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What are the benefits of working with a local payroll bureau?

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:

Understanding Payroll and Technology


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.

The one “true” benefit of working with a local payroll bureau

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.

How can we MP Payroll Solutions help you?

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.    


How much does outsourced payroll cost?

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:

  1. Step 1: Identify the number of employees

    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.

    Number of employees

  2. Step 2: Identify the complexity of your payroll

    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.

    two people working out the complexity of your payroll on a laptop

  3. Step 3: What will the frequency of pay be?

    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.
    12 24 56 times per year, Frequency of pay

  4. Step 4: How are payroll changes being provided?

    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.
    man submitting Payroll changes on software

  5. Step 5: Value added services

    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.
    Man looking at bespoke reporting on cellphone and laptop

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.


How does outsourced payroll work?

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:

  1. Step 1: Identify the type of payroll provider you require

    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.

  2. Step 2: Research multiple payroll companies

    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.

  3. Step 3: Sign a payroll contract

    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.

  4. Step 4: Set up payroll process

    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.


Can an employee get time off work for public duties?

As a Payroll Bureau, we are often asked for advice and guidance surrounding time off work for public duties, specifically Jury Service. However, it is important to remember that there are other forms of public duties that also require time off work; Jury Service is one most of us come across when processing payroll. The following guidance is courtesy of HMRC.

So, can an employee get time off work for public duties?

The answer is YES. You can get reasonable time off work for public duties. However, employees should note that employers have the right to choose whether to pay workers for time off, as they are not obliged to.

For example, with regards to Jury Service, all workers are entitled to time off. Keep in mind the following:

  • Employers must allow an employee time off for jury service, although employees can ask for a delay if it will harm the business but can only delay once in a 12-month period.
  • In most cases, Jury service takes an average of ten working days but may be longer or shorter depending on the case.
  • There is no legal obligation for an employer to pay an employee while on jury service as the court will pay certain costs.

What occupations are considered as public duties?

There are several occupations where an employee may require time off in order to fulfil duties. For example, other occupation could include, school governor duties, member of a statutory tribunal, trade union member (for union duties), health authority member.

Employees in the reserve forces, for instance, Army Reserves, have certain protected rights under employment law if they are called up to serve. Employers of reservists also have rights and obligations. For example, they may be able to claim financial assistance or an exemption.

Reasonable time off

The amount of time off should be agreed between the employee and employer beforehand, based on:

  • how long the duties might take
  • the amount of time the employee has already had off for public duties
  • how the time off will affect the business

The employer can refuse a request for time off if they think it’s unreasonable. They can’t refuse their staff time off to do jury service.

What occupations do not qualify?

Police services and armed forces, merchant seaman, civil servants (in certain circumstances) and agency workers. Click here to view a full list of occupations on the HMRC website.

Disputes regarding being allowed to take time off  

Disputes do occur so there are ways in which an employee can raise a grievance if they think the employer is unreasonable in the time they allow.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, employees can get time off work if they have negotiated terms with their employer. During the employer negotiations, pay must be discussed, length of public duties, previous time off for public duties as well as how the business will be affected. Make sure you know what duties are considered a public duty so that you can request reasonable time off work.


MP Payroll Solutions is now CIPP (PAS) Accredited

We are excited to announce that MP Payroll Solutions has achieved the CIPP PAS accreditation. Above all, this is the CIPP’s flagship payroll audit solution. In addition, it offers peace of mind to all who work with the industry or are seeking payroll services.

This consists of two distinct elements. Firstly, the CIPP audits the payroll process. Secondly, the CIPP audits the learning and development of our staff within the payroll function.

The CIPP Payroll Assurance Scheme is the only voluntary accreditation on the market. In addition, it offers bureau confidence in our payroll services from an audit which was approved and developed in partnership with HMRC.

What does it mean if a supplier has PAS?

The CIPP has audited and found MP Payroll Solutions to be proficient in the following:

  • They have suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes
  • Necessary areas for development and improvement are highlighted and therefore have been actioned
  • The business is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payroll
  • Better engagement and retention of staff due to better management of the payroll function
  • The business is dedicated to life-long learning and development
  • The business shows openness and therefore mitigated the risk of compliance failures by opting to engage in PAS

What are the business benefits of the Payroll Assurance Scheme?

  • Improvements in the process have led to greater effectiveness and efficiencies within the payroll function which leads to overall time and cost savings
  • As a customer seeking payroll services, the CIPP PAS offers you clear evidence that compliance is key to a provider, therefore making your decision an easier choice
  • For an employer, this shows your existing and potential customers that you care about best practice and, therefore, understand how important it is to have all the key points of a healthy payroll function
  • Demonstrate to employees, customers and suppliers that your business supports payroll best practice by using the CIPP PAS accreditation logo on your company communications
  • Increased staff motivation and improvements in productivity. It demonstrates the business’s investment in the staff’s learning and skills development as well as the willingness to continuously review process for the better
  • Improved service levels to colleagues or customers

In conclusion, the CIPP Payroll Assurance Scheme accreditation confirms that MP Payroll Solutions is an esteemed payroll bureau. In addition, this confirms we have all the necessary knowledge and foundation to run your payroll in a completely compliant way.

Follow this link for more information on the CIPP Payroll Assurance Scheme accreditation.

About MP Payroll Solutions

We are a specialized BACS Approved Payroll Bureau with 15 years’ experience of processing payroll for clients in a variety of business sectors.

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