Thursday, 20 September 2012

Running HMRC Basic PAYE Tools on a network with multiple users

This post will only be of interest to UK readers.

If you run a small business, then you probably know that HMRC provide a free tool to enable you to do your PAYE calculations.  In its basic installation, it installs on a PC and stores it's data locally on that PC as well - and you can't easily move that data onto a central server for multiple user access and easy backup.

However by ringing up HMRC tech support and jumping through numerous pointless hoops, you can find out how to move the data to a location on the network that suits you better.  Here is how to do it.

First take a backup of your existing database (using the backup function inside the PAYE program) - you will need it later towards the end of this process so do not skip this step.

Navigate to the Program Files directory on the computer HMRC PAYE Tools is installed on. Go to the [HMRC] folder then the [payetools] folder. On a 64 bit PC you will probably need to look in 'Program Files (x86)'. Open the file called “bpt-sys.cfg” with Notepad.

Inside the ”bpt-sys.cfg” file, change the “userdatamode=0″ to “userdatamode=2”. Changing the userdatamode value to 2 will enable the HMRC PAYE Tools application to recognise the custom userdatadir location you specify in the same bpt-sys.cfg file (in this case, we want to store the database on the network drive instead).

Change the “userdatadir=” field to the location where you want the Database Location to be stored. In my case, it will be stored to: Z:\HMRC\PAYE where Z:\ is a mapped network drive on the server

Close and save the file.

Open up HMRC PAYE Tools, and go into [Options]
Navigate to the [Application Settings] tab at the top and you’ll now notice the “Database Location” field has now changed to the location you specified in the bpt-sys.cfg file earlier.

You can also modify the “Backup Location” to be stored on the server as well rather than on the local computer.

Now restore you database back and your HMRC PAYE Tools database should now be stored on the network drive instead.

With thanks to whoever posted this guide upon which these instructions are based