Oct 2019

3

The life-changing magic of payroll cloud platforms: Free up time, work smarter and make more profits

The payroll landscape has changed significantly in recent years, not just because of RTI and auto enrolment, but also because of online client platforms. The relationship between the client and the payroll professional is no longer one-directional. Payroll services can - and should - be a team effort.

Join BrightPay’s Rachel Hynes and Ian Jenkinson as they take you through how cloud innovation can streamline, automate and delegate day-to-day tasks such as payslip distribution, entering the client's payroll data and backing up your payroll. That’s more time to focus on the essentials and provide better service.

Webinar Agenda

  • Part 1: In this webinar, Rachel will examine six exciting ways that client cloud platforms have transformed payroll services. Not in the distant or even medium-term future: this is happening right now.
  • Part 2: Ian will demonstrate how BrightPay Connect’s next-generation features can benefit your practice. Your payroll and HR processes can be more integrated into the cloud and streamlined with your payroll software than ever before.

Be ready to offer a new level of payroll and HR-related services by embracing automation and cloud flexibility for you, your clients and their employees. Register for this free CPD accredited webinar now to see how you can become more efficient by implementing new cloud technologies.

Book your seat today!

Can’t make it? Register for the webinar anyway and we will send you the on-demand recording when it’s ready.


More upcoming webinars

Join BrightPay for our series of free CPD accredited webinars where we look at how cloud innovation is transforming the future of payroll services. More upcoming webinars include:

View all upcoming webinars

Posted byRachel HynesinBrightPay CloudEvents


Sep 2019

26

Good Work Plan

The Government’s Good Work Plan sets out their vision for the future of the UK labour market.

Whilst some of the initiatives are still at the planning and consultation stage, others have been giving legal effect.

On 6th April 2020 three new pieces of employment legislation will come into force.

  • The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
  • The draft Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019
  • The draft Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2018

Under the new legislation the following changes will be introduced:

  •  It will become a day one right to receive a written statement of terms and conditions (or contract of employment). The information to be included in the written statement has also been extended. This right will now include workers as well as employees. 
  • The holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This reform is intended to improve the holiday pay for seasonal workers, who tend to lose out over the way it is currently calculated. 
  • The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 will increase the maximum fine an Employment Tribunal can impose on an employer from £5,000 to £20,000 where there has been an aggravated breach of workers’ rights. 
  • A loophole which allowed agency workers to be paid at a cheaper rate than permanent employees performing the same role will now be closed.

 


Sep 2019

26

Are employees receiving the National Minimum Wage?

According to Office for National Statistics figures, wage growth has risen to 3.6% in the year to May 2019, outpacing inflation since March 2018. While unfortunately we don’t have a crystal ball to predict how long this will last, we know something for certain: the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) will continue to change every year.

Tracking employee hourly rates depending on their circumstances might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Here at BrightPay, we are constantly working to provide you with a platform that makes payroll and amendments easy. In this short guide, we have summarised all the key information and steps to make changes to the NMW and NLW on BrightPay.

Hourly rates

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on an employee's age and whether they are an apprentice:

  • The apprentice rate is applicable to apprentices aged under 19 and those aged 19 or over when they are in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • Employees under 24 years old are entitled to the National Minimum Wage
  • Employees aged 25 or over are entitled to the National Living Wage

The rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage change every April and are currently:

  Category of worker   Hourly rate  
  Aged 25 and over (National Living Wage rate) £8.21
  Aged 21 to 24 inclusive £7.70
  Aged 18 to 20 inclusive £6.15
  Aged under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age) £4.35
  Apprentices aged under 19 £3.90
  Apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship      £3.90

 

BrightPay can track all employee hourly rates depending on their circumstances. That is including all the cases above, as well as the London Living Wage, and they can also be marked as not eligible.

Checking if an employee is receiving the NMW

You can use BrightPay to determine if an employee is receiving the National Minimum Wage, which is automatically calculated for hourly paid employees.

Once the number of hours worked for a pay period is entered, the payroll software will use the rest of data available about the employee, such as their age, hours worked in period and minimum wage profile to calculate how the hourly rate used compares to the minimum hourly rate, and alert the user if it falls below the relevant minimum wage.

Non-hourly employees

The process is simple for most employees, but you might be wondering about non-hourly employees. The good news is that on BrightPay you will also find a Minimum Wage Report feature that allows you to enter/confirm the number of hours worked for each employee and generate a report that confirms who is above or below the minimum wage. Easy, isn’t it?

If an employee's wage is below the National Minimum/Living Wage, BrightPay will flag it with a yellow status bar within 'Payroll' – or you can choose to hide this notification if you prefer.

Amending a global hourly rate

When the Minimum Wage changes, you can amend the global hourly rates automatically. Hourly rates can also be set up at the employer level in BrightPay from the 'Employer' tab, selecting 'Hourly Rates'. Once the hourly rate has been determined, the changes will automatically be applied to all employees assigned to that hourly rate.

 


Sep 2019

17

Payroll Software in a hyper-connected internet era

All of us, in the hyper-connected internet era, have found ourselves at a loss when using some software, website or app. You just want to do one thing, or you want to set something up and... you just can’t.

It might feel like specific software or apps are testing us in some way. Only those who can navigate through the narrow tunnels of this software are genuinely worthy, in some weird twist on the Arthurian legend of Excalibur.

But all of this struggle defeats the entire purpose of working digitally and efficiently, particularly for already busy professionals like accountants. All payroll software should be straightforward to use and set up. This is true for BrightPay’s payroll software, and even easier again is BrightPay Connect - the payroll add-on offering cloud integration and an online portal.

BrightPay Connect requires no downloads or manual data input. Everything is automatically available for your clients, where your clients can just login to their own password-protected portal anytime, anywhere. The online portal gives clients access to all employee payslips, employee leave and payroll reports that you would have previously emailed to clients each pay period.

And there are levels to this, too. Senior employees or managers can be given different levels of administration to approve leave, change employee details, view employee payslips, and access payroll reports.

We understand that you don’t offer one-size-fits-all service to your clients, and your payroll software functionality needs to match that. BrightPay is flexible, and your involvement in the payroll process can be ramped up or scaled back as required.

BrightPay’s employer self-service portal has built-in features giving your clients a ready-to-go and easy-to-use HR solution. HR documents can be uploaded including employee handbooks and contracts, disciplinary documents, company newsletters, training material and more.

Clients can also manage all leave for their employees. These features will automate and streamline many of the day-to-day HR functions that your clients deal with. The benefits of the payroll service you offer cascades down throughout the business.

BrightPay Connect gives accountants the ability to send requests to their clients where the clients can now enter payments, additions and deductions for their employees and can also add new starters through their online employer dashboard.

From there, BrightPay Connect goes one step further with the approval feature, allowing you to securely send clients a payroll summary for them to approve before the payroll is finalised. Ultimately, your client will be accountable for ensuring that the payroll information is 100% correct before the payroll is finalised.

Very quickly, your payroll bureau becomes an indispensable part of the business’s administration. By embracing cloud innovation, accountants can really streamline and automate much of the payroll process. And with BrightPay’s easy-to-use, automated software, it’s a low touch, easy-to-manage process. What more can you ask for?

Book a BrightPay Connect demo today to see just how much time cloud automation and integration can save you.


Sep 2019

5

Changes to Student Loans from 6th April 2020

New rates for the tax year 2020/21 for Student Loan Plans 1 and 2 have been announced by the Department of Education. The Student Loan Plan 1 rate will rise to £19,390 on 6th April 2020 from £18,935. The current Plan 2 rate of £25,725 will also rise to £26,575. Earnings above the thresholds for both Plan 1 and Plan 2 for 2020/21 will be calculated as normal at 9%.

The rate of the postgraduate loan type introduced in the 2019/20 tax year of £21,000 will remain the same in 2020/21 and will continue to be calculated at 6%.

Summary of the Student Plan thresholds:

  • Plan 1 loans will increase by £455 from the current threshold of £18,935 to £19,390 in 2020/21.
  • Plan 2 loans will increase by £850 from the current threshold of £25,725 to £26,575 in 2020/21.

This figure will apply to all current and future borrowers for whom employers make Student
Loan deductions. In BrightPay 2020/21, the new student loan repayment thresholds for both plans will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Aug 2019

27

More capacity, more time, more flexibility: Payroll as a cloud service

Payroll processing has never exactly been the belle of the ball. Businesses disliked it because it’s onerous, while accountants loathe it because payroll has proven difficult to monetise. Not to mention, the work is complex and there are bountiful opportunities to mess it up.

But now, payroll is finally having a moment. Cloud portals have altered the landscape, unlocking new productivity and profits for businesses and accountants. Moving beyond the confines of the desktop and connecting payroll software to the cloud opens all sorts of new, exciting prospects.

The benefits of cloud allows constant and iterative improvements because software companies can offer added benefits and additional layers of access via the web, rather than through more traditional, unsecured methods like sending attachments via email. This formula for progress holds true for cloud payroll accessibility. Synching your payroll data to the cloud enables new features, fully supported by a remote access infrastructure for your clients that’s always improving the payroll process.

As for your clients and their employees, a cloud portal can act as an in-house HR system, streamlining many internal payroll administrative duties. For employees, there is just one login to view employee documents and a company noticeboard. Employers can upload documents such as employment contracts, staff handbooks, privacy policies, training manuals. The employer can decide whether the employee should have access to view the document or not, using it as a central location for everything to do with each individual employee.

Cloud integration updates your information in real time which is easily accessible at any time via any device with internet access. Whether it’s just checking something after hours, or enabling flexible online access to payroll information creates freedom. Cloud payroll portals are making it easier and cheaper to provide payroll services at scale for all of your clients. Drudge work is automated, it’s more collaborative, and a simple, intuitive online interface speeds up your work.

But the potential profits from online payroll platforms aren’t just about payroll itself. Time is money, as the old saying goes. Less work filling in boxes means more time spent on lucrative work such as advisory services, consulting and new business development. All throughout the accounting profession, we’ve seen that when firms cut the time spent on traditional services like bookkeeping, tax preparation and now payroll, they can then take on additional clients and projects, using the same number of staff.

More capacity, more time, more flexibility, more collaboration, more profits: the benefits of cloud automation and remote self-service portals will seep into every corner of your practice.

Book a BrightPay Connect Demo today to increase your profits from your payroll service.

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud


Aug 2019

20

Three day easement for FPS to continue

HMRC have confirmed they are continuing the three day easement for filing of Full Payment Submissions that was introduced in 2015. Employers are required to file their PAYE information to HMRC on or before each payment date, which is the statutory filing date, unless the circumstances set out in the 'sending an FPS after payday guidance' are met. The three day easement is not an extension to the statutory filing date. No late filing penalties will be charged for late filing up to three days after the statutory filing date.

Employers can get a penalty in the following circumstances:

  • The Full Payment Submission was late
  • Failure to send:
    1. Expected number of FPS
    2. An Employer Payment Summary when there were no payments made to any employees in a tax month

HMRC had advised they will not charge a penalty if:

  • The FPS is late but all reported payments on the FPS are within the three day period of the employees’ pay date. However, employers who consistently are filing their returns for up to three days after the payment date may be contacted by HMRC or considered for a penalty.
  • The employer is a new employer and the first FPS is sent within thirty days of paying an employee
  • It is the first time the employer has failed to send an RTI on time in the tax year (does not apply to employers with an annual scheme)

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinHMRC


Aug 2019

15

Payroll transformed: How client cloud platforms supercharge your bureau

Accounting and payroll processing is best left to the experts. That’s always been true - and it remains true. The steady hand of a seasoned accountant or payroll professional is a powerful commodity that can’t be replaced by software.

But as much as things have stayed the same, other things have changed, too. The relationship between client and professional is no longer one-directional. What software has created is a new collaborative framework in which the payroll professional can thrive.

Payroll services can - and should - be a team effort. Gone are the days of payroll bureaus continuously slogging through manual processes, and the frustration of clients who need to approach their payroll services provider with every minor tweak.

In its place is software with cloud integration that envelops the day-to-day tasks like annual leave management, payslip distribution and backing up your payroll. That’s more time to focus on the essentials and provide better service.

Software can never replace the core professionalism of a payroll professional, but it can supplement it in many ingenious ways. Through self-service, through apps, through cloud backup: payroll software is about making your life easier.

You do the hard work, you get the credit, while your software hums along quietly in the background, automating and simplifying the repetitive aspects of the job and keeping you compliant.

Download our free guide where we discuss six exciting ways client cloud platforms have transformed payroll services. Not in the distant or even medium-term future: now. Here’s how cloud integration can help you today.

 

Download Free Guide Book BrightPay Connect Demo

 

Posted byRachel HynesinBrightPay CloudPayroll Software


Aug 2019

7

Save the trees: Instant access to payroll data without the paper trail

We don’t get paychecks anymore, do we? The concept has been banished to TV shows set in the 1960s, where we see a down-on-their-luck salesman contemplate their paper cheque with sad resignation.

Outside of these cultural portrayals, we’ve all moved along to bank transfers. And yet, there’s still one hangover from the era of manual, paper led payroll: the payslip. Many of us, despite receiving our pay electronically, will receive a paper payslip detailing precisely how much we’ve earned and the taxes we’ve paid. Often these slips will clutter on the employee’s desk, unsecured and aimless.

But how much can you innovate with the old fashioned payslip, anyhow? Quite a bit, actually. This resource heavy, old school process can be taken entirely online. All employee payslips can be securely stored and instantly accessible on BrightPay Connect.

From here, individual employees can also access their HR documents such as their contract of employment through a personal self-service portal as and when they need it. That’s less legwork for you and a simple, well-organised process for the employee.

This can completely replace the more labour intensive process you have now. Payslips can be set up by the user to be automatically available on BrightPay Connect with an email notification to employees, eliminating the need to email them or print it out to hand out, one-by-one manually.

But, of course, employers should still have the choice to do it their way. The business can always email, download or print payslips from BrightPay Payroll. Whichever way the client would prefer is fine, but it remains seamless for you, the accountant.

It’s all about what’s most comfortable. With 24/7 access to employee payslips and other payroll reports, missing payslips and confusion will be consigned to the past. No more manual processes, no more unnecessary legwork -- just the information when you need it, in one location, accessible from anywhere for the accountant, employer and employee.

And with BrightPay Connect, the self-service process empowers the employee beyond payslips. The self-service portal is a powerful, multi-purpose cloud tool.

Employees can access their own personal leave calendar, view remaining holiday days, view sick leave taken, request annual leave, view and change their contact information, access payslips and other payroll and employment-related documents. Clients can even give managers access to approve leave for their department and restrict access the other sensitive payroll information such as employee salaries. It’s payroll software with integrated cloud automation that’s about so much more than just pay.

Book a BrightPay Connect demo today to see just how much time cloud automation and integration can save you.

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud


Jul 2019

23

Using intelligent automation to streamline your payroll

There’s a part in Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22 where the character asks a military officer: “What do you do when it rains?" The captain answers the question frankly. "I get wet.” The captain’s resignation and simple acceptance echo the accountant’s attitude to admin. What else is there to do when processing payroll? Same as getting wet in the rain, payroll processing comes assigned with a burdensome bureaucracy.

Or does it? There are a lot of boxes to be ticked in the accounting profession. There are laws, statutes, regulations, each adding another bit of work to your already busy schedule. Indeed, the profession will never be without its share of bureaucracy and admin. But payroll doesn’t have to mean legwork and elbow grease. By using intelligent automation and the right system, you can cut out many of the repetitive (and plain tedious aspects) of payroll processing. Repetition becomes a thing of the past, too.

With BrightPay, you only need to set up payroll documentation and reports once. After that, you save them on the BrightPay desktop application for future use. It couldn’t be simpler. These documents and reports will also be automatically synced to BrightPay Connect and will be available to log in and view from anywhere. This includes payslips, periodic reporting, P60s, and P45s.

But perhaps for payroll bureaus the most critical way you can reduce the admin burden is by devolving it, so it’s not all on you. Using the password protected self-service portal, your clients and their employees can login online to view their payroll data. For routine tasks, clients can help themselves. The more mundane aspects of payroll processing hum along in the background while you focus on the important stuff. All while maintaining complete control over the entire process.

So what do you do when it rains? You don’t have to get wet - and if you’re a payroll bureau, there’s a more straightforward, smarter way ahead. Admin doesn’t need to be a by-word for payroll, with BrightPay it can be a profitable, low touch service.

Book a demo today to find out how BrightPay can streamline your payroll processing.

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud