A new survey from Intuit revealed that while nearly 60 per cent of employers are aware of real time PAYE, less than a third (32 per cent) have actually taken any steps to prepare. That figure drops to 26 per cent for sole traders.
This inertia appears to be driven by confusion and complacency, with 35% of businesses not taking any steps because they don't know what they need to do, while 33% haven't acted because they feel they have plenty of time to make arrangements.
The changes to payroll mean that employers will have to start reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time from 6 April 2013 and have been the subject of a significant communications push by HMRC.
Many businesses are still unsure they will be ready for the changes, with a third (31 per cent) of all micro businesses - firms with less than 10 employees - citing they have little or no confidence that they are ready for the changes. Compared to a figure of only 15 per cent of larger SMEs (10-49 employees) feeling the same way, it is clear that the smallest of the UK's 4.6 million micro-businesses are finding the changes hardest to digest.
With the deadline looming, employers have less than 30 business HMRC provides a complete checklist of the steps at www.hmrc.gov.uk/rti.
The changes to the payroll system may appear daunting to small business owners trying to juggle the pressures of running their company. But according to Diana Flier, Payroll Product Manager at Intuit, the steps they need to take are actually very simple.
"Small businesses know they have to take action to be compliant, but want a quick, easy fix. That's why we built a simple Wizard in our QuickBooks payroll software to guide employers through the process by following three easy steps," said Diana Flier, payroll product manager at Intuit. "Now they can file all the required information with HMRC in one easy click, every time they run payroll."