We were recently asked what the benefits are of working with a local payroll bureau. This got us thinking that this is probably not common knowledge and we’ve decided to go into a little more detail. But, before we do that, another question also springs to mind. Why choose a payroll bureau in Kent, for example, over a payroll bureau in Manchester? Besides being a million miles away, a professional payroll bureau should have the ability to offer a nationwide service. Have a look at our opinion below:
Payroll is a necessary function for all businesses because without an accurate payroll, employee morale will be affected. As a result, the business will ultimately suffer. Whether you have your own in-house payroll software or use a local Payroll Bureau, there is no way of escaping this critical function. In addition, it is essential to select a managed services provider that meets industry standards such as the CIPP accreditation and BACS accreditation.
As we have previously mentioned, the cost of running payroll in house is substantially higher compared to a fully outsourced payroll solution. The outsourced service provider will bear the cost and invest in functional payroll software. It is the Bureau Software that makes all the difference. Bureau software should provide online, GDPR compliant, portals whereby information can be transferred securely from bureau to client and vice versa. So, technically speaking, everything can really be done remotely. Bureaux will often provide a point of contact or account manager that you can call if any issues arise.
You would rarely need to meet your account manager face to face. But working with a local payroll bureau will give you that opportunity. Meeting with your payroll account manager will depend solely on the complexity of your payroll. If you have a complex payroll that requires frequent changes, such as weekly as well as monthly pay runs, we would highly recommend using a local payroll bureau.
We provide a fully outsourced payroll solution that is designed to save you time and money. Our service is mostly communicated remotely either via our Bureau software or over the phone. In other words, no matter where you are located within the UK, we will design a bespoke solution for you and efficiently communicate as well as guide you through the process.
Over the years, MP Payroll Solutions have provided outsourced payroll services to hundreds of companies within the UK. We have a lot of experience in determining payroll errors in small businesses and how to resolve them. The aim of this post is to help businesses avoid the 7 Payroll Pitfalls. From our point of view, it seems like SME businesses make the following critical payroll mistakes:
The lack of technical payroll knowledge is a common concern. For instance, payroll personnel that are unfamiliar with the in-house payroll system will result in payroll mistakes. Therefore, adequate training or outsourcing your payroll will eliminate any critical payroll mistake.
HMRC requires employers to submit period payroll files, specifically RTI, and account for tax as well as national insurance at source. All too often this doesn’t happen and as a result, employers end up in arrears with statutory payments. Employers can also download tax code notices directly from HMRC and this too gets missed. As a result, you may get disgruntled employees, as they end up underpaying tax.
There is always HMRC legislation to consider and ensuring that any changes are implemented in a timely manner. Failure to implement can have severe ramifications. In addition, with the arrival of GDPR, it’s important that employers remain compliant with the latest GDPR requirements. As a result of GDPR non-compliance, legal action may be taken.
It’s common for small companies to not back up their payroll IT systems because it’s expensive. Therefore, any payroll system issues will be extremely difficult to resolve. Backups of any payroll system should be both backed up onsite as well as offsite.
What are the arrangements for continuing business in the event of a fire or other disaster? What happens if systems go down or payroll personnel suddenly leave? A contingency plan will help prevent any of these scenarios from becoming reality.
Small business underestimate the total start-up cost to set up, as well as run, a payroll in-house. The technical infrastructure is expensive and training staff can also be costly. Read: How much does outsourced payroll cost? In addition, making these critical payroll mistakes will result in costly fines that can cripple a small business.
Often, payroll is a standalone function and they find themselves pulled between finance and HR. This makes life difficult for the payroll function and as a result, leads to staff being confused and even demoralised. Be clear where payroll sits within your organisation and who, if anyone, they report to.
You won’t have to avoid the 7 Payroll Pitfalls if you Outsource your payroll to MP Payroll Solution! All of the above problems disappear because MP Payroll Solutions is CIPP (PAS) Accredited. Therefore, we have all the above areas covered with full procedures in place for dealing with all of the issues a payroll office can face.
Time needed: 2 days, 3 hours and 30 minutes.
As a Payroll Bureau, a very common question we get asked is “How much does outsourced payroll cost?”. This generally gets asked during the sales process as potential clients want some type of price indication.
So, the best person to answer this question is our very own Sales Manager, Mr Dave Williams. View Dave’s response below:
This question is often one of the first questions potential customers ask. I always mention to clients that there’s a few factors to consider before a bespoke quotation can be provided. These are the factors or steps I discuss with potential clients:
We need to know how many employees are being paid per payrun in order to gauge how complex your payroll could be. Some companies could have 1 to 10 employees with few complexities while others have hundreds of employees who all have different rates of pay and accompanying schemes. We apply a discount scheme for companies that are growing. Therefore, the more employees the smaller the cost per employee.
We must discuss the current complexity of your payroll in order to see what we can improve. Establishing the outsourced payroll cost depends on this factor. In our experience, companies can either have a straightforward or a very complex payroll. A straightforward payroll, for example, could consist of a few static Directors who’s pay never changes. A complex payroll, for example, could consist of lots of departments and cost codes, who are hourly paid, that need payment on different days throughout the month.
Each business is different. Therefore, it’s important to understand each company, their rules and current schemes to comfortably run their payroll. We must also establish the best way for clients to collate this information because payroll data must be securely transferred every month between the client and payroll provider. In other words, the complexity of your payroll will have an impact on the cost.
Determining the frequency of pay is critical when providing a cost because it’ll determine whether we run 12, 24 or 52 pay runs per year. Typically, staff that are paid weekly tend to have hourly pay rates. Companies can ask for a very quick turnaround on their payroll in order to get staff paid promptly. For instance, clients may need a 1-hour payroll turnaround on a Friday afternoon so that staff get paid in the same week that they’ve worked. There’s a big workload difference between running payroll 12 or 52 times a year and pricing would be affected.
We must ascertain the quickest, most secure and efficient way of getting payroll changes. For example, hours worked, starters, leavers, bonuses, salary adjustments and absence information must be sent by the client to us. The most efficient way to retrieve, as well as deliver, this information is by using software that can produce a spreadsheet. This is the quickest way to get accurate information transferred from the client to the payroll provider.
Auto enrolment is a value added service which ensures you are compliant with the Pension Regulator. In addition, I investigate what bespoke management reports are required. Reports such as Nominal Journals or General Ledgers are generally requested however there are many alternative options available. These reports can also be imported straight into the client’s accounting or finance software. Processing of P11D’s, if you have any taxable expenses that need processing and reporting, is also part of the value added services.
In conclusion, your outsourced payroll cost will differ depending on your business requirements. In a bespoke quotation, there’s no set fee however the steps highlighted above will help you understand how your payroll cost is calculated.
Outsourcing ones’ payroll is always a difficult decision. There’re so many considerations to keep in mind when undergoing the selection of a payroll service provider. We’ve identified 4 easy steps, to answer the popular question of “How does Outsourced Payroll Work?”. See our steps below:
As a company you must decide on the type of payroll provider required. For example, payroll only, payroll and HR, a big name, an accountant, a multi service solution covering HR, accountancy, tax advice as well as auditing.
The selection process previously undertaken would’ve involved research. Identifying several payroll companies that match your needs, will help you make a more informed decision. Therefore, we recommend sourcing at least 6 different providers. After that, compare the fees, service levels and most importantly, take into consideration the provider that best matches your needs. During the process, you must ask to view references, financials, their business profile (for example, a company house search), gain an insight into their client base, look at staff turnover, as well as view their contingency and disaster recovery arrangement.
Once you’ve selected a provider, you’d have to sign a payroll contract which would lay out the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to termination clauses, service levels (for instance, clauses covering poor service/relationship breakdown) as well as indemnities in the event of systems failures, fires, etc. Once the contract has been agreed, it would be the providers turn to audit your company. They would seek to identify and satisfy their money laundering requirements. Documents such as copies of passports, utility bills, driving licences, bank statements will be required from all directors.
Subject to the money laundering checks being successful, your new provider would then look to set-up a payroll process which is likely to consist of multiple stages.
In summary, the payroll process requires you to send confidential information to the provider in order to start the process. Ideally, a secure, GDPR compliant, portal should be used to transfer confidential information from the client to the provider.
In conclusion, “How does Outsourced Payroll Work?” is a popular question asked by business decision makers, and rightfully so. The above steps will help you understand the process in order to successfully outsource your payroll to a trusted provider. Contact us for more information.
We are a specialized BACS Approved Payroll Bureau with 15 years’ experience of processing payroll for clients in a variety of business sectors.