1. New to Payroll?

If you are new to payroll we advise you to consult the Revenue’s ‘Employer’s Guide to PAYE‘ for information on how the PAYE system works and the terminology used.

There is also a useful link to an online guide in the Help Menu.

Please click the button below for video guide to install Big Red Book payroll.


2. Import Last Years Data

This utility is used to import employee data and company settings from the 2018 version of Big Red Book Payroll. This action can only be carried out before any employees are set up in the 2019 payroll. To import go to Utilities > Import 2018 data.

You will be given the option of ‘Carrying Over’ employee details such as Sick Leave, Holidays and Disciplinary records. Tick the box of each of the details you wish to carry over to the new year.

All employees are set to Emergency Tax Basis.

PAYE information such as USC Rates, USC Rate Thresholds, Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cutoff points are not carried over and are obtained from the Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN). It is therefore vital that an RPN Lookup is run before you process any payruns.

There are two sources from which you can to import 2018 data.

1) This PC

This can be used when Big Red Book Payroll 2018 is installed on the same PC.

2) From a Backup File

This can be used when Big Red Book Payroll 2019 is being installed on a different PC to 2018 or in a different location.

This PC

A Screen similar to this will appear:

From Backup File

When you select this option you will be presented with a screen similar to this one.

Now select Start – this will commence the import process.

The message below is displayed:

3. Company Information

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon  and then click on the Company Information tab.

Complete Company Name, Address, Contact Name, Telephone number and Employer Registered No.

Select your ROS Digital Certificate File.

You can use the ‘Check Connectivity’ option to check that the Employer Registration and Digital Certificate are valid to connect to ROS.

Checking Connectivity also displays the Expiry date of the Digital Certificate.

Employer Registered Number and ROS Certificate File are required to connect with Revenue Online Services.

There is also a section for information required for the creation of a CSO Survey.

4. Rates of Pay

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon and then click on the Rate of Pay tab.

This section sets up the different categories of pay and how they are handled.


Description, appears on the timesheets screen and on the payslip. The Rate and Rate Type columns work together to determine how to calculate a particular payment category. If the Rate Type is “M” (Multiplier), then that payment is the rate x the employee’s hourly rate of pay.

Rate and Rate Type

If the Rate Type is Amount, then that particular payment category is treated as a literal amount e.g. expenses. If Rate Type is Multiplier then the employees Basic Pay is multiplied by the value in Amount e.g. normal pay (per hour) would be 9.65 x 1; overtime might be 9.65 x 1.5.


Is this pay element subject to income tax?.

PRSI Exempt

If the pay element is exempt from PRSI (e.g. Expenses) this is ticked.

USC Exempt

If a pay element is exempt from USC this is ticked.


Determines whether or not a particular payment is a BIK element.

Med Ins.

This indicates if a BIK is for Medical Insurance.


This indicates if a BIK is for Share-based remuneration in this company.

Share-based remuneration is not subject to Employer PRSI.

Lump Sum

Determines whether a payment is a lump sum for an employee retiring or leaving work.

CSO Type

A drop-down list is given of all the CSO Types applicable. A CSO Type should be assigned to each pay rate.

This is required for accurate calculation of data for the CSO Earnings, Hours & Cost of Employment Survey.

Editing Rates of Pay

There are some rates of pay already set-up. These can be changed as required. Double click a field to change it.

Setting up More Rates of Pay

To add a new rate of pay, eg. ‘Bonus’, click on the last entry, and press the ‘down arrow’ key on the keyboard or click the Add button on screen. A new line will appear and you should fill in the relevant details as above.

Example rates and the results:

The individual pay rate for each employee is entered in the Employee Details screen

An example of an employee with an Hourly Rate of €12 :

Importing Time Sheets

The option to Setup Time Sheet Import is at the bottom of this window.

5. What's Included in Gross Pay

Where a payment/contribution/benefit is either income taxable, USCable or PRSIable, it should always be included in Gross Pay.

 Type Of Pay  Included In Gross Pay?
Base Salary/Overtime/Bonus Pay/ Holiday Pay/ Sick Pay  Yes
Employee Pension Contributions  Yes
Employer Pension Contributions where contribution is not subject to income tax or USC  No
Employer pension contributions where contribution is subject to income tax or USC  Yes
Any BIK (Med Insurance, Car, Van, etc.)  Yes
Share Based Remuneration whether shares in the employer company or not  Yes
Employee Income Continuance Permanent Health Insurance  Yes
Saturday Hospital Fund  Yes
Salary Sacrifice (Travel Pass, Cycle to Work)  Yes
ASC Pension Contributions  Yes
RBS Employer Contributions  No
RBS Employee Contributions  Yes
PRSA Employee Contributions  Yes
AVC  Yes
DEASP Maternity Benefit payment  No
DEASP Illness Benefit payment  No
Taxable lump sum/redundancy  Yes
Non-taxable lump sum/statutory redundancy  No

This may not be a complete list and is offered for guidance only. Any queries regarding Gross Pay should be made with an accountant or tax expert.

This list is correct as of November 19th, 2019.

6. Departments

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon and then click on the Departments tab.

The Departments section simply stores a list of departments, which can be used as cost centres for employees. Employees can be assigned to any department.

Simply type the name of the department in the “Department Column”.

To add a new Department, click on the last entry, and press the ‘down arrow’ key on the keyboard. A new line will now appear.

7. Accounts

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon and then click on the Accounts tab.

This section is used to present account system information on the “Weekly Tax Summary Report” to aid posting journal entries to an accounts system.

The report looks like:

8. Mid-Year Startup

This feature is used only when starting to use Big Red Book Payroll in the middle of the tax year where payments have already been made to employees and submitted to Revenue. (See the Settings > Other tab).

Employees who have already left

Please note that data entered here is for setup purposes only. The details are not included in the system reports until as least one payrun has been processed. To include employees who have already left the information should be entered from their second last pay and then their last pay processed through the system. Once a payrun has been processed for an employee, the mid year startup option will be disabled for that employee and may not be amended.

To set up employees in the middle of the tax year, the following steps should be taken:

1. From your existing Payroll system or Tax Cards get the following for each employee:

  • Employee PRSI
  • Employer PRSI
  • Gross Taxable Pay
  • Gross Pay
  • Gross Pay subject to PRSI (for employee)
  • Tax Paid
  • Gross Pay subject to USC
  • USC Paid
  • PRSI Classes and weeks at each Class
  • LPT start date
  • LPT amount paid

2. Set up the employee details as usual. On the PAYE/PRSI History Tab, enter the totals in the mid year startup section as follows:

Save the employee details. The employee may then be processed from that point forward as normal, and the Mid Year figures will be taken into account in calculating Tax and PRSI and USC .

Once a payrun has been processed for an employee, the mid year startup option will be disabled for that employee and may not be amended.

9. Company Settings for PayPath Setup

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon  and then click on the PayPath tab.

To use the PayPath facility you must register with your bank for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and/or SEPA.

Please note that if you have previously used EFT and a switching to SEPA a new registration with your bank for SEPA is required.

There are two formats for PayPath:

Standard 18 is the national electronic payments system used only in the Republic of Ireland and is being phased out.

SEPA is a new electronic payments system being implemented in the Single Euro Payments Area and will be the only option available from February 2014.

To use SEPA tick ‘Use SEPA’

Your bank will provide you with an ‘Owner Identifier’ for Standard 18 or a ‘SEPA Originator Number’, unique to you, which is necessary for the bank to process the PayPath file you will produce. When all the necessary information is provided you will be able to produce a file with all your payroll information and your bank will process this file to make the payments to your employees by Credit Transfer.

If you are currently using Standard 18 please see Switching to SEPA

Company Data for SEPA
SEPA OIN (SEPA Originator Identifier Number)
This is provided by your bank when you register for SEPA, sometimes referred to as ‘Creditor Identifier’.

The Bank Identifer Code for your bank.

The International Bank Account Number for you bank account.

File Reference
Each SEPA file must have a unique File Reference, this enables the bank to check for duplicate files being submitted and is also used when reporting any issues with a transaction.
When a file is being submitted the system will append the date and time to this reference.

Bank Account Name
Treatment of non-standard letters varies by bank.
The options are to Leave, Replace or Strip Out any characters outside the standard character set.

Company Data for Standard 18
Volume Serial Number (Identifier)
There is no set format for ‘Volume Serial Number’, it can be any six letters or numbers.
Spaces are not allowed. All zeros are not allowed.
For convenience this is defaulted to ‘000001’.
Volume Identifier is used to distinguish between multiple files submitted on the same day.
If you submit more than one file in a day the Volume Identifier should be unique for each file.
Owner Identifier
This is a ID number that will be provided by your bank.

10. PRSA Schemes

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon  and then click on the PRSA tab.

Before you can setup PRSA details for employees you must first setup PRSA Providers and Schemes to which they will subscribe.

To Add a PRSA Provider click on the Add button. The following screen will appear and details of the PRSA Provider and the Schemes they offer can be entered. Click Save when done.

The new PRSA schemes will now appear in the ‘PRSA Setup’ tab in Employee Details.

11. Preferences

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon  and then click on the Preferences tab.

On this tab you can:

  1. Select the Default Pay Period you use to aid ease of use.
  2. Select the language for Payslip headings
  3. Select the type of Payslip layout (The Original has two payslips per page, new format has one per page and is the format used when payslips are emailed from the application)
  4. Screen Font Size (The default font size is 8 – you can select 9 or 10 to increase the font size for the Employee and Time-sheet entry screens.)
  5. Set the Default Backup Location
  6. Set the location where ROS files will be saved.
  7. Set the default location for Time Sheet Import Files.

12. Email Setup

In Payroll 2019 click the Settings Icon  and then click on the Email tab.

SMTP Server

Choose this option to send emails directly from your email server.

To use this setting you must specify the name of your server and the ‘From’ email address.

Emails will be sent directly via the server and a copy may not be made in your ‘Sent Items’ folder.

If your server requires Authentication you must enter your email User Name and Password.

If you wish to see the Password in plain text, click on ‘Show Password’.

The ‘ISP Defaults’ button allows you to select the default SMTP server and port for some of the most common ISPs.

Email Client

Choose this option to send the emails via your email program.

Emails will be created one at a time and displayed for Review, click ‘Send’ on each to send.

To skip the display of each email you can select the option ‘Send without reviewing each email?’

Depending on your Email Client (Outlook, Eudora etc.) and security settings on your system you may have to confirm ‘Allow’ for each email as it is sent.

A copy will be made in your ‘Sent Items’ folder in the usual way.

Payslip email message settings

The default message for the email can be specified here and can also be changed when sending payslips.

We recommend that you specify a BCC (blind copy) email if you require a copy of the emails sent and your server does not save a copy of emails sent via SMTP.

Setup for each employee

To email a Payslip you must assign an email address and password to each Employee you wish to email in the Employee screen on the Bank/email/payslip tab. A password must also be entered.

Other Payroll Support Topics

ERR Reporting


Getting Started


Employee Details Screen


Payroll Processing


Employee Leaving




Backups, Utilities & Support