Six months on from the launch of HMRC's real time information PAYE system (RTI), half of SMEs report difficulties with the new online service and a quarter have found the change frustrating, according to a poll by Top 30 accountancy firm HW Fisher & Company.
Nearly a third (31%) of small businesses surveyed said the reforms were needless, while close to a quarter (23%) described RTI as frustrating. Getting on for half (46%) said they had encountered hitches, or that they were still getting to grips with the move to RTI. A further 31% described the transition as difficult, while 15% said they were still learning.
In addition, 39% felt the RTI reforms had added a cost burden to their business, while 23% said adjusting to the new system had been time consuming. However, 31% of those polled said they had a positive view of RTI.
The majority (69%) of small businesses said they were managing RTI in-house, with the remainder having outsourced the work to a third party provider. Most (61%) said the cost of implementing RTI had been relatively modest, at under 5% of their wage bills. But for 15% of respondents, the cost of implementation was up to 10%, while 8% said the costs had risen to between 11% and 15% of their wage bill.
Toby Ryland, a partner at HW Fisher & Company, said: 'It's clear from our research that the move to RTI has caused many small businesses difficulties, during a time when they would have preferred to have been fully focused on the very tough trading environment faced by most firms.'