BrightPay’s recent partnership with Modulr was launched with the aim of providing our customers with the most seamless payroll workflow possible. The API integration allows accountants and business owners to pay employees directly from BrightPay.
Our customers responded to the partnership with enthusiasm, registering with Modulr to set up their accounts to try it for themselves. James Toulson, Managing Director of One Less Worry payroll services, who signed up to Modulr, had this to say after trying our new direct payments feature:
Responding to feedback:
Since launching the integration, we’ve worked closely with our customers to understand what worked well and what could be improved. One feature that customers felt would be particularly useful, was a direct payment method to HMRC using the Modulr integration.
To that end, we’re happy to announce that all BrightPay and Modulr customers can now pay HMRC the tax and National Insurance (and any other deductions) owed for each pay period, directly through the payroll software.
What does this mean?
This new feature provides a fast, secure and easy way to pay HMRC through BrightPay. It adds to Modulr’s already existing functionality that helps you to:
Already a customer? You can view a step-by-step guide on how to pay HMRC using Modulr here.
Our aim of creating the best customer experience possible drove our decision to partner with Modulr, a fintech company which is transforming the way companies do business. Modulr are also the payments partner behind the digital banking app, Revolut.
With this partnership, we wanted to provide as many customers as possible with an improved payroll workflow. That’s why BrightPay decided not to receive any referral fees for this service. This allows our customers who register with Modulr to avail of it at a highly competitive wholesale rate.
Get in touch:
Interested in learning more? Get in touch with the BrightPay team to discover the benefits of Modulr’s integration by clicking here. Already a BrightPay customer? Book a demo directly with the Modulr team to learn more.
With little automaton and integration, calculating payroll and settling payments can be a complicated end-to-end process. The complexity of traditional payment flows makes reconciliation difficult, and this is further compounded by an outdated banking infrastructure, with its reliance on manual process and file uploads.
As complexity increases, so too does cost. In the current economic climate, there may be a clear temptation to delay the technological upgrades required to streamline this process. But, as recent research has shown, by not shedding legacy technology and shoring up operational efficiency, companies are adopting an increasingly risky strategy – especially when it comes to the payment processes that sit at the very heart of a business – payroll.
What is clear from the research is that payment processes incur both hard and hidden inefficiencies. The biggest hard cost, as reported by 39% of businesses surveyed, is the hours spent on manual processes.
Depending on the payroll software used, the current payroll process can be error-prone and time-consuming - a fragmented process relying on manual entry, including:
The Bacs system has a 3-day cycle to payment completion so even once files are uploaded and payments are processed, there is still a wait for those payments to clear.
But, it’s the hidden costs that can pack a bigger punch, with 65% of employment services companies agreeing that these actually outweigh the hard costs.
Take, for example, the manual process of payroll - the hard cost is the salary paid against the quantifiable hours spent on the process, while the hidden cost is where those hours could have been better spent and the impact that it could have had on customer experience and satisfaction, competitor differentiation, brand reputation, business agility and team morale.
1. Be responsive to the needs of the Instant Economy
The Instant Economy – an economy of instant experiences, instant information and instant services in both consumer and business lives. But digital, real-time, and responsive business services are required to power the Instant Economy, and a fast digital payments solution must be at the heart of the services infrastructure.
The Instant Economy is increasingly becoming the benchmark for customer experience. When applying Instant Economy thinking to payments, it is not about making them happen quickly. That is just the start. It’s about building innovative products on top of a real-time and responsive, digital payments infrastructure.
Accountants and payroll bureaus need to innovate and evolve to meet the expectations of a market that is accustomed to the benefits of faster, more instant payments. And luckily this is now easier than they think, thanks to companies like BrightPay.
2. Use payment integrated payroll
Leveraging Modulr’s direct access to the critical payments infrastructure, BrightPay can now offer its customers an alternative to the legacy system and a more agile and reliable method of running payroll. This new functionality will integrate payroll and payment processes and remove the reliance on file upload to provide a better end-to-end solution for both accountants and payroll bureaus, and their clients.
The Modulr platform allows BrightPay to remove many of the manual processes currently used for payments processing and replace them with automation. This in turn reduces both the financial impact of the hours spent on payroll and the number of manual errors made when processing payments, which becomes particularly critical for payroll bureaus dealing with multiple clients.
3. Automate to Innovate
Using end-to-end automation in this way is key to driving efficiency and reducing costs, both hard and hidden - replacing the legacy payroll system with a real-time and responsive, digital one, and reducing a two-hour process down to 30 seconds.
Payments can be triggered automatically, from one platform, incurring no more manual processing or checking that funds have cleared. There’s no need to extract files to upload to banking systems or wait for Bacs payments to clear and errors to surface; last minute changes can be processed at the last minute. Payments can be paid in seconds, even outside of banking hours and with full visibility for faster and easier reconciliation.
So, accountants and payroll companies tempted to put off the technological upgrades required to streamline what is traditionally a complicated, error-prone and time-consuming payroll process should take heed – delay and there’s a high price to pay. And, not just in terms of the hard cost of the process itself, but also the hidden costs which are now shown to be more far-reaching.
But there are alternatives. Digital technologies are revolutionising many of the traditional ways of doing things, including payroll, resulting in better end-to-end journeys. Automation and systems integration are the key to realising digital transformation ambitions, while reducing costs, both hard and hidden. And by harnessing Modulr technology, BrightPay can now offer its customers both.
BrightPay and Modulr are together transforming the way accountants and payroll bureaus do business, by streamlining and automating their payments and payroll processes. Book a demo of BrightPay today or watch this short video to see the BrightPay & Modulr integration in action. On 22 April, join the BrightPay and Modulr teams for a free webinar, as we explore what you need to know about this Direct Payments functionality. Plus, we will demonstrate how quick and seamless the process is in both BrightPay and Modulr.
Collaboration is at the centre of BrightPay’s plan of continuously addressing the challenges our customers face by ensuring we can offer new and innovative solutions. Our partnership with Modulr, the UK payments platform, achieves exactly this. The API integration will significantly simplify the task of managing payroll payments for thousands of our customers across the UK. Through Modulr, BrightPay’s customers can eliminate the need to create bank files and the manual work associated with making payments to employees.
The Modulr BrightPay integration enables accountants to provide their clients with a new service, the option of a seamless payroll workflow. Using Modulr, accountants and bureaus can offer accounts to individual clients, which allows payroll payments to be initiated within BrightPay payroll software without the need for payment files. Its functionality provides numerous benefits for accountants and their clients.
Modulr is the tech behind the tech. It’s likely you’ve been using their payments infrastructure without even knowing it. They are the award-winning payments partner behind Revolut, Sage, Iwoca and over 10,000 businesses (and millions of customers). The fintech company has established itself as a leading alternative to wholesale and commercial payments. It is FCA approved, has direct access to Faster Payments and is a partner of Visa, granting it direct access to the industry-leading global payments network.?
We want our customers to have the best experience possible and this collaboration with Modulr is an important step in this. We are confident that this partnership will improve the payroll workflow. We maintain that having a seamless payroll service should be available at an affordable price point and as our BrightPay customers know, we don’t believe in complicated pricing structures, opaque amounts or unfair selling tactics. That’s why BrightPay will not be receiving any referral fees for this service. This allows our customers who register with Modulr to avail of it at a highly competitive rate.
On Thursday, 22 April, join the BrightPay and Modulr teams for a free webinar, as we explore what you need to know about this Direct Payments functionality. Plus, we will demonstrate how quick and seamless the process is in both BrightPay and Modulr.
From May 2018, we will not be able to email you about webinar events, special offers, legislation changes, other group products and payroll related news without you subscribing to our newsletter. This is due to the GDPR legislation. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime. Don’t miss out - sign up to our newsletter today!
The release includes exciting new features to make your payroll and auto enrolment journey easier and less time consuming including:
After purchasing BrightPay Connect, you will need to activate your licence key code. If the licence is not activated, your payroll data will not backup automatically. Employees will not be able to access their payslips or request leave on the self-service portal. Activate your licence key code now to start availing of the many cloud benefits. Haven’t tried BrightPay Connect yet?
BrightPay are delighted to announce that we are the first payroll software on the market to offer direct integration with Aviva. An API is a fully integrated tool that directly links both the payroll and pension provider together. This integration allows customers to submit their pension data file to the Aviva online portal from within BrightPay.
As busy employers it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with the constant changes in employment law. In this webinar our employment law experts discuss what is new in employment law, recent employment law cases and have a look at the most frequently asked questions that come through our support line.
Register for free webinar | Bright Contracts
In this guide, we will specifically look at the impact of GDPR on your payroll processing and address the biggest areas of concern. We will walk you through some important steps to achieve GDPR compliance.
Your clients will need to be ready to implement the increased minimum contribution rates for auto enrolment from April 2018 and April 2019. Our guide and free webinar look at what you must know about processing the increases in contribution rates in 2018 (and clients should thank you for it).
Under the GDPR legislation, where possible the controller should be able to offer self-service remote access to a secure system which would provide the individual with direct access to his or her personal data. BrightPay Connect is a self-service option which will give your payroll clients and their employees online remote access to view payslips and other payroll documents 24/7.
Time-consuming pension file CSV uploads can now become a thing of the past as BrightPay have teamed up with Aviva to bring both employers and payroll bureaus a one-click pension submission. Using Aviva’s API technology, files can be directly sent from one system to another electronically. An API facility is a similar concept to RTI where one system (i.e. payroll software) can instantly communicate with another system (i.e. pension provider.
If Aviva is your chosen workplace pension scheme you can simply send your pension contributions to Aviva in an instant. There is no need to leave the BrightPay application to submit your pension contributions as the Aviva API accesses the pension file that BrightPay has created. This pension file can then be sent through to the Aviva portal with just a few clicks on BrightPay.
Whether you process payroll and automatic enrolment (AE) for your small business or for your payroll bureau’s multiple clients, you can easily comply with your legal duties without having to tirelessly toggle between tabs on your PC.
BrightPay are pleased to be the first payroll software to offer this API integration with Aviva. BrightPay and Aviva customers are saving invaluable time each pay period. If you’d like to see how BrightPay can streamline other tedious automatic enrolment tasks you can book an online demo today. Find out more on our Aviva API webpage.
Written by Cailín Reilly.
It has been confirmed that the student loan repayment threshold will rise to £18,330 for Student Loan Plan 1 for the new tax year 2018-19 by the Student Loans Company. This will come into effect from 6th April 2018. Student Loan Plan 1 is for pre-2012 loans and the current 2017-18 threshold is £17,775. This new threshold will apply to all borrowers who have a Plan 1 loan for whom employers make student loan deductions.
For Student Loan Plan 2, which is for post 2012 loans, there will be no change to the current threshold of £21,000 in the new tax year. There is no change to the student loan repayment threshold for postgraduate loans, which is also £21,000.
In BrightPay 2018-19, the new student loan repayment thresholds for Plan 1 will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.
BrightPay receives excellent customer satisfaction, provides expert customer support and saves time. Over the last year, we identified key features to improve and make the payroll journey easier, including:
These improvements make BrightPay a progressive payroll product, continually evolving to maximise time saving benefits for customers. Our latest cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect, offers savings of up to 75% to our payroll bureau customers when bulk purchasing multiple BrightPay Connect licences.
We started out with the idea of automating the payroll backup to a secure location and, while that backup was being stored remotely, to optionally allow employee access to their current and historic payslips.
Then we were asked if we could provide a way for employees to change their personal details and this was followed by a suggestion that maybe the employees could request leave and that the employer, in deciding whether to approve these requests, would be able to view a company wide calendar to see who else was off on the requested dates. BrightPay Connect, an optional cloud add on was born.
More recently, we added the ability to upload documents, for example employment contracts, to the employee portal, so that all such documents would be easily accessible and the employer would also know if and when they had been opened by the employees.
Although it was not our intention starting out, it now appears that we have ended up with a fairly complete HR system suitable for most small businesses and, no doubt, the list of HR features will continue to grow.
As an employer, you can also provide access to your accountant or anyone else you might want to share with. You can also specify different access levels so that, for example, the person approving holiday requests doesn’t get to see how much your employees are paid.
The 2 things that customers really rave about are (1) you are up and running in seconds, as this is all the time it takes to sync all of your employees and (2) you can access your employees’ details from anywhere, from any device.
Book a BrightPay Connect Demo today to see how you and your employees can benefit.
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 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.