UK Payroll Software and Print Management Software

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a Question to see its Answer!

How do I print YTD figures for an employee?

Select Employee maintenance>YTD. Either highlight the lines you wish to print and right click on the table or just right click on the table. A dialog box will be displayed asking if you wish to print the detail. Answer yes to print all detail, no to print the selection or cancel to cancel the print.

I have fifteen payslip print icons in the reports screen. How do I tell which one I need to run?

This is probably due to the way the reports are being displayed on the screen. Right click on the reports window and you will see a pop up giving you choices of Icon, List, or Detail. Select Detail to see the full information available on the report.

What registry settings does Ascent require in order to export report information to Excel?

Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.
Check your registry to see if the entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Bewley Carlaw\Coral120\Setting\ExcelIsInstalled is set to -1.
If the above setting is not present, or not set to the value -1 then one of the following is required depending on the version of Excel installed :
For Excel 97: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel\InstallRoot
For Excel 2000: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel\InstallRoot
For Excel XP(2002): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel\InstallRoot
For Excel 2003: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel\InstallRoot
Note that these settings should be checked on the computer that is running the Ascent application.

Why are some of my dates appearing in American format (MM/DD/YY)?

This is the result of a change in behaviour when moving to Windows XP. Use the Control Panel, Regional and Language Options dialogue which should be set to "English (United Kingdom)". Make sure that you check the "Advanced" tab and that "English (United Kingdom)" is also selected for the "Language for non-Unicode programs". This is is usually still set to "United States" following Windows XP installation even though the correct regional settings were chosen by the installer.

How do I make the director's NI work properly when changing NI code to a "C"?

Follow these instructions...

  • Change NI Code for the employee.
  • Untick the Directors Box
  • Press Apply
  • Tick Directors Box
  • Press Apply
  • A window will show asking for details of Directors NI for this code.
  • Enter period number to start and values for this code YTD which I assume would be zero.

Do I still process Tax Credits through the payroll?

No, from 31st March 2006 Tax Credits should no longer be processed through the payroll. If you have paid a Tax Credit after this date please contact the HMRC employer's helpline for advice.

I want to transfer an employee to a new company but the companies have different tax districts, how do I do this?

The employee should be made a leaver in the current company and a P45 sent to the Tax Office. The employee should be made a new starter in the new company and his details entered in the same way a P45 would be processed. Do not use the Employee Company Transfer option within the payroll as this could cause inaccuracies at year end.

I have completed Period Input for this period but when I print my payslips they are blank?

Ensure you have set up departments under Maintenance \ Employee Analysis \ Departments. Ensure each employee has been allocated a department, to do this select Employees \ Employee Maintenance \Static Information, select the drop down arrow next to Dept No: and choose a department. Your payslips should now print.

An employee has had Student Loan deductions during the year but after the Year End the figures are not showing in the Year End \ Amend Employee Information \Student Loan Deductions, why is this?

To ensure Student loans calculate correctly during the year and appear in the correct place at year end they should be setup:

  • Create a new code by selecting Maintenance \ Pay Elements\ Charges, enter the code and description in the boxes provided and select apply, close this screen.
  • Select Maintenance \ Company Details \ Parameters
  • Select the drop down option next to Student Loan and select the new code, select apply and close the screen.
  • Select Employees \ Employee Maintenance \ Pay Elements \ Charges, select the box under code and a drop down arrow will appear, choose the code for Student Loans and select apply.
  • The system will automatically calculate the amount due for the student loan during the calculation routine. To view the amount deducted, in period input select breakdown the amount will be displayed under deductions.

How do I put a message onto an employee's payslip?

There are 2 options for payslip messages:

  • Entering a message for an individual employee Select Processing \ Period Input \ Select the employee concerned At the bottom of the screen there is a box entitled Payslip Message, enter text in here and it will print on the individual's payslip.
  • Entering a general message Select Reports\ Period Processing Reports Choose the payslip option you would normally print Select Yes to run the report Select OK to sort options A Payslip Options box will appear, tick the box next to ?Print a General Message' and a box will appear below, enter your text in here. This message will appear on all employees' payslips.

I need to print a Prior Period Payslip for an employee from period 1. The employee was a new starter in period 1 but his P45 details weren't entered until period 2, when I print the Prior Period Payslip for period 1 his P45 figures are included in the YTD earnings for Taxable Pay and Tax Paid, how do I resolve this?

Make a note of the employees Previous Taxable Gross and Tax Paid figures under Employees\ Employee Maintenance\ Ytd \Prev.Emp, Taxable Gross and Tax Paid then zero these figures, select Apply and close the screen. The payslip figures displayed will now be correct. Once the payslip has been printed go back into the YTD screen and re-input the Previous Employment Taxable Gross and Tax Paid figures. Important Note: You must remember to re-input the figures once the payslip has been printed.

I have an employee who has had a change of NI number during the year. How should this be reflected on the Year End Reports?

The Year End listing will display a separate line for each NI letter the employee has been given during the current tax year and the amounts they have paid under this code. The P35 will display the total NI the employee has paid throughout the current tax year on all codes.

Year End : when I try to run Year End the following message appears: "You don't have the Ni Parameters Active To/From date's setup for this tax year. Please correct before continuing"

This message is created when the Payroll Year Start date has an incorrect date in the field. The correct format is 06/04 followed by the relevant year ie: 06/04/2006 To correct this select OK to the error message Then select Maintenance / Company Details / Parameters and amend the ?Payroll Year Start Date' to the relevant date. Select Apply and close the screen Your Year End routine will now run.

My Company is setting up a Child Care Voucher Scheme, how do I process these vouchers through the payroll?

Child Care Vouchers are free of tax and national insurance up to the amount of £55 a week (£243 a month). Child care voucher schemes can be operated in-house or through an external company. The scheme can be administered in 2 ways, either as an addition to the employee salary (Salary plus) or as a reduction in the employee salary (Salary sacrifice). If you operate the scheme as an addition to the employee salary you must make this scheme available to all employees within the company. Information on both options can be found on the HMRC web site by selecting Employers, under the heading 'Tell me about..' select More topics/ Child Care and Child Support/ Child Care. We strongly recommend you read this documentation before implementing any Child Care Voucher Schemes. If, for example you are operating the scheme as Salary sacrifice, before setting this up within the payroll you need to consider the following:

  1. Are any overtime or other rates based on this salary? If so, do you want any future payments of overtime etc to be based on the new salary (the amount reduced by the child care voucher) or the old Salary?.
  2. Do you want to show the child care voucher amount on the payslips?
  3. Is your Pensionable Gross to be reduced by the amount given in child care vouchers? (this should be considered and checked with your pension scheme administrators to ensure your decision is still within the pension scheme rules)

For the following example the Scheme is to be operated as Salary sacrifice, Overtime payments are to be based on the old gross salary, The deduction for child care vouchers is to be shown on the payslips, The Pensionable Gross is not to be reduced by the child care voucher amount (i.e. the Pension deductions will be taken from the old gross pay). You will need to set this up within the payroll: Under Maintenance / Pay Elements / Deductions - create a new code for Child Care Vouchers i.e. CCV Complete the boxes under the column headings:

Std Period Deduction 55.00 (enter 243 for monthly payrolls)
Always use control file rate tick this box
Tax Element tick this box
NI Element tick this box
Pension Element no tick in this box

Select Apply and close this screen Select Employees / Employee Maintenance Choose the relevant Employee and select Pay Elements / Deductions tab Under Code select the drop down arrow and choose the new code i.e. CCV and select apply; the deduction amount will be completed automatically for you. Close this screen The payroll period can now be run as normal. The child care voucher amount will be deducted from the gross pay, then tax and Ni will be calculated on the remaining amount. The amount of pay tax and NI has been calculated on can be viewed in the taxable gross and niable gross boxes within Period Input. Important Notes: The voucher rates stated above are the current rates for 2006. Salary Sacrifice schemes must not reduce cash pay to below the National Minimum Wage. Salary Sacrifice cannot be backdated. The salary must be sacrificed before it is given to the employee. Employees should be informed that any reduction in their salary can effect their entitlement to Statutory Benefits i.e. Statutory Sick pay, Statutory Maternity pay, Tax Credits etc.. We strongly advise assistance should be sought in the following areas when setting up a Child Care Voucher Scheme:

Legal Assistance Salary Sacrifice is a matter of employment law, therefore legal advice should be sought.
Inland Revenue The treatment of tax and NI should be confirmed with the Inland Revenue once the scheme has been set up, please contact your local tax office.
Pension Provider Pension scheme providers should be contacted to ensure the treatment of pension deductions is still correct.

If your scheme operates differently to the example given above and you need assistance with the set up within the payroll please contact the csmascent support desk who will be happy to help.


This problem occurs because of restrictions in the way the newer .NET framework interacts with programs attempting to reach the internet - as the onlinereturns.exe program does (quite reasonably!)
Make sure you have the Microsoft .NET Framework V2 installed on your PC and the server if you are set up in a client server environment.
To enable Online Returns to pass the security test type in the following command at each PC that needs to run the Online Returns software. Start a command prompt and type in the following command :-
C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\caspol.exe -machine -chggroup LocalIntranet_Zone FullTrust

I have a proxy server installed and when I try to transmit to the HMRC, I get a proxy authentication failure.  How do I resolve this

You need to create a file in the same directory as onlinereturns.exe program (this will usually be in the install directory for csmascent payroll).  The file should be named ProxyConfig.xml and should contain the following lines:
        <Name>http://{IP address of your proxy server}:{port number}</Name>
An example would be:
Please note that the filename and file contents are all case-sensitive!
This should allow access.

If you are experiencing difficulties downloading files from our website then you may be able to resolve it by changing a setting in your Internet Explorer options.

Go to the "Tools" menu of Internet Explorer, and choose "Options". Click on the "Advanced" tab at the top right of this dialogue box, then scroll down the list of options until you see the "Use HTTP 1.1". Here's what the list looks like if you are using Internet Explorer version 7.

Untick HTTP 1.1

Uncheck that option so that is is NOT selected. Click on OK to complete the change. You will need to restart Internet Explorer after this change.

If you are still receiving message about a "Corrupt" file then try right-clicking on the file link and choosing "Save Target As..." to save the file to a particular location before opening it.

The process of creating new users within the CSMAscent application requires three steps :-

Firstly, create a user within SQL Server Logins section via Enterprise Manager or SQL Management Studio (depends on SQL server version). The new login name will be either a reference to your Windows Domain Login if you are using integrated security (AKA trusted security), or a SQL Login if using SQL Server authentication method. The method used depends on what was specified when you previously ran DATAPATH.EXE to link your application to your particular database. If you can't remember which method was selected you can tell by looking within the application at the "Manager" menu, "User Maintenance" option - at the bottom of the dialogue box it will tell you that either "SQL Server is using NT integrated security" (which implies Windows logins are used) or "SQL Server is not using NT integrated security" (which implies SQL logins). When creating a login that is a SQL-mode login make sure you leave the password blank for the new user; Integrated security logins do not require passwords to be entered. When defining the new login select the "Database Access" or "User Mapping" tab and make sure the login is granted access to the CSMAscent database with the "AscentPayrollUsers" role and "DBOwner" role ticked.
Secondly, start the CSMAscent application authenticating yourself with an existing username and password, then open the "Manager" menu, "User Maintenance" option. This will list existing users defined within the CSMAscent users table. Add a new row to the end of the list for your new login, again specifying a blank password. The username is case sensitive, so is best to type it in the exact form that you want it to be entered - bear in mind that when starting the CSMAscent application it defaults to your current Windows network login name.
Thirdly, quit the CSMAscent application and restart it. Log in to CSMAscent using the new username and blank password, then use the "Utilities" menu "Change Password" option to set a more secure password.

Go to Utilities, Period Utilities, Period amendments.  Click the Pay Elements button at the bottom of the screen.  When requested enter the pay element code you wish to override.  Next, when requested enter the amount to want to take for that pay element for the period and click OK.  Recalculate the employees pay.