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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
You can now record the following client information for each employer in BrightPay:
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.
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.
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.)
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 is built for security, reliability and stability, and costs just £49 per employer. Bulk pricing is available for bureaus.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BrightPay 2016/17 allows you to record all types of reportable expenses and benefits that you provide to your employees:
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.
BrightPay 2016/17 has full support for paying subcontractors under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS):
Note: CIS is not available for Free Licence customers.
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.
BrightPay Cloud will allow you to connect your BrightPay employer data to a web based service that provides:
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.
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.
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!
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.
BrightPay 15/16 is now available to download. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:
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 (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).
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:
We'll be continuing to update Automatic Enrolment during the 2015/16 tax year and provide dedicated support for more pension scheme providers.
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.
Standard and Bureau users alike will benefit from the extra employer information included in the new BrightPay start up window:
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.
BrightPay 14/15 is now available to download. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:
BrightPay 14/15 has complete functionality to enable you to automatically enrol your employees into a qualifying pension scheme:
For more information on automatic enrolment, see our automatic enrolment blog or the guide for employers on The Pensions Regulator website.
This time last year we launched BrightPay 13/14 with full support for RTI.
In 14/15, there are some new features and improvements:
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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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:
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.
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.