I’m sure I am not surprising anyone if I say that recruitment, particularly contract and temp, can be a pretty ‘interesting’ space to be in at times because it’s a fast-moving business that sometimes feels like it changes with the weather. It is legislation heavy, compliance-driven, and you need to have an attention to detail and process that is second to none. The work is hard, often frustrating and, here’s the best part, you get to do it all on thin profit margins. Since a significant commitment to your processes revolves around payroll and compliance, efficiency is vital to a strong recruitment business.
At the risk of stating the obvious, some of the advantages of efficiency-driven payroll technology solutions are quite clear. As a minimum, you would expect payroll technology to:
- Reduce your reliance on traditional ‘paper’ methods
- Create accurate records and audit trail
- Ensure everyone is paid on time and paid the correct amount
- Create accompanying payslips in a compliant format
- Withhold and accurately assess statutory requirements, including national insurance and tax
- Keep detailed records for reporting purposes
- Ensure HMRC compliancy
Regardless of whether a system is cloud or server-driven, it is reasonable to expect that these core functions are performed. Where we often find server-based systems are outdated is the efficiency with which they perform these functions. It goes without saying, of course, that in other areas, such as updating and security, a cloud-based payroll system scores over the older, more pedestrian server setups.
What makes a great payroll solution?
A good payroll solution should meet the basic needs in the list above and go a step further. It should also:
- Reduce your vulnerability to errors by offering an intuitive and yet sophisticated user interface that allows easy input and monitoring of the payroll information.
- Increase your ability to provide multiple payroll options from a central platform. It shouldn’t matter if you are dealing with PAYE, Umbrella or CIS; the payroll solution you choose should be flexible enough to adapt to your recruitment agency’s circumstances by accommodating all HMRC compliant pay models. It certainly shouldn’t mean you need hours and hours of training simply to end up doing the same amount of work you always did.
- Be flexible enough to compliantly manage payments from a single or multiple entities (such as Payroll Bureau). Preferably it should do this from a central function so an administrator can manage multiple pay types and companies from a single utility.
- Integrate easily with third-party systems. Your banking, compliance, pensions, contract documentation, and many other vital functions are tied to your payroll system. What you want is for these to be stitched together seamlessly into related processes. Essentially, you want it to communicate with other systems to make your payroll more inclusive and reliable while retaining information in your central payroll platform.
- Generate total trust in your workflow for your team. What we mean by that is the system should prove itself time and again to be a reliable solution to your payroll. If you need to compensate for its lack of functionality or compensate for its failings with manual workarounds, it simply isn’t doing a good enough job.
The bottom line on supporting your payroll processes
In recruitment, your payroll is part of your brand. It only takes a few payroll errors and a few disgruntled reviews or comments on the internet to devalue a business’s reputation. As a result, in a competitive market like recruitment, the importance of brand visibility cannot be underestimated. When you are confident in your payroll and compliance, you can rest easy knowing it is supporting your brand reputation. More than that, though, it will be supporting your profitability.
We have ways of describing things that sort of drift out of use over time. One of these is the term labour-saving device. It’s a shame because labour-saving perfectly describes the actual purpose of most technology. When you choose a payroll solution, you should be looking for it to service your business in a way that saves labour. Less labour to run means less demand on your team’s time.
In the recruitment space, your payroll and compliance are not something that you can look at as a ‘necessary function’. They are far more than just an electronic way of duplicating the payroll process. A good, cloud-based back office will do far more than that. It will be secure, constantly up to date, part of your brand, integrated with the necessary HMRC and other external systems, and, of course, incredibly reliable – but backed up, ready to restore in the unlikely event of something going wrong. On top of that, it needs to be all these things as efficiently as possible – because that impacts directly on your finances.
The bottom line is that efficiency in your payroll technology translates directly to more profit and less expenditure.
Call us for more information, and we will be happy to chat through what you need and see how we can help.