Our support lines are extremely busy as a result of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being administered through payroll. Our Covid-19 Resources Documentation will generally answer your query

Also, please note that our support staff are working from home and may answer your call in a sometimes chaotic home environment. We appreciate your patience.

Mar 2020


BrightPay 2020/21 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2020/21 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:

2020/21 Tax Year Updates

  • There are no changes to tax bands, rates or the emergency tax code in 2020/21. BrightPay continues full support for Welsh Rate of Income Tax (WRIT) and Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).
  • 2020/21 employee and employer National Insurance contribution rates, thresholds and calculations.
  • 2020/21 Student Loan and Postgraduate Loan thresholds.
  • 2020/21 rate of Statutory Sick Pay, including support for COVID-19 related periods of sick leave (in which SSP is paid from day one).
  • 2020/21 rates for Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, and Statutory Shared Parental Pay.
  • Support for new Parental Bereavement Leave and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.
  • 2020/21 rates for company cars, vans and fuel. BrightPay now allows input of 'zero emission miles' for cars with a C02 rating of less than or equal to 50g/km (which is now used in the calculation of cash equivalent).
  • Support for real-time PAYE tax and Employer Class 1A NICs due on year-to-date termination awards over the £30K annual threshold and on year-to-date sporting testimonial payments over the £100K annual threshold.
  • Ability to process 2020/21 HMRC coding notices.
  • April 2020 National Living Wage rates.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC. For 2020/21, the maximum Employment Allowance claim has been increased to £4,000.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30, P32, P11D and PBIK forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications, including the new De Minimis State Aid declaration on the EPS. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all submission types (FPS, EPS, NVR, EXB, CIS300, CISREQ).
  • Support for off-payroll workers subject to April 2020 rules. Off-payroll working rules have been postponed until April 2021.


Automatic Enrolment Updates

  • 2020/21 qualifying earnings thresholds.
  • For 2020/21, the minimum required pension contribution level continues to be 8%, at least 3% of which must be contributed by the employer.
  • Various enrolment/contributions API submission and CSV formats have been updated to the latest versions to ensure continued compatibility with all pension scheme providers.
  • Additional one-off contributions can now be optionally persisted to following pay periods.
  • Makes it more clear on the Automatic Enrolment journey report when an assessment is part of automatic re-enrolment.


Define and Set Custom Leave Types on Employee Calendar

  • You can now define up to nine additional custom types of employee leave. Six of the custom types are set up with default descriptions, which you can edit, add to, or remove as need be.
  • Custom leave types act like the existing built-in kinds of leave, in that they are mutually exclusive and can only be applied to working days. They can be set on a per-employee basis, or batch set for multiple employees at once.
  • Custom leave types also appear on the employer calendar. Mouse-hover tooltips have been added to the various views of the employer calendar to help determine what each colour indicates where it's not clear.
  • A new Calendar Report (which replaces the previous Print Calendar functionality) gives you the power and flexibility to create and/or share a customised report of employee leave that can be filtered by type of leave, and presented individually for each employee, or as a summary containing multiple employees.


More Journal API Support

Along with the API support added for Sage, Quickbooks and Xero in 2019/20, BrightPay 2020/21 now supports posting journals directly via API to FreeAgent, Kashflow, Twinfield and AccountsIQ. The option to create a CSV journal is also still available where supported.


Update Employees from CSV File

BrightPay has traditionally only allowed new employees to be added from a CSV file. Now, you can both add new employees and update existing employees from a CSV file. (The same has been done for subcontractors).


BrightPay Connect

  • The Connect tab on the start-up window now directly shows your sign-in status.
  • The list of employers (in the Open/Create Employer tab of start-up window) now shows cloud icons for employers that are linked to the signed-in BrightPay account.
  • Ability to download and import a 2019/20 Connect backup into BrightPay 2020/21 (only applies for employers which have not yet been linked and synchronised for 2020/21).
  • When an employer is opened in BrightPay 2020/21 that is not linked to Connect, but it is known that the 2019/20 version of that file was linked to Connect, BrightPay will now automatically prompt you to link the 2020/21 file to Connect.


Other 2020/21 Updates in BrightPay

  • Annual leave entitlement calculations now include 'upcoming booked annual leave days', which can optionally be included on reports and payslips.
  • When zero-ising payslips (or subcontractor payments), new options to set amount to zero, or remove items altogether.
  • Ability to create an SSP1 document in BrightPay.
  • When importing payments from CSV, any lines which failed to import (e.g. due to not matching an employee pay record, or due to the matching pay record being already finalised) are now clearly indicated in the response dialog (instead of the previously unhelpful 'X of Y succeeded' message).
  • Public holidays on employee calendar are now shown with a dotted text underline (rather than appearing as if they were non-working days by default).
  • In analysis, if the column ordering settings of a report is manually changed from the 'default' settings (which are derived from employee UI display preferences), and then that report is saved, the custom ordering is now maintained, and this report will no longer receive 'default' column ordering settings when it is re-opened.
  • Ability to import saved reports from another BrightPay data file into the currently open file.
  • Allows one of the added emergency contacts for an employee to be set as the 'primary' contact. New analysis columns (and a new report) for emergency contact details have been added.
  • New 'notes' input for parenting leave and attachment orders.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes and security improvements.


Includes all updates made to BrightPay during the 2019/20 tax year

While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2019/20, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2020/21. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:

  • Supports the latest UK and London Living Wage rates, announced in November 2019.
  • New flexibility and control over when an employee's P60 and P11D are to be made available in Self Service in Connect.
  • Ability to batch print, email and export P45 for multiple employees.
  • Ability to print, export or email currently open payslips (i.e. those which have not yet been finalised). Such payslips are decorated with a 'DRAFT' watermark.
  • Bureau features
    • New 'Bureau Statistics Report' which shows various totals for each employer for informational or billing purposes. Accessed via the BrightPay startup window employer menu, it can be viewed/printed or exported to CSV.
    • Ability to batch check for coding notices for multiple employers.
    • Ability to sort employers by label colour on the BrightPay startup window.
  • Improved interface and workflow for viewing/entering the 'average weekly earnings' for statutory parenting pay, including new warnings where BrightPay detects that there are more or fewer historic payment records than expected.
  • Several new payroll period summary column options for amounts "in previous period" (allowing you to compare current and previous period amounts on the period summary view). Also new column options for tax code, NI number, department, payment method and directorship.
  • Improves rounding of calculated weighted departmental amounts (which prevents penny differences both in analysis and when posting a departmental journal).
  • Ability to ignore BrightPay's "Auto enrolment scheme contributions are below minimum level" warning for any given membership (e.g. where employee has opted down).
  • Coding notices – where an employee is unable to be matched, the NINO or works number that HMRC have on file is now clearly shown to help determine why.
  • 'Contracted hours per week' and 'Is payment to a non-individual' fields are now available as column options in Analysis.
  • When using the ’Select By’ button in lists of employees, the ’Name Initial’ and ’Surname Initial’ options now show grouped selection choices (e.g. A–F, G–L, etc., depending on total number of selectable employees).


What's Next?

We're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade

Mar 2020


Covid-19 - are you ready?

In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, many employers are starting to prepare for the possibility of employees needing to work from home.

Have you Internet?

Whether you are a single employer or a bureau, you will need an internet connection for transmitting files to HMRC.

Are you using a computer other than your work computer?

Where you are using a different computer, BrightPay will need to be installed on that computer. This is a quick download from our website. Then, simply enter the activation key that was included on your invoice. If you can’t find this key, we can resend it to you.

Okay, you have an internet connection and a computer with BrightPay installed on it, what about the payroll file(s)?

Are you a single employer?

  • Using your work computer - you already have the file and need read no further.
  • Using Dropbox or Google Drive as your file save location - the files will automatically be available to you on any other machine which is also signed in to the shared drive.
  • Using Connect - you can simply restore your payroll data into your BrightPay software by signing into your Connect account at home through the software.

Alternatively, before leaving the office, simply copy the payroll file to a USB key or email it to yourself.

There are some useful help links at the bottom of this article to help with any of these options.

Are you a payroll bureau?

  • Using Connect – An Administrator can set relevant payroll staff members up as a user and give them access to the companies that they need to work on. Users can then simply restore the required payroll data into their BrightPay software from their Connect account and also synchronise completed payroll back up to Connect. Users will be able to log in to their Connect account at home through the software and restore in the latest cloud backup. Care however must be taken that synchronisation is up to date and that other users are not working on the same data file at the same time. When restoring in from a cloud backup, you will see the time and date of the most recent backup that was done. Setting up a user in Connect and Restoring from Connect are covered in the help articles below.
  • Using remote desktop – log in to your remote desktop as normal. No further action is required.
  • Using a shared drive (e.g. Dropbox) – Once your PC is logged in to the shared drive and BrightPay’s file save location was set as this drive, then all payroll files should be available within your home environment. You may need to browse to the shared file location when opening an employer.

Alternatively, before leaving the office, staff members may wish to save their payroll file(s) to an external drive, then follow the help below on Transferring BrightPay from one PC to another.

Help articles

Posted byPaul ByrneinCoronavirusPayroll Software

Mar 2020


Don’t let Covid-19 stop you from running payroll

As of 10 March, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus increased to 373 in the UK, with cases across Europe also surging. With the number of cases bound to escalate, it has been predicted that if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, up to a fifth of UK workers could be off sick.

With panic over coronavirus soaring, many workers are being asked to stay away from the office and do day-to-day tasks from the comfort of their home. Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease.

Flexible working is becoming a growing trend

The reality is, working from home is already very popular, potential pandemic or not. Flexible working is a trend that has emerged in the last decade as more people seek that ideal work-life balance instead of work-life burnout.

Nearly a quarter of Britain’s workforce now work flexibly, that is, they work part of the week in an office and part at home, highlighting how quickly this trend is growing. Flexible working brings many work-life balance benefits as employees have more time to see their family, exercise and dedicate time to themselves. Seven in 10 of those who work flexibly say they are less stressed as a result of their working arrangement.

As well as the health benefits, it often results in happier employees. They then potentially work harder and are more productive. For employers, flexible working also helps to attract and retain talented employees. Additionally, it can result in increased loyalty and reduced office space cost.

Businesses need to carefully consider which processes and tools will make flexible work as productive and positive as possible for their employees. You need to make sure that they have essentials such as laptops, a reliable internet connection and being able to connect to systems remotely. This would have been difficult a few years ago, but thanks to the cloud, you can have everything you need at all times.

Flexible working with BrightPay Payroll

Although the payroll itself cannot be processed online with BrightPay Connect, the payroll software is still very flexible. Each BrightPay licence can be installed on up to 10 PCs where users have the option to process the payroll from 10 separate locations meaning you don’t need cloud payroll to operate and process your payroll. In addition, you can log into your BrightPay Connect account to view your payroll information at any time. You no longer need to be seated at your desk in the office to access the system - all the data you need to do your job is available on any of the 10 PC’s that the BrightPay application is installed on.

If you are not using the BrightPay Connect add-on, you can still access the payroll data file through a cloud environment to process the payroll. Again, the software itself can be installed to the local C drive of up to 10 PCs, be it a home computer or a laptop. The payroll files can be stored on a secure server or cloud environment, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, where the payroll information can be accessed from multiple computers.

With BrightPay Connect’s automatic cloud backup, payroll information is stored online and can be accessed by employers anywhere, anytime. Employers can also use BrightPay Connect to remotely manage employee’s leave, upload employee documents and send communications to employees that are working remotely.

Will coronavirus lead to long-term changes?

Will 2020 be the year in which office employees working more from home becomes the norm? Although many employers have implemented a mandatory ‘work from home’ policy as a precaution against coronavirus, it could also be the turning point for many businesses to recognise just how beneficial flexible working can be.

Book a demo today to discover how you can process payroll remotely with BrightPay.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirusPayrollPayroll Software

Feb 2020


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


New Year, New HR Resolutions!

Start 2020 with some HR goals to put you on the front foot. Make your goals achievable and easy and you won’t be one of the 80% of people whose resolutions have fallen by the wayside by February 1st! Consider how technology could help you achieve a leaner you in 2020…

 1. Cut out the fat… 

Hate all those repetitive admin tasks that keep popping up over and over like manually recording your employees annual leave, amending employees’ personal details, making sure they are receiving and reading important company updates? Well, now is the time to get rid of them. Consider how an online platform could take care of those tasks and many more.

2. Get out and about more…

Manage your HR tasks from almost anywhere by using your Employer Dashboard to monitor your employees annual leave requests, review your payroll reports and keep an eye on your HMRC payments. As long as you have an internet enabled device, it can all be at your fingertips… anytime, anywhere!


3. Communicate better…

Use online document upload features to distribute, track and manage any information you want your staff to have access to. Contracts, policies, training, schedules, you name it. You have the peace of mind of knowing your employees have that information at their fingertips and that you can see a log of when and how often they are accessing it.


4. Face your fears…. 

GDPR and cybersecurity. The two scariest words in the English language. Free yourself from that fear with a robust online portal. Fully secure servers, individually password protected and fully GDPR compliant.


Book a demo today to discover how you can revolutionise your business processes for 2020 and beyond.

Posted byJen McBrideinPayrollPayroll Software

Aug 2019


Payroll transformed: How client cloud platforms supercharge your bureau

Accounting and payroll processing is best left to the experts. That’s always been true - and it remains true. The steady hand of a seasoned accountant or payroll professional is a powerful commodity that can’t be replaced by software.

But as much as things have stayed the same, other things have changed, too. The relationship between client and professional is no longer one-directional. What software has created is a new collaborative framework in which the payroll professional can thrive.

Payroll services can - and should - be a team effort. Gone are the days of payroll bureaus continuously slogging through manual processes, and the frustration of clients who need to approach their payroll services provider with every minor tweak.

In its place is software with cloud integration that envelops the day-to-day tasks like annual leave management, payslip distribution and backing up your payroll. That’s more time to focus on the essentials and provide better service.

Software can never replace the core professionalism of a payroll professional, but it can supplement it in many ingenious ways. Through self-service, through apps, through cloud backup: payroll software is about making your life easier.

You do the hard work, you get the credit, while your software hums along quietly in the background, automating and simplifying the repetitive aspects of the job and keeping you compliant.

Download our free guide where we discuss six exciting ways client cloud platforms have transformed payroll services. Not in the distant or even medium-term future: now. Here’s how cloud integration can help you today.


Download Free Guide Book BrightPay Connect Demo


Posted byRachel HynesinBrightPay CloudPayroll Software

Jul 2019


BrightPay - Award-winning payroll software you can trust

After winning ‘Payroll Software of the Year’ at last years’ Accounting Excellence Awards, the BrightPay team are delighted to be shortlisted in the payroll software category again this year. The winner is decided by a public vote held by AccountingWEB, whereby members are asked to rate the software systems that they use to determine the best products on the market.

In recent months, BrightPay carried out a customer survey and we were happy to discover that we have maintained our 99% customer satisfaction rate. Recent comments from some of our happy customers include:

  • “Using BrightPay has revolutionised the way we manage payroll as a practice. The staff are always extremely friendly and helpful, and especially attentive to suggestions.” - Carol Webb, Casktrak Ltd

  • “After using other payroll packages for several years, I was highly delighted when I discovered BrightPay. The time I save per payroll is great and it’s the easiest, fastest and operator-friendly software I have ever used.” - Irene Hopkinson, Westmill Accountancy

  • “Having tried various payroll software, BrightPay is far superior to anything else on the market and their customer support is superb.” - Helen Bower, Adder Bookkeeping Ltd

  • “BrightPay is the first payroll software we have used which is truly fit for purpose. The functionality and straightforward approach of the software is second to none, and when paired with the fantastic customer support and value for money makes BrightPay the payroll software provider of choice.” - David Atyeo, Donovan Atyeo

  • “This is our first year using BrightPay Connect and we are so pleased with it as it has enabled us to automate more in the way reports and how payslips are delivered to our clients. Really love the approval feature. Well done!” - Bharat Hathi, BDH Chartered Certified Accountants

Over the past year, our team of developers have been working hard to make BrightPay better than ever. We have added many new features to help our customers manage their payroll processing more efficiently.

  • This year we introduced payroll journal API integration with a number of accounting packages. This allows users to send the payroll journal directly to their accounts software from within BrightPay. BrightPay currently has direct integration with Sage One, Quickbooks Online and Xero with many more currently in development.

  • Another new feature this year is batch payroll processing, whereby users have the ability to finalise payslips, check for coding notices and send outstanding RTI & CIS submissions for multiple employers at the same time, which has significantly reduced the payroll processing time for payroll bureaus and accountants.

  • With BrightPay Connect, we have also launched the client payroll entry and payroll approval feature, which is a game-changer for payroll bureaus and accountants. Clients can enter their payroll information into an online employer dashboard. Once reviewed by the bureau, the information is seamlessly synchronised back to the payroll software, eliminating the manual input and putting the onus on the client to make sure that the payroll information is 100% accurate.

Book an online demo today to find out more about our new features. You can also have a look at our Accounting Web Product Showcase where Ann Tighe from BrightPay shows AccountingWEB’s head of insight John Stokdyk some of the features that enable accountants to save time and boost efficiency.

Best of luck to all of the software providers who have been shortlisted for an Accounting Excellence Award.

Posted byRachel HynesinAwardsPayroll Software

Jul 2019


Top Payroll Trends in 2019

The CIPP unveiled their latest “Future of Payroll Report” (2019) for the second year running and surprisingly, it’s not a total snoozefest! The foreword by CEO Ken Pullar is a tour de force of future forward-thinking, extolling the virtues of embracing change and moving with the times in an ever changing industry. He acknowledges that whilst payroll software and technology makes things easier, the number of enquiries does not decrease and payroll departments need to be on the ball to be in a position to answer these queries effectively.

This brings me to what I feel is the most interesting part of the report - “Key Issues Facing Your Payroll Department”. The report itself was made possible by feedback so this snazzy little section has its finger on the proverbial pulse and is super useful to anyone whose bread and butter is payroll.

Surprisingly, Brexit is nowhere to be seen which makes a nice change! Instead, coming in at Number 1 with 38.50% of queries is “GDPR and Data Protection”. It just goes to show how much of a quagmire this thing still is for people. You can find a very interesting article here that may clear a few things up. In any case, your payroll processes should be GDPR compliant and if you still don’t know how to achieve this, then simply outsource it to a payroll provider who will do the hard work for you. And if you are the payroll provider, then making sure your staff are up to scratch is half the battle.

Coming in just behind GDPR is “Automatic Enrolment” with 32.50%. Yes, the same automatic enrolment that began to be rolled out back in 2012 and is by no means a new government initiative. While auto enrolment has been a huge success, enabling hundreds of pensioners to finally be able to afford that trip to Benidorm, it seems that confusion is still rife. The report makes some interesting conjecture about why this is - Is it the sheer number of employers who are hitting their automatic re-enrolment date for the first time? Is it the ins and outs, the complexity behind understanding the scheme in layman’s terms? or is it simply that payroll software is not doing enough to help the soldiers on the frontline? With more phasing imminent perhaps employers aren't aware of their obligations? Who knows? Well, you - you should know! So it’s time to brush up because it’s clear that auto enrolment queries aren’t going anywhere.

“Holiday Pay Calculations” come in at a close third (31.75%), maybe because of the changes to payslips, the rise of the gig economy coupled with some landmark Employment Tribunal rulings, businesses are getting their ducks in a row. Next is “Expenses and Benefits” (29.50%) which is likely due to the increase in employers moving to payrolling benefits and away from the traditional method of submitting P11D forms to HMRC after year end.

Next on the list is “Automation of Business Processes” which will be music to payroll software provider’s ears. Companies are always looking for ways to streamline processes and make things more efficient. It is unsurprising that this is a huge issue for people moving into 2019 with the introduction of so many new employment and payroll changes such as phasing and changes to payslips to name but a few.

The last two topics on the list are “Gender Pay Reporting”, which is slightly up from last year (24%) and still obviously a very important issue, and finally - “Implementing a New System”, (21%) which is really just the not-as-attractive cousin of “Automation of Business Processes” which we’ve already discussed.

So there you have it! A lot of information to stick in your pipe and smoke. If you recognise yourself among these statistics, or if you’ve thought “same” whilst reading any of this, then check out BrightPay's award-winning payroll software. It is fully GDPR and auto-enrolment compliant, automates all of the most confusing payroll and HR processes including holiday pay, expenses and benefits and offers incredible customer support. They are at the forefront of payroll software and will take the pain out of your payroll.

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinPayroll Software

Mar 2019


BrightPay 2019/20 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2019/20 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:

2019/20 Tax Year Updates

  • 2019/20 rates, thresholds, triggers and calculations for PAYE tax, National Insurance contributions, Student Loan deductions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay, Automatic Enrolment pensions, company cars, vans and fuel.
  • The emergency tax code has changed from 1185L to 1250L. When importing from the previous tax year, L codes are uplifted by 65, M codes are uplifted by 71 and N codes by 59.
  • Full support for the 2019/20 Welsh Rate of Income Tax (WRIT) codes, rates and thresholds, as well as continued support for those of the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).
  • Support for the new Postgraduate Loan deductions.
  • Ability to process 2019/20 HMRC coding notices (including new PGL1 and PGL2 notices).
  • April 2019 National Living Wage rates.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim the £3,000 Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30, P32, P11D and PBIK forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all submission types (FPS, EPS, NVR, EXB, CIS300, CISREQ).


Automatic Enrolment Updates

  • From April 2019 onwards, the minimum required pension contribution level is 8%, at least 3% of which must be contributed by the employer. BrightPay 2019/20 now uses and validates against this increased level by default. Where pre-April 2019 minimum levels were being used in 2018/19, BrightPay 2019/20 will automatically uplift them on import.
  • With the concept of 'staging' for automatic enrolment now very much in the past, BrightPay is instead focused on asking for and working with the Next Re-enrolment Date.
  • Various improvements have been made to make the automatic re-enrolment process more clear:
    • For opted-out or ceased employees (as well as employees who are flagged for re-enrolment) the previous opt out/cessation date is now clearly visible and can be edited if need be.
    • If an employee is marked as opted out or ceased, but the opt-out/cessation date is not known, BrightPay now flags for automatic re-enrolment anyway (and allows the missing date to be entered).
  • Redesigned menu when adding a new pension scheme:
    • The auto enrolment qualifying schemes are now categorised by API/CSV support, and ordered by popularity.
    • The traditional pension scheme 'types' have been removed – when adding a traditional scheme you can now simply set the tax relief and AVC options directly instead of having to first choose the right type.
  • Various enrolment/contributions API submission and CSV formats have been updated to the latest versions.


Real Time Information

  • As mentioned in the release notes for the most recent upgrade to BrightPay 2018/19, the EYU (Earlier Year Update) submission is no longer supported by HMRC and has now been removed from BrightPay altogether. To make corrections to 2018/19 or 2019/20 payroll data going forward, an Additional FPS is to be used.
  • Ability to exclude an employee pay record from an FPS if it has zero amounts only.
  • Ability to force include an employee's starter/leaver declaration on an FPS submission that covers a different period to the employee's starting/leaving period.
  • Ability to unmark an unsent submission as contributing towards the Number of Unsent RTI Submissions count in BrightPay.
  • New HMRC Receipt document which presents HMRC's response to an RTI submission in a clear, shareable format.


More Flexible Journals

A popular customer request has been to create a 'departmental' payroll journal in BrightPay. We've went one step further, allowing not only for a simple departmental mapping of nominal account codes, but for an advanced multi-option mapping as well.

For example, if you want to map commission paid to directors on a weekly basis in the sales department to a particular account code, you now can.

For Xero journals, BrightPay now supports including the department as the Xero tracking option, including where employees are split across multiple departments.

To make all this easier to manage, the Create Journal window in BrightPay now remembers it's size and position between usages.


Journal API Support

BrightPay now supports posting journals directly to Sage, Quickbooks and Xero via API (while continuing to offer the creation of a CSV journal as an option if need be).


Importing Pay Records from CSV

We have significantly improved the power and flexibility of how pay records are imported from CSV, effectively allowing an entire pay run to be imported from a single CSV file if need be.

  • Multiple pay items (of a single payment type, or mixed types) can now be imported from a single CSV line.
  • Daily/hourly payments can more easily be imported under a named employer-wide daily/hourly rate
  • Additions/deductions can more easily be imported under an employer-wide addition/deduction type
  • The Import from CSV window has been redesigned to be more user-friendly and intuitive.


Improved Support for Offset Annual Leave Year

A popular customer request has been for BrightPay to better handle the definition, carry-over and adjustment of annual leave in the situation where the annual leave year is offset from the tax year.

In BrightPay 2019/20, you can now enter the annual leave settings for each overlapping year individually, giving you full control and helping you work out entitlements more accurately.


CIS Updates

  • You can now customise how subcontractors are displayed and ordered across the BrightPay interface.
  • When selecting from a list of subcontractors, BrightPay now includes a new 'Select By' button that allows you easily and quickly select only the subcontractors that match specific criteria.
  • New Payments menu in the subcontractor toolbar which includes various handy functions including the ability to batch print multiple P&D statements for a single subcontractor.
  • New CIS Year End Statement document.
  • Ability to unmark an unsent submission as contributing towards the Number of Unsent CIS Submissions count in BrightPay.
  • New HMRC Receipt document which presents HMRC's response to a CIS submission in a clear, shareable format.


BrightPay Connect

In late 2018 we introduced a powerful new feature for Bureau customers of BrightPay Connect: the ability to request client payroll entry and/or approval for a payroll run, which is then automatically facilitated though a secure, GDPR-compliant process within the BrightPay Connect dashboard.

Sign in to your BrightPay Connect account and click the Requests header link to find out more.


Other 2019/20 Updates in BrightPay

  • When hovering over the 'number of submissions' for an employer on the BrightPay startup window, a popup displays what the number(s) represent.
  • The full description of an hourly or daily payment is now shown on-screen for finalised pay periods.
  • BrightPay will now prompt you to change an apprentice employee who is set to be on NI table H but is over 25 years old.
  • On the employee calendar, the parenting leave info panel now shows the total number of KIT days taken for the selected period of leave.
  • Corrects handling of Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay in weeks beyond the week that employee took their 10th KIT day (or 20th SPLIT day).
  • When selecting which analysis columns to include in a report, they are now grouped by category.
  • New analysis columns:
    • Separate 'cash equivalent' columns for each of the benefit/expense types.
    • Total attachment order deductions excluding admin charge.
    • Primary department name.
  • Adds a 'description' field for all kinds of benefits, and shows the entered description for each benefit on the payroll interface.
  • Options to show separate benefit payments on employee payslip, rather than just a rolled up 'taxable benefits' figure.
  • The Number of Actionable Coding Notices is now shown on the coding notices toolbar icon, and is available as a column on the BrightPay startup window.
  • New A4 payslip template, designed to be used where there are too many items to fit on the A5 template.
  • As part of our new licensing model, Bureau customers can now view/edit the list of employers for which they have access.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes.


Includes all updates made to BrightPay during the 2018/19 tax year

While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2018/19, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2019/20. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:

  • Ability to send enrolment/contribution submissions directly to the People's Pension via API.
  • Ability to quickly create an new/additional employment for a previous/existing employee.
  • Coding notice checks can now use agent credentials if available.
  • Many improvements to emailing documents directly from BrightPay:
    • Ability to specify the default starting body content to use when emailing a document.
    • Ability to quickly turn on/off the stored email signature.
    • When emailing a document, there is a new menu to quickly select and re-use recently used body content.
    • Email body content now accepts 'Markdown' formatting.
    • Ability to edit the list of saved third-party email recipients
  • New startup window column for Next Estimated Pay Date.
  • Two new tick boxes in BrightPay Preferences to indicate where Next Estimated Pay Date is in the past (which shows a red background colour for applicable employers on the startup window) or indicate where Next Estimated Pay Date is within X days (where X is customisable – shows a yellow background colour for applicable employers on the start screen).
  • Ability to batch finalise the payroll for multiple employers.
  • Ability to select employers by label colour when preparing a batch operation.
  • Ability to persist a “Net to Gross” setting going forward (i.e. rolling net pay).
  • Ability to create a bank file for paying HMRC.
  • Allows a deduction to be calculated as a percentage of Auto Enrolment qualifying earnings.
  • Enables subcontractors with zero amounts in a pay period to be excluded from a CIS300 submission.
  • When in Payroll, the name of the active employee (i.e. the part of large text title) can now be clicked to navigate directly into the Employee > Edit Details screen for that employee.
  • Employment Allowance report


What's Next?

We're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade

Nov 2018


What are the biggest GDPR advantages of BrightPay Connect?

BrightPay Connect is an online payroll and HR tool that offers significant benefits to help your business comply with the GDPR legislation. BrightPay Connect is an add-on product to the payroll software. The main objective of BrightPay Connect is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll work within the remit of the GDPR guidelines.


Automatic Cloud Backup
Are you keeping your payroll files safe and protected? It is important to keep them protected in case of the event of fire, theft, cyber-attacks and damaged computers. BrightPay Connect is the solution. It is hosted on Microsoft Azure for ultimate performance and reliability. BrightPay Connect keeps a chronological history of all backups which can be restored at anytime.


Employee Self-Service Portal
Are you trying to find ways to improve your time-management skills? You can invite employees to their own self-service online portal which can be accessed using a smartphone app or any web browser. Employees will be able to securely access and download payslips, P60s, P45s, submit annual leave requests and view leave taken and leave remaining.


Bureau / Employer Dashboard
Are you looking for an easy and secure way to share documents? BrightPay Connect provides a self-service dashboard to both accountants and employers so they can access payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, annual leave requests and employee contact details. You can also securely share resources, upload HR documents and get payroll data approval from the client electronically.


24/7 Online Access
Do you want to be in control at anytime and anywhere? BrightPay Connect allows mobile and online access at anytime of the day. This fulfils the GDPR best practice recommendation to provide remote access to a secure system where individuals have direct access to their personal payroll data.


Data Input (coming soon)
For bureaus, clients can upload or manually input their employees’ hours and payment details. This is offering an additional layer of GDPR protection. Once the hours are added/imported, information can be automatically synchronised to the employer file on the bureau’s PC, ready for processing. Bureaus can then securely send a payroll summary back to the client for approval through BrightPay Connect. This will eliminate the need to exchange emails, reduce the double entry requirement and minimise errors from manual data input.


HR & Annual Leave Management
BrightPay Connect also includes an employee calendar, which can keep record of all employees past and future leave including annual leave, unpaid leave, absence leave, sick leave and parenting leave. Employers can upload sensitive HR documents such as contracts of employment. Access can be restricted for certain users.


There is a considerable business opportunity for payroll bureaus to increase revenue while complying with the GDPR. There are significant discounts for bulk purchases.


If you are interested in BrightPay Connect, why not attend one of our free online demos!

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Posted byHolly McHughinAnnual LeaveGDPRPayrollPayroll Software