Oct 2020

26

Solving the recent "blank screen" issue with BrightPay's Quickbooks integration.

BrightPay is built on a technology called WPF, which is part of Microsoft’s very popular .NET Framework. For .NET development on Windows, WPF has been the first-choice framework for over a decade, and is still very much going strong.

From its beginnings, WPF has included the ability to display and interact with web-based content in a special user interface component called WebBrowser. BrightPay uses WebBrowser to display the “log in” web pages that are required for certain API integrations (e.g. when submitting pension contributions or posting payroll journals to certain providers). WebBrowser has worked well, but it has one aspect that is beginning to cause problems.

WebBrowser is based on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, which has an end-of-life support date of 21 August 2021, meaning that from then on it will no longer receive security updates. Apart from that, Internet Explorer lacks support for many modern technologies, and the web development community has been cheering on its deprecation for years.

In September 2020, BrightPay customers started to notice that our integration with QuickBooks (for posting payroll journals) is no longer working – the log in process results in a blank screen. This is happening because Intuit (the creators of Quickbooks) have dropped their support for Internet Explorer – they are now using technology that is simply too modern for Internet Explorer (and therefore's BrightPay's use of WebBrowser) to handle. In the coming months and years, one by one, many other cloud-based software providers will no doubt be doing the same.

So where does this leave BrightPay? Well, you might be aware that in 2015, Microsoft released the first version of their successor to Internet Explorer: the Edge browser. It wasn’t until 2019 that a WPF component for using Edge in Windows applications was made available. This component, called WebView, is not perfect, however, and comes with some technological shortcomings that made us decide to not adopt it right away.

Despite the shortcomings with WebView, when Intuit made their announcement that they would not support Internet Explorer anymore, we created a version of BrightPay that uses WebView and began testing it internally. But not long after, Intuit revised their announcement, confirming that they would not be supporting the Edge browser either. This left us in a bit of a quandary.

Earlier this year, Microsoft released a new version of Edge, based on the same technology that powers the Google Chrome browser. Although it has the same name as the Edge browser from 2015, it is completely different (and Intuit have confirmed that the new Edge will be supported by Quickbooks). Microsoft have also since announced that they will be releasing a component to allow WPF applications to use the new Edge browser, called WebView2, in Q4 2020. This is a much better component than WebView, with wider support, less restrictions and improved deployment. It’s the obvious solution to our Quickbooks problem, except that at the time of writing this, it’s still not available. But it will be soon enough.

And so, our only real choice is to wait until the WebView2 component is available. As soon as it is, we will prioritise its integration. When that's done, BrightPay customers who need to post journals to Quickbooks should no longer have any issues.

In the meantime, BrightPay version 20.6 contains the WebView component (based on the legacy Edge browser), as we have found that despite Intuit’s claim to not support legacy Edge, it seems to still work for posting journals to Quickbooks anyway. Hopefully, it will continue to do so until WebView2 is available.

Please note that to use WebView in BrightPay 20.6, you (i) must have Windows 10 version 1803 or higher and (ii) you must not run BrightPay in administrator mode. Otherwise, BrightPay will fall back to using the Internet Explorer-based WebBrowser, and the Quickbooks integration will not work. Also, to be able to support WebView (and in preparation for supporting WebView2), BrightPay now requires the .NET Framework version 4.7.2 or higher. If your computer does not already have this version, you will need to download and install it manually to be able to continue using BrightPay.

NOTE: BrightPay for Mac users are not affected by any of this.

Posted byRoss WebsterinCustomer UpdateSoftware Upgrade


Oct 2020

1

Customer Update: October 2020

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


CJRS is ending! What's in store for the months ahead?

What’s in store for employers over the coming months as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends? Join us for a free webinar where we examine key concerns:

  • What is the NEW Job Support Scheme?
  • Can you avail of the Job Retention Bonus?
  • What are the rules in relation to redundancies?
  • Will remote working remain beyond 2020?
Free Webinar

BrightPay’s Customer Satisfaction Survey – The results are in!

At BrightPay, we take customer satisfaction very seriously. We regularly carry out customer surveys to make sure our customers are satisfied with their BrightPay experience. These surveys provide invaluable information regarding what our customers want and need, and what we need to work on moving forward. We’ve compiled the results of our latest survey and we wanted to share them with you.


Furlough Changes for October

In October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer NI contributions and employer pension contributions plus 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500. After 31st October, the government contributions will finish, and the scheme will come to an end. The new Job Support Scheme will start in November to top up the wages of employees unable to work full-time because of coronavirus restrictions over the winter.


What’s not to LOVE about BrightPay’s integration with FreeAgent

Together with FreeAgent, we’ve built a meaningful API integration to make payroll refreshingly easy while keeping your accounting simple. BrightPay produces the payroll journal in a file format that is unique to FreeAgent. Users can easily upload their payroll figures into their general ledger from within BrightPay using the FreeAgent API facility.

BrightPay & FreeAgent

Redundancy and Notice Pay for Furloughed Employees

With the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme fast approaching, more employers are having to consider the issue of redundancies. New regulations which came into effect on 31 July 2020 have changed the way in which statutory redundancy and notice pay must be calculated in respect of employees who have been furloughed. If a worker loses their job and is entitled to redundancy pay, this should be calculated based on their pre-furlough wages. Firms cannot use the money from furlough to subsidise redundancy packages.


Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


Sep 2020

1

Customer Update: September 2020

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


Furlough Changes for September 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is ending fully on 31st October 2020, but until then, the level of the grant will be reduced each month. For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions plus 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500. 


Free Webinar: CJRS & Flexible Furlough - Changes you need to know

As the government’s furlough scheme winds down in upcoming months, employers will need to contribute to employees’ wages and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end fully at the end of October 2020. In this webinar, we look at what you need to know about reduced government contributions, flexible furlough and making a claim. 


Benefits of employee apps that you never knew (and why employees love them)

BrightPay Connect 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. It enables you to introduce more effective ways of communicating with employees and streamline everyday processes such as annual leave requests. 


Easily integrate BrightPay with your accounting software 

BrightPay’s payroll journal feature allows users to create wage journals from finalised pay periods so that they can be seamlessly transferred into various accounting packages. BrightPay includes direct API integration with a number of accounting packages. With this direct integration, users will be able to directly send the payroll journal to the accounting package from within BrightPay.  


Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


Aug 2020

7

Customer Update: August 2020

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


BrightPay Connect - What’s New?

This month saw a number of updates to BrightPay Connect, including a new option to download all payslips in a given period. The calendar functionality in BrightPay Connect has also 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.


Free COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

Join BrightPay on 12th August for a free COVID-19 & Payroll webinar. In this webinar, we explore the key changes in relation to flexible furlough, phasing out of the scheme and changes to making a claim. This new flexibility will help businesses with reopening and help boost the economy. Places are limited. Click here to book your place now.


Processing Employee Hours Made Simple With BrightPay Connect

We’re always keen to hear what the biggest challenges are for payroll bureaus and how we can help make their job easier. One of the most common issues we understand is that requesting payroll information from clients can be an inefficient, time-consuming and often, frustrating process. The good news is that BrightPay Connect makes this process so much simpler. It has become a must-have tool for bureaus who want to streamline their payroll process and increase efficiency.


Automate Annual Leave Management with BrightPay Connect

After months of lockdown, many people are embracing the idea of staycations in a bid to save what’s left of the summer. For employers, however, managing employee leave can be far from relaxing if it is a manual process. BrightPay Connect’s online leave management tools eliminate cumbersome people management tasks. It’s more than just payroll software, it’s a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution. The staycation trend should be a reason to be excited, not an admin nightmare.


Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


Jul 2020

2

Customer Update: July 2020

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


Changes to the CJRS & Furloughing Employees

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been hugely popular and will continue to support jobs until the end of October. However, from 1st July, there will be many changes to the scheme. Here we've put together a summary of some of the key points in relation to flexible furlough, phasing out of the scheme and changes to making a claim.


Employees returning from statutory leave after 10 June 2020

From 1st July 2020, employers will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks any time between 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June 2020 and meets the qualifying criteria to be furloughed for the first time.


CJRS calculations have changed in BrightPay from version 20.5 onwards

For many of our customers, this calculation change will not make a difference. But those who pay in lieu (e.g. a July pay date for June payroll), or those for whom an already submitted claim period ending 30 June did not actually cover all of June's earnings, will need to check and ensure that all reclaimable amounts are accounted for and submitted to HMRC prior to making July claims.


COVID-19 Webinar - Did you miss it? Watch on-demand now

During our most recent webinar, we looked at upcoming changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We also examined five principles that employers should be following to protect employees as they come back to work. Don't miss out - watch it back anytime.

 

Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


May 2020

27

Customer Update: June 2020

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


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

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


Claim Guidance for Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Claim

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


Furlough Scheme available until 31st of October

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


Return to Work Safety Policies

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


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Claim Report in BrightPay

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


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update


Mar 2020

18

Customer Update: March 2020

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


BrightPay 2020/21 is now available to pre-order

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


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

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


How BrightPay Connect pricing is calculated

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

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


How to Handle SSP & Covid 19

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

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


Posted byKaren BennettinCoronavirusCustomer Update


Feb 2020

19

BrightPay 2020/21 is now available to pre-order

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

Pre-order BrightPay 2020/21 here

New BrightPay Connect Subscription Pricing Model

From April 2020, BrightPay Connect customers will be billed on a usage subscription model based on the number of employees in the billing month. This monthly subscription pricing model means that you only pay for what you use. For the vast majority of customers, this new billing model will result in a reduced annual cost.

Invoicing will be monthly in arrears e.g. usage in April 2020 will be billed and payable in May 2020.

You will need to enter some basic information on our new online billing system, which will be available shortly. We will notify all Connect customers once it is available.

Further Details Pricing Calculator


Note: Your payroll software desktop licence will continue to be charged on a per tax year basis.


What do you need to do now?

Nothing. Your BrightPay payroll software 2019/20 licence will continue to work as normal until the end of the tax year. Pre-order BrightPay 2020/21 today and we will email you when it is available to download. Our BrightPay Connect billing system will be available shortly and we will notify all Connect customers when it is up and running.

Posted byPaul ByrneinCustomer UpdatePayroll Software


Jan 2020

30

Customer Update: January 2020

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


Free Webinar: Last chance to register! 

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

Join BrightPay for a free webinar where we look at cloud innovation and how it is positively impacting the payroll process for employers. Not in the distant or even medium-term future: this is happening right now. Register now to see how next-generation cloud features can revolutionise your business.


Easily integrate BrightPay with your accounting software

BrightPay’s payroll journal feature allows users to create wage journals from finalised pay periods so that they can be added into various accounting packages. With this direct integration, users will be able to send the payroll journal to the accounting package directly from within BrightPay. BrightPay includes direct API integration with Sage One, Quickbooks Online and Xero, and coming soon is integration with FreeAgent, AccountsIQ, Kashflow and Twinfield.


Employer obligations: Simple ways to comply using BrightPay Connect

There's been a lot of talk recently about online client platforms. They can bring many benefits to both employers and employees alike - from online payslip access to annual leave management to a HR document hub. But can cloud payroll portals really help with employer obligations? Here we look at how BrightPay Connect can help with record keeping requirements, employment law obligations and GDPR compliance.

Read more

Annual Leave Management: Say Goodbye to Paper Trails and Excel Spreadsheets

BrightPay Connect gives employers a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution, streamlining previously cumbersome people management tasks, such as annual leave management. Employees can submit holiday requests on the go, directly from their smartphone. Managers will be notified of the request immediately and can view the holiday calendar online before approving, ensuring that they always have sufficient cover. Employees’ remaining holiday balances will be automatically updated meaning everyone is always up to date.


Minimum Wage Rates Increase from 1st April 2020

It has been announced that on the 1st April 2020 the minimum wage will increase by amounts ranging from 4.6% to 6.5%. An employee's age and if they are an apprentice will determine the rate they will receive. BrightPay can track employee hourly rates against the National Minimum/Living Wage (including apprentices), UK Living Wage, London Living Wage, or they can be marked as not eligible.


Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


Dec 2019

5

Customer Update: December 2019

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


The interactive digital payslip has arrived - Free for BrightPay Customers

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

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


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

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

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



New AccountingWEB Live Conference for Accountants - Will you attend?

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

Find out more Register here

New BrightPay Connect Subscription Pricing Model

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



Why employee apps are the future of payroll

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


Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update