It’s coming up to that time in the year when we start to think about a bit of spring cleaning. Nothing feels better than a productive decluttering session, so it’s out with the old and in with the new. Your payroll system shouldn’t miss out on an annual spring clean either; it may benefit from a bit of a tidy up, and Payroll Year End is the perfect time to do just that. You’ll probably agree that it’s taken a bit of a battering over the last 12 months, so now is the time to give it a refresh ready for the forthcoming year.

It’s a difficult task updating a system when it’s in constant use, it’s also probably being used by multiple users and therefore becomes impossible to keep on top of the admin of the system. Pay elements are updated with new ones and the old ones are left on the system or there are duplicate records of the same information i.e., holiday payments, bonus payments etc. In fact, it’s something that the support team at Advantage Services hear their customers talking about all the time, so you are certainly not alone feeling this frustration.

Payroll Year End is the ideal time to do some much-needed maintenance and admin to your Sage system. It’s the only time of the year where there will be no current year-to-date values showing against the various elements.

What do you need to do?

If you have a Sage system, to remove old Pay Elements (Payments & Deductions):

  • In ‘Criteria’ remove the ‘Historical Leavers Check’
  • Decide which elements you want to remove
  • Highlight all employees
  • Within ‘Global Changes’ select ‘Remove Payment’ or ‘Remove Deduction’ and select the elements to remove
  • Once removed from all employees, including historical leavers, the elements can be deleted.

Yes, it can be a slightly time-consuming exercise, but extremely beneficial in making future processing easier. A bit of effort now, will ensure you reap the rewards later in the year.

Did you know?

Previously, all historical data in Sage Payroll has been kept for seven years, the current year plus the previous six years in line with the HMRC guidelines. However, HMRC have recently reduced this requirement to the current year plus three years, so you now only have to keep four years of historical data in total.

Your Sage system won’t automatically know this information so you will need to change the settings to reflect the new HMRC guidance. By decreasing from seven to four years it will enable you to save disc space.

How do I do that?

In ‘Company Settings’ the ‘Store Historical Data’ option can be reduced from seven to four, this will remove the three oldest years of data. Beware though, this reduces the historical reporting to the amount of data held within the system. If you regularly use the historical data going back further than three historical years, you may not wish to do this.

The friendly team at Advantage Services are always on hand to help. If you have a query about your Sage 50 Payroll system, or maybe you wish to invest in the software or you are looking for training, then simply call 0330 335 0011 or email

Posted at 10.10am on 11 March 2021 by Dawn Smiley in category Company
Tags: Payroll