Want to run your own payroll but worried that your maths will let you down?

Well the good news is that you don’t really need to be a trigonometry or calculus genius to run your own payroll. But being confident and competent with numbers and data will certainly help – and not just with running a payroll but with tackling problems and making good decisions in every day life.

For most employers, their payroll calculations will be handled by their payroll software. Even those who are running their payroll manually can access help in the form of tax and National Insurance calculators.

Nevertheless, if you want to run your own payroll, it will certainly help to have basic maths skills – so that you can spot errors in data you have entered for example or so that you can sense check your employees’ payslips. More broadly, having good financial capability is dependent on everyday maths skills – choosing financial products, budgeting effectively and picking out the best deals rely on being numerate.

The charity, National Numeracy, is available to help anyone worried about their maths skills. They can help you towards understanding the Essentials of Numeracy. 

National Numeracy say that there is no such thing as a gene for maths ability – nobody is naturally “bad” at maths and anyone can learn. Adults CAN improve their numeracy and doing so can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing and increase confidence and self-esteem.

So, want to improve your maths skills?

The National Numeracy Challenge is an online learning resource designed to assess your everyday maths skills and give you the tools to learn in manageable steps, building confidence along the way as you work towards the Essentials of Numeracy.

Around 125,000 people have registered for the Challenge so far. More than three quarters of people who have reassessed have improved their numeracy.

These are the key steps to take as you work towards getting the Essentials of Numeracy:

  • Register on the website: www.nnchallenge.org.uk/litrg
  • Take the Challenge Check-Up to find out whether you have the Essentials of Numeracy, or your current level if you have not got the Essentials – yet. You will also find out your strengths and weaknesses across the different areas of numeracy.
  • Access the National Numeracy learning resources. From the dashboard choose from a huge variety of online learning resources.
  • When you feel ready, take the Check-Up again and see if you have improved.
  • Return to the learning resources and continue practicing and improving.

Important features to highlight are:

  • It's free and confidential – no one will find out your score.
  • You can work at your own pace, saving progress as you go.
  • It is not a formal education or classroom setting – it can be done in the comfort of your own home.
  • The site is mobile and tablet friendly so can be accessed anywhere with internet connection.
  • The Check-Up is adaptive – so if you are struggling it will present questions which are at your level.
  • You can choose how to learn – if you don’t like one resource, simply move onto another.
  • If you reach the Essentials of Numeracy, you can claim a certificate or digital badge.

We hope you find it useful – do let us know how you get on!