Mar 2019

20

BrightPay 2019/20 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2019/20 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2019/20 Tax Year Updates

  • 2019/20 rates, thresholds, triggers and calculations for PAYE tax, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay, Automatic Enrolment pensions, company cars, vans and fuel.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1185L to 1250L. When importing from the previous tax year, L codes are uplifted by 65, M codes are uplifted by 71 and N codes by 59.
  • Full support for the 2019/20 Welsh Rate of Income Tax (WRIT) codes, rates and thresholds, as well as continued support for those of the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).
  • Support for the new Postgraduate Loan deductions.
  • Ability to process 2019/20 HMRC coding notices (including new PGL1 and PGL2 notices).
  • April 2019 National Living Wage rates.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £3,000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30, P32, P11D and PBIK forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all submission types (FPS, EPS, NVR, EXB, CIS300, CISREQ).

 

Automatic Enrolment Updates

  • From April 2019 onwards, the minimum required pension contribution level is 8%, at least 3% of which must be contributed by the employer. BrightPay 2019/20 now uses and validates against this increased level by default. Where pre-April 2019 minimum levels were being used in 2018/19, BrightPay 2019/20 will automatically uplift them on import.
  • With the concept of 'staging' for automatic enrolment now very much in the past, BrightPay is instead focused on asking for and working with the Next Re-enrolment Date.
  • Various improvements have been made to make the automatic re-enrolment process more clear:
    • For opted-out or ceased employees (as well as employees who are flagged for re-enrolment) the previous opt out/cessation date is now clearly visible and can be edited if need be.
    • If an employee is marked as opted out or ceased, but the opt-out/cessation date is not known, BrightPay now flags for automatic re-enrolment anyway (and allows the missing date to be entered).
  • Redesigned menu when adding a new pension scheme:
    • The auto enrolment qualifying schemes are now categorised by API/CSV support, and ordered by popularity.
    • The traditional pension scheme 'types' have been removed – when adding a traditional scheme you can now simply set the tax relief and AVC options directly instead of having to first choose the right type.
  • Various enrolment/contributions API submission and CSV formats have been updated to the latest versions.

 

Real Time Information

  • As mentioned in the release notes for the most recent upgrade to BrightPay 2018/19, the EYU (Earlier Year Update) submission is no longer supported by HMRC and has now been removed from BrightPay altogether. To make corrections to 2018/19 or 2019/20 payroll data going forward, an Additional FPS is to be used.
  • Ability to exclude an employee pay record from an FPS if it has zero amounts only.
  • Ability to force include an employee's starter/leaver declaration on an FPS submission that covers a different period to the employee's starting/leaving period.
  • Ability to unmark an unsent submission as contributing towards the Number of Unsent RTI Submissions count in BrightPay.
  • New HMRC Receipt document which presents HMRC's response to an RTI submission in a clear, shareable format.

 

More Flexible Journals

A popular customer request has been to create a 'departmental' payroll journal in BrightPay. We've went one step further, allowing not only for a simple departmental mapping of nominal account codes, but for an advanced multi-option mapping as well.

For example, if you want to map commission paid to directors on a weekly basis in the sales department to a particular account code, you now can.

For Xero journals, BrightPay now supports including the department as the Xero tracking option, including where employees are split across multiple departments.

To make all this easier to manage, the Create Journal window in BrightPay now remembers it's size and position between usages.

 

Journal API Support

BrightPay now supports posting journals directly to Sage, Quickbooks and Xero via API (while continuing to offer the creation of a CSV journal as an option if need be).

 

Importing Pay Records from CSV

We have significantly improved the power and flexibility of how pay records are imported from CSV, effectively allowing an entire pay run to be imported from a single CSV file if need be.

  • Multiple pay items (of a single payment type, or mixed types) can now be imported from a single CSV line.
  • Daily/hourly payments can more easily be imported under a named employer-wide daily/hourly rate
  • Additions/deductions can more easily be imported under an employer-wide addition/deduction type
  • The Import from CSV window has been redesigned to be more user-friendly and intuitive.

 

Improved Support for Offset Annual Leave Year

A popular customer request has been for BrightPay to better handle the definition, carry-over and adjustment of annual leave in the situation where the annual leave year is offset from the tax year.

In BrightPay 2019/20, you can now enter the annual leave settings for each overlapping year individually, giving you full control and helping you work out entitlements more accurately.

 

CIS Updates

  • You can now customise how subcontractors are displayed and ordered across the BrightPay interface.
  • When selecting from a list of subcontractors, BrightPay now includes a new 'Select By' button that allows you easily and quickly select only the subcontractors that match specific criteria.
  • New Payments menu in the subcontractor toolbar which includes various handy functions including the ability to batch print multiple P&D statements for a single subcontractor.
  • New CIS Year End Statement document.
  • Ability to unmark an unsent submission as contributing towards the Number of Unsent CIS Submissions count in BrightPay.
  • New HMRC Receipt document which presents HMRC's response to a CIS submission in a clear, shareable format.

 

BrightPay Connect

In late 2018 we introduced a powerful new feature for Bureau customers of BrightPay Connect: the ability to request client payroll entry and/or approval for a payroll run, which is then automatically facilitated though a secure, GDPR-compliant process within the BrightPay Connect dashboard.

Sign in to your BrightPay Connect account and click the Requests header link to find out more.

 

Other 2019/20 Updates in BrightPay

  • When hovering over the 'number of submissions' for an employer on the BrightPay startup window, a popup displays what the number(s) represent.
  • The full description of an hourly or daily payment is now shown on-screen for finalised pay periods.
  • BrightPay will now prompt you to change an apprentice employee who is set to be on NI table H but is over 25 years old.
  • On the employee calendar, the parenting leave info panel now shows the total number of KIT days taken for the selected period of leave.
  • Corrects handling of Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay in weeks beyond the week that employee took their 10th KIT day (or 20th SPLIT day).
  • When selecting which analysis columns to include in a report, they are now grouped by category.
  • New analysis columns:
    • Separate 'cash equivalent' columns for each of the benefit/expense types.
    • Total attachment order deductions excluding admin charge.
    • Primary department name.
  • Adds a 'description' field for all kinds of benefits, and shows the entered description for each benefit on the payroll interface.
  • Options to show separate benefit payments on employee payslip, rather than just a rolled up 'taxable benefits' figure.
  • The Number of Actionable Coding Notices is now shown on the coding notices toolbar icon, and is available as a column on the BrightPay startup window.
  • New A4 payslip template, designed to be used where there are too many items to fit on the A5 template.
  • As part of our new licensing model, Bureau customers can now view/edit the list of employers for which they have access.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.

 

Includes all updates made to BrightPay during the 2018/19 tax year

While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2018/19, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2019/20. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:

  • Ability to send enrolment/contribution submissions directly to the People's Pension via API.
  • Ability to quickly create an new/additional employment for a previous/existing employee.
  • Coding notice checks can now use agent credentials if available.
  • Many improvements to emailing documents directly from BrightPay:
    • Ability to specify the default starting body content to use when emailing a document.
    • Ability to quickly turn on/off the stored email signature.
    • When emailing a document, there is a new menu to quickly select and re-use recently used body content.
    • Email body content now accepts 'Markdown' formatting.
    • Ability to edit the list of saved third-party email recipients
  • New startup window column for Next Estimated Pay Date.
  • Two new tick boxes in BrightPay Preferences to indicate where Next Estimated Pay Date is in the past (which shows a red background colour for applicable employers on the startup window) or indicate where Next Estimated Pay Date is within X days (where X is customisable – shows a yellow background colour for applicable employers on the start screen).
  • Ability to batch finalise the payroll for multiple employers.
  • Ability to select employers by label colour when preparing a batch operation.
  • Ability to persist a “Net to Gross” setting going forward (i.e. rolling net pay).
  • Ability to create a bank file for paying HMRC.
  • Allows a deduction to be calculated as a percentage of Auto Enrolment qualifying earnings.
  • Enables subcontractors with zero amounts in a pay period to be excluded from a CIS300 submission.
  • When in Payroll, the name of the active employee (i.e. the part of large text title) can now be clicked to navigate directly into the Employee > Edit Details screen for that employee.
  • Employment Allowance report

 

What's Next?

We're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Mar 2018

20

BrightPay 2018/19 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2018/19 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2018/19 Tax Year Updates

  • 2018/19 rates, thresholds and calculations for PAYE tax, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay, Automatic Enrolment earnings thresholds and triggers, company cars, vans and fuel.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1150L to 1185L. When importing from BrightPay 2017/18, L codes are uplifted by 35, M codes are uplifted by 39 and N codes by 31.
  • Full support for the 2018/19 Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) codes, rates and thresholds.
  • April 2018 National Living Wage rates.
  • Ability to process 2018/19 HMRC coding notices.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £3,000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30 and P32 forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all submission types (FPS, EPS, NVR, EYU, EXB, CIS300, CISREQ).

 

Automatic Enrolment Updates

  • From April 2018 onwards, the minimum required pension contribution level is 5%, at least 2% of which must be contributed by the employer. BrightPay 2018/19 now uses and validates against this increased level by default. Where pre-April 2018 minimum levels were being used in 2017/18, BrightPay 2018/19 will automatically uplift them on import.
  • With all employers in the UK now having staged for Auto Enrolment, BrightPay no longer relies on a Staging Date for assessment – all un-actioned employees are automatically assessed and flagged for action as required.
  • Where submissions are outstanding for a pension scheme, BrightPay now more clearly shows the numeric indicators on the Enrolment Summary and/or Contributions Summary buttons for that scheme, depending on the type of submission(s) outstanding.
  • The salutation of Auto Enrolment letters can now be customised.
  • Auto Enrolment letters can now be quickly printed via the new Letters menu in the PENSIONS section of BrightPay.
  • New letter template to tell staff who are already a member of a scheme about the April 2018 minimum contribution increases.
  • New Automatic Enrolment Journey Report replaces the previous Assessment Report.
  • Automatic Re-enrolment date and Declaration of Compliance date can now be shown as columns on the BrightPay startup window.
  • Improved handling of the situation in which Auto Enrolment duties are ignored for one or more pay periods.

 

Ability to Edit the Columns of the Period Summary View

A popular customer request has been to show columns for number of hours worked and pension contributions on the BrightPay period summary view. In BrightPay 2018/19, you can now easily include these, as well as many more additional column options.

 

Ability to Quickly Email any Document/Report

There is a new Email button in the print preview of documents and reports in BrightPay which allows you to easily send it as a PDF attachment in an email. Where and when applicable, BrightPay makes it easy and quick to select the relevant employee, client or previously used recipient.

Note: In version 18.0, there are a few document types for which email support is not yet available (e.g. P45, SMP1, etc) – we will be adding support for these very soon.

 

New Feature: Employer Calendar

There is a new employer-wide calendar in the EMPLOYER section of BrightPay which amalgamates all the employee events along with other key payroll dates into a single view:

  • Switch between Year, Month or Week view.
  • Shows combined events for all employees (i.e. those entered on the employee calendar, as well as birthdays)
  • Includes general tax year events and deadlines.
  • Ability to filter which kinds of events are displayed on calendar and in the day event list.
  • Ability to add/edit/delete your own notes.

 

Employee Calendar Improvements

  • Ability to batch set working days, non-working days and leave days for multiple employees at once.
  • Holding the Ctrl key allows you to select (or unselect) multiple arbitrary days on the calendar.

 

Bureau Improvements

Several new Client Details fields have been added:

In BrightPay Agent Settings, you can now enter your own NEST delegate ID and password to use globally in NEST submissions:

 

Other 2018/19 Changes in BrightPay

  • We've made several key architectural improvements for dealing with large employer files (e.g. those with hundreds or even thousands of employees) with regard to both speed of execution and computer memory usage. This will be something we continue to improve as time goes on.
  • When a text input field receives focus via keyboard tabbing, its content is all selected automatically.
  • Adds several more customisability options for payslip production.
  • When zero-ising payslips, you can now choose to zero-ise only the overtime (or non-overtime)hourly/daily payments.
  • Enables specific period payments, daily payments, hourly payments, piece payments, additions and deductions to be explicitly hidden on printed payslip.
  • Enables specific period payments, daily payments, hourly payments, piece payments, additions and deductions to be given a custom description to appear on printed payslip.
  • Enables specific period payments, daily payments, hourly payments, piece payments and additions to 'contribute to gross for minimum wage' or not.
  • Ability to set whether or not an hourly rate/payment should accrue hour-based annual leave entitlement.
  • For 'accrued' annual leave days/hours, ability to manually specify additional accrued days/hours not accounted for in payroll (i.e. an adjustment).
  • Annual leave accrual is now calculated up to end of the currently open pay period (rather than up to the end of the last finalised pay period).
  • Printing page setup is now centralised into the File menu of BrightPay.
  • Ability to control whether or not the PDF export settings are remembered between usages.
  • Enables traditional pension schemes to use employer AVCs.
  • Includes Student Loan Plan on FPS
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.

 

Includes all updates made to BrightPay during the 2017/18 tax year

While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2017/18, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2018/19. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:

  • Additions or deductions can be set up to calculate as a percentage of the payslip’s basic, gross or net pay.
  • Hourly and daily rates with the same 'description', whether set up at employer level or employee level, are all reported under a single column in analysis.
  • Ability to make additions 'notional' i.e. only contributing towards taxable, NIC-able and/or pension-able pay, without actually giving the payment to the employee (also works for CIS-able pay and subcontractors).
  • Ability to include declaration on FPS (or EYU) that an employee's payment is being made to a non-individual.
  • Ability to easily switch one or multiple employees from one auto enrolment pension scheme to another.
  • Any automatic enrolment pension scheme contribution can now include additional one-off amounts
  • Any automatic enrolment pension scheme contribution (whether employee or employer, standard or one-off) can now be entered as a percentage amount or a fixed amount.
  • Support for sending enrolment and contributions submissions directly to Aviva via API.
  • New/updated documents and reports (e.g. Statutory Pay Calculation and Schedule, Attachment Orders Summary, SMP1, SPP1, SAP1, Employee Count, Employee Address Labels)
  • Net to gross functionality can now do ‘Take-home pay to gross’ and ‘Cost-to-employer to gross’.
  • Improvements to handling of 'no longer enrolled' employees in selection lists.
  • TUPE support

 

What's Next?

We're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.

Here’s some of the new things coming in April/May 2018:

  • Journal API support for Quickbooks, Xero and Sage
  • API support for The People’s Pension
  • Improved and more flexible CIS P&D statement
  • Exciting new BrightPay Connect features.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Mar 2017

20

BrightPay 2017/18 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2017/18 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2017/18 Tax Year Updates

  • 2017/18 rates, thresholds and calculations for PAYE tax, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay, Automatic Enrolment earnings thresholds and triggers, company cars, vans and fuel.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1100L to 1150L. When importing from BrightPay 2016/17, L codes are uplifted by 50, while M codes are uplifted by 55 and N codes by 45.
  • Full support for Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) codes, including the new 2017/18 Scottish higher tax rate threshold.
  • Support for an expanded range of National Insurance Number formats.
  • April 2017 National Minimum/Living Wage.
  • Ability to process 2017/18 coding notices.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £3,000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Full support for the new 2017/18 Apprenticeship Levy, including levy calculation, allowance and reporting amounts on an EPS submission.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30 and P32 forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all RTI, EXB and CIS submission types.

 

Payroll Journal

BrightPay 2017/18 enables you to produce a CSV payroll journal for import into your accounting software. This feature is accessed via the new Journal button on the payroll toolbar, and provides the following:

  • The file formats and default nominal ledger code mappings are included for Exact, Kashflow, Quickbooks, Sage and Xero. These built-in mappings can be tailored to meet your own requirements, or you can create your own nominal ledger mapping from scratch if need be.
  • Specify the journal date range – payslips finalised with a pay date in the range you select are included.
  • Include individual journal records for each employee, or merge the employee records into rolled up records for each unique payment date.
  • If required, you can use alternate nominal codes for payroll items relating to directors.
  • Use a specific nominal code for any custom employer-wide item you have set up in BrightPay (i.e. addition/deduction types, hourly/daily/piece rates, pension schemes, savings schemes, etc.)
  • Preview journal on screen, export preview to PDF, or print.
  • Export journal CSV file for import into your accounting software.

Several accounting software providers can accept a direct upload of a payroll journal via an API, negating the need to export/import a CSV file. We plan to add this functionality for supporting providers soon.

Please get in touch if you'd like to see built-in support for any other accounting software providers.

 

Bureau Features

BrightPay 2017/18 includes several new features specifically targeted at accountants, bookkeepers, or other payroll bureau service providers. These bureau features are exclusive to the bureau version of BrightPay.

Improvements to BrightPay Startup Window

The columns on the BrightPay startup window can now be customised, and you can order the list of employers on the startup screen by any column. To help make this personalisation more useful, the size and position of the startup window will now be remembered between launches.

The data on the startup window now more reliably updates by itself - you no longer have to open a file to get it to do so.

Client Details

You can now record the following client information for each employer in BrightPay:

  • Contact name, email address and phone number
  • Status
  • Due date
  • Notes
  • Label colour

This information can be edited directly from the startup window by right-clicking on an employer and selecting the new View/Edit Client Details menu option (this menu also includes a quick one-click link to set a label colour), or it can be entered via the new Client Details tab in Edit Employer Details when a file is opened in BrightPay.

Perhaps most usefully, these client details can be shown as columns on the BrightPay startup window, enabling you to more effectively manage your client workflows as an individual or across a team.

Batch Send RTI Submissions for Multiple Employers

A new Batch Operation tab on the BrightPay startup window enables you to process or perform a task on multiple employer files with a single click.

The first supported batch operation is to send all outstanding RTI and CIS submissions.

We have plans to add more batch operations in future.

Keep Your Client Documents and Files Organised

In BrightPay 2017/18, exported documents and files (e.g. payslips, P30s, reports, pension CSV files, journals, snapshots, etc.) are automatically organised into a separate folder structure for each of your clients by default. (If you don't want this, you can revert back to the previous functionality of exporting all files to a single location in BrightPay Preferences.)

 

BrightPay Connect

In case you missed it, we launched "BrightPay Cloud" in summer 2016. We have now rebranded this as BrightPay Connect. It works exactly as it has to date, including some further refinements and new features for 2017/18.

We have a detailed web page about BrightPay Connect here. Here's a quick overview of what it's all about:

  • BrightPay Connect provides a secure, automated and user-friendly way to backup and restore your payroll data on your PC or Mac to and from the cloud.
  • BrightPay Connect provides a web/mobile based self service dashboard for your employees, enabling them to:
    • View/download their payslips and other payroll documents
    • View their calendar, and make requests for annual leave.
    • View and edit their personal details.
  • BrightPay Connect provides a web/mobile based self service dashboard for employers and clients of payroll bureaux, enabling them to:
    • Access the payroll documents and data for each of their employees.
    • View an employer-wide payroll calendar.
    • View payroll reports exactly as you have set them up in BrightPay.
    • View the schedule of HMRC payments, outstanding amounts, and access the P30 for each tax period.

BrightPay Connect is built for security, reliability and stability, and costs just £49 per employer. Bulk pricing is available for bureaus.

 

Other 2017/18 Changes in BrightPay

  • The foundational technology of BrightPay has been updated to the latest version, which immediately brings many performance, reliability and security improvements (and opens up new possibilities to our development team!). A side effect of this update, however, is that BrightPay 2017/18 cannot be run on Windows XP. We've attempted to make all customers aware of this change several times over the past six months, and our telemetry now shows that less than 1% of our customers still run on Windows XP. So while we do apologise for any inconvenience this causes, with the improvements gained it is unquestionably the best decision for our customers as whole.
  • BrightPay 2017/18 will automatically offer to import your BrightPay 2016/17 files on first launch.
  • New feature: Piece of Work rates – if you pay (or part pay) your employees by a unit other than salary, the hour or the day, BrightPay now caters for you.
  • Additions and deductions can be calculated as a percentage of payslip basic, gross or net pay.
  • BrightPay 2017/18 now allows you to adjust the 5.6 weeks statutory holiday weeks entitlement figure for annual leave calculation types.
  • Support for Automatic Re-Enrolment.
  • Real Time Information – more flexible workflow allows you to come back and check for a response from HMRC for an already sent submission, rather than having to start the submission process over from scratch.
  • Expenses and Benefits:
    • Company car information is now reported on the FPS submission.
    • Vouchers and credit cards can now be payrolled.
  • Support for new 'Serious Ill Health Lump Sum' indictor on FPS submission.
  • Support for custom hourly/daily rate multipliers.
  • Support for starters with no starter declaration.
  • Improves how pay dates are entered when finalising payslips – you can now set a different pay date for individual employees if need be. When re-opening and re-finalising payslips, the previously used pay date is remembered.
  • Import from Moneysoft 2016/17 (at the time of writing, this supports importing the basic details for employers, employees and subcontractors only).
  • Royal London contributions now use a tax monthly based contribution schedule.
  • Optimisations to data file size and installation package size.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.

 

Includes all updates to BrightPay 2016/17 since March 2016

While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2016/17, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2017/18. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of the main areas of improvement:

  • Statutory Minimum Wage flagging and reporting.
  • Retroactive Statutory Sick Pay.
  • Centralised agent sender credentials and details.
  • Support for several new Auto Enrolment scheme providers.
  • Ability to disable carry-over of shortfall amount between HMRC pay periods.
  • Ability to include employer logo and further customise the layout of Auto Enrolment letters.
  • Batch P11 and P60.
  • NEST – ability to override contributions schedule dates, validate groups and payment sources, and send payment approval requests
  • CIS – ability to import pay records from a CSV file, zeroise payment records and print a tax period summary.
  • Mid Year start summary report.

 

What's Next?

17.0, 17.1, 17.2, 17.X... we're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Aug 2016

11

Introducing BrightPay Cloud

We’re pleased to announce that BrightPay Cloud is now available.

BrightPay Cloud brings several new features to BrightPay. These are described over on the dedicated BrightPay Cloud section of our website, and they aren’t covered in the same detail here. In this article, I’ll give you a background to BrightPay Cloud, where it currently stands, and where we’re heading next.

 
Background

When we launched BrightPay in the UK back in 2011, the payroll software landscape was different. There was no RTI, and Auto Enrolment was still half a decade away for most employers. After noticing that the majority of payroll software product options had stagnated and were drawing many complaints from their customers, we entered BrightPay into the market as a nice, modern, easy to use and fairly priced alternative. We had our work cut out for us over the subsequent years adding features and responding to the big industry changes as they transpired. We’re very pleased to have been successful in our endeavours, as attested to by a browse through the BrightPay customer testimonials.

One feature area that has been trending in recent years is cloud functionality. BrightPay has always had a certain amount of cloud connectivity – software updates, licensing, emailing payslips and help documentation are all powered via the cloud, as are features like RTI and NEST submissions, as well as Auto Enrolment staging date checking. But there have been a number of big requests from customers over the years that we have not provided a solution for.

Until now.

 
Automatic Cloud Backup

Your payroll data is important. You need it to pay your employees accurately and on-time and to comply with HMRC reporting requirements. It’s not something you want to lose.

But backing up this important data often succumbs to human error. For example, we’ve heard from many customers over the years who requested that BrightPay would regularly remind them to backup their payroll data, simply because they forget. But a problem with a solution like this is that manually backing up data adequately is complicated. It’s not good enough to keep a backup of your files on your computer, as you can lose everything if your computer breaks. USB keys are handy, but they get lost. An off-site storage solution with data redundancy and geo-replication works great, but not everyone’s an IT expert.

So we wanted to provide a backup solution for BrightPay that just works.

With BrightPay Cloud, your payroll data gets automatically backed up to a secure cloud repository without you having to do anything – it’s that simple. As you run your payroll or make any other changes to data in BrightPay, it synchronises in the background. And it doesn’t just keep the latest backup - it keeps a history of backups, so even if you accidentally delete or change anything only to realise the mistake much later, you’re still covered. You can restore a cloud backup onto your current computer, or onto a new computer, at any time.

 
Employee Self Service

Many employers have already transitioned from printed payslips to digital payslips, often delivered via email. But wouldn’t it be great if employees had somewhere they could go to not only get their latest payslip, but to also access their entire history of payslips and other payroll documents at their own convenience? And what if they could easily see their own calendar of leave and personal tax details without having to contact HR?

BrightPay Cloud provides this facility through a feature called Employee Self Service. Using Employee Self Service, employees can do all the aforementioned tasks using their PC, Mac or smartphone. They can also make requests for leave and submit updates to their personal details, which, if approved, automatically synchronise back down to BrightPay on your PC or Mac.

You can set up Employee Self Service for your entire workforce or just a subset of employees, and you can control what they see and which features they have access to. Self Service will automatically notify your employees via email when their latest payslip or P60 is available.

How does BrightPay Cloud ensure employees always have access to the latest data? Well, as mentioned above, BrightPay Cloud automatically backups up your data to the cloud as you make changes. Self Service is powered by your most recent backup, and so, it just works.

 
Bureau Client Self Service

Accountants and payroll bureaux get both of the above features with BrightPay Cloud – employer data files are automatically backed up, and your client’s employees can all get access to Employee Self Service.

But there’s more. Using BrightPay Cloud, you can provide an Employer Dashboard for your clients as well, allowing them to not only view their employees’ information, but also see an employer-wide calendar, access payroll reports that you define in BrightPay, and view the schedule of HMRC payments and liabilities.

Your clients can also use their Employer Dashboard to approve the leave requests and personal details update requests made by their employees, all of which synchronises back down to your data in BrightPay. You can give access to as many contacts for your clients as need be.

 
Data Protection and Security

Our number one priority when creating BrightPay Cloud has been security. We spent a lot of time getting the best possible foundation and architecture in place before doing anything else.

The various data repositories and services which make up BrightPay Cloud are built using a compartmentalised design that maximises security. Strong encryption is used to store all data, as well as in communication with your PC or Mac. All popular kinds of attack are protected against. Your data is accessible only by you.

We selected the Microsoft Azure platform to power BrightPay Cloud, giving us reliability, scalability, data redundancy, geo-replication and timely security updates out of the box.

It’s worth noting that the most common weakness in any system like BrightPay Cloud is a poor password, so when choosing a password please remember to select something adequate, keep it safe, and change it often.

 
Pricing

BrightPay Cloud costs just £49 per employer, per tax year (plus VAT). That price gives you a full year of cloud backups and Self Service for ALL your employees. When you renew BrightPay Cloud in the following year (at the same price), we will maintain the previous year’s data.

Bureau users, who may wish to purchase BrightPay Cloud for multiple clients, can get a bulk discount depending on how many employers they require (see pricing for details). The BrightPay Cloud pricing model is employer-based, unlike that for BrightPay on your PC or Mac, because it runs on a cloud platform that costs us in direct proportion to its usage. But we're competitively priced, and you still get the same support at no extra cost.

 
So What’s Next?

Our immediate plan is to continue making improvements to BrightPay, while enhancing BrightPay Cloud with advanced configurability, more features and additional access options.

We received a lot of responses to our recent BrightPay customer survey, which we have used to build a prioritised development plan. You can expect see several more BrightPay upgrades during the 16/17 tax year, and some nice new features for 17/18.

We’ve started building Self Service mobile apps for BrightPay Cloud to make it even easier and more convenient for employees to access their payroll information. And we have plans for improved branding and customisation, timesheets and more HR features.

We get asked from time to time about any plans we may have for a complete cloud version of BrightPay which could be used entirely via your web browser. While this is something we are continually looking at as we monitor the industry and customer expectations, we don’t have any announcements at this stage. Rest assured that even if we do go down that route in the future, the existing PC/Mac version is not something that would go away any time soon – we foresee a long lifespan for BrightPay and BrightPay Cloud, and look forward to working with you for many years to come.

Posted byRoss WebsterinBrightPay CloudEmployee Self ServiceNew FeaturesPayroll Software


Mar 2016

23

BrightPay 2016/17 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2016/17 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2016/17 Tax Year Updates

  • 2016/17 rates, thresholds and calculations for PAYE, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, and Statutory Shared Parental Pay.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1060L to 1100L. When importing from BrightPay 2015/16, L codes are uplifted by 40, while M codes are uplifted by 44 and N codes by 36.
  • Full support for Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) codes.
  • The new NI category H is available for apprentices under 25 in qualifying circumstances. Payments to class H employees are not liable to Class 1 secondary NICs.
  • With the abolishment of Contracted Out Pension, HMRC have discontinued NI categories D, E, K, I and L. When importing from BrightPay 2015/16, employees in any of these categories are moved into the equivalent non-contracting-out category.
  • Support for Plan 1 and Plan 2 Student Loan deductions.
  • Ability to process 2016/17 coding notices.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £3,000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30 and P32 forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all RTI submission types.

 

Expenses and Benefits

BrightPay 2016/17 allows you to record all types of reportable expenses and benefits that you provide to your employees:

  • Assets transferred (cars, property, goods or other assets)
  • Payments made on behalf of employee
  • Tax on notional payments
  • Vouchers and credit cards
  • Living accommodation
  • Mileage allowance and passenger payments
  • Car and fuel
  • Vans and fuel
  • Private medical treatment or insurance
  • Qualifying relocation expenses payments and benefits
  • Services supplied
  • Assets placed at the employee’s disposal
  • Other items (Class 1A)
  • Other items (Non-Class 1A)
  • Income Tax paid but not deducted from director’s remuneration
  • Interest-free or low interest loans
  • Travelling and subsistence payments
  • Entertainment
  • General expenses allowance for business travel
  • Payments for use of home telephone
  • Non-qualifying relocation expenses
  • Other expenses

BrightPay can produce a P11D for sending to HMRC after year end which includes your Class 1A NICs declaration and details of the expenses and benefits provided including cash equivalents.

If you register for payrolling of benefits by 5 April 2016, BrightPay 2016/17 also supports calculating the PAYE on expenses and benefits in each pay period.

We will be back-porting some of the expenses and benefits features to BrightPay 2015/16 to allow you to send your P11D for the 2015/16 tax year. Look out for an upgrade in April/May.

Note: Expenses/benefits and P11D are not available for Free Licence customers.

 

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

BrightPay 2016/17 has full support for paying subcontractors under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS):

  • Add/edit subcontractors, or import from CSV.
  • Pay subcontractors tax weekly or tax monthly (all year or part year).
  • Customisable basic pay, daily rates, hourly rates, additions, deductions, etc.
  • Record cost of materials and VAT.
  • Calculate CIS deduction amounts according to subcontractor's tax payment status.
  • Print, export to PDF, or email Subcontractor Payment and Deduction Statements.
  • Send CISREQ subcontractor verification submissions and apply response data.
  • Send CIS300 monthly returns.
  • BrightPay tracks the number of unsent CIS submissions, similar to RTI.
  • Report on CIS data in BrightPay Analysis (some built-in CIS reports are available)

Note: CIS is not available for Free Licence customers.

 

Pensions and Automatic Enrolment

If you have not yet entered your Automatic Enrolment Staging Date in BrightPay, you can now connect directly to the Pensions Regulator and retrieve it automatically from within BrightPay.

BrightPay 2016/17 now tracks the number of enrolment/contributions submissions that you have not yet submitted to your pension scheme provider. The number is shown on the main PENSIONS tab, and contributes to the total number shown on the Open Employer screen (which also includes RTI and CIS).

We'll be continuing to update Automatic Enrolment during the 2016/17 tax year and provide dedicated support for more pension scheme providers.

 

Coming Soon: BrightPay Cloud

BrightPay Cloud will allow you to connect your BrightPay employer data to a web based service that provides:

Secure Online Backup

Automatically backs up your BrightPay data to the cloud. A historical set of backups is maintained. Your data file can be restored from an online backup at any time.

Employee Self-Service

Enables employees to log in to a web-based portal using their PC, Mac or smartphone to retrieve payslips, view their calendar, request annual leave, view/update personal information, and more.

Bureau Client Self-Service

Enables payroll bureaux to provide an online portal not only for their customer's employees (i.e. employee self-service as described above), but also an employer portal for direct use by their  employer customers, enabling them to view payroll reports, P30s, calendar, all employee information, and more.

BrightPay Cloud will work directly with BrightPay 2016/17, but also allow you to upload your BrightPay 2015/16 data to immediately have a full year of historical data to power the self-service features.

BrightPay Cloud will cost £49 per employer per tax year (with discounted bulk pricing for bureaux also available).

We'll have more news very soon. As a BrightPay customer, you'll be the first to know. Watch this space!

 

Other 2016/17 Changes in BrightPay

  • Ability to import employees from an FPS XML file.
  • When importing from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools, you can choose to do so from the previous tax year or the current tax year.
  • Pension-able gross can be split into separate employee and employer pension-able gross amounts.
  • Basic pay, daily pay and hourly pay can now be explicitly flagged as liable/not-liable to PAYE, NICs, employee pension, and employer pension.
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is no longer relevant and is removed in BrightPay 2016/17.
  • The NIC Upper Accrual Point is no longer relevant and is removed from BrightPay 2016/17.
  • New wider range of built-in reports.
  • Pension provider enrolment/contributions submissions and file formats have been updated to the latest versions.
  • Ability to view submission logs for NEST web service submissions.
  • An HMRC payment date is no longer required to be able to progress to the next HMRC pay period. Any pay period can be clicked into at any time.
  • Ability to report on HMRC payment amounts in Analysis.
  • Employee passwords can be randomly generated.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.

 

BrightPay 16/17 is the same price as BrightPay 15/16 (including FREE for small employers with up to three employees). Support will continue to be free of charge for all users.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Mar 2015

23

BrightPay 2015/16 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 15/16 is now available to download. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2015/16 Tax Year Updates

  • 2015/16 rates, thresholds and calculations for PAYE, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, and Statutory Shared Parental Pay.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1000L to 1060L.
  • Support for the newly introduced National Insurance category letters for employees under 21 years old:
    • M – Standard rate contributions
    • Z – Deferred rate contributions
    • I – Contracted-out Salary Related standard rate contributions
    • K – Contracted-out Salary Related deferred rate contributions
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £2000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30 and P32 forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all RTI submission types.

 

PAYE Coding Notices

BrightPay 2015/16 includes the ability to retrieve and process employee PAYE coding notices directly from HMRC (P9, PB, P6B, SL1, SL2).

To use this feature, ensure the notice options in your HMRC PAYE dashboard are all set to Yes. Only new coding notices issued after this instruction will be available for download.

 

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is a new legal entitlement for eligible parents of babies due (or children placed for adoption) on or after 5 April 2015. SPL lets parents choose either to have one parent take the main child caring role, or to share the child caring responsibilities evenly, depending on their preferences and circumstances. Unlike maternity/adoption leave, eligible employees can stop and start their SPL and return to work between periods of leave.

BrightPay 2015/16 has full support for Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

 

Pensions and Automatic Enrolment

With the first wave of small employers (i.e. those with less than 50 employees) set to stage for Automatic Enrolment in January 2016, this tax year will be busy.

We first introduced support for Automatic Enrolment in BrightPay 2014/15, providing the ability to set up qualifying pensions schemes, assessment, postponement, enrolment, opt-ins, opt-outs, employee communications, and more. We have dedicated support for NEST, NOW: Pensions, The People's Pension and Scottish Widows.

In BrightPay 2015/16 we have improved Automatic Enrolment support and added several new features:

  • There is now a dedicated PENSIONS tab for setting up Automatic Enrolment in BrightPay, adding/editing pensions schemes, and exporting enrolment and contribution files.
  • Batch processing – multiple employees can now be postponed or enrolled (and as well as other actions) together in a single click. Multiple communications can be printed together.
  • Ability to override BrightPay's assessment of an entitled worker or non-eligible jobholder (e.g. if the employee's pay would normally put them in a different category).
  • Ability to continue enrolment from a previous tax year or continue enrolment from other payroll software.

We'll be continuing to update Automatic Enrolment during the 2015/16 tax year and provide dedicated support for more pension scheme providers.

 

Improved Reminders

For years, BrightPay has given reminders of important actions and detected potential data errors as you process your payroll. In 2015/16, we've improved the system to handle even more reminders and give much improved visual feedback.

 

New Start-up Window

Standard and Bureau users alike will benefit from the extra employer information included in the new BrightPay start up window:

 

Other 2015/16 Changes in BrightPay

  • Ability to batch print, email or export one or multiple payslips for a single employee.
  • Automatic prompt to create an EPS when recoverable amounts are detected in an HMRC payment.
  • A new summary of calendar events in the current period for the currently selected employee appears in the bottom right of main payroll screen.
  • Support for Direct Earnings Attachment orders.
  • New ability to set up an addition or deduction to repeat to a date beyond the current tax year.
  • Improved Statutory pay descriptions.
  • New ability to hide 'zero' payments, additions and deductions on printer (or emailed/exported) payslips.
  • Employer's HMRC Sender password is now securely masked in the BrightPay user interface.
  • Lots and lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.

 

BrightPay 15/16 is the same price as BrightPay 14/15 (including FREE for small employers with up to three employees). Support will continue to be free of charge for all users.


Mar 2014

24

BrightPay 14/15 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 14/15 is now available to download. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:

 

2014/15 Budget Changes

  • 2014/15 PAYE thresholds
  • 2014/15 National Insurance contributions rates and thresholds
  • 2014/15 Student Loan threshold
  • 2014/15 Statutory payments rates and thresholds
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 944L to 1000L.
  • Eligible employers can claim the new £2000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Retirement of the regional employer NICs holiday scheme
  • Statutory Sick Pay is no longer recoverable

  

Automatic Enrolment

BrightPay 14/15 has complete functionality to enable you to automatically enrol your employees into a qualifying pension scheme:

  • BrightPay allows you to record your automatic enrolment staging date. When the staging date has been reached, automatic enrolment functionality will automatically kick in.
  • BrightPay will assess your employees, monitor eligibility criteria, and let you know:
    • who must be enrolled into a qualifying scheme
    • who has the right to opt in to be enrolled in a qualifying scheme
    • who can request to join a pension scheme
  • BrightPay walks you through all the various automatic enrolment processes:
    • postponing assessment
    • enrolling employees
    • handling opt-ins and joining
    • handling opt-outs and refunds
  • BrightPay enables you to generate tailored communication letters and notices to employees
  • BrightPay tracks records on a period by period basis, allowing you to see exactly what changes, actions and contributions are made throughout the year. You can produce custom reports with the exact information you require.
  • BrightPay has dedicated support for the automatic enrolment qualifying pension scheme offered by the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), allowing you to:
    • set up your NEST scheme, group and payment sources
    • create enrolment and contribution submission CSV files for uploading to NEST
  • We plan to add dedicated support for other pension scheme providers, but for now BrightPay offers generic support for any automatic enrolment qualifying scheme which you can use in conjunction with BrightPay's built-in reporting tools to operate your scheme.

For more information on automatic enrolment, see our automatic enrolment blog or the guide for employers on The Pensions Regulator website.


Real Time Information (RTI)

This time last year we launched BrightPay 13/14 with full support for RTI.

In 14/15, there are some new features and improvements:

  • From 2014/15, HMRC will be introducing penalties for late Full Payment Submissions (FPS). To help determine whether any late filing penalties are due, HMRC request that a late reporting reason be included with late submissions. BrightPay will detect when an FPS is late, and prompt you to select a reason.
  • Support for the new FPS contracted hours worked per week bands
  • Ability to set/change the Payroll ID for any employee (start of year or mid year)
  • New Employment Allowance indicator on EPS
  • Bank account information on EPS
  • Improvements to the RTI interface in BrightPay, including the ability to view total amounts of the values in an FPS.
  • We received feedback from HMRC about the most common data errors that occur in submissions from BrightPay customers, and so have made many improvements to prevent these from happening. For example:
    • Improved wording on notifications
    • Better validation at the data entry stage
    • Forced UK data formats for users on non-English operating systems
  • RTI messages and logs are now stored in a compressed format in your data file, which should greatly help to reduce file size.

 

BrightPay – New Features

With RTI and Automatic Enrolment, the last couple of years have seen many changes to UK payroll. This in turn has required a lot of supporting development to be done on BrightPay. So with these out of the way, we are excited to get back to adding unique features and making BrightPay the best payroll software on the market. Here are the new features we've completed for this first 14/15 release:

  • Ability to add an addition (new or existing type) to multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to add a deduction (new or existing type) to multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to set a note on multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to edit the FPS settings for multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to record absence and strike on employee calendar
  • Ability to record part day annual leave, unpaid leave, absence or strike on employee calendar
  • Ability to print the employee calendar and overview of leave for one or multiple employees
  • Ability to print a summary of company annual leave entitlement
  • Ability to create a BrightPay employer file without a password (and remove the password from an existing file)
  • Ability to see the most recent time a payslip was printed, emailed, or exported.
  • Ability to import employee details from Bright Contracts

But that's not all – we've got some great plans for what's coming next. And like previous years, you won't have to wait until 15/16 – we'll be releasing new features to 14/15 users when they are ready. Watch this space!


Other Improvements in BrightPay 14/15

  • Improved aesthetics (including graphics fixes for Windows 8 users).
  • Performance enhancements – we've upgraded much of the core technology that powers BrightPay to the latest version, bringing with it faster and better number crunching.
  • Minor user interface tweaks to make BrightPay even easier to use.
  • Lots of minor bugs have been squashed.

 

BrightPay 14/15 will be the same price as BrightPay 13/14 (including FREE for small employers with up to three employees). Support will continue to be free of charge for all users.

Posted byRoss WebsterinAuto EnrolmentNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareRTISoftware Upgrade


Sep 2013

23

What's New in BrightPay 13.5?

BrightPay 13.5 is a free upgrade to our 2013/14 payroll software. It adds many new features to BrightPay, including some popular customer requests.

 

Ability to Report on Specific Employer Items in Analysis

Until now, BrightPay's analysis feature was limited to reporting on the common payroll data that could apply to any employee's payslip in any period (e.g. gross pay, tax, NICs, etc.).

A popular request from customers was the ability to report on the employer specific data that is editable under the main Employer tab of BrightPay, including:

  • Specific addition and deduction types
  • Specific hourly and daily rates
  • Specific pension scheme deductions
  • Specific savings scheme transactions

This feature is now available in BrightPay 13.5. As you add/edit the above items and use them in payslips, their amounts become available for reporting in Analysis.

Also, to make it easier to build your reports, the Add/Remove Columns feature in BrightPay has now been organised into tabs.

 

Improved Departmental Reporting

When reporting by department, BrightPay now groups the departmental records in a more logical, useful way. An employee in multiple departments can now have his/her payroll values split out into each department within the results for a single period.

 

Ability to Switch Employees to a New Payment Schedule Mid Tax Year

Do you have employees who are switching from being paid weekly to being paid monthly? Or the other way around? Perhaps some need to switch to or from a fortnightly or 4-weekly pay schedule?

This feature is now available in BrightPay 13.5. In any period, you can now switch one, multiple or all employees to a new payment schedule. This can be done as many times as is required throughout the tax year.

Here's how it works (for example, when switching from weekly-paid to monthly-paid):

  1. Finalise an employee's payslips up until the final week that she should receive a weekly payment.
  2. Her next payslip will be set up in the following week. You want her next payslip to be in the following month instead, so choose this week in BrightPay and go to More > Switch Employee(s) Payment Schedule...
  3. More than one employee can be switched if need be. Select the relevant employees and click Continue.
  4. Select 'Monthly' as the new payment schedule.
    • BrightPay will automatically determine the next available month to switch to, or, if no monthly schedule has been set up, allow you to do so.
    • To prevent doubling up on payroll amounts, employees can only be switched to a later month that does not overlap with any already finalised weeks.
    • If there are one or more weeks which could be finalised before switching to a monthly schedule, BrightPay will warn you.
    • You can optionally choose to have the employee's basic pay automatically adjusted from weekly to monthly.
  5. Click OK. BrightPay will remove the weekly payslip that is no longer relevant, and create the employee's first monthly payslip.

 

Other New Features and Fixes

  • Ability to ignore 'zero pay' payslips in analysis.
  • Fixes a bug in which an EPS (or NVR) cannot be created for mid-year-start employers.
  • Fixes a bug in which BrightPay will not accept an employee start date for mid-year-start employers.
  • Other minor fixes and performance improvements.

 

Upgrading

When you next launch BrightPay, the upgrade should be automatically detected – simply follow the instructions on-screen. If you have any problems upgrading, please contact us.

Posted byRoss WebsterinNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Aug 2013

22

Rate BrightPay and Win £1,000 in Amazon Vouchers

We'd greatly appreciate your time (a few minutes!) to share your feedback on BrightPay in the AccountingWEB Software Satisfaction Awards Survey.

As well as helping us to improve BrightPay, your feedback could also enable us to become one of the lucky few shortlisted for a prestigious AccountingWEB Software Satisfaction Award!

AccountingWEB are offering those that participate in the survey the chance to win a top prize of £1,000 in Amazon vouchers or one of five £100 Amazon vouchers.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY >

Posted byRoss WebsterinAwardsPayroll Software


Apr 2013

3

What's New in BrightPay 2013/14?

We released BrightPay 13/14 (version 13.0) on 19th March, 2013. It has since been downloaded nearly 2000 times, and we've received some great feedback. Big thanks to all our customers!

This morning, we released our first maintenance release, version 13.1. This is an important update which contains several minor new features, improvements and bug fixes. When you launch BrightPay, it will check for and offer to download this update automatically. Alternatively, click Check for Updates in the Help menu. To download the upgrade manually, click here.

 

So, as the title of this blog posts asks ... What's New?

 

Real Time Information

First and foremost, the most obvious new feature in BrightPay 2013/14 is full, HMRC recognised support for RTI. We believe that we have the best RTI implementation on the market. We've already covered RTI support in previous blog entries (e.g. here, here and here), so won't go into the same detail now. But here are a few tips which you may not have already picked up:

  • The number of pending RTI submissions is always visible, showing in an orange box in the main RTI tab.
  • Until RTI submissions are sent, they are automatically updated with any changes you make to employer, employee or payment details.
  • You can send multiple RTI submissions at once, and continue to use the rest of BrightPay while submissions are sending.
  • You can view the Gateway Logs for each RTI submission to see the exact back and forth messaging between BrightPay and HMRC during the submission process.
  • If the worst happens during the sending of an RTI submission (e.g. power failure), BrightPay will gracefully cancel the submission and allow you to restart the process when you are back up and running.
  • You can edit the default RTI submission timeout in File > Preferences.
  • If you have sent an RTI submission to HMRC outside of BrightPay, you can mark it as being already sent in BrightPay (having done so, you can also unmark it as being already sent).

 

Refined User Interface Design

Since the beginning, of all the work that has gone into creating BrightPay, the most by far has been in the design of the user interface (UI). BrightPay 2013/14 is our best yet. We refined how it looks and feels, making managing your payroll an even better, easier experience. Some of the highlights:

  • Less is more. A major part of BrightPay's design over the years has been to show only what's relevant on screen, without the unnecessary visual clutter that plagues so many software applications. In BrightPay 2013/14, we took it even further, optimising the screen real estate and refining the layout of commonly used features.
  • Edge-to-edge design with more breathing space. We removed unnecessary lines and borders while slightly increasing some of the space between on-screen controls. Overall, it makes BrightPay cleaner and clearer.
  • More 'flat' design. A big trend in UI design is the use of 'flat' design, without visual effects such as gradients, drop shadows and bevels. We have have evolved the design of BrightPay in line with this concept, keeping it modern, fresh and simple.

 

New Payroll Features

The addition of RTI has over-shadowed some of the other new features and improvements in BrightPay 2013/14. But that doesn't make them any less important. The majority of these are in response to customer feedback and requests, so remember, if there's something that you would like to see in BrightPay, don't hesitate to get in touch.

  • Named hourly and daily rates. You can now add a named hourly or daily rate and make it available for use by all employees, or save it just for one employee. There is no limit on the number of rates that can be added, and each can be specifically marked as an overtime rate. There are various ways in which one might use this feature, and so we've put it in various places in BrightPay:
    • Manage global named rates (i.e. those available for use by all employees) in Employer > Hourly/Daily Rates
    • Manage an employee's named rates in Edit Employee > Payment tab.
    • Choose or add a new global, employee, or one-off named rate directly in payroll in the new hourly/daily payment rate selection.
  • Edit addition and deduction types. You can now edit BrightPay's built-in list of addition and deduction types, as well as add your own.
  • Live calculation as you type. In BrightPay 2013/14, payslip totals now re-calculate as you type. In fact, throughout BrightPay, all text input fields will now update and validate as you type. It's a subtle, but big improvement.
  • The payslip totals calculation preview now shows only the relevant totals. For example, it won't show Statutory Payment amounts or Student Loan deductions unless there are any. Similarly, things like the separation of taxable and NIC-able additions and deductions are only shown if applicable.
  • A new Cost to Employer field shows the total employer liability for each employee.
  • New starter and leaver processes. With RTI, the P45, P45 Part 3 and P46 are no longer relevant. Starter and leaver details are now reported in real time along with other employee and payment information. With this in mind, the starter and leaver processes for BrightPay 2013/14 have been re-thought. For example, before RTI, when an employee was to leave, you would make their final payments, and then afterwards prepare the P45 with the leaver details. Now, you must enter the leaver details before making the final payment, so that the relevant FPS submission is complete and correct. To aid this, BrightPay now lets you confirm starter and leaver details as you finalise payslips. If you enter starter/leaver details in advance, BrightPay will pick them up in the relevant pay period. You can still print a P45 (or export a digital copy).
  • An employee's department(s) and payment method/details are now tracked and recorded on a period-by-period basis.
  • Two new options have been added to printing, emailing and exporting payslips:
    • Ability to show employee's address
    • Ability to show employee's number of annual leave days remaining
  • Several enhancements have been made to the Pay Employees feature:
    • Ability to indicate the available monetary denominations for the cash requirement.
    • Ability to edit employee bank details directly within this feature.
    • Ability to use smart tags in naming the bank payments file name.
    • New Bank of Scotland bank payments file format.
  • The annual leave year start date can now be customised for each employee, so that BrightPay will now correctly calculate annual leave days remaining for annual leave schedules which do not align with the tax year (e.g. January to December).
  • Support for the Regional Employer National Insurance Contributions Holiday for New Businesses scheme.
  • Ability to manually set any Attachment Order as being a priority order, with correct handling.
  • 'Holiday Funds' have been renamed to the more appropriate 'Savings Schemes'.

This list covers all the important updates. There are many more minor ones, as well as 'under the hood' performance and reliability improvements.

And we're not done yet! We'll continue to bring you new features during the course of the 2013/14 tax year. Keep an eye on this blog for details.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted byRoss WebsterinNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareRTISoftware Upgrade