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. See, 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 whopping 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 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 if BrightPay Connect is the perfect fit for your business.
Merry Christmas everyone! Don’t say I didn’t get you anything!
With Summer creeping in and school holidays fast approaching, employee holidays go from a trickle into a flood. For workers, it’s a well-deserved break - but for businesses, it can be a nightmare.
The process of annual leave management can still be a manual, spreadsheet, paper-based or, worse, email heavy exercise. BrightPay Connect’s online annual leave tools completely eliminate these cumbersome people management tasks.
It’s more than just payroll software, it’s a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution that offers an annual leave management facility. HR software shouldn’t be an expensive luxury reserved for big corporates. BrightPay Connect is affordable and designed with small businesses in mind.
The benefits of BrightPay Connect’s online annual leave tools come in three main prongs, enabling:
All the while, leave is automatically recorded on the payroll software and synced to the cloud. It’s easier for everyone: the employer and the employee. The annual holiday rush should be a reason to be excited, not an admin nightmare.
Employee self-service is about more than leave, though. With BrightPay Connect’s employee self-service portal, an employee can login to their self-service account to view and download all current and historic payslips and payroll documents such as P60s. No more printing or emailing payslips. Instead, payslips are automatically added to the employee’s online portal each pay period eliminating employee requests for copies of past payslips.
That’s easy access to everything in one central location. Employers can upload documents such as employment contracts, staff handbooks, privacy policies, training manuals. The employer can decide whether the employee should have access to view the document or not.
No more laborious, repetitive admin. Just one simple online portal that can save you hours every pay period while simultaneously reducing HR queries and payroll administrative tasks. That’s payroll that’s better for employers, employees, and the environment.
BrightPay, WINNER of Payroll Software of the Year 2018 is a payroll and AE software that makes managing payroll easy. Our cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect introduces powerful online features including an automated cloud backup, online annual leave management, client payroll entry and approval and an employee self-service portal. Book a BrightPay Connect demo today to see just how much time cloud automation and integration can save you.
It’s predicted that by 2020, the global workforce would be dominated by millennials (35%) and generation X (35%). That means by next year, over 70% of the global workforce will be under the age of 40. A younger workforce presents knock-on effects for the entire business. As an employer, you need to adapt to meet the expectations of this new generation of employees; they’re very different from the workforce that preceded them. Having grown up using the internet as second nature, these young employees are true digital natives and have never known a world without it.
Take, for instance, payroll. With payment technologies evolving, millennials have become some of the fastest adopters of mobile and digital payments. Their influence on mobile payroll adoption cannot be ignored. The simple fact is these new generation employees don’t do paper forms. They are increasingly looking for digital options to access payslips and apply for annual leave.
In recent years, employees are using holiday time differently than previous generations, with the average leave duration reduced to just 2.34 days. This alone creates new challenges for payroll and HR managers. Shorter, more frequent bursts of annual leave tend to be requested last minute rather than planned in advance. It is important for employers and HR personnel to be able to quickly review and approve leave requests.
Mobile payroll solutions, such as BrightPay Connect, are an ideal way to improve the efficiency of your business, especially as new generation workers continue to integrate smartphones into every aspect of business operations.
As an employer, adopting these few features favoured by younger workers, along with the additional employer benefits (such as an automatic cloud backup of payroll data and instant access to payroll reports), you are guaranteed to improve the efficiency of your business and payroll processing.
Book a demo today to find out how you can benefit from BrightPay Connect.
As a concept, self-service is nothing new. From paying at the supermarket self-service checkouts to online banking, consumers don’t want to have to wait for something if they know they can get it themselves. It’s no different in the workplace.
An employee self-service is the ultimate tool whereby employees can login from anywhere to view their employment and pay related information. With a self-service system, employees can download payslips, request annual leave, look at policies and HR documents and update personal information - all without once contacting HR personnel.
Today’s employees are accustomed to having information readily available. An employee portal can help fulfil that expectation with the added benefit of creating workflow efficiencies. The employee self-service portal eliminates the burden of sending payslips, updating personal information, approving annual leave requests and answering leave balance enquiries for the payroll department.
Managers and HR personnel will save administrative hours and frustration on a daily basis when no longer faced with working through these monotonous and time-consuming tasks.
The former way of managing employee data is fast becoming outdated. What was once considered normal in the past is no longer considered normal anymore. Today, the new normal is to implement an employee self-service system whereby workflows are streamlined, with added benefits for both employees and employers.
Book a demo today to find out how BrightPay Connect can transform your business.
The ability for employees to view and edit their own data is one of the most important advancements of HR in recent years. Providing employees with remote access to view personal information held is also a best practice recommendation of the GDPR. It's obviously true that employees have a lot to gain from a self-service system, such as BrightPay Connect. The option to view and manage their data online provides a source of independence, power and control.
But what about HR personnel, managers and everyone else involved in the payroll and HR process? They benefit too! For administrators, it's a way of delegating the workload that would otherwise be handled solely by them. Implementing an employee self-service system is a way to re-distribute various tasks and bring it to the employee’s level.
On the surface, an employee self-service system seems designed simply to relieve a bit of pressure on your HR department. But the benefits to the business go much deeper than that. Some employee self-service systems also have the following benefits:
If your HR and payroll administrators spend a lot of time printing payslips, managing annual leave or responding to employee requests, consider how an employee self-service system could help your business.
When implemented successfully, a company may see immediate increases in productivity and efficiency. Managers and HR personnel will save labour hours and frustration on a daily basis, and instead have more time to concentrate on more important tasks.
Book a demo today to find out how BrightPay Connect can transform your business.
So, you’ve finally done it. You’ve somehow managed, despite all that your aunties said about you, you’ve gone on to set up a company. And not just any company, oh no, you've dived headfirst into the sexy world of payroll. Sure, accounting school was the best; invites to the coolest parties, skipping the queue in all the nightclubs, boys and girls falling at your feet. But now it’s time to buckle up because you’re a boss now, a sexy one, and playtime is over. But how do you succeed in the cutthroat and unforgiving world of payroll? Well I’m here to tell you. Here are 5 life changing* tips on how to grow your payroll business.
*may be a slight exaggeration
1) Software - First of all, this is a no brainer and will form the basis of this article. If you’re still adding up the tuck shop takings on an abacus and chalkboard then it’s pretty obvious that Fabrizio with his swanky laptop and payroll software is going to leave you eating his trail of dust as he travels all the way to the top. Of what? Of life, Margaret! No matter how small your payroll business is or how few employees you have you will always benefit from a payroll software that pays your clients employees accurately while reducing your admin time. And by using a payroll package that's HMRC recognised you don’t need to worry about the dreaded taxman *little children scream in the background*. Now what’s even better?
2) Automation - One of the biggest tasks you will deal with as a payroll bureau is calculating contributions to HMRC. (That, and fending off all of the attractive people who want to be close to you because you own a payroll company). If this is done manually then, let’s face it, there’s going to be mistakes, and I’m not talking about my cousin Ollie kind of mistake. By using payroll software that can automate auto enrolment duties, batch send RTI, perform payrolling of benefits and CIS submissions (amongst other things) you’re working smarter, not harder and hardly working instead of working hard. This will save you an endless amount of time and reduce mistakes dramatically.
3) Cloud Backup - As your payroll business grows, unless you’re the worst boss in the world with bad BO and an attitude, you’ll hopefully have some employees! Then, even better, more employees! They might work in your office, or work from home, or from a local Starbucks along with all the yummy moms and boho artsy types. Basically in this technological era the definition of a workplace is malleable and interchangeable. (Heck, I’m sitting on my bed right now in my underwear eating a Nando’s and watching Geordie Shore while I write this. Step into my office at your own peril!) So to make sure that everyone is on the same page the best thing to do is invest in a HR and payroll cloud self service portal for your bureau business. This has a threefold advantage as you can:
4) Look out for hidden fees - Make sure that you are using a payroll software that has no hidden fees. You don’t want to take it out for an innocent drink and then 9 months later have it knock on your door saying that you’re tied into a lifetime subscription. Support and training are imperative in the success of any payroll business. Things can get confusing and you’re at the whim of HMRC and she is a fickle, fickle mistress. Even in the last few years alone we’ve had the introduction of RTI and auto enrolment which completely changed the landscape of payroll. Therefore you want to be secure in the knowledge that no matter what comes your way, you can ask for help and it won’t come with a price tag and make sure there’s no charges for automatic enrolment.
5) Reduce your admin time - I’ve already mentioned this BUT there are more ways to reduce this most evil of all work. As mentioned it can be done by using a bureau and client self service based system where whenever you finalise the payroll, things like payslips and payroll reports are accessible to your clients. You could also use a software that puts the onus on the client to submit their data to you directly through a portal, thus reducing duplication of data and inevitable errors. You can aim for the stars even further by opting for a software that also handles your employee admin via a self-service portal that handles things such as leave requests, HR calendar, employee data and even their payslips that are accessible only to them through a unique password. But I don’t know, maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, I mean surely a payroll software like that that has all those amazing features couldn’t possibly exi…
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, let me introduce to you, BrightPay Connect, a cloud self service add on for BrightPay Payroll. BrightPay is so popular amongst users that they voted it the Payroll Software of the Year at the 2018 Accounting Excellence Awards. The folks at BrightPay really want you to succeed and that’s why they’ve designed this bit of software that takes all the hardest parts out of your hands to free your time up to be the best business you can be. All of the features, every single one, mentioned above are part of BrightPay Connect. Weird, it’s almost like I was writing about it the whole time….
See what all the fuss is about for yourself and join me on the road to success. Book a free demo today at https://www.brightpay.co.uk.
(Bonus tip: Win the lottery and buy up all your competition. Now you are payroll King. Simples)
Nearly 5 months since the General data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced across all of the European Union, complaints around Data Protection have nearly doubled in the UK according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
GDPR was designed to give Data Subjects more control over their personal data, with more transparency and the threat of larger fines to those in breach of the new rules. The GDPR requires any company that suffers a data breach to notify its users/data subjects within 72 hours of the breach being discovered.
• Data protection complaints to the UK’s ICO rose to 4214 in July compared to just 2310 complaints received in May before the GDPR came into force. A spokes person for the ICO said the increase was expected, as more users became aware of data protection because of publicity around the new rules and following a series of high-profile data scandals involving some well-known household names, like Morrison’s and Dixons Carphone.
• In July the ICO reported that since May 25th, it had seen a four-fold increase in the number of breaches that organizations were self-reporting.
Experts note, however that the increase’s do not mean that the number of data breaches has suddenly gone up, but rather reflects the full scale of the data breach problem becoming better known.
Organisations that fail to comply with GDPR can face fines of up to 4% of annual global revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater. So far none of the EU’s Data Protection Agency’s have levied any fines. Multiple DPA’s told the International Association of Privacy Professionals Advisor Newsletter that it is simply too soon.
We will be hosting a free online webinar on ‘GDPR 5 Months On’ on Tuesday October 16th at 11am, where we will look at the implications of GDPR on payroll processing and how employer’s can be demonstrate compliance by following a few, simple steps.
To register for this webinar please click here.
BrightPay Connect is tailored to help you overcome some of the key challenges GDPR presents when processing payroll. The payroll itself is still processed on BrightPay’s desktop application, however the payroll information is stored online on a secure cloud server. As the payroll information is stored online, it has allowed us to bring you even more benefits to help you with GDPR compliance.
With the GDPR, it is important to keep a copy of payroll files safe in case of fire, theft, damaged computers or cyber attacks. Essentially BrightPay Connect is an automated cloud backup, keeping employee’s payroll data safe and secure. BrightPay Connect will automatically backup payroll data every 15 minutes when the payroll is open, and again when you close down the employer file. A chronological history of all backups will be maintained which can be downloaded and restored at any time.
GDPR includes a recommendation to provide remote access to a secure system, which would provide employees with direct access to their personal data. With BrightPay Connect, employees can be invited to their own password protected self-service portal. Employees can login to the portal 24/7 on any device, including PC’s, Macs, tablets and smartphones (essentially anywhere that they have access to an internet browser) or there is also an employee smartphone app where employees can login and get notifications directly to their device.
With BrightPay Connect, employees can access a payslip library where they can view and download all historic and current payslips. Employees can also access payroll documents such as P60s and P45s, HR documents (e.g. their contract of employment), personal data held by their employer and past and scheduled leave.
The right to rectification of personal data held is an important employee right under the GDPR. With the employee self-service portal, employees can update their basic personal details such as their phone number and postal address.
Data controllers and data processors must ensure that the personal data held is relevant and up-to-date. As employees can update their basic personal details on BrightPay Connect, this ensures that employers and payroll bureaus have the most accurate and current details on file for employees.
With the GDPR, data controllers must ensure that, by default, only personal data which is necessary for each specific purpose of the processing can be accessed. Therefore, payroll processors should only have access to the personal data that is strictly required for processing the payroll. This is referred to as data minimisation, or privacy by default. With BrightPay Connect, users can be set up so that they only have access to the information needed to complete their specific responsibilities. For example, there may be a HR manager who should not have access to employee’s payroll data, or a payroll processor who should not have access to employee documents or employees marked as confidential.
BrightPay Connect acts as an all in one central location to store all things employee related, including payroll, HR and other employment related documents. Employers have the ability to upload documents that apply to all employees (e.g. company handbook), documents that are unique to individual employees (e.g contract of employment), or even documents that are relevant to a particular department.
If you are a payroll bureau, you can invite your payroll clients to BrightPay Connect to their own online employer dashboard. This is a secure portal for client communications, eliminating the need to send documents with sensitive personal information by email. Clients can view employee payslips as soon as they have been finalised, they can run their own payroll reports and view amounts due to HMRC. Clients will also be able to upload employee timesheets and payments and approve the payroll through their employer portal (coming soon). This offers an additional layer of GDPR protection for client’s payroll data.
Essentially, by introducing BrightPay Connect in your business, you will be taking steps to be GDPR compliant. Book a demo today to have a look at BrightPay Connect.
In today’s fast paced environment employees want their payslips at their fingertips. BrightPay’s cloud add-on BrightPay Connect now offers an employee smartphone and tablet app for employees to access their payroll information on the go. The BrightPay Connect app integrates with the BrightPay payroll software application bringing a new level of efficiency and productivity to managers who manage the payroll, leave requests and HR activities. The employee app is available to download for free on any Android or iOS device.
BrightPay Connect offers an online intuitive app, providing employees with the following benefits:
BrightPay developed the employee payroll app to improve the payroll processing for accountants, employers and employees. The BrightPay Connect app increases the level of accessibility that employees have to their payroll data while providing innovative features that reduces the overall administrative HR processing time and general payroll related enquiries.
Payroll bureaus can now automate the distribution of payslips and eliminate the need to print or email payslips to employees. Employees no longer need to contact their payroll bureaus when they need 6 months’ worth of past payslips when applying for a mortgage or loan. The leave management tool reduces back and forth correspondence between you and your client. All leave requests can now be managed by your client and will automatically be added to the BrightPay payroll software on the bureaus PC. Under the GDPR, it is recommended that you provide individuals with a remote self-service system. BrightPay Connect offers an additional layer of security while providing a self-service app, helping bureaus work towards GDPR compliance.
Employers can offer their employees a self-service app offering full transparency when accessing payslips and other personal information. The annual leave management tool allows employers or HR managers to seamlessly process leave requests with changes flowing through to BrightPay payroll software. The employer portal provides an overview of all employee leave in the company-wide leave calendar, ensuring that employers have adequate cover at peak times. The smartphone and tablet app allow employees to seamlessly connect and interact with employers and HR managers, cutting down on employee queries, making it a valuable time-saving tool.
The employee payroll app provides a better control process, improved efficiency and an online platform for your team to manage their payroll information and personal contact details. Employees have instant access to their payroll information including payslips, an employee calendar and an annual leave request facility. Employees can also view their annual leave balance and HR documents such as their contract of employment. The BrightPay Connect app offers enhanced GDPR security for the employee’s personal payroll data. BrightPay Connect is powered using the latest web technologies and hosted on Microsoft Azure for ultimate performance, reliability and scalability.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25th May 2018 changing the way we process data forever. The aim of the GDPR is to put greater protection on the way personal data is being processed for all EU citizens. Personal data can be anything from a name, an email address, NI number, bank details etc so as you can imagine employers process a huge amount of personal data on a daily basis. So how will the GDPR affect employers in terms of processing employee data?
Data in the employment context, will include information obtained from an employee during the recruitment process (regardless of whether or not they eventually got the job), it will also include the information you hold on current employees and previous employees. All this information may be saved in hard copy personnel files, held on HR systems or it could be information contained in emails or information obtained through employee monitoring.
Under GDPR your employee’s will have increased rights around their data. These rights will include:
Under the GDPR legislation, where possible employers should be able to provide self-service remote access to a secure system which would allow employees view and manage their personal data online 24/7. Furthermore, the cloud functionality will improve your payroll processing with simple email distribution, safe document upload, easy leave management and improved communication with your employees. By introducing a self-service option, you will be taking steps to be GDPR ready.
Book a demo today to find out how you can benefit from BrightPay Connect.