KB Category: Sage Payroll (Micropay)

Moving Sage Payroll (Micropay) to a new computer

Moving your Sage Payroll (Micropay) from an old computer to a new computer involves an number of steps to install the software on the new machine and to copy over any local data.

The correct procedure is outlined below:

1. Take note of the “Program and Data Directories” from your current payroll installation on the old computer. This is shown under “Help –  System Information” in your Sage Payroll software.

2. If your Sage Payroll is installed on a “Standalone Computer”, copy these “Program and Data Directory” folders to the same locations on the new computer, if it is a Client/Server installation, copy just the “Program Directory” to the same location on the new computer. These folders are by year so you should copy all folders for the years that you require to the new computer, if you want them all, then copy the parent folder (e.g. “C:\ProgramData\Micropay Professional”
(Note: If the Sage Payroll Data Directory will be different on the new computer you will need to change the dataloc.ini file before you run the latest software. To do this go to the Sage Payroll “Program Directory” (as per 1 above) and browse to the dataloc.ini file. Copy this file out to the Desktop. Double click and open with Notepad. Change the path for the data, save the file and then copy into each year in the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Micropay Professional” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\Sage Payroll Irl” folder, if you are prompted that the file already exists, overwrite it).

3. If you have ROS certificates on the computer for payroll submissions then these may need to be copied to the new computer. You should find out where the certificates are on the old computer and copy these to the new computer, this is done as follows:

  • On the old computer, open Sage Payroll
  • Select “Retrieve RPNs”.
  • This will show you the folder path and file name of the ROS certificates (e.g. something like “C:\ROS\DigiitalROSCert.p12.bac”)
  • In Windows take a copy the ROS certificate file.
  • Move this copied certificate file to an ROS folder on the new computer (e.g. “C:\ROS”, you may need to create this folder).
  • After Sage Payroll is installed on the new computer (see step 4 below) you will need to set the ROS Digital Certificate when you first “Retrieve RPNs”. This is done by browsing to the new folder where the ROS certificate was copied to (see above) and selecting the certificate file. You will most likely have to enter your ROS password and save this.

4. Run the latest update of Sage Payroll (see Installing Sage Payroll) and check the Program Directory and Data Directory match the directories copied in 2 above during the installation.





Sage Payroll Software Update – Version 23.1

Sage Payroll update version 23.1 is now available.

What’s New:
  1. The primary change in this update relates to an increase in the national minimum wage by 30c to €10.10 and consequently the Class ‘A’ employer PRSI threshold will increase from €386 to €395. The two are not effective until 1st Feb 2020, but the update can be installed anytime before this date, as the software will only apply the new legislation changes to any payrolls dated February 2020 onwards.
  2. Update Timesheet “Over 65” Warning to “Over 66” (as 65 was the incorrect age.)
  3. “Set Period” will generate an error if the pay date is not within the current tax year.
  4. Employees who were not paid in the period, are now excluded from the Control Summary ‘Employee count’.
  5. In line with number 4 above, Employees with ‘no pay due’ will now be excluded from the Bank Transfer, Cash Dissection, Cheque Register & Credit Transfer Reports.
  6. Fix to Payments Report (Export to Excel) to include decimal places.


Installing the Update:

You may be prompted to install the update from your Sage Payroll software, if not you can download and install it from the Pimbrook download area. The procedure for this is the same as with any prior payroll update – see notes below:

  1. Ensure you have the correct version of software for the update. To see the version, open Sage Payroll 2020, click Help then click System Information. The version should begin with v23, if it does not, please install the payroll year end update, v23 – see here Sage Payroll Year End 2019 Update .
  2. Make a note of the Program Directory and Data Directory.
  3. Check that all of your payrolls have a status of End of Period (EOP) or Start of Period (SOP).
  4. Back up your payroll data.
  5. Close Sage Payroll 2020 and all other software.
  6. Log in to the computer as administrator (or as a user with administrator rights) and turn off any anti-virus and “User Account Control”.
  7. Download the update from the Pimbrook Download area by clicking here.
  8. Execute the downloaded file and follow the install steps, ensure the program and data directories are the same as noted in 2 above, for more information see our article on Sage Payroll Update Instructions and Preparation.


Important Note:

Please ensure that you install the update correctly, particularly if you are using a network installation and the data location is not on the same computer. If you find that some employees are on PRSI class A1 regardsless of their PRSI eligible pay then you probabaly have not applied the update to your data location (i.e. the server). If this occurs please reinstall the update correctly to all required locations (i.e. client and server computers).




View Payroll Submissions In ROS

Most modern payroll software systems provide a notification to confirm when you submit a payroll submission to Revenue and may allow you to view/print a log of this (for Sage Payroll see point 13 in this article Payroll Submission Report – PSR) . However you may want to verify this or check back on historic submissions..

You can do this by viewing your payroll submissions on the ROS website as outlined in the following steps:

  1. Log in to your ROS account in the normal manner.
  2. Go to My Services > Employer Services > View Payroll
  3.  By default, your most recent payroll run submission will be displayed automatically on screen, with recent submissions listed underneath. A ‘Search by’facility is also provided in order to assist in locating a specific payroll submission.
    Please note
    :where a correction has been made to a particular payroll run, both the original submission and the correction submission will be available for viewing
  4.  To view the detailed contents of a payroll submission, simply click the View button at the end of the submission line.


‘Stuck’ Submission – Things To Try or Submit To Sage

When a submission is ‘Stuck’ it usually appears like it is attempting to transmit, but the progress circle  spins endlessly.

Before investigating – log on to the Customers ROS account, and check if the submission is present or not. This will determine what route the investigation needs to take.

Here is a list of things to try / consider if a submission is ‘stuck’ and will not complete – easiest ones first:
If you discover a new solution to a stuck rpn/submission – please add it to this list.

Things To Try:

  1. Software Version Number – is it the latest version number – does the Payroll need an update?
  2. Ensure/Check the Anti-Virus is off/excluded and is not conflicting with the submission
  3. Make sure the cert can be used to log into ROS on the ROS website.
  4. Make sure there is a Tax Reg number in the company settings.
  5. Check in Regional Settings on the PC that the Date Format is DD/MM/YYYY
  6. Re-Set the Calendar (Company/Payroll \ Calendar \New Calendar)
  7. If Re-Setting the Calendar works – then go ahead and replace the PAYCAL.DBF and PAYCAL.CDX files in the system with blank ones from an empty system. Copy out the original ones first, then paste in the empty ones – After that set the Calendar again. Company/Payroll \ Calendar \New Calendar.
  8. Re-Start the PC
  9. Check if there are any Windows Updates Pending on the PC. Some stuck submissions have been solved by running the updates & re-starting the PC. You may need IT assistance for this.

Further Investigation:

If the problem is not local, then it could be that the submission is stuck at sage’s RTX server and needs to be pushed through to ROS.  You can further investigate this by using the ‘Fiddler’ Web Debugger tool to interrogate the web activity. Click here for instructions on how to do this.

Request Sage To Clear The Stuck Submission:

Failing solving the problem, you may need to request Sage to clear it from the list of ‘Stuck Submissions’
To do this, fill in the form below and send it to pye@sage.ie [No Need to submit a backup]
Add the Pimbrook case number to the subject of the email.
Sage will respond by email – this sometimes takes 24 – 48 hours.
Its advisable not to paste any images into the email, as it will be returned by Sage as unusable – and would have to be submitted again.

Your Account Number:  00555248
Your Contact Email: support@pimbrook.ie
Client Company Name:
Payroll Name:
Spinning on Retrieving RPN or Submitting PSR?:
Has the stuck submission from Sage Payroll been received by Revenue?:
What is the payroll unique identifier?: Copy & Paste GUID characters here (To get this, browse to Reports > Report Writer > Data Files = Company > File > Fields > Company->Payroll Unique Identifier)
What date and time was the request last attempted?



RPN Delivering Negative ‘Prev. Er’ figures (incorrectly)

Issue: RPN Delivering negative ‘Prev. Er’ figures (incorrectly).

The payroll operator will usually first notice this as flagged in the Validate Payroll routine: It shows the issue and the recommended resolution as follows:

The suggested resolution is for the payroll operator to edit the figures as required and save the record. This is in fact all that can be done to make this scenario right. We can argue that modernisation was supposed to take all of such edits out of the hands of the payroll operator, and we would be right. And we could worry that the operator does not have easy access to the required information, since they are no longer issued with P45 information and we would also be right. But neither of those are for us to consider. This software is at the mercy of what is delivered by the RPN and we have no control over that. The software works fine when the RPN delivers non negative values, and so we can deduct that the software is working correctly.

Advice To Customers:
If the issue is in the Prev Eer Tax Paid or Prev Eer USC Paid fields, then ask the customer – are they sure that the figure is not supposed to be negative? See note below regarding ‘Scenario when Prev Eer Tax/USC paid can be negative’.

If they are sure that the value is not supposed to be negative, then explain to them that the issue lies within the delivered RPN from ROS. Advise them to edit the Prev Earning fields in question (as suggested by Sage) and change them to the correct figures. Sympathise that we cannot help them to find the correct values to be entered – they will have to press Revenue or the Employee for this information. [We should avoid suggesting what figures should be entered. They will need confirmation from another source to find out what to enter].

Explain (with regard to Prev Earnings) how the Pay/YTD screen works:

  • The ‘This Employer’ fields are the result of the addition of all the ETP records for that employee, it is not imported from the RPN.
  • The ‘Prev. Er’ fields are imported from the RPN and are the total of all previous employments. This figure excludes earnings from the current employer.

Encourage them to run the ‘Validate Payroll’ option during every payroll, to bring to light any such issues. (They are supposed to be doing this anyway). All solutions to ‘Validate Payroll Data Errors’ are listed in Sage KB number 44659.

Suggest to them that Sage have been made aware of this issue and are in discussions with Revenue.

Knock On-Effects of this Issue: If this issue was with the Gross Pay field and had gone un-noticed by the payroll operator, it means the employee’s tax may have been calculated for a period of time on less Gross Pay than it should have been. This may have benefitted the employee tax wise. When the operator enters the correct (positive) Prev Er figure the employee may pay a higher amount of tax for a time until it resolves itself cumulatively. This can be different case by case.

NOTE: Scenario when Prev Tax/USC paid may need to be negative:
Employee works at ‘Employment A’ and earns X amount. Then they leave ‘Employment A’ and work at ‘Employment B’. In their first wage at ‘Employment B’ they receive a tax refund (for whatever reason), but they then leave ‘Employment B’ after that wage. The employee returns to ‘Employment A’. At this point their ‘Prev. Eer’ tax is actually negative, as it only includes the values at ‘Employment B’, and that included a tax refund. This could apply for tax or usc.

A Reminder of How Re-Instating a Leaver used to work Pre – Payroll Modernisation:
Historically, when an operator needed to re-instate an employee the procedure was to take the ‘This Employment’ figure from the Total Pay on the P45 and enter the remainder in the ‘Prev P45’ line:

Year End Dates & Week 53

Based on discussions at the Payroll User Forum in October 2019, I made the following notes.
They are based on the 2019 Year End / 2020 Year Start, but they apply to any year.


Sage KBA for Covering the topic of  Week53:

Sage have produced ASK 32326, which covers the Week53 topic, which is very good.

Revenue Preferences:
  1. For weekly payrolls, payments to employees should be on the same day every week – including over Christmas.
  2. Holiday pay for days taken in 2019 need to be paid in the 2019 payroll.
  3. Holiday pay for days taken in 2020 (ie: 2nd/3rd Jan) need to be paid in the 2020 payroll.
  4. Where a company are going to run 3 weeks ahead, ie: Period 51, 52 and another one – the pay date rule applies: If the pay date of the 3rd week is in 2019 then it would be a week 53 in the 2019 system. If the pay date of the 3rd week is in 2020 then it would be week 1 in the 2020 system.
  5. If the company did not plan for 53 pay dates year at the beginning of the year, then they should not be having one.
  6. It is Revenue’s intention to contact any company who process a period 53.

Pay Date Rule:
The pay date rule basically means that if the pay date is a 2019 date then it belongs in the 2019 payroll and if the pay date is a 2020 date then it belongs in the 2020 payroll.
All scenarios are governed by the pay date rule.

Problem Scenario:
I identified the following to the user panel, which is causing confusing pay date scenario:
When the calendar is set at the start of a payroll year, the software calculates the number of periods based on the Period Date, but based on the prominence of the Pay Date field now, the number of periods in a year should actually be calculated by the Pay Date field. (Sage agreed.)

Not having the pay date as the date by which the number of weeks are measured when setting up the calendar, will cause the following problem. This example is of a weekly payroll where the period date is three days before the pay date, on a weekly basis: Period Date: Tuesday 01/01/2019 with Pay Date: Friday 04/01/2019.  It seems to be specific to payrolls where the Period 1 had a period date of 01/01/2019.

If the customer has already done 52 weeks in 2019 then it would be ok to suggest to them that the week with suggested paydate in 2020 system (above), should be processed as Week 1 in 2020 to satisfy Revenue. The customer will be tempted to run the period 53 in 2019 and change the pay date of period 53 to be Tue 31st Dec, but as per discussions at the Payroll Forum – revenue prefer if payroll operators would stick to the same day of the week for pay dates. This reason can be used a leverage to steer the customer in the right direction.

In a payroll where the user always sets the period date the same as the pay date, there are no issues.

At the end of the day we can’t control what the payroll operator does, we can only advise them. In all cases, refer the user back to the Pay Date rule, and ‘Revenue Preferences’ above.


CWPS Report Issues after CWPS Update (1st Oct 2019)


After the customer has run their Sage Payroll V22.4 Update and entered their new CWPS ‘Week 1’ payroll (CWPS Week Dated 30/09/2019 – 04/10/2019), they encounter issues with the data that shows in the CWPS Contributions Report.


The report either shows no data for ‘Pay Week’ 1 (Run Report Week1 – Week1)
Or it shows data at old rates, and for ‘Pay Week’ 39 or 40 (or whichever might be  applicable to that payroll) (Run Report Week1 – Week52)


This happens because the new CWPS Calendar was setup after setting the period in question. When you click Set Period – in the background the software grabs the appropriate ‘CWPS’ week number from the CWPS Calendar, based on the ‘Period Date’ field for the period and saves the CWPS data (per timesheet) against the chosen CWPS week number in the CWPS history table. If the new CWPS Calendar is not setup before Set Period, the set period screen will grab the CWPS week number from the ‘Old’ calendar (that being maybe 39 or 40). Some users will notice this in the Set Period screen and will change it themselves. Some wont:


As the CWPS week number on the Set Period screen can only be changed at status SOP, the only solution is to:

(Carry out the steps in the order shown below)

  1. Restore back to the previous period EOP (EG: EOP 38)
  2. Check the CWPS Rates are still the new ones. (If they are not – run the update again or change them manually).
  3. Set up the New CWPS Calendar (Start Date 30/09/2019)
  4. Set the period in question (EG: Period 39) making sure that the CWPS Section of the Set Period Screen says ‘Week From: 1’ and ‘Week To: 1’ (If weekly payroll). This may say ‘Week From: 1’ and ‘Week To: 4’ if it’s a monthly payroll.
  5. Clear the CWPS Balances: Click Year End at the top of the screen and then click New Construction Pension Year. Click yes to the message when prompted.
  6. Check CWPS Report (Week 1 – Week 52) to confirm it is blank.
  7. Run Timesheets again.
  8. Run EOP.
  9. Check CWPS Report Again (Week 1 – Week 1) – It should be ok now.

CWPS – New Calendar Year 2020/2021 and Rate Changes (From 1st Oct 2020 – Version 23.4)

The Calendar year for the Construction Workers Pension Scheme changed back in 2019. In previous years it has been a ‘Jan – Dec’ year. From 1st October 2019, it changed to an ‘Oct – Sept’ year. Due to the new CWPS calendar year, the CWPS Rates will be changing annually on the 1st of October.

V23.4 supports those increases to the Construction Workers Pensions Scheme (CWPS) which come in to effect from 1st of October 2020. When installed, the update will immediately apply changes to the necessary rates. If this applies to your payroll, then this update will help you to remain compliant. Please note though, that this update will need to be installed on a particular period so as not to apply the increases too soon.

You will need to carry out the following steps to complete the update:

  1. Choose the Appropriate Period to Run the Update
  2. Backup Your Payroll
  3. Download & Install The Update prior to setting your ‘Applicable Period’
  4. Set up the new CWPS Calendar prior to setting your ‘Applicable Period’
  5. Set your Applicable Period (‘Period Date’ must be on or after 28/09/2020)
  6. Browse The New Rates & Check Categories
  7. Clear the CWPS Balance History
  8. Run your CWPS Report (1-52) to confirm it is blank.
  9. Process Timesheets
  10. Check CWPS Report to confirm rates used are correct.


Steps 1-8 are detailed below:

1. Choose the Appropriate Period to Run the Update:

If the change in CWPS rates effect your payroll, then it is imperative that you install the update at the appropriate time. At the moment you install the update, the CWPS Rates will change in your payroll software. As the rate increase is only applicable from 1st of October 2020, ideally you should wait to install the update, until ‘End Of Period’ of your last September payroll. That is, the last September payroll where ‘Pay Date’ is a September 2020 Date (See ‘Pay Date’ in Image Below).

You can check this in advance, by clicking the ‘Company/Payroll’ menu at the top of the screen, and choosing ‘Calendar’. In the example below, as the applicable period is Period 40, it would be appropriate to run the update and set up the new CWPS Calendar at End of Period 39. This way the new rates and new CWPS Calendar will exist before setting the first CWPS Period (CWPS Week1).

Your payroll(s) may differ to this example, so check the calendar in each of your payrolls, before processing timesheets.


2. Backup Your Payroll
  • We recommend to take a backup of your payroll data, in your usual manner, before running an update.
  • It may also be advisable to print off your CWPS Report for CWPS Weeks 1-52, prior to making the necessary changes to CWPS, as this report will be cleared later in the process.


3. Download & Install The 23.4 Update prior to setting your ‘Applicable Period’:

As per step 1 above, make sure you have chosen the correct moment to install the 23.4 update, as the CWPS Rate changes must not be used until your appropriate period. Once you have identified the moment you need to run the update in, you can click the link below to download the update. Run the update in the usual manner.

Click Here to Download the Sage Payroll Software Update 23.4 (225mb)



4. Set up the new CWPS Calendar:

In order to comply with the new CWPS calendar year format, you will need to set up a new CWPS calendar. To do this:

  • Click on ‘Company/Payroll’ menu.
  • Choose the ‘Construction Workers Pension’ option.
  • In the window that is presented click on the ‘Calendar’ tab.
  • In here click on the ‘Create New Calendar’ button.
  • Enter the start date of 28/09/2020 (This is the Monday of the first week of the new CWPS calendar).
  • Click ‘Create’
  • Click ‘OK’



The new Calendar should look like this:

5. Set your Applicable Period:

Set you applicable period number. ensure that your ‘Period Date’ is on or after 28/09/2020. This date (28th Sept) is the start date for the new CWPS Calendar. If your period date is prior to this, your CWPS contributions may not report into the correct period. In the example above, this is period 40. Your applicable period may differ to this.

Note On ‘Set Period’: When you click ‘Set Period’ make sure that the ‘Week To’ and ‘Week From’ fields in the ‘CWPS’ area of the screen are: both equal to ‘1’ if running a weekly payroll, or show From ‘1’ To ‘5’ if running a monthly payroll. If this is not correct, then your CWPS data may report to the incorrect CWPS ‘Pay Week’.



6. Browse The New Rates & Check Categories:

After you have set the period, browse the CWPS categories & new rates under the ‘Company/Payroll’ menu – ‘Construction Workers Pension’ option. The new rates are listed here.

There are only three Active Categories: POC (Pension Only no DIS), SPB (Pension/Sick Pay) and SPI (Standard Contrib + Industry Additions). Other earlier categories are no longer in use:

It is also advisable to browse your employees, and ensure that they are assigned to the correct category. To do this:

Choose the relevant employee in ‘Employee Details’, Click ‘Deductions’ Tab, Under ‘Construction Worker’s Pension Scheme’ select the correct category from the drop down list. Click Save.


7. Clear the CWPS Balance History:
  • From the menu bar at the top of your window, click Year End then click New Construction Pension Year.
  • When you receive the prompt to clear the balances and history, to continue, click Yes.


8. Run your CWPS Report (New Year 1-52) to confirm it is blank:
  • Click ‘Other Reports’
  • Choose ‘Construction Pension’ on the left hand side.
  • Click ‘Preview’
  • There should be no data for any ‘Pay Weeks’ in the report.


9. Process Timesheets:
  • Once you have carried out steps 1-8 above, you can continue to process your timesheets & do End Of Period as normal.


10. Check CWPS Report to confirm rates used are correct:
  • Check your CWPS Report after EOP to view contributions at new rates for CWPS Week1. Ensure the rates are correct before completing CWPS Week1 in your payroll, as if they are not correct, you will need to re-process at the correct rates.