Payroll bureaus have more choice than ever when it comes to which cloud portals to use. Understandably, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when looking for the right payroll software for you and your clients. But choosing the right cloud client product you can make a world of difference to the payroll service you offer your clients, and the value they enjoy as a result.
The option of BrightPay Connect can enhance and improve your client relationship by automating many of the daily payroll administration tasks. With the introduction of any new service, accountants and bureaus should focus on what benefits BrightPay Connect can bring to your clients. We’ve compiled a list of the payroll, HR and cloud benefits of choosing BrightPay Connect.
Who doesn’t like a product that saves time, effort and money? Not only is BrightPay Connect the best way for bureaus to modernise payroll and access multiple clients from one platform, but it’s also very cost-effective. This means you can potentially pass the savings along to your clients for an even better value payroll service.
2. Multi-Company Platform
Juggling several clients at once, no matter what industry you’re in, is no mean feat. BrightPay Connect makes it easier than ever thanks to its automatically synchronized system that enables you to see all of your clients’ payroll summaries in one place.
3. Client Dashboard
Oftentimes clients will still play a significant role in their payroll process. In particular, clients like to be able to see their payroll information easily without having to request it from their payroll bureau and wait for it to be sent over. With BrightPay Connect, clients can easily log-on and view payroll reports, see updated data, receive notifications, view employee payslips, access the annual leave calendar and check on progress.
4. Client Entry Feature
With BrightPay Connect, payroll bureaus will have the ability to send a request to clients to upload their employee hours. Clients can enter the payroll data or upload a CSV file. The information included in the Payroll Entry Request (payments, additions, deductions and new starters) will seamlessly flow through to the bureau’s portal, ready for payroll processing.
5. Client Approval
If your clients want to be able to review and approve payroll before it’s finalised, the client approval feature allows them to do just that. You simply send them their payroll summary which they can approve or reject. When the client gives it the go-ahead, move forward with finalising the payroll, secure in the knowledge that the information included is 100% accurate and everyone’s happy.
6. Automatic Cloud Backup
Data security is a top priority for all bureaus and accountants. With BrightPay Connect’s cloud backup feature, you can rest easy knowing that your clients’ payroll data is in safe hands. The system backs up automatically every 15 minutes, as well as when a file is closed. If a mistake is made you can easily check through the backup history to restore an earlier, mistake-free version.
7. Branding Abilities
BrightPay Connect allows you to add your bureau’s own branding. This includes your contact details, company name and logo. The branding facility enhances the service you provide your clients and helps to promote your company and grow your business.
8. Better Reports
Payroll reports are an important part of any bureau’s service. With BrightPay Connect, you can make sure your reporting is as comprehensive and user-friendly as possible. Any reports that are set up on your payroll software are available to clients to access online. Additionally, your clients will be able to view reports and download them as a PDF or as a CSV file.
9. HMRC Payments
Clients can check what HMRC payments are due and paid, as well as your P30 reports which break everything down.
10. Annual Leave Management
BrightPay Connect isn’t just about payroll. It also includes some really helpful HR features that allow for annual leave management - both from the employers perspective and the employees. Employees can view their leave balance and request leave. Employers can approve or deny leave requests and view the company-wide leave calendar. And the best thing about this? Once a leave request has been approved it automatically syncs with the payroll software so everyone is getting paid the right amount.
11. Employee Self-Service
The clever and user-friendly employee dashboard allows your clients’ employees to view their P60, P45, or P11Ds in addition to their payslips and other payroll information. They can also download these files as PDFs and print them. On top of all of this, employees can access their annual leave dashboard too.
12. Employee Smartphone & Tablet App
Unlike some other payroll products out there, BrightPay Connect has an Android/iOS employee application compatible with smartphones and tablets. The benefit of this payroll app is in how it allows client employees to access all of their payroll and annual leave information mentioned above, anytime and anywhere at the tap of a finger.
13. Multiple User Functionality
One of the most unique features of BrightPay Connect is how it allows both bureaus and employers to add as many users as they like, with various access tiers. This means that some users can only view HR documents and approve employee leave requests, others can access payroll information, while others have the ability to view employers and employees that have been marked as confidential. Who has what access permission is up to you. This really allows bureaus and their clients to cater the system to their needs for a truly bespoke payroll process.
Book a demo of BrightPay Connect to see how you can help your clients with a new and improved payroll service offering.
Push notifications are 7 times more likely to be opened than an email. This high ‘open rate’ has meant marketers have been utilising them as an important communication tool for a number of years. Now, employers and HR departments are examining how this marketing trend can be used to engage employees.
Recent research carried out in the UK has shown that 25% of smartphone users have between 11 and 20 apps on their phone, and 24% have 31 or more. With potentially dozens of apps on a user’s smartphone, it has become increasingly difficult to engage them.
Push notifications are short messages or alerts sent by an app or website to a user’s phone or desktop in real-time. They ‘pop-up’ on the screen, prompting the user to take some action. The messages can be personalised and can contain images, GIFs or video. They don’t deliver the primary message, but rather give an instruction to the user. The notifications are very effective; they engage users and encourage action.
Employers and HR departments can use push notifications to send important information to employees, anytime and anywhere. For example, BrightPay Connect customers commonly use the push notifications feature to notify employees of their latest payslip, Health & Safety updates, changes to the employee handbook, and even to direct them to the latest company newsletter.
BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on that works with BrightPay’s desktop payroll software. It is primarily focused on improving payroll workflows by automating tasks to save a business significant time, but its functionality also offers employers a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution.
With BrightPay Connect, employers and employees have their own self-service app which can be accessed by a web browser or by the app. Using the calendar feature on the app, employees can easily manage their annual leave, view how much they’ve already taken, how much is left, and can make leave requests, which are sent to their manager. The push notification then alerts employees of whether or not their request for leave has been approved.
The push notification is used to alert individuals, teams, or the whole company that a new document has been shared to their self-service portal. The HR team can share with an employee their contract of employment, their performance review, training records and other confidential information. To the wider company, they can share the company handbook and return-to-work procedures including the company’s social distancing and COVID-19 policies.
Additionally, the app’s activity log allows managers and HR to keep track of who has viewed documents and who has not. This can be significantly helpful to employers who are legally required to provide employees with certain documents.
Push notifications can be used to help ensure important messages are not missed. With overflowing inboxes, employees are more likely to click on these alerts and remain updated on any company news.
To learn more about BrightPay Connect and how it can help your business, book a demo to speak to a member of our team.
Gather round the fire young payroll processors and let me tell you a tale of terror. The year is 2021, you’ve been in lockdown and working from home for the past year. All of your important work is stored on your trusty laptop. Not only that, but you’ve been processing payroll for a client who employs 20 people...and it’s payday. All of a sudden BAM! Your coffee cup knocks over and spills all over your laptop and the screen goes blank. It won’t switch back on. All your data has been lost. Did I mention its payday?!! Come back, stop screaming! It’s only a story!
But here’s the thing, it’s not a story. These accidents happen literally all the time and all the more so since we’ve been working from home with pets, children and other halves who have no respect for personal boundaries. In my case, my cat was trying to catch a fly and knocked my coffee cup over (yes really) but I’m sure everyone has their own story of misfortune to tell.
But accidents aren’t the only way in which your data can be permanently lost. Pretty soon we’ll returning to our offices again and with that comes the perils of the workplace such as:
Luckily there is a simple way to avoid the terror of losing all of your precious work and payroll data and it’s - yup you’ve guessed it - backing up your data.
Now, some of you may be manually backing up your data and that’s great. But there is a much easier way. BrightPay Payroll Software offers an add-on called BrightPay Connect that automatically, yes automatically, does this for you every time you run your payroll or make any changes to it. Any work you do gets automatically synchronised to the cloud.
Let’s talk about the cloud. It gets a bad rap sometimes and people seem to be a little tentative about it. But in actual fact it is an absolute ideal information storage space. It’s also easily accessible, remotely accessible and quickly accessible no matter where in the world you are (dependent on WiFi). So if you have any problems or lose any of your payroll data you can literally pluck it out of the sky and restore it to your computer.
Not only that, but BrightPay Connect maintains a chronological history of your backups so you can restore or download any of the backups at any time, whether it’s to a PC or a Mac. You can also backup onto your existing computer or simply download a backup to a brand new computer that hasn’t been destroyed by coffee, enabling you to get up and running right where you left off, no matter where you are.
So basically a secure, encrypted software that automatically stores your data in the cloud, making it easily and remotely accessible? Yes please - you’d be mad not to! And you don’t have to get rid of your cat either. For more information about BrightPay Connect, book a 20-minute demo that goes over all of the additional functionalities.
As security is a large concern for many businesses nowadays as data breaches are a threat to all entities, Two Factor Authentication can now be enabled as a feature for users of BrightPay Connect. Two Factor Authentication is a second layer of protection to re-confirm the identity for users logging into Connect through an internet browser or through BrightPay. This improves security, protects against fraud and lowers the risk of data breaches as users can access sensitive employer and employee data in Connect with the increased security layer.
BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on feature that works with BrightPay. BrightPay Connect provides a secure, automated and user-friendly way to backup and a self-service dashboard to both accountants and employers so they can access payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, annual leave requests and employee contact details.
If Two Factor Authentication is enabled for a Connect account, when any user on the Connect account tries to sign into Connect via their internet browser here or through BrightPay, they will be asked to enter in a security code that needs to be sent to them. The user can select to have the security code to be sent by email or by text to the user.
Once the user receives the security code the user enters this in the 'verify code' field and selects 'Verify Code'. The user will only be able to access the security code if they have access to the email account or mobile device. The random generated 6 digit security code will expire after fifteen minutes so a new code will have to be sent if the code is not used in the time limit.
This Two Factor Authentication uses a second security measure of identification ensuring the user is the correct user when logging into Connect. It adds an additional layer of security to an already secure hosted platform and gives the user more reassurance that their payroll data is safer and more secure.
To Enable this option in Connect when you are logged in > Go to 'Settings' > Go to 'Two Factor Authentication' > Tick the box > 'Save Changes'.
For employers, managers and HR departments, the task of handling your employees’ time-off requests can often feel more complicated than it needs to be. When requests are submitted manually or when the protocol on how requests should be made is unclear, it can often lead to problems. Delays in processing, lost requests or conflict over which employee is more entitled when there are overlapping requests are just some of the headaches that employers may have to endure.
COVID-19 has created many new challenges for organisations processing their employees’ annual leave entitlements. As more people are now working remotely, it is likely that organisations’ annual leave request conventions are no longer adequate.
Although we know that it is not always possible to keep everyone happy, having a leave request system in place that is transparent, fair and convenient can make life a lot easier for employers and management, while at the same time boosting employee morale.
BrightPay Connect is an online, self-service solution that allows employees to request leave wherever or whenever suits them; be it from their desk or even in their own time through the BrightPay Connect mobile or tablet app. BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on that works alongside BrightPay Payroll. Once a request for leave has been made, the relevant manager will receive a notification on their own BrightPay Connect dashboard. From the dashboard, employers can either approve or deny the leave request. Below, we’ve listed ten benefits of using BrightPay Connect to manage your staff’s annual leave.
Book an online demo today to discover more about BrightPay Connect and the many other ways it can benefit your business.
What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘cloud’ will vary from person to person. Some will think of the weather as they look, grumbling, out their front window. But others will be thinking about all that extra storage on their iPhone. The meaning of the word has changed in recent times and most of us will now think the latter. But what about those who haven’t a notion what you’re on about? What is the cloud?
The cloud is a general term for any computing service that involves hosting over the internet to deliver computing services in lieu of a hard drive. Services such as storage, payroll and HR information. The other key feature is that you can access these services or information anytime, anywhere from any device that is connected to the internet. In fact, you’re already using cloud services if you use social media, Google Drive and Dropbox to name but a few. And now the cloud has become a must-have for any business who wishes to keep up with the times.
I can hear some of you now: “It sounds great, but my employees would never use something like that”. Well, that’s where you’re wrong. A recent survey found that 48% of people believe technological advances will change the face of the workplace and a massive 87% of those said they would be happy to adapt to technological changes if the right tools were given to them. Wow! So how do I know which cloud platform to choose for my business?
I’m glad you asked! Our experts got together for a brainstorming session and found that there are four key things to look out for when choosing the right cloud platform for your business - cost, compliance, simplicity and connection.
So, there you have it… off you go now! Good luck scouring through the internet trying to find the perfect cloud platform. But…., well, ....it is Christmas after all and I’m feeling generous. Ah, what the heck, I’ll just let you in on a secret which is the best cloud payroll platform for businesses out there: our very own BrightPay Connect.
BrightPay Connect is an add-on to BrightPay’s award-winning payroll software and ticks literally every single box I just mentioned over the course of this post. I’ve done enough talking so instead let me show you. Book a demo today to find out why BrightPay Connect is the perfect fit for your business.
Merry Christmas everyone! Don’t say I didn’t get you anything!
COVID-19 has thrown many curveballs for businesses of every size and industry across the United Kingdom. Employers are finding themselves in situations that they could never have expected and faced with challenges that nobody saw coming. However, life must go on and business owners are forced to find creative solutions to overcome these challenges and ensure the continued growth of their businesses.
One of the most common challenges facing employers right now is related to annual leave. Of course, many employees across the country have been placed on furlough for some time in 2020 and many are still on furlough today. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not entitled to annual leave, or that their employee rights no longer apply.
So, employers who have had to place employees on furlough are now trying to figure out how to manage annual leave for those employees in a way which is fair to their staff without being detrimental to their business. Thankfully, help is at hand. In this blog post, we share top tips for employers who find themselves navigating these murky waters and help you to take a strategic approach that’s in everyone’s interest.
Thankfully, help is at hand. These top tips for employers who find themselves navigating these murky waters will help you to take a strategic approach that’s in everyone’s interest.
Review Existing Policy
The first thing you need to do when figuring out how you’re going to manage your employee annual leave is to review your existing annual leave policy. Most businesses will have standard annual leave policies that don’t vary all that much from business to business. However, there are some things in your policy that you may want to change temporarily.
For example, many businesses state in that policy that annual leave cannot be carried from one year to another. However, the rules in relation to the carry over of annual leave have been temporarily relaxed to deal with the coronavirus disruption. Many employees have not been able to take their annual leave and will likely not be able to do so in the months to come and so you should review and update this element of your policy in light of these relaxed rules.
The second step in this process is to ensure that you communicate any and all changes to your existing annual leave policy with all employees. If you are making changes to the policy, it is essential that you share these changes with staff.
Simply sending a company-wide email may not be sufficient in this case, as it’s very likely that the email could get lost amongst many other emails in the employee’s inbox. A better option would be to distribute the updated policy via an online employee portal such as BrightPay Connect. With Connect’s self-service portal and app, employees can access important documents anywhere, anytime, and receive instant notifications on their smartphone or tablet when a new document has been made available to them.
If you think that employees will have a lot of questions regarding the changes to the existing policy, it would be in your best interest to hold a meeting either online or in person, where employees have the opportunity to ask questions and you can give detailed explanations so that everyone is on the same page.
Be As Flexible As Possible
Finally, human resources managers or line managers who are dealing with incoming annual leave requests should at all times strive to be as flexible and facilitating as possible. These are very unusual and utterly unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in. You may have employees with underlying conditions, with children but no access to childcare etc. whose ability to take holiday time is compromised through no fault of their own.
Therefore, it is in the best interest of your employees and your business to try where possible to accommodate the needs of your employees when it comes to annual leave until the public health status has improved.
BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud portal add-on to our multi-award winning payroll software. With Connect, employers can take advantage of the latest in cloud automation technologies and employee self-service. Connect boasts industry-leading features in both payroll and human resources to create a holistic cloud portal that actually works for your business.
With BrightPay Connect, managing annual leave is simple, and it’s even more beneficial during COVID-19 as employees are working from home more than ever before. Connect allows employees to request annual leave straight from an employee app on their smartphone or tablet. The request instantly appears in the Connect dashboard of the relevant manager.
The manager can then check if other employees are on leave during the requested dates via a company calendar, which is also accessible on their online dashboard. Then, they can approve or reject the request and the employee is instantly notified on their app. Furthermore, a time-stamped log of all requests, approvals and rejections is kept in the cloud for future reference. This is ideal when multiple users are managing annual leave remotely.
If your business is struggling with annual leave management because of COVID-19, then why not get in touch with us today? Book your free BrightPay Connect demo where a member of our BrightPay Connect team of experts will be happy to assist you. We will walk you through the various features of BrightPay Connect and explain in detail how these features can make annual leave management easier than ever before.
2020 has been a transformative year for most businesses. Many employers have had to take a long hard look at how they manage their employees and make significant changes in the wake of COVID-19 in order to adapt to what is quickly becoming the new normal. For a large proportion of these businesses, allowing employees to work remotely is playing a central role in that change. And this throws up some challenges.
Remote working isn’t a new phenomenon. Cloud innovations have made it possible for people to work from home for many years. However, most businesses have been reluctant to embrace this practice up until now. This is because, when employees are spread out, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult.
Today, however, employers are finding themselves in a position where they must allow employees to work remotely and find clever solutions to these challenges. And BrightPay Connect is one such solution that makes remote working easier for everyone.
You might not think that remote working has any impact on processing payroll, especially if you’re a small business with just one payroll administrator. But there are a number of ways that remote working can indirectly impact payroll. It also has numerous knock-on effects on human resources management which need to be addressed in order for a business to thrive.
Here are some examples of the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working:
BrightPay Connect is a cloud portal add-on to our payroll software. While the payroll software gives you everything you need to process your payroll, BrightPay Connect offers a range of additional features that streamline your human resource management.
The features of BrightPay Connect include:
If your business is embracing remote working and trying to find ways to facilitate this new practice, then book your free BrightPay Connect demo today and let our team of experts show you just how much easier remote working can be.
Employee apps have become a big trend in the digital communications infrastructure of businesses in every industry imaginable over the past few years. Initially, they served little or no real tangible purpose other than to help the business appear to be at the forefront of technology and employment trends. However, more recently, app designers have created apps that deliver real, measurable value for both employees and employers.
Introduced in 2017, the BrightPay employee app is available to all BrightPay Connect customers. Connect is an add-on to the payroll software which offers a whole host of additional features, from automatic cloud backup to employee dashboards. However, the employee app is one of the most attractive of these additional features, and for good reason.
This is because employers and human resource managers are constantly trying to find more effective ways of communicating with their employees, as well as methods to streamline everyday processes such as annual leave requests. Our employee app does all of this and more, and gives employees a crucial sense of engagement that’s invaluable to company culture and the productivity of staff.
But, if you’re an employer or human resources manager who’s considering using an employee app to update your internal comms abilities, you’re going to need to weigh up the benefits of the app and think about how they would apply to your organisation.
So, without further ado, let’s break down the benefits of employee apps so that you can make the best decision for your business.
Leave Requests and Approval
Few people expect that an employee app can help with leave requests, but they can. In the BrightPay Connect employee app, employees can apply for annual leave or unpaid leave directly from their tablet or smartphone. Once they've sent their request, the relevant manager will receive a notification on their BrightPay Connect dashboard.
From here, they can approve or reject the request. The calendar on their dashboard will show them all of the scheduled leave for the relevant dates, so they can see who else is on leave at that time. If they choose to approve it, the leave will automatically appear in the company calendar on both the online dashboard and the employee app.
This is particularly useful to companies with large numbers of employees whereby a significant amount of time is spent processing employee leave requests and manually updating the company calendar.
Another major benefit of using a self-service employee app is the vast improvement in internal communications. Employers can upload any type of documents they want to be available on the employee app. These documents are then stored in the cloud, where employees can easily access them from anywhere in the world.
What makes this feature even more useful is that the employer can choose who has access to which documents. For example, you may upload three documents at once. One is an updated Health and Safety policy, another is a new budget document for the marketing team, and another is an employee file for a recent starter.
Our document sharing feature will allow you to make your Health and Safety policy available to everyone in the company, make the budget document available only to the marketing team, and make the new employee file only visible to yourself and your human resources manager. You can customize the access permissions for each document, and change that access at any time. And you can see who has opened and read the various documents via a time-stamped historical log.
This means that, not only can you use the document sharing facility to distribute important documents to your employees, but you can also use Connect as a secure online hub, where you store all employee data and documents safely.
One of the features of the BrightPay Connect employee app that your employees will really love is the handy payslip archive. Via the app, payslips are distributed directly to employee smartphones or tablets where they can be viewed, downloaded and printed in just a few clicks. But, in addition to this, the payslips are kept on the app in a historical archive that dates back to when you started using BrightPay Payroll - even if it’s before you introduced the app or started using BrightPay Connect.
This is great news for employees for two reasons. Firstly, because they cannot lose payslips in their email inbox or accidentally delete them and have to ask for them to be resent. And secondly, because it makes applying for mortgages or other personal finance banking options simpler as they can easily access and print as many payslips as their bank requires.
If you think that the BrightPay Connect employee app could benefit your business, why not book a free demo with our team of Connect experts? They will talk you through all of its many features, including the app and so much more.
The calendar functionality in BrightPay Connect has been updated and improved, making it more user friendly and graphically appealing for both employers and employees. Improvements such as calendar and leave view, custom leave types and requesting leave are part of the new enhancements.
The number of months displayed on the calendar for both employers and employees can be selected, the options available are 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. This can be selected under the Settings tab in the Employer portal, further details can be found here.
On the Employer or Employee Calendar in Connect the calendar can be displayed for one month or multiple months. One month view can be seen by selecting the '1 Month View' option. The view can be returned to the default number of months view by selecting ‘3 / 6 / 9 / 12 Month View’. On the ‘1 Month View’ there are new widgets for scrolling up and down through the number of leave entries on a particular date.
Dates with multiple types of events are dotted with the relevant colours. To see the breakdown, simply hover your mouse over the date. By selecting a date on the calendar a dialog box will open to show all the entries on that date without having to scroll.
Custom leave types are now available in BrightPay Connect. In BrightPay 2020/21 you can define nine additional custom leave types for employees. Six of the custom leave types are set up with default descriptions such as time in lieu and study leave. Instructions on how to add, edit or remove these custom leave types can be found here.
When a custom leave type is entered on the employee’s calendar in BrightPay and synchronised to Connect the leave type will be displayed on the calendar for both the employer and the employee to view on their online portal or mobile app. Custom leave can only be entered on an employee’s calendar by a user in Connect or on the employee’s calendar in the BrightPay employer file. Employees cannot request any custom leave types.
When employers are adding leave on an employee’s calendar in Connect or an employee is requesting leave, they are now entered as date ranges simplifying leave dates being selected. If the employer or an employee enter in an invalid date range (e.g. including non-working days in the date range) it will automatically correct this and only working days will be included in the request.
Interested in finding out more about how BrightPay Connect can streamline your leave management processes? Book an online demo of BrightPay Connect today.