One click and the payroll’s done!

Processing payrolls can be labour-intensive. So, what would the world look like if we could process payrolls with one click?

Today, payroll bureau operations can install a one click solution. Here’s how…

Say a bureau practice runs over 300 client payrolls. Half of those payrolls are classed as standard or threshold payrolls (paid up the threshold of NIC). In other words, there is no change from one pay period to another, and let’s assume they are all monthly payrolls.

Monthly process

Using a well-known payroll software, we start the monthly process. The first step is getting in touch with 150 clients to confirm there are no changes for this month. We then must open each payroll one by one and run a series of tasks such as update tax codes from HMRC, run auto-enrolment, process the payroll, print the reports and payslips, back up the payroll, send payments to BACS and submit monthly returns to pension companies and HMRC.

Running this process for each payroll in turn has been estimated by one accountant to take 20 minutes per payroll. (I’ll let you do the calculation). All this even though about  95 per cent of those payrolls have no change from one pay period to another.

Systems automatically sends an email

Now imagine a process where the system automatically sends an email to the client asking them to reply to the email with any changes within a given timeframe. For the 5 per cent who do reply, the system takes their payroll out of the automated process.

The remaining payrolls are processed running all the necessary checks, uploading or printing reports and payslips to your ePayslips solutions, submits payments such as net pays, court orders, pensions automatically and returns to HMRC.

Apart from significant cost savings, productivity would increase because automated operations ensure that tasks are not forgotten or run out of sequence.

Automated processes

This is possible through open APIs that provide accountants and bureaus with development resources to build out their own automated processes. APIs (Application Programming Interface) have been around for some time. However, the payroll software market has only scratched the surface of APIs and those who do claim API offerings are very limited.

In 2015, HMRC launched its API strategy. David Gauke the then financial secretary to the Treasury said, “The API strategy recognises that it is important to work collaboratively with developers of software”.  And HMRC are not alone, in 2016, the UK Treasury supported the use of increased APIs in the banking sector too.

Payroll APIs are not the future … they are here now. will be on stand 398 at Accountex.

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