Feb 2022

21

Save on overhead costs and bring your payroll in-house

With the COVID-19 restrictions finally eased, business owners all over Ireland are enjoying a permanent return to normal business operations after two years of repeated openings and closures. It’s been an incredibly costly two years for businesses, not only in revenue lost due to closure but also in money spent on adapting their infrastructure to suit social distancing rules.

Although we’ve moved back to normality, COVID-19 remains a lurking threat and it’s not surprising that businesses are looking to save costs where they can. One overhead that employers will be looking at reducing is payroll. They can do this by switching from outsourced payroll services to doing it themselves in-house. The good news for businesses looking to bring their payroll in-house is the availability of great payroll software that can help them achieve this.

Payroll software, such as BrightPay, offers employers an intuitive, easy-to-use application, which even the most inexperienced payroll processor can, in a short time, get to grips with. It will keep you up to date with changes to payroll and tax legislation as well as provide you with free support including online demos, webinars, and video tutorials.

If you haven’t processed payroll before or have very little experience with it, here are some points to consider when bringing your payroll in-house:

1. Work with your accountant:

Although you’re making the decision to bring payroll in-house, you’ll still likely be working with your accountant to help manage your finances and prepare your accounts. If they managed your payroll previously, they will likely be able to transfer files to facilitate you in setting up on your own. With BrightPay you can set up at any time, start partway of the tax year or continue partway in the tax year.


BrightPay currently offers direct import options for a number of different payroll software providers, allowing you to quickly import your company and employee details. If your accountant uses a different software, BrightPay can facilitate the import of employee information in CSV format or through the use of Revenue Payroll Notifications.

2. Trial it out:

If you’re unsure about how well you will manage payroll on your own, don’t commit to it yet. Instead, try out the software. Trialling it out can allow you to conduct a test payroll run while at the same time your accountant can continue to run the payroll separately. This means that if you do make a mistake, it won’t have an impact on your employees. It also gives you the chance to compare the payroll information in parallel, to see if and where you went wrong.

BrightPay offers a 60-day free trial of its payroll software, an ideal way to test out the software to see if it’s the right fit for your business. The free trial version has full functionality with no limitations to any of the features.

3. Use the opportunity to add new HR features

BrightPay Connect, the cloud extension to BrightPay, offers an employer and employee self-service portals that can help streamline HR tasks and better integrate it with payroll. With BrightPay Connect, you can:

  • Share payslips directly to employees using the BrightPay Connect app
  • Manage annual leave requests made by employees using the app
  • Share confidential documents with employees such as their contract of employment
  • View and access payroll reports
  • View amounts paid and due to Revenue

4. Consider the accounting software:

If you do decide to bring payroll in-house, you will still need to send payroll journals and payroll data to your accountant. Choosing a payroll software that offers integration with accounting software can save you and your accountant time and hassle. API integration allows you to send this information directly to the general ledger in the accounting package. BrightPay includes direct API integration with the following accounting software: AccountsIQ, QuickBooks Online, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Xero, and Surf Accounts.

Discover more:
Bringing payroll in-house is entirely do-able. While there are challenges associated with it, more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of it. To help you understand the full benefits that a business can gain by bringing their payroll in-house, book an online demo of BrightPay and speak to a member of our team today.


Feb 2022

18

“It’s just so easy to use” – What customers have to say

We were delighted to have received a 99% Customer Satisfaction rate in our 2021 Customer Survey. The survey asked BrightPay payroll software customers to rate a number of different features, including its payroll features, its value for money, time saving capabilities, cost savings, and user interface. The results showed an overall 99% satisfaction rating with an overwhelming number of customers commenting on the software’s easy-to-use interface and intuitive design.

What are customers saying about BrightPay?

Whether you’re a business owner with a small team of employees or an accountant with 50 clients processing payroll for hundreds of employees, your payroll software should provide you with essential help. From quickly running multiple payment schedules side-by-side, to utilising the flexible report builder, and sending Payroll Submission Requests each pay period, BrightPay customers experience a quicker and more straightforward payroll process.

The interface:

The importance of an intuitive software design cannot be overstated. It allows users to easily understand how the software works, learn how to use the software quickly with minimal instruction, and it provides for a more pleasant user experience. Payroll comes with many different components and factors to it and while BrightPay’s payroll software provides full functionality, it has not compromised on its design. Customers, both new and old, have commented on this. When asked why they would recommend the software to a colleague, replies included:

  • “Compared to other payroll software we've used, it's easy to use and intuitive”.
  • “Hassle free and easy to operate”.
  • “If I can use it, anyone can. It’s so easy to use, coupled with excellent back-up service”.

Response to COVID-19:

It’s been a challenging year for payroll processors, adapting to new schemes and subsidy rates, from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) followed by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). BrightPay has quickly rolled out updates in response to these changes and have supported customers by partnering with Revenue to host frequent webinars. This allowed businesses and payroll processors to ask any questions that they had and ensured they had the most up-to-date information on the schemes. 99% of customers rated the free online webinars and payroll upgrades as excellent and 100% of customers rated phone and email support as excellent.

“COVID-related webinars, especially early on in the pandemic were excellent. Without doubt the best source of user-friendly information available.

I was especially appreciative of the question & answer sessions, which helped me appreciate that I wasn't the only person who had queries regarding administering the new protocols.

The speakers were always well informed and had pragmatic solutions to any issues raised. The quality of these presentations was the main reason I moved our payroll to Brightpay.”

- BrightPay Customer

More on Customer Support:

BrightPay’s excellent customer support is a point of pride, and we were delighted to see 98% of customers were extremely satisfied with the support they received the past year. The support offered to customers includes phone and email support from payroll specialists to free product demos, webinars, guides, and other documentation. Customer support is included in all licences and has been free for nearly 30 years!

What can BrightPay customers expect next?

BrightPay continues its development plan and to evolve to create the best customer experience possible. We recently rolled out new integrations with several accounting software so customers can send their payroll journals directly to their accounts at a click of a button. In addition to this, we launched an API with Modulr, the payments platform, facilitating direct payments to employees.

We’d like to thank all customers who took part in our customer survey. Your feedback is used to adapt the development strategy to ensure we’re delivering on what you really want when it comes to payroll software.

Discover more:

To discover more about BrightPay and how it can improve your payroll services and save you time, schedule a 15-minute demo with a member of our team today.

 

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinPayrollPayroll Software


Jan 2022

26

New bill for remote working set to be introduced

On the 21st of January, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the lifting of nearly all COVID-19 restrictions. This meant that beginning this week, employees could begin a phased return to offices where they are no longer required to adhere to social distancing. While many businesses welcomed the news, there was a renewed concern on whether employers would give their staff the option of remote or hybrid working.

Those concerned will have welcomed the news that a Right to Request Remote Working Bill will be introduced to the Oireachtas. On Monday the 24th of January, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar made an announcement on the right to request remote working and stated that the government wants remote working to be a choice to help with work life balance and that it should be facilitated where possible by the employer, however there will be circumstances where an employer will be within their rights to not grant a request which will be laid out in the bill.

What is the purpose of the bill?

Currently, there is no legal framework for remote or hybrid working. In order for remote working to become a permanent feature in Ireland, the government wants to introduce legislation that will underpin employees’ right to request remote work. It is their aim that remote working will become a permanent feature of Ireland’s workforce, with benefits for the economy, society, and the environment. These goals have been outlined in the national Remote Work Strategy published last year.

The proposed bill does not seek to make remote working an absolute right for employees. With many jobs requiring employees to be present in the workplace, Varadkar says it would not be “practical”. Instead, the proposed legislation will provide them with a legal right to request to work remotely from their employer.

What exactly does the bill propose?

To have the right to request remote working, the bill proposes that the employee must have 6 months continuous service with the employer. The employee must give a written request with the following details:

  • Proposed remote working location
  • Proposed start date for the remote working arrangement
  • Proposed number, and timing, of working days to be worked remotely
  • Whether the employee has previously made a request under this Act and the date of the most recent previous request
  • A self-assessment of the suitability for the proposed remote working location regarding specific requirements for carrying out the job such as data protection and confidentiality, minimum levels of internet connectivity, ergonomic suitability of the proposed workspace and other furniture requirements

The employee may also be required to give further information and evidence about the remote working location, if the employer requests it.

Once the request has been made, the employer must reply with a decision within a “reasonable time period”. The employer will have 12 weeks from receipt of the request to reply and the employer can approve the request wholly or partially and they can decline the request. The employer can also counter offer the employee’s request which the employee will have one month to accept or refuse.

The legislation outlines 13 potential reasons for an employer to decline a remote working request. They include:

  1. The Nature of the work not allowing for the work to be done remotely
  2. Cannot reorganise work among existing staff
  3. Potential Negative impact on quality of business product or service
  4. Potential Negative impact on performance of employee or other employees
  5. Burden of Additional Costs, taking into account the financial and other costs entailed and the scale and financial resources of the employer’s business
  6. Concerns for the protection of business confidentiality or intellectual property
  7. Concerns for the suitability of the proposed workspace on health and safety grounds
  8. Concerns for the suitability of the proposed workspace on data protection grounds
  9. Concerns for the internet connectivity of the proposed remote working location
  10. Concerns for the commute between the proposed remote working location and employer’s on-site location
  11. The proposed remote working arrangement conflicts with the provisions of an applicable collective agreement
  12. Planned structural changes would render any of (a) to (k) applicable
  13. Employee is the subject of ongoing or recently concluded formal disciplinary process
Interested in a ready to use Hybrid Working policy? Book a demo of Bright Contracts to see how we can help your business today.

If the employer declines the request to remote working, the employee is entitled to appeal the decision. They can appeal this decision either through an internal appeal process or through the Workplace Relations Commission, or both. The presumption is that an employer should aim to facilitate remote working where possible but if they are to decline the request reasonable justification must be given. Under this bill employees will be able to submit another request, however it must be 12 weeks after the initial request. Varadkar believes that “we’re not going to see loads of cases going to WRC or going to court...and that the vast majority of employers are going to want to facilitate remote working.”

Varadkar also stated that a requirement of this strategy will be that all employers must have a Work from Home (WFH) Policy in place therefore we would suggest to employers that in advance of this strategy being written into law they must get Working from Home policies in place which our sister product Bright Contracts already has in place in its software. Download a trial version of the software to have a look at what a WFH policy should include.

More about the proposed Right to Request Remote Work Bill can be read here. Interested in a ready to use Hybrid Working and Working from Home policy?

Book a demo of Bright Contracts, our HR Software to see how Bright Contracts can help your business today.

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Jan 2022

25

Statutory Sick Pay – Preparing for 2022

The proposed Sick Leave Bill 2021 will see the introduction of a Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) scheme, beginning in 2022. The introduction of SSP will likely impact your payroll. As your payroll software provider, BrightPay will equip you with the necessary tools to make implementing and managing sick pay as seamless as possible.

Here’s what you need to know about the proposed Sick Leave Bill 2021.

What is the purpose of the Sick Leave Bill 2021?

In Ireland, unlike other European jurisdictions, employees have no legal right to be paid while they are off work ill. Typically, sick leave is negotiated in an employment contract, which is at the sole discretion of the employer. However, access to paid sick leave is unequal, with lower-income earners less likely to have it. This disparity was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an attempt to address this issue and to bring Ireland more in line with other European countries, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, received cabinet approval in June 2021 to draft the Sick Leave Bill 2021. Speaking about the bill he said, “It’s not right that people feel forced to go to work when they are sick and it’s not good for public health”.

The Statutory Sick Bill 2021 is separate to the Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19 where different conditions and payment apply.

What does the Sick Pay bill propose?

A draft of the Sick Leave Bill 2021 was published by the government on the 4th November 2021. The bill proposes that the scheme is rolled out through four phases, with an initial introduction of three days’ sick pay from 2022, rising to five days in 2023, and seven days in 2024. This will be eventually extended to 10 days’ sick pay in 2025.

Eligibility and criteria for the Statutory Sick Leave scheme

Currently, the bill proposes that only employees who have worked 13 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to a sick leave payment from their employer for up to three days of certified sick leave per year. The employee must provide a medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner stating that they are unfit to work, in order to avail of the scheme.

How will the scheme impact employers?

From 2022, employers who do not already provide sick pay to their employees will have to pay their employees Statutory Sick Pay for up to three days off due to illness. The rate of payment will be 70% of the employee’s normal daily wages and this is capped at a maximum of €110 per day.

The entitlement to SSP is in addition to any other leave the employee is entitled to, such as annual leave, parental leave, maternity leave or paternity leave.

Employers who already provide employees with a sick leave scheme, will not be required to meet the bill’s obligations if the terms of the scheme they offer, is as favourable or more favourable to the employee. When determining whether their current scheme is as or more favourable to the employee than the SSP scheme, the employer should consider the following:

  • How long a service must the employee work before sick leave is payable
  • How many days must an employee be absent due to illness before sick leave is payable
  • How long is the period for which sick leave is payable
  • What is the amount of sick leave that is payable
  • What is the reference period of the sick leave scheme

Employers must also keep records for each employee, recording the statutory sick leave taken by their employee. Each employee’s records must include

  • Their period of employment
  • The dates of statutory sick leave taken
  • The rate of statutory sick leave payment

How do you prepare for the Statutory Sick Leave Bill 2021?

If you’re an employer who already provides a sick pay leave through the employee’s contract or through union agreements, you’ll need to consider your current scheme under the proposed legislation. As mentioned above, review whether your scheme meets or is more favourable than the statutory provision. If it is, your obligation under the legislation is met. If it does not, it will need to be modified to bring it up to par.

If you’re an employer who does not already provide sick pay, the new bill will likely result in additional costs for your business. There will be the direct cost of the sick payments and there may also be indirect costs due to additional administrative duties. On the other hand, SSP can benefit employers, resulting in a reduced employee turnover, a safer working environment, as well as reducing presenteeism and absenteeism.

How will BrightPay manage Statutory Sick Pay?

Since 2012, UK customers of BrightPay Payroll Software have used the software’s SSP functionality. The payroll software automatically determines SSP eligibility and calculates the amount of SSP to be paid, if required, BrightPay can also allow payments to be made retroactively in a later pay period.

Well experienced with providing SSP payroll support to our customers, we are ready to roll out any necessary changes required to the Irish version of the software.

How does BrightPay currently manage sick pay?

If you currently offer paid sick leave to your employees, you can process it within BrightPay payroll software by adding it as an ‘addition type’. You can then add the amount of sick pay owed to the employee while entering the employee’s pay information for that period.

On the employee calendar, you can set the sick days as being certified or uncertified. The calendar will display the sick days in red and the total number of sick days taken will be clearly displayed on the bottom right-hand side of the screen.

If you use BrightPay Connect, the optional cloud add-on to the payroll software, your employees can use the employee app to keep track of how many sick days they have taken so far.

When will the Sick Leave Bill 2021 be phased in?

As the Sick Leave Bill 2021 is being phased in over a four-year period, beginning in 2022, SSP will likely have an impact on your business this year. While this scheme was expected to become mandatory on 1st January 2022, there are still no current legal obligations to comply with it. The bill is still before the Oireachtas and may be subject to future amendments.

To learn more about BrightPay’s features, book a free online demo today.

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Jan 2022

19

Auto enrolment for accountants: Lessons learned from the UK

It is a decade this year since auto enrolment was rolled out in the UK. Created to address a growing pensions crisis caused by a lack of retirement savings, an increasing life expectancy, and an overall older population, it was brought into law with the Pensions Act 2008.

The policy is widely considered to have been successful as it has certainly reversed the decline in workplace pension saving. The introduction of auto enrolment led to a tenfold increase in total membership of defined contribution occupational schemes, up from 2.1 million in 2011 to 21 million in 2019.

 

What is auto enrolment?

In the UK, auto, or automatic enrolment requires employers to automatically enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme. Both the employer and the employee must pay minimum contributions into the pension pot. All other employees have the right to join or opt-in to the workplace pension scheme, depending on their age and earnings.

It began with a phased rollout, first by employer size, starting with large employers in 2012, followed by mid-sized employers in 2014, and then small employers between 2016 and 2018. The minimum contributions rates were also phased in, beginning at a 1% employer contribution and a 1% worker contribution before steadily increasing to its full amount in April 2019, that of 3% from employers, 4% from employees, and 1% tax relief.

Find out what to expect with auto enrolment in Ireland here.

 

The opportunities of auto enrolment

Auto enrolment will mean different things for different people. While it may offer employees reassurance for their future, it may also cause a considerable challenge for employers to fund this extra expense. However, if its rollout in Ireland is similar to the UK, it will also create considerable opportunities. By introducing auto enrolment, the UK government effectively created a new market for pension providers, asset managers, and other financial institutions, while also creating a new and considerable service that accountants and bookkeepers could offer to their clients.

UK accountants, bureaus, and bookkeepers offering auto enrolment typically package their AE services as one that offers expert knowledge on the topic, ensures compliance, and will see payroll processed without a hitch. Common features of this service include:

  • Assessing clients’ employee eligibility
  • Assist on pension scheme selection and assistance with set-up on the scheme
  • Auto enrol clients’ employees into their chosen pension scheme
  • Issuing employee communications on behalf of their clients
  • Provide on-going administration of auto enrolment
  • Manage employees opting out or postponing auto enrolment
  • Re-enrolment of employees
  • Submitting Declarations of Compliance to The Pensions Regulator
  • Ensure their clients legal obligations are met

Avoiding the pitfalls of auto enrolment

While auto enrolment may represent a potential new service you can offer to your clients, you should be cautious as to how you present this service. At the beginning of the auto enrolment roll-out in the UK, accountants and bookkeepers were uncertain of how to offer these services and how much to charge for them. Many were caught out by undervaluing the service. It’s important to get the pricing right from the start, to avoid having to increase costs on your clients.

How do I choose the correct pricing strategy for auto enrolment?

A number of pricing strategies are now in use, including a tiered pricing strategy, a monthly retainer fee, and a price list strategy.

  • A tiered strategy allows you to provide AE services at different price points for different levels of service. For example, with each higher tier you can add on services such as postponement, declaration of compliance, and payroll & pension reporting.
  • A monthly retainer fee sees bureaus increase their monthly charge for processing payroll to include the additional AE duties. The monthly payment will spread the cost of auto enrolment over a period of time, and it is typically offered as part of a contract.
  • Alternatively, you can choose a price list strategy where you present a menu of the services with each item priced. With this strategy, there is also an option to offer bundle deals, for example if the client buys more than five tasks or services.

Each of these different pricing strategies outline clear deliverables for the client. They offer clarity, choice and control for the client, while being a profitable service for you.

 

How do I choose the best payroll software for auto enrolment?

The rollout of auto enrolment may be stressful, for both you and your clients. The payroll software you use will not only decide what auto enrolment services you can offer but also the time you spend carrying out these services, and thus, the extra workload you must take on.

In a letter sent in July to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Chartered Accountants Ireland wrote that payroll service providers have requested a lead in time of at least 18 months in order to adopt auto enrolment. However, with 9 years' experience providing full auto enrolment functionality to our UK customers, BrightPay have the resources and knowledge necessary to quickly begin updating the payroll software with these features.

BrightPay payroll software will offer full auto enrolment functionality at no additional cost. All BrightPay payroll packages will include auto enrolment plus free phone and email support to help you through your auto enrolment journey.

 

Discover more:

To discover more about BrightPay and how it can improve your payroll services and save you time, schedule a 15-minute demo with a member of our team today. BrightPay also offers a 60-day free trial of its payroll software, an ideal way to test out the software to see if it’s the right fit for your business. The free trial version has full functionality with no limitations on any of the features.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinAuto Enrolment


Jan 2022

7

Revolutionize your payroll this year with digital banking

Similar to their European counterparts, Irish consumers have increasingly moved online, both for their shopping and for their banking. Over the past year, consumers who had previously never used digital channels turned to online and mobile banking for the first time. The use of cash declined while contactless payments surged, with a record €1 billion payments made in May 2021. While the use of digital banking has been on the rise for a number of years now, the pandemic urgently accelerated a shift in digital behaviour. A survey conducted at the start of this year found that 69% of Irish consumers trust digital banking providers with 62% of these saying it was due to the simplicity of their services.

It should come as no surprise that this change in digital behaviour is also reflected in how businesses are managing their payments. As technology continues to advance and consumers become more experienced with digital banking, their behaviour is reflected in their decision making in the workplace. This has already been seen in the payroll sector.

In the UK, we’ve seen payroll processors adopt digital banking solutions in order to improve their payroll workflow, have more flexibility with making payments, and to send faster payments to their employees. Accountants and payroll bureaus have also begun offering it as a new service to customers.

How does digital banking improve the payroll workflow?

An integrated system between the payroll software and the digital finance platform can offer a smoother, more efficient payroll workflow. Using an API (Application Programming Interface) users can initiate payments from within the payroll software enabling them to pay employees and subcontractors with a few clicks of a button. It saves time and is more efficient.

How does digital banking offer more flexibility?

Those payroll processors experienced with using traditional bank payment methods will be used to the overly long process of submitting bank files every month or even every fortnight, to pay employees’ wages. You’re typically required to submit bank payment files at least three days in advance of when the payment is due which can be quite a manual process with numerous steps involved in it.

Digital banks offering access to the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) allows businesses to send payments across the EU member states (and 8 other countries) and can also offer the option of EUR and GBP accounts. Payments can be sent on the day they’re due (before 2.00pm) and if they’re sent any time after that or sent on a non-working day, they’ll arrive by the following working day.

How can payroll processors access digital banking?

BrightPay users now have access to Modulr, the payments platform behind banking app Revolut, to pay employees. Payroll processors looking to speed up their workflow with a more convenient payment method will have access to SEPA credit transfers. By signing up to Modulr, the payroll processor can initiate payment from within BrightPay once the payroll has been finalised. The payment then needs to be approved by two-factor authentication using their phone before being sent to employees.

Learn more about BrightPay's integration with Modulr.

What is the future of SEPA?

SEPA is a much better alternative to bank payment files which is why there has been such an uptake of it across the EU. It allows for quicker payments and faster processing times. However, as part of their long-term strategy, the European Payments Council have developed SEPA Instant Payments. With this, users can send payments instantly 24/7. While this has not been rolled out by retail banks in Ireland yet, it’s likely we’ll see the rollout of this by more digital banks in the near future. Stay posted!

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinPayroll SoftwareSEPA


Dec 2021

20

Our Christmas Opening Hours 2021

All of the staff here at BrightPay would like to thank you for your valued custom in 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Here are our opening hours for the Christmas period:      

Monday 20th  09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 21st  09:30 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 22nd  09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Thursday 23rd  09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Friday 24th  Closed
Saturday 25th Closed
Sunday 26th Closed
Monday 27th Closed
Tuesday 28th Closed
Wednesday 29th 09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Thursday 30th  09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Friday 31st  09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00
Saturday 1st January Closed
Sunday 2nd January Closed
Monday 3rd January Closed

 

To contact our support team you can call us on 01 8352074, email us at support@brightpay.ie or complete our online form.

Visit online documentation Online form

Nov 2021

29

Five payroll resolutions for January 2022

New year’s resolutions can divide people into two camps. Those who love to start the new year with a clean slate and fresh goals, and those who’ve lost all optimism and scoff at their naivety. Understandably, there are cynics. Changing your behaviour is hard and more often than not, these resolutions fail. The resolutions most likely to fail are those that are too vague with no clear path on how to achieve them.

If you’re setting resolutions for your business or job this year, then break them up into manageable and uncomplicated steps. You’ve likely heard of SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time limited. If you’re looking to improve your business, for example, the payroll service you offer, then using this established tool is how you can go about it. Rather than simply saying “I want to make my payroll services better for clients” or “I want to reduce the time I spend on payroll”, decide on specific goals which will help you achieve this.

Achieving payroll goals for 2022

1. Provide an employee app for your clients
This one is a specific, easily achievable goal that can help you provide a better payroll service to your clients. Employee apps have risen in use in recent years and are popular among employers and employees alike. BrightPay Connect, the cloud add-on to BrightPay Payroll Software, includes one and your clients will immediately gain extra value from it. Their employees can book their annual leave through the employee app, view confidential documents, and use it to view their payslips. From a marketing perspective, an employee app can also have multiple benefits. The extra value if offers can encourage customer loyalty, and its frequent use by clients and their employees can increase awareness of your business.

2. Offer clients instant access to reports

Similar to the goal above, this is a simple and achievable step that you can take to improve your payroll services. By using BrightPay Connect, you can offer your clients access to payroll reports whenever they like. This can be more convenient for your clients and can reduce the amount of back-and-forth communication between you and the client.
Once you finalise payroll on BrightPay Payroll Software, the report will automatically become available for the client to view via their BrightPay Connect self-service portal. Your clients will also be able to use the portal to access a number of preprogramed reports, as well as any other payroll reports which have been set up and saved on the payroll application.

3. Spend less time on manual entry

By setting this goal you can reduce the overall time you spend on delivering your payroll services. How can you go about this? First, decide where you want to reduce manual entry. For example, your payroll journal is a good place to start. By using a payroll software which is integrated with the accounting software you use, you can send your payroll journal directly to it. This means you no longer need to spend time on double entry and manually copying figures from your payroll software into your general ledger.

4. Spend less time on payslips

This goal goes back to your aim of spending less time on payroll. There is no need to be spending time emailing or even worse, printing and posting payslips to employees. As mentioned previously, by using BrightPay Connect, you can send payslips directly to your client’s employees. The payslips are automatically sent to the employee app once you’ve finalised payroll. You can specify whether it is immediately sent to their self-service portal or you can choose a future date and time.

5. Review your GDPR compliance

It’s always advisable to review your compliance with GDPR and ensure you’re keeping your client’s payroll data secure. By keeping on top of this, you can assure clients that security is a priority for your practice. Make sure the data you collect is the minimum amount required and remember to provide your clients and their employees access to their personal information. Again, an employee app can help with this. Using BrightPay Connect, employees can view and update their personal information, whenever they like.

Discover more:

Now that you’ve decided on what steps you can take to improve your payroll services, make sure you have the right payroll software and employee app to support you. Book a demo today to discover more about BrightPay and BrightPay Connect. BrightPay also offers a 60-day free trial of its payroll software, an ideal way to test out the software to see if it’s the right fit for your business. The free trial version has full functionality with no limitations on any of the features.

 

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Nov 2021

22

Christmas bonuses and tax-free vouchers: your holiday payroll guide covered

It’s coming close to the end-of-year madness, and as payroll processors you’re likely to be particularly busy in the lead-up to Christmas. Between managing the annual leave requests, Christmas bonuses, and holiday pay, there are a quite a few payroll tasks to sort out. To help you with this, we’ve put together a few key points to remember if you’re processing the payroll this Christmas.

Christmas Bonuses:

A Christmas bonus can put a smile on every employee’s face and can be the perfect way to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work done during a difficult year. However, it’s important you don’t get caught out on tax implications.

Under Revenue’s Small Business Exemption Scheme, employers can gift employees and directors a small benefit of up to €500 in value, tax free, each year. Certain guidelines must be followed:

  • This benefit cannot be in cash.
  • Only one such benefit can be given to an employee in one tax year. Only the first one qualifies for tax free status, even if you do not offer the full €500.

With this tax-free benefit, you have the potential to save up to €653.65 in tax per employee as the total cost of a net €500 gift paid through payroll is €1,153.65. Remember though, if a benefit exceeds €500 in value, the full value of that benefit is subject to tax.

In order to qualify for the small benefit exemption, it is important that gift cards are not given to employees as a salary sacrifice. This means you cannot fund the bonus from a deduction of your employee’s salary. The rewards must be invoiced and paid external to payroll.

Vouchers:

  • Tax-free vouchers are a popular way of gifting a Christmas bonus to employees.
  • Tax-free vouchers can be used only to purchase goods or services.
  • The tax-free vouchers must be purchased from the business bank account or credit card.
  • Employees or directors cannot purchase a voucher themselves and seek reimbursement for it.

When to pay employees in December:

It’s common for many businesses to have a different payroll date in December. Often, employees will be paid earlier in December so they can cover their holiday expenses and because many businesses are closed at the end of the month.

It's likely only your monthly paid employees will be affected by this. If you plan to pay employees early, make sure you give yourself enough time to process the payroll in advance. Give your employees notice of the change in pay date and enough time that they can submit their expenses if they have any. Remember to make provisions to ensure that you report your employees’ pay to Revenue on or before the pay date.

Managing annual leave requests:

Christmas can be a very busy time for many businesses, and it may be also a time when employees are most looking to take annual leave. While you need to ensure you have enough employees working to cover this busy period, you should also look to be as fair as possible.

It’s recommended that you have a clear policy on holiday requests. Most often, a “first-come, first-served” approach is used. This provides a fair and transparent method for all employees. One way of achieving this is by using an employee app. BrightPay Connect, a cloud add-on to BrightPay Payroll Software, includes an employee self-service platform which can be accessed online or through the BrightPay Connect employee app. The app gives employees access to a self-service portal that they can use to request leave at any time. Once a request has been made, the employer or their manager, will be notified of it. When a request has been made it is time stamped, allowing you to see the order in which they come in. The employee will then be notified if the request has been accepted or rejected. BrightPay Connect also includes a company-wide calendar for the employer to view so that you can ensure that there is adequate staffing before approving an annual leave request.

Interested in learning more about annual leave management on BrightPay Connect? Book a free online demo here for a detailed walkthrough of everything BrightPay Connect has to offer you and your business.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinAnnual LeavePayroll


Nov 2021

11

BrightPay Payroll: Evolving to exceed customers expectations

In this year’s annual customer survey, BrightPay Payroll Software received a 99% customer satisfaction rate. The score, along with our customers’ comments, reflected and highlighted the software’s easy-to-use interface and the variety of functions it provides. The customer survey is a great way for us to understand what our customers love about the software, and more importantly, what they’d like to see improve. The suggestions and feedback are used to help us plan our product development timeline and to ensure we’re continually evolving to not only meet our customer’s expectations, but to exceed them. Our focus on improvements and creating a better customer experience has seen two new features recently added to BrightPay payroll software; payroll journal integrations and a payments integration.

 

Send payroll journals directly from BrightPay to your accounting software:

The payroll journal feature allows users to create wage journals from finalised pay periods so that they can be added directly into various accounting packages. Four new payroll journal integrations have been added to BrightPay payroll software, allowing you to send your payroll journals directly from BrightPay to AccountsIQ, Quickbooks Online, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, and Xero. Thanks to the integrations, you’ll no longer need to export CSV files from the payroll software and import them to the accounting software. Instead, BrightPay's APIs facilitate direct access to your accounting software, saving you time, reducing mistakes, and improving your payroll workflow.

How does it work?

Your payroll journal file is customised to the accounting package you use. It includes compatible files and a built-in nominal ledger mapping system. With the nominal ledger mapping, you can decide where payroll items get posted to in your accounting software. Once you’ve decided which nominal accounts they will be added to, you can save the settings. For future use, you simply select the date range you want the payroll journal to include and click send.

Credit Transfer Integration:

To make paying employees quick and easy, BrightPay have introduced a new payments integration with Modulr, the payments platform. Modulr is a fintech company who are the payments platform behind the digital banking app, Revolut. With the Modulr API you have access to the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA), the European-wide payments scheme. From BrightPay, you can initiate credit transfer payments to employees, saving you time and simplifying the payroll payments workflow.

How does it work?

Once the payroll has been finalised, Modulr customers can pay employees by selecting ‘Pay by Modulr’ in BrightPay’s payroll software. You’ll be asked to login to your Modulr account and to approve the payment using two-factor authentication on your mobile phone. The payments will then land in your employees account by one working day. If you don’t have an account with Modulr, you must first register as a new customer. To learn more about this feature, click here.

Please note that to avail of this new feature, customers will be subject to additional charges.

Discover more:

To discover more about BrightPay and how it can improve your payroll services and save you time, schedule a 15-minute demo with a member of our team today. Or to try BrightPay for yourself, why not begin your 60-day free trial today. The free trial is fully featured with all functionality.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinPayroll Software