Friday, March 02, 2012

HMRC's Payroll Software

Rather than pay a continuous subscription for a bit of software that will give me PAYE and Income Tax values this year I've been trying the HMRC's own bit of kit.It's not bad if not exactly streamlined.

However one tiny annoyance keeps bugging me - every time I start it pops up a notice that I should check that it's up-to-date and that the best way to do that is to have the software check automatically and I should click here to find out how to do that.

Except it's already set up to check for updates automatically; by default it's set up to do that. However I ran the special link that would check for updates and it found none. Just to check I headed to options; automatic update settings and then (despite it stating it had checked) hit the "check for updates now" button - no updates.

As one last check I hit the link that was provided to check for updates manually - the latest version is my version is... wait a sec, gotta find a screen that tells me...

So despite running the check for updates in three different ways - it didn't detect I needed an update or perform the correct task. As one last check I ran their own Diagnostic Tool; it finished and pushed me to this page.

Gives me so much confidence in the HMRC.

[Update - it gets better. The link tells me I need the July update to get up to version (which I already am) to ensure the data is transferred before I download the 2012 update. Except there is no update just the full version which installs in its own directory separate to the  version I've got and then (smoothly I'll admit) allows me to click to import the databases. So now I've two versions of the software installed along with two sets of start menu icons]


Orphi said...

Gotta love software which doesn't understand how to do “automatic updates”.

For example, I use a lot of music software from Native Instruments. They have a “Service Centre” program which scans what you have installed and lets you update it.

Except it doesn't update it. It downloads the necessary installers, which you then have to run. The installer does in fact replace the existing software with the new, updated version, keeping all your settings the same and so forth. But the service centre will make you download the update again and again until you actually install it. It can't detect that it's already been downloaded, only whether it's been installed.

Steam, on the other hand, just updates your stuff when it's out of date. Oh, unless it isn't made by Valve, in which case it does nothing. Then again, if Valve didn't make it, there are probably no updates in the first place. :-P

FlipC said...

But the oddness was that it kept popping up with this message to check the software. So I think it knew it was out-of-date, but rather than just tell me it kept exhorting me to check the update settings which were correct.