Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS) accreditation: adding value to your payroll offering; boosting client confidence
Sam O’Sullivan of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) sets out the prestigious CIPP PAS scheme which awards payroll providers a widely recognised gold-standard accreditation clients can trust.
If you want assurance that your payroll team is dedicated to compliance, to know that their processes are robust and that life-long learning and development is planned and encouraged, then the PAS can offer you that confidence.
The PAS is the prestigious gold standard for both people and payroll processes and is the much-coveted award in the payroll industry.
Developed in partnership with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), it’s the only voluntary accreditation on the market, and the scheme is designed to identify risks to a business, arising from skills gaps or inadequate processes. It’s a huge accolade for payroll staff once accreditation has been achieved.
Examining over 60 facets of the payroll operation, the scheme is consistently evolving with the help of the CIPP’s policy and research team, who are at the forefront of any changes to the payroll industry. So, you can be assured you are gaining a high-quality, much sought-after accreditation.
What is involved during the PAS assessment?
Module one - your processes
- It checks whether appropriate controls are in place to reduce the potential for payroll errors and checks that all payroll processes are fit for purpose
- Ensures suitable processes are in place for preparing for legislative and organisational changes
- The scheme will also highlight areas for development and improvement
- The process features multiple structured in-depth questions and document checks on your payroll and associated processes.
Module two - your people
- Diagnosis of skills levels, and learning and development needs
- Review of appraisals and objectives that link into the organisation’s overall mission and vision
- The scheme measures whether learning and development undertaken have been effective to encourage life-long learning.
What does PAS assessment not involve?
The scheme is focussed on checking your payroll processes and knowledge development, to promote compliance. Therefore the scheme doesn’t:
- Validate transactions, calculations or returns
- Spot check payslips
- Focus on departments outside of the payroll process, however, it does look at interactions between them.
Why is it important to your business?
With UK payroll services accounting for up to £12 billion in payroll fraud, the CIPP’s PAS offers peace of mind to all who work within the industry or are seeking payroll services.
- Use of the CIPP’s PAS accreditation logo on your organisation’s communications and marketing materials demonstrates to employees, customers and suppliers that your organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice
- The scheme demonstrates to staff that the company is dedicated to life-long learning and development, therefore increasing staff motivation and improvements in productivity
- The CIPP’s PAS offers clear evidence to customers that compliance is key
- Improvements in processes lead to greater effectiveness and efficiencies within the payroll function, in turn leading to overall time and cost savings for the organisation
- Improved service levels to colleagues (in-house payroll) or customers (managed service providers).
What does it mean if an employer or supplier has the accreditation?
- The organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payroll
- The payroll and associated processes have been measured by the CIPP and found to be fit for purpose at the time of assessment
- The organisation has suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes
- Necessary areas for development and improvement are highlighted and have been actioned
- Better engagement and retention of staff due to better management of the payroll function
- The organisation is dedicated to life-long learning and development
- The organisation has shown openness and mitigated the risk of compliance failures by opting to engage in PAS which is, ultimately, a best practice tool and a voluntary assessment.
PAS from HMRC's perspective
HMRC’s line: “It is important that employers can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable care and we encourage them to review their processes to satisfy themselves that they can meet this standard, so we welcome initiatives by your Institute & others in supporting employers and payroll agents in this regard”.
David Gauke MP: “I’m pleased to say CIPP have also been hard at work making the lives of employers easier. Their new Payroll Assurance Scheme should help employers ensure their payroll returns are accurate and complete. I wholeheartedly welcome initiatives of this kind in supporting employers, and by extension HMRC, in the payroll process.”
For more information on PAS, please visit our website by clicking the link below.
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.