Payroll RTI Tips

There are many areas within jobs in payroll where people face challenges, such as staying up to date with the relevant legislation, or learning how to use the most recent software applications for the job.

As the only agency recommended by the Chartered Industry of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) Portfolio Payroll has been working with candidates and employers for over 20 years to help to find the right person who knows exactly how to do the job.

Last year we saw the introduction of a new Pay As You Earn system, Real Time Information (RTI), which is a small learning curve for many professionals within the industry.

On this page we cover the things that go wrong most often and we give some simple tips to ensure you make as few mistakes as humanly possible.

Get your data right

When you are working on a payroll we all know how important it is to get the right information sent off to HMRC. But over 80 per cent of data quality problems are caused by simple errors.

People typically make these mistakes in three areas: problems with the employee's name, their date of birth, or their national insurance number. Remember, it's possible to verify all this important information before you submit it.

When you get this information right, everyone is happy. Not only do you leave the office knowing you have done the job, but the employees whose pay you're in charge of do not later charge into your office complaining they have been over charged. Nobody likes too many charges.


  • Put the full name – not just initials!
  • Put their first and second names in the right order – check the document instruction
  • Take out any punctuation such as a hyphens in or at the end of the name
  • Put middle names in full if the person has one

Date of birth

  • Put the correct date of birth – never send a default or place holder date
  • Have the date of birth in the right format – date, month, then year

National insurance number

  • Put in the correct NI number – don't make one up and don’t use a default
  • Check the number begins with two letters then six digits and ends with A, B, C or D
  • Ignore a message that says NI numbers starting MA are wrong – HMRC says it's an error


You can verify the information you need from an official source such as:

  • HMRC or Department for Work and Pensions documents
  • Passport documentation
  • Driving license
  • Birth certificate

If that feels like a lot, remember while everything is not always right in front of you, you don't have to investigate to find the information you need. Usually it'll be stored somewhere obvious so it's easy to get hold of – just ask the relevant people.

Find the right role with Portfolio

When you want only the right job match, Portfolio Payroll will help you to find it.

No matter which payroll vacancy you are looking to fill, from payroll temps to an international payroll manager, Portfolio Payroll can help.

E-mail us at, call 020 7247 9455 for permanent recruitment, or for temporary recruitment call 020 7247 2882.


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