location. If the DFWORK location is not referenced within the DATAFILE.INI copy to DFPREF location instead (note that different users may have different DFPREF locations)
Copy *.D09 from DFGLOBAL location to DFWORK location. If the DFWORK location is not referenced within the DATAFILE.INI copy to DFPREF location instead (note that different users may have different DFPREF locations)
Copy PR*.D03 (if you elected to update menus) from DFGLOBAL location to DFPREF location (again different users may have different DFPREF locations).
Help files are copied in the setup to a subfolder HELP off DFGLOBAL. Copy *.PDF from this subfolder into HELP location as defined within the DATAFILE.INI
If you have downloaded the update but you do not wish to run the setup procedure then the following list will act as guide for the files that need to be updated to the users system. Review the DATAFILE.INI to determine user location variables.
Copy contents of PROGRAMS folder to the PROGRAMS folder on the network/station
Copy XML files from PROGRAMS folder to the DFWORK location.
Copy D09 files from UTILITY folder to the DFWORK location
Copy D04 file from UTILITY folder to the DFGLOBAL location
Copy DFD files from UTILITY folder to the DFCOMP location
Copy content of HELP folder to the DFHELP location
Copy D03 files from UPDFLIES\DATA into DFPREF location (if updating menu’s)
Copy BASE files from UPDFILES\DATA into DFCOMP location
Copy DR602013.* files from UPDFILES\DATA into DFCOMP location
Multi-Company Payroll Set-up
If the user has multiple Datafile companies with the same tax reference then consideration needs to be given to some of the rarer configurations.
Very occasionally users have had two or more different Datafile setups and at year end resellers copied a P14 XML file from one location to another for submission of the combined P35. From the 13/14 year this is no longer practical as you would potentially need to copy XML files each tax month, so you should ensure that XML files are created in the same location for all companies sharing the tax reference. By default the system creates the communication XML files within the DFWORK location (alternatively using DFPREF if this not specified) and creates PRtaxyear folders off this location. You can use the Alternate XML Path setting in any/all companies to ensure they have the same file location. If you need to change this location to standardise set-up then do this prior to any P14 submissions for the 12/13 tax year.
Even rarer but it should be noted that the cross-company checks for same tax references require for all payroll company files for a tax reference to be held in the one DFCOMP location and listed within the same DIAMOND.D06. Submission of the Employer Alignment Summary will not determine the correct number of companies if Datafile companies are recorded in separate DIAMOND.D06 company lists and are not found within the same DFCOMP location. All companies need to be in the same list at the point of activating RTI for the first company.
It should also be noted that all employees processed for a single tax reference must be processed with the same software. For example, you can no longer process weekly paid employees in Datafile but monthly paid employees in Sage as neither would know about the others set-up when submitting the Employer Alignment Summary (which requires the submission to inform the HMRC how many part-submissions you are sending).
You should ensure that all companies being processed for payroll have an A-Active status and similarly you should not have any test/history companies setup that hold the live tax reference and have an active status. You should ensure that test/history companies have a ‘D-Demonstration’ or ‘H-History’ status so they are not picked up for multi-company processing.
Article ID: 2097
Created: March 27, 2013
Last Updated: March 27, 2013
Author: Terry Moore