Apr 2021


Pay Employees Directly through BrightPay

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.

BrightPay and Modulr

What does this integration mean for BrightPay customers and their clients?

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.

  1. Save time: With Modulr, you have access to the Faster Payments Service (FPS) scheme, which does not require you to upload any bank files. This eliminates the many frustrating steps traditionally associated with making Bacs payroll payments.
  2. Pay employees faster: Faster Payments Service, launched in 2008, is a payment scheme that is far faster than the traditional Bacs method. Instead of taking three days to process payments, FPS settles payments in 90 seconds. Conveniently, you can also make payments 24/7, 365 days a year, with the flexibility of instant emergency payments.
  3. Minimise error: An integrated payments solution can help cut down on costly data entry errors. By using an automated system, no manual input is required, which improves accuracy and reduces error. Moreover, payments must first be approved by clients on their individual Modulr dashboard before being sent.
  4. Increase security: Payments are made using a highly secure and compliant network. Modulr’s infrastructure is designed to ensure the highest level of data and system confidentiality and is compliant with the highest industry standards and regulations.??

Who is Modulr?

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.?

Pricing Structure

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.

Schedule a personal demo:

Interested in learning more? Click here to learn more about BrightPay’s integration with Modulr and talk to a member of our team today to discover how BrightPay can improve your payroll processes. 

Free webinar: 

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.

Register for free webinar

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinNew FeaturesPayroll Software

Mar 2018


April Customer Newsletter - BrightPay 18/19 released

***** Please confirm whether you want to hear from us (GDPR related) - Important Update ****

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!

Subscribe now


BrightPay 2018/19 is Now Available. What's New?

The release includes exciting new features to make your payroll and auto enrolment journey easier and less time consuming including:

  • Auto enrolment minimum contribution increases (phasing) including letters 
  • Enhanced feature to email documents & reports
  • Improved calendar features
  • BrightPay Connect - Improved GDPR security and cloud functionality 
  • 2018/19 Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) codes, rates and thresholds
  • Payroll journal export to Sage, Xero, Quickbooks, Exact & Kashflow
  • API integration with Aviva
  • April 2018 National Living Wage rates

See what’s new | Buy now | Download BrightPay 2018/19


You need to activate your BrightPay Connect licence to backup your data

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?

Book a demo today | Find out more


BrightPay Announces API Integration with Aviva

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.

Read more here


Free Bright Contracts Webinar: UK Employment Law Overview

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


For Payroll Bureaus / Accountants

Payroll Data and GDPR: What you need to know about consent, emailing payslips, and your legal obligation

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.

Download here | Register for GDPR webinar


Understanding Minimum Contribution Increases (Phasing) and its Implications

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).

Download white paper | Register for free webinar


How BrightPay Connect can help with GDPR!

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.

Read more here | Book a demo

Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer UpdateGDPRGeneral Data Protection RegulationNew Features

Jan 2018


BrightPay & Aviva: Hello one-click pension submissions.

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.

Posted byCailin ReillyinAuto EnrolmentNew FeaturesSoftware Upgrade

Sep 2017


New Student Loan Plan 1 Thresholds for 2018-19

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.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinNew FeaturesPayroll Software

Jul 2017


BrightPay continues to evolve

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:

  • CSV payroll journal export facility for import into accounting software.
  • NEST API capabilities to validate groups and payment sources and to send payment approval requests for contributions schedule.
  • Easier import processing from other payroll software providers. 
  • 30 second import from HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools. 
  • Payroll and HR cloud portal to automatically backup payroll data online, with online access to payslips, reporting, annual leave and HR documents.

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.



  • I recently moved from HMRC Basic Tools. Everything transferred very easily and all the employee information I needed was in BrightPay instantly.
  • Submitting PAYE and pensions contributions (including emailing payslips and submissions to HMRC and NEST) takes not more than 3 or 4 minutes on average.
  • One of the best payroll portals I have used! I really like the new documents feature.

Click for more testimonials & case studies.

Posted byKaren BennettinNew Features

Jul 2017


The story behind BrightPay Connect ….. in 60 seconds.

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.

BrightPay - Payroll and Auto Enrolment Software
Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks 

Posted byPaul ByrneinBrightPay CloudEmployee ContractsNew Features

Aug 2016


Introducing BrightPay Cloud

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.

Until now.

Automatic Cloud Backup

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.

Employee Self Service

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.

Bureau Client Self Service

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.

Data Protection and Security

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.

So What’s Next?

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.

Posted byRoss WebsterinBrightPay CloudEmployee Self ServiceNew FeaturesPayroll Software

Mar 2014


BrightPay 14/15 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 14/15 is now available to download. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2014/15 Budget Changes

  • 2014/15 PAYE thresholds
  • 2014/15 National Insurance contributions rates and thresholds
  • 2014/15 Student Loan threshold
  • 2014/15 Statutory payments rates and thresholds
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 944L to 1000L.
  • Eligible employers can claim the new £2000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Retirement of the regional employer NICs holiday scheme
  • Statutory Sick Pay is no longer recoverable


Automatic Enrolment

BrightPay 14/15 has complete functionality to enable you to automatically enrol your employees into a qualifying pension scheme:

  • BrightPay allows you to record your automatic enrolment staging date. When the staging date has been reached, automatic enrolment functionality will automatically kick in.
  • BrightPay will assess your employees, monitor eligibility criteria, and let you know:
    • who must be enrolled into a qualifying scheme
    • who has the right to opt in to be enrolled in a qualifying scheme
    • who can request to join a pension scheme
  • BrightPay walks you through all the various automatic enrolment processes:
    • postponing assessment
    • enrolling employees
    • handling opt-ins and joining
    • handling opt-outs and refunds
  • BrightPay enables you to generate tailored communication letters and notices to employees
  • BrightPay tracks records on a period by period basis, allowing you to see exactly what changes, actions and contributions are made throughout the year. You can produce custom reports with the exact information you require.
  • BrightPay has dedicated support for the automatic enrolment qualifying pension scheme offered by the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), allowing you to:
    • set up your NEST scheme, group and payment sources
    • create enrolment and contribution submission CSV files for uploading to NEST
  • We plan to add dedicated support for other pension scheme providers, but for now BrightPay offers generic support for any automatic enrolment qualifying scheme which you can use in conjunction with BrightPay's built-in reporting tools to operate your scheme.

For more information on automatic enrolment, see our automatic enrolment blog or the guide for employers on The Pensions Regulator website.

Real Time Information (RTI)

This time last year we launched BrightPay 13/14 with full support for RTI.

In 14/15, there are some new features and improvements:

  • From 2014/15, HMRC will be introducing penalties for late Full Payment Submissions (FPS). To help determine whether any late filing penalties are due, HMRC request that a late reporting reason be included with late submissions. BrightPay will detect when an FPS is late, and prompt you to select a reason.
  • Support for the new FPS contracted hours worked per week bands
  • Ability to set/change the Payroll ID for any employee (start of year or mid year)
  • New Employment Allowance indicator on EPS
  • Bank account information on EPS
  • Improvements to the RTI interface in BrightPay, including the ability to view total amounts of the values in an FPS.
  • We received feedback from HMRC about the most common data errors that occur in submissions from BrightPay customers, and so have made many improvements to prevent these from happening. For example:
    • Improved wording on notifications
    • Better validation at the data entry stage
    • Forced UK data formats for users on non-English operating systems
  • RTI messages and logs are now stored in a compressed format in your data file, which should greatly help to reduce file size.


BrightPay – New Features

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:

  • Ability to add an addition (new or existing type) to multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to add a deduction (new or existing type) to multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to set a note on multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to edit the FPS settings for multiple payslips at once
  • Ability to record absence and strike on employee calendar
  • Ability to record part day annual leave, unpaid leave, absence or strike on employee calendar
  • Ability to print the employee calendar and overview of leave for one or multiple employees
  • Ability to print a summary of company annual leave entitlement
  • Ability to create a BrightPay employer file without a password (and remove the password from an existing file)
  • Ability to see the most recent time a payslip was printed, emailed, or exported.
  • Ability to import employee details from Bright Contracts

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!

Other Improvements in BrightPay 14/15

  • Improved aesthetics (including graphics fixes for Windows 8 users).
  • Performance enhancements – we've upgraded much of the core technology that powers BrightPay to the latest version, bringing with it faster and better number crunching.
  • Minor user interface tweaks to make BrightPay even easier to use.
  • Lots of minor bugs have been squashed.


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.

Posted byRoss WebsterinAuto EnrolmentNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareRTISoftware Upgrade

Sep 2013


What's New in BrightPay 13.5?

BrightPay 13.5 is a free upgrade to our 2013/14 payroll software. It adds many new features to BrightPay, including some popular customer requests.


Ability to Report on Specific Employer Items in Analysis

Until now, BrightPay's analysis feature was limited to reporting on the common payroll data that could apply to any employee's payslip in any period (e.g. gross pay, tax, NICs, etc.).

A popular request from customers was the ability to report on the employer specific data that is editable under the main Employer tab of BrightPay, including:

  • Specific addition and deduction types
  • Specific hourly and daily rates
  • Specific pension scheme deductions
  • Specific savings scheme transactions

This feature is now available in BrightPay 13.5. As you add/edit the above items and use them in payslips, their amounts become available for reporting in Analysis.

Also, to make it easier to build your reports, the Add/Remove Columns feature in BrightPay has now been organised into tabs.


Improved Departmental Reporting

When reporting by department, BrightPay now groups the departmental records in a more logical, useful way. An employee in multiple departments can now have his/her payroll values split out into each department within the results for a single period.


Ability to Switch Employees to a New Payment Schedule Mid Tax Year

Do you have employees who are switching from being paid weekly to being paid monthly? Or the other way around? Perhaps some need to switch to or from a fortnightly or 4-weekly pay schedule?

This feature is now available in BrightPay 13.5. In any period, you can now switch one, multiple or all employees to a new payment schedule. This can be done as many times as is required throughout the tax year.

Here's how it works (for example, when switching from weekly-paid to monthly-paid):

  1. Finalise an employee's payslips up until the final week that she should receive a weekly payment.
  2. Her next payslip will be set up in the following week. You want her next payslip to be in the following month instead, so choose this week in BrightPay and go to More > Switch Employee(s) Payment Schedule...
  3. More than one employee can be switched if need be. Select the relevant employees and click Continue.
  4. Select 'Monthly' as the new payment schedule.
    • BrightPay will automatically determine the next available month to switch to, or, if no monthly schedule has been set up, allow you to do so.
    • To prevent doubling up on payroll amounts, employees can only be switched to a later month that does not overlap with any already finalised weeks.
    • If there are one or more weeks which could be finalised before switching to a monthly schedule, BrightPay will warn you.
    • You can optionally choose to have the employee's basic pay automatically adjusted from weekly to monthly.
  5. Click OK. BrightPay will remove the weekly payslip that is no longer relevant, and create the employee's first monthly payslip.


Other New Features and Fixes

  • Ability to ignore 'zero pay' payslips in analysis.
  • Fixes a bug in which an EPS (or NVR) cannot be created for mid-year-start employers.
  • Fixes a bug in which BrightPay will not accept an employee start date for mid-year-start employers.
  • Other minor fixes and performance improvements.



When you next launch BrightPay, the upgrade should be automatically detected – simply follow the instructions on-screen. If you have any problems upgrading, please contact us.

Posted byRoss WebsterinNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade

Apr 2013


What's New in BrightPay 2013/14?

We released BrightPay 13/14 (version 13.0) on 19th March, 2013. It has since been downloaded nearly 2000 times, and we've received some great feedback. Big thanks to all our customers!

This morning, we released our first maintenance release, version 13.1. This is an important update which contains several minor new features, improvements and bug fixes. When you launch BrightPay, it will check for and offer to download this update automatically. Alternatively, click Check for Updates in the Help menu. To download the upgrade manually, click here.


So, as the title of this blog posts asks ... What's New?


Real Time Information

First and foremost, the most obvious new feature in BrightPay 2013/14 is full, HMRC recognised support for RTI. We believe that we have the best RTI implementation on the market. We've already covered RTI support in previous blog entries (e.g. here, here and here), so won't go into the same detail now. But here are a few tips which you may not have already picked up:

  • The number of pending RTI submissions is always visible, showing in an orange box in the main RTI tab.
  • Until RTI submissions are sent, they are automatically updated with any changes you make to employer, employee or payment details.
  • You can send multiple RTI submissions at once, and continue to use the rest of BrightPay while submissions are sending.
  • You can view the Gateway Logs for each RTI submission to see the exact back and forth messaging between BrightPay and HMRC during the submission process.
  • If the worst happens during the sending of an RTI submission (e.g. power failure), BrightPay will gracefully cancel the submission and allow you to restart the process when you are back up and running.
  • You can edit the default RTI submission timeout in File > Preferences.
  • If you have sent an RTI submission to HMRC outside of BrightPay, you can mark it as being already sent in BrightPay (having done so, you can also unmark it as being already sent).


Refined User Interface Design

Since the beginning, of all the work that has gone into creating BrightPay, the most by far has been in the design of the user interface (UI). BrightPay 2013/14 is our best yet. We refined how it looks and feels, making managing your payroll an even better, easier experience. Some of the highlights:

  • Less is more. A major part of BrightPay's design over the years has been to show only what's relevant on screen, without the unnecessary visual clutter that plagues so many software applications. In BrightPay 2013/14, we took it even further, optimising the screen real estate and refining the layout of commonly used features.
  • Edge-to-edge design with more breathing space. We removed unnecessary lines and borders while slightly increasing some of the space between on-screen controls. Overall, it makes BrightPay cleaner and clearer.
  • More 'flat' design. A big trend in UI design is the use of 'flat' design, without visual effects such as gradients, drop shadows and bevels. We have have evolved the design of BrightPay in line with this concept, keeping it modern, fresh and simple.


New Payroll Features

The addition of RTI has over-shadowed some of the other new features and improvements in BrightPay 2013/14. But that doesn't make them any less important. The majority of these are in response to customer feedback and requests, so remember, if there's something that you would like to see in BrightPay, don't hesitate to get in touch.

  • Named hourly and daily rates. You can now add a named hourly or daily rate and make it available for use by all employees, or save it just for one employee. There is no limit on the number of rates that can be added, and each can be specifically marked as an overtime rate. There are various ways in which one might use this feature, and so we've put it in various places in BrightPay:
    • Manage global named rates (i.e. those available for use by all employees) in Employer > Hourly/Daily Rates
    • Manage an employee's named rates in Edit Employee > Payment tab.
    • Choose or add a new global, employee, or one-off named rate directly in payroll in the new hourly/daily payment rate selection.
  • Edit addition and deduction types. You can now edit BrightPay's built-in list of addition and deduction types, as well as add your own.
  • Live calculation as you type. In BrightPay 2013/14, payslip totals now re-calculate as you type. In fact, throughout BrightPay, all text input fields will now update and validate as you type. It's a subtle, but big improvement.
  • The payslip totals calculation preview now shows only the relevant totals. For example, it won't show Statutory Payment amounts or Student Loan deductions unless there are any. Similarly, things like the separation of taxable and NIC-able additions and deductions are only shown if applicable.
  • A new Cost to Employer field shows the total employer liability for each employee.
  • New starter and leaver processes. With RTI, the P45, P45 Part 3 and P46 are no longer relevant. Starter and leaver details are now reported in real time along with other employee and payment information. With this in mind, the starter and leaver processes for BrightPay 2013/14 have been re-thought. For example, before RTI, when an employee was to leave, you would make their final payments, and then afterwards prepare the P45 with the leaver details. Now, you must enter the leaver details before making the final payment, so that the relevant FPS submission is complete and correct. To aid this, BrightPay now lets you confirm starter and leaver details as you finalise payslips. If you enter starter/leaver details in advance, BrightPay will pick them up in the relevant pay period. You can still print a P45 (or export a digital copy).
  • An employee's department(s) and payment method/details are now tracked and recorded on a period-by-period basis.
  • Two new options have been added to printing, emailing and exporting payslips:
    • Ability to show employee's address
    • Ability to show employee's number of annual leave days remaining
  • Several enhancements have been made to the Pay Employees feature:
    • Ability to indicate the available monetary denominations for the cash requirement.
    • Ability to edit employee bank details directly within this feature.
    • Ability to use smart tags in naming the bank payments file name.
    • New Bank of Scotland bank payments file format.
  • The annual leave year start date can now be customised for each employee, so that BrightPay will now correctly calculate annual leave days remaining for annual leave schedules which do not align with the tax year (e.g. January to December).
  • Support for the Regional Employer National Insurance Contributions Holiday for New Businesses scheme.
  • Ability to manually set any Attachment Order as being a priority order, with correct handling.
  • 'Holiday Funds' have been renamed to the more appropriate 'Savings Schemes'.

This list covers all the important updates. There are many more minor ones, as well as 'under the hood' performance and reliability improvements.

And we're not done yet! We'll continue to bring you new features during the course of the 2013/14 tax year. Keep an eye on this blog for details.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted byRoss WebsterinNew FeaturesPayroll SoftwareRTISoftware Upgrade