Fernhill Accountants are a family run accountancy firm located in Farnborough, Hampshire and have been in business since 2013. When they first started off, owner Judy Dean looked after the accountancy and taxation side of the business while her daughter Lucy later joined to take care of marketing and customer service. Fernhill Accountants’ clients are primarily micro businesses, and they have a mix of sole traders and limited companies. One of Fernhill Accountants’ first clients was a Community Interest Company (CIC), and since then they’ve built up their CIC client base. Fernhill Accountants offer bookkeeping, accounting, taxation and payroll services to their clients.
Fernhill Accountants didn’t initially offer payroll services to their clients but when one of their CIC clients asked if they would do it, they agreed. As they were not sure if the payroll side of their business would work out and not wanting to commit resources too quickly to it, they started off by using HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools. However, using Basic PAYE Tools to process payroll was time-consuming and because the functionality was so limited, tasks such as auto-enrolment were taking far longer than they should. “The functionality just wasn’t there. With the pensions and auto-enrolment duties coming in, it was all taking too long,” This is when Judy decided she needed to start looking for payroll software that would meet all their requirements.
Judy began researching the different payroll software available. This is when she first became aware of BrightPay. After looking into the various features of BrightPay and weighing the benefits up against other payroll systems, Judy felt confident that BrightPay could take care of her payroll needs. Reading BrightPay’s reviews on AccountingWEB reaffirmed her decision.
Another payroll software provider which had been mentioned to Judy and which she had considered was Moneysoft. However, what helped her make the final decision was the fact that Moneysoft didn’t provide any customer phone support at that time, while BrightPay did. “One of the big reasons we went with BrightPay in the end was because you have telephone support,” Judy told us. Judy preferred speaking directly to a payroll specialist because from experience, phone support often solved problems quicker than email. And so, happy with all the information she gathered, Judy made the final decision and started using BrightPay for the 2017/18 tax year.
Since Judy started using BrightPay to process payroll she hasn’t looked back. Straight away Judy noticed how quick and easy BrightPay was to use.
BrightPay includes direct API integration with a number of accounting packages. For Judy, BrightPay’s integration with accounting software Xero was important to have. “The integration with Xero has been great. It has saved me a lot of time. Thanks to the integration I can just send it over and adjust it if I need to – it’s so easy. I’ve also quite a few clients on BrightPay and Xero and it just flows through quite happily.” Another integration that has saved Judy time is BrightPay’s integration with pension providers, in particular, Nest. “We’ve clients who are on Nest and once we got through the initial set up it was very easy. It works out everything for you and the clients just pay them what they’re meant to pay and that’s it, job done,” she said. Judy also found the in-software notifications very handy for remembering pension related tasks, “The nudges the software gives you all the time to remind you what you need to do for auto-enrolment have been great. So yes, it works brilliantly; it’s secure and saves us so much time.”
Fernhill Accountants are also using the optional cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect. One of the ways Judy has saved time using BrightPay Connect is by giving clients access to an online dashboard where they can run payroll reports anytime, anywhere. “It’s more secure and saves me from having to email clients and add in the attachments. Everything the client needs is there. I don’t have to worry about making mistakes or not attaching the correct report.” “Before, when I had to save the reports and then go and find them and attach them to the emails it was taking me about 15 minutes per client each time. So now that we have BrightPay Connect we don’t need to do that anymore. It cuts out a lot of emails that would come in as well. The time saving is immense for me.” BrightPay Connect’s automatic online backup has also saved Judy time when processing payroll. “An additional benefit of BrightPay Connect is that your payroll data is automatically backed up to the cloud so we no longer have to back it up manually.”
Another feature of BrightPay that has been very important for Judy and Fernhill Accountants is the level of assistance she receives from the support team. As mentioned, it is important for Judy that she gets to speak to someone over the phone whenever she needs help. “The support is excellent. Both email and phone. It’s great to be able to speak to a real person because when you’re not sure about what you’re doing, you don’t always explain it very well in an email. So, I find when I’m unsure about something when running payroll and I speak to BrightPay’s support team, they can kind of prise out of me what it is I’m doing or not doing and the issue gets solved a lot quicker.”
So, after four years of Fernhill Accountants using BrightPay to process payroll for their clients we asked Judy if she would be renewing her BrightPay licence next year. “Definitely, without a doubt,” Judy answered without hesitation. “When I first made the decision to use BrightPay I was hopeful that I wouldn’t be dissatisfied in any way, and I can honestly say I haven’t.”
If you want to find out exactly why Judy hasn’t looked back since making the move to BrightPay, schedule a free 15-minute demo of BrightPay and BrightPay Connect with a member of our team today. Or why not book a free 60-day trial of BrightPay and try the software for yourself with no obligation to purchase.