Our support lines are extremely busy as a result of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being administered through payroll. Our Covid-19 Resources Documentation will generally answer your query

Also, please note that our support staff are working from home and may answer your call in a sometimes chaotic home environment. We appreciate your patience.


May 2020

27

Customer Update: June 2020

Welcome to BrightPay's June update. Our most important news this month include:


Free Webinar: Important COVID-19 Payroll Updates & Return to Work Safety Policies

The government has announced the first steps to ease the coronavirus restrictions with a roadmap in place for lockdown measures to be slowly lifted. Understand how to adapt your payroll processes to accommodate for the schemes and subsequent updates.


Claim Guidance for Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Claim

Employers will need to make a claim for any COVID-19 related SSP they wish to reclaim through HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service. This online service is now available to use and can be accessed here. A Claim Report is available in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service.


Furlough Scheme available until 31st of October

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has advised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for employers for furloughed employees until the end of October 2020 and will introduce a new flexibility option under the scheme from August. This will apply to all regions and sectors in the UK economy.


Return to Work Safety Policies

With the emergence from lockdown becoming clearer, businesses will need to start to put plans and COVID-19 policies in place for their employees to go back to the workplace safely. It is advisable for all workplaces to adapt their workplace HR policies, procedures and practices to comply with the COVID-19 related safety guidelines.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Claim Report in BrightPay

BrightPay includes a new CJRS Claim Report. This report can be used to ascertain the amounts needed for input into HMRC's online service, including the gross furlough amount, employer National Insurance contributions, employer minimum pension contributions and total claim amount. For employers with over 100 employees, you also have the option to export the report to a CSV file, ready for import into HMRC's portal.


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update


May 2020

25

How to Choose the Right Payroll Software for Your Accountancy Practice

It can be challenging to settle on the right payroll software for your business when there is so much to choose from. Here are some key points we feel must be considered when looking for excellent payroll software:

  • Batch processing - For an accountancy firm, batch processing is a must. The time-saving involved in running payroll procedures in a batch cannot be understated. 
  • Pricing - Pricing is a crucial factor to consider. The price doesn't have to be "cheap", but it should certainly be reflective of the value of the product. If it's also affordable on top of that, bonus. 
  • Delegating work - What if your payroll software allowed your employees to log in directly to it and request things like annual leave, or to access their payroll data? And what if employees could access a "self-service" section of the payroll software where they could download their payslips? The more your payroll software can delegate work, the more time you'll have on your hands. And time is money.
  • Auto-enrollment - Under the new pension laws, finding a pension scheme that matches all the required criteria can be challenging. Great payroll software should facilitate this procedure, integrating with NEST to provide easy auto-enrolment into qualifying pension schemes. 
  • Connects to accounting software - Your payroll software should connect to your cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks, FreeAgent, Xero and others. This way, the payroll journal is reflected in your accounts. 
  • Excellent support - Excellent support could be said to be the make or break of high-grade payroll software. Too many software companies have come onto the scene blazing, only to fail because their support was not good enough. Support should be handled by knowledgeable people who understand the product and can also communicate clearly with potentially frustrated clients. 
  • Secure - Security of payroll data is crucial to stay in compliance with data privacy laws. Saving payroll data on the cloud might be "convenient", but it also means that anybody with access to your password can access all your staff's personal data. The choice between cloud-based software and desktop software is always won hands-down by desktop software. 
  • Recognition - The HMRC should recognise the payroll software. Failing to use HMRC-recognised software might lead to you having to run the payroll entirely manually! There are strict rules for running payroll, and plenty to remember. If the HMRC has not recognised a payroll software, be wary. 
  • AwardsAwards are not vital when choosing payroll software, but they certainly make the choice sweeter! Awards from external bodies show that the software company has achieved standards higher than its peers, and that these standards have been independently verified. The more prestigious the award, and the more often it has been won, the better chances you have that the software will deliver more than what you need. Awards also prove that the team behind the software knows what it's doing. 
  • Always getting better - The best payroll software should get better every year. This not only adds value to your business but also inspires confidence in the company behind it. It shows that the product is continuously being worked on, that it is not stagnant. If the product is continually improving, your ROI as far as that software goes will also improve.

Written by Guest Blogger: Pearl Chartered Accountants


May 2020

12

How to introduce BrightPay Connect to clients

Introducing a new service to your payroll clients isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be. Yes, you know that it would be great for their business and maybe they do too, but it’s likely that they’ll still need some convincing to get them over the line and on board. So, here are 3 things to keep in mind when introducing BrightPay Connect as a new payroll process.

What Does Your Client Need

Before you make your case to your clients, you need to be sure that you’re offering them the best service for their business. Every client is different in one way or another, and this means that a one-size-fits-all approach to their payroll just isn’t going to work. It’s also not going to give them confidence in your ability if they think you don’t understand their business, so doing your homework here will really pay off.

In order to get your client on board with your new payroll offering, it’s useful to think about what challenges they’re facing right now regarding payroll, and whether BrightPay Connect is a right fit for them. BrightPay Connect offers a whole range of additional HR benefits, so think about how these extras can save your clients time. Begin your introduction by showing your clients that they’re in safe hands because you fully understand their payroll challenges and you’ve got just the product to help them make their payroll processes even easier than it’s ever been before.

How Can You Provide Added Value

So now that you’ve established how BrightPay Connect can modernise your client’s payroll process, it’s time to pitch the benefits to them. For most clients, this is a simple case of informing them about the HR features they may not have themselves including:

  • Client payroll portal
  • Payslip library
  • Employee payroll app
  • Annual leave management
  • HR document upload feature 
  • Automated payroll reports

You can also present BrightPay Connect as a time saving opportunity by explaining to them that the cloud functionality frees them up to dedicate additional resources to other aspects of the business.

What’s The Bottom Line

Every client, whether big or small, is always trying to find new ways to cut costs, reduce administration and maximize profits (without cutting quality services). And in today’s climate, most businesses don’t have any choice in keeping their costs down as much as possible. So, one of the best ways you can sell your payroll services to your clients is by simply showing them just how cost effective it is.

BrightPay Connect offers highly competitive pricing options where users are billed based on usage. The usage subscription model is based on the number of active employees in the billing month. The more clients you have the lower your cost per employee, which means you can pass the savings along to them. You can also find ways to make it even more tempting to your clients, such as offering them a free trial period, or a special deal if they refer a new client to your bureau. This is totally up to you, but don’t be afraid to be creative with how you cost this service.

Book a demo of BrightPay Connect to see how you can help your clients with a new and improved payroll service offering.


Apr 2020

30

BrightPay release CJRS claim report

A CJRS Claim Report was released on the 23rd April in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme online service.

BrightPay’s CJRS Claim Report includes claim amounts for each employee detailing furlough start date, furlough end date (if known), gross pay claim, employer NIC claim, employer pension claim and the total claim amount.

Employers will need to make a claim for wage costs through an online portal on GOV.UK, which was launched on 20th April. The only way to make a claim is online. HMRC has worked to make the portal simple to use and any support you need is available on GOV.UK. Businesses will need their Government Gateway user ID and password to login to the online portal.


Video Tutorial: See how BrightPay's CJRS Claim Report works


How to make a claim

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like HMRC to use when they pay the claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number), where applicable.
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff, you will need to input your information directly into the system for each employee.

If you are an employer with more than 100 employees, you will need to upload a file with additional information for each employee, including the claim amount per furloughed employee and the furlough start and end date (if known) for each furloughed employee. If you have more than 100 employees, BrightPay gives users the option to create a CSV file, ready to be uploaded into HMRC's online service containing the details of your claim.



Free COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

What You Need To Know about HMRC’s Claim Portal, COVID-19 Related SSP & Furlough Leave

All businesses, regardless of size, will be affected by the government measures for the foreseeable future. As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the UK, the government has introduced measures for employers to continue to pay their employees and to support businesses.

This webinar covers:

  • Claiming for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • How BrightPay’s CJRS Claim Report works
  • Catering for COVID-19 Related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • How furlough leave applies to your employees
6th May @ 10.30 am - Limited Places


Posted byKaren BennettinCoronavirus


Mar 2020

18

Customer Update: March 2020

Welcome to BrightPay's March update. Our most important news this month include:


BrightPay 2020/21 is now available to pre-order

BrightPay 2020/21 is scheduled for release the week ending 27th March. We will send you another email once it is released and ready to download. This further email will also be accompanied by a full list of the new 2020/21 features and legislative updates.


The Challenge of the Coronavirus & How BrightPay can Facilitate Remote Working

Businesses are understandably concerned about the steps they should be taking to manage the risk of COVID-19. We would like to provide reassurance to our customers that BrightPay is well prepared. Many businesses are now putting precautionary measures in place to combat the spread of the virus and to protect their employees. BrightPay can facilitate the option to work from home, which is one of the primary ways businesses are changing the way they operate.


How BrightPay Connect pricing is calculated

BrightPay Connect customers will be billed on a usage subscription model based on the number of employees in the billing month. This monthly subscription pricing model means that you only pay for what you use. For the vast majority of customers, this new billing model will result in a reduced annual cost.

BrightPay Connect is priced based on the number of active employees in a particular month. This means that you won't be charged for employees who left before the start of the month, or who are on the payroll but not due to start until after the month-end. The cost per month is scalable, depending on the number of active employees. The cost per employee reduces as you add more employees.


How to Handle SSP & Covid 19

HMRC have advised that if you need to take time off work to self-isolate due to Covid 19, the first 3 waiting days that normally apply for SSP will be disregarded and you will be entitled to receive SSP from the first day.

As this is a unique case and BrightPay is programmed to take into account the usual 3 waiting days, an override should be performed in BrightPay by simply marking the previous 3 days on the employee's calendar as sick leave. The SSP to be applied will then be from their first actual day of self-isolation/sick leave. The government will work with stakeholders over the coming months to set up a repayment mechanism as soon as possible.


Posted byKaren BennettinCoronavirusCustomer Update


Dec 2019

5

Customer Update: December 2019

Welcome to BrightPay's December update where you will find out about the latest hot topics and events affecting payroll. Our most important news this month include:


The interactive digital payslip has arrived - Free for BrightPay Customers

You can now do so much more than simply manage the payslip process. BrightPay Connect offers an online self-service platform and an employee app. Employees have 24/7 easy access to view the payslips anytime, anywhere, using your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Historic payslips and P60s are available to access and download. BrightPay Connect offers employees:

  • Ability to request annual leave on the go
  • Current and historic payslip library
  • Access to uploaded HR documents, such as contracts of employment and company handbooks
  • View leave taken and leave remaining 
  • Holiday leave yearly calendar
  • Access to edit and update personal contact details 


All BrightPay customers can now get a free 2019/20 BrightPay Connect licence. Simply click on the link below and we’ll get in touch with your free licence.

Client Payroll Approval. This is what you must be offering as a service (and why clients will LOVE it)

BrightPay Connect’s Payroll Approval Request allows bureau users to securely send their clients a payroll summary before the payroll is finalised. Clients can then review and authorise the payroll details for the pay period through their online employer dashboard. Ultimately, your client will be accountable for ensuring the payroll information is 100% correct before the payroll is finalised. Additionally, there is an audit trail of the requests being approved by the client.



New AccountingWEB Live Conference for Accountants - Will you attend?

The popular AccountingWEB online platform has announced a new conference for accountants. AccountingWEB Live is a unique blend of technology showcase, educational workshop and inspiring content. As well as a full content programme, AccountingWEB Live will feature showcases from the UK’s leading technology brands, demonstrating the latest products, updates and solutions. We are delighted that BrightPay will exhibit at AccountingWEB Live next year to showcase our latest features.

Find out more Register here

New BrightPay Connect Subscription Pricing Model

From April 2020, customers will be billed on a usage subscription model based on the number of active employees in the billing month. Once signed up for a BrightPay Connect account, you will be invoiced monthly in arrears through our new online billing system. There are no contracts or ties. Should you decide to stop using Connect, no notice is required. Payroll Bureaus on a bureau package will be charged based on the total number of active employees in respect of clients that are synchronised to BrightPay Connect (not on a client-by-client basis). 



Why employee apps are the future of payroll

The advancement of employee mobile apps offers many different advantages for employers, employees, and the business as a whole. Payroll apps will streamline payroll processing while reducing the number of payroll queries from employees. The BrightPay Connect self-service app provides a digital payslip platform where employees benefit from secure access anytime, anywhere, using their smartphone or tablet. Through these app features, you can provide your employees with access to GDPR compliant self-service tools, a payslip library and a user-friendly holiday leave management facility.


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update


Nov 2019

27

How cloud payroll portals jack up your cybersecurity

Until the recent past, small businesses were unlikely targets for sophisticated cyber-attacks. But in the internet era, things have changed dramatically.

SMEs are doing more business online than ever and they are using cloud services that don’t use strong encryption technology. It’s turned your average SME into a likely, lucrative target. There’s a lot of sensitive data to be had, and if it’s behind a door with an easy lock to pick then all the better.

This new reality is on display in official statistics. Over four in ten businesses (43%) and two in ten charities (19%) experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack in 2018, according to the government’s cybersecurity breaches survey.

Three-quarters of businesses (74%) and over half of all charities (53%) surveyed also identified cybersecurity as a high priority for their organisation’s senior management. It’s likely GDPR and its stiffened sanctions for breaches and blunders has a lot to do with this heightened priority.

Payroll processing is a key innovation battleground in this new era of hacks and data regulation. Clients want the convenience of online access to their payroll information, but they also demand (and require) the very best in security.

For a bureau, offering best-in-class cybersecurity is a valuable way to add and demonstrate value, with very little actual effort on your part. A bureau using the most secure cloud payroll facility will offer data security as standard.

Meanwhile, the security itself is actually handled by the software supplier and the infrastructure they provide. All you need to do is make the right choice when it comes to picking a software partner.

When using BrightPay Connect in conjunction with your BrightPay desktop application, for instance, all communication between both systems is carried out on a safe channel with maximum security.

BrightPay utilises all manner of best practice to guard against nefarious tactics such as data injection, authentication hacking, cross-site scripting, exposure flaws, request forgery, and the many other types of vulnerabilities.

BrightPay Connect utilises the Microsoft Azure platform to give users reliability, scalability, data redundancy, geo-replication and timely security updates out of the box.

As a payroll bureau, cybersecurity is a critical commercial area. You must be able to promise security to both current and prospective clients. By investing in payroll software that offers cloud integration powered by the latest tech, that’s an easy promise to keep. Being at the bleeding edge of cybersecurity has never been simpler.

Book a demo today to discover more ways that BrightPay Connect can protect your business. 

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud


Nov 2019

14

Customer Update: November 2019

Welcome to BrightPay's November update where you will find out about the latest hot topics and events affecting payroll. Our most important news this month include:

 

Online payslips offering enhanced GDPR security

Manually approving requests, keeping track of the employees’ annual leave and inputting new data into the payroll software takes a lot of time and can be a frustrating administrative burden for both payroll and HR staff. To make the process easier for all parties involved, the BrightPay Connect app provides a self-service platform that employees can access anytime, anywhere, using the smartphone app or online portal.


CPD Accredited Webinar: Expand your payroll services with online client platforms

Standing out in a crowd of other payroll bureau providers is no easy task, and it’s getting more difficult all the time. Difficult, but not impossible. As a payroll bureau, you need to find unique ways to differentiate your practice from all the others.

Cloud innovation and online client portals are making it easier than ever before for bureaus to offer value-added service. Savvy bureaus are implementing client online dashboards customised with their own bureau branding to effectively differentiate themselves, in order to stand out from their competitors.


Accountants rewarded who take a leap of faith into the cloud

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.

Read more

Clients can now input their employee hours into BrightPay

BrightPay Connect allows bureau users to securely send payroll entry requests and payroll approval requests to their clients, changing the way payroll bureaus interact and communicate with clients. Clients can securely add their employee’s hours saving bureaus hours of administrative time each pay period. Ultimately, your client will be accountable for ensuring the payroll information is 100% correct before the payroll is finalised. Additionally, there is an audit trail of the requests being approved by the client.


Do you want more empowered employees?

Despite the political and social chaos of the moment, we do live in more enlightened times, and employees have more rights now than ever before. Part of that evolution involves empowerment, an integral aspect of BrightPay Connect’s appeal. Payroll bureaus can now offer their clients’ employees easier online access to manage their own payroll information, annual leave, personal contact data and payslips on the go.

Employees can browse and download their history of payslips and other payroll documents, view their payroll calendar, including annual leave, sick leave, and parenting leave, make changes and direct annual leave requests, fully informed.


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update


Oct 2019

17

Customer Update: October 2019

Welcome to BrightPay's October update where you will find out about the latest hot topics and events affecting payroll. Our most important news this month include:


Free webinar: Payroll transformed - How cloud platforms supercharge the payroll process for employers

The relationship between employees and the employer is no longer one-directional. What software has created is a new collaborative framework in which employers can easily engage with their employees while managing payroll and HR processes. Payroll software with cloud integration envelops the day-to-day tasks like annual leave management, payslip distribution and backing up your payroll. Register for this FREE webinar where we’ll zoom in on six exciting ways that employer cloud platforms have transformed the payroll process.


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 new rates 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.

Find out more

New Feature Announcement: Batch Operations for Payroll Bureaus

BrightPay users have the ability to batch process multiple employers at the same time. This feature is very useful for bureau users, especially for those with a lot of single-director companies or payrolls that don’t change from week to week. The Batch Operation function enables users to process or perform a task on multiple employer files with a single click. Batch processing is available to finalise payslips, to check for coding notices and to send outstanding RTI & CIS submissions for multiple employers at the same time.

Find out more

Have you heard of our smartphone app which is free for employees?

BrightPay’s employee self-service smartphone and tablet app is available with our cloud add-on BrightPay Connect. The user-friendly app streamlines the payroll processing while reducing the number of payroll queries from employees. The benefits for employees include:

  • Instant access to current & historic payslips.
  • Request leave on the go.
  • View holiday leave remaining and leave taken.
  • View HR documents such as employee contracts & handbooks.
  • Edit personal contact information including address and phone number details.

Free webinar for payroll bureaus: Cloud platforms - the next generation payroll trend that every bureau should adopt

Online client platforms are transforming payroll services to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll work. BrightPay is running a series of free webinars where we look at cloud innovation and how it’s positively impacting the way bureaus and accountants offer payroll services. Join us for our upcoming webinar as we take a look at what’s new with cloud technology and how it may affect your payroll processing.


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update


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.