Tag Archives: outsource payroll

EPayslips. To 'E' or not to 'E' that is the question

As a solution provider it is our aim to provide customers the right solutions that best fit with the strategy of the organisation. Internet connection

In this post, Print, digital and the environment I discussed the importance of consultation with customers and employees when it comes to considering electronic methods of communication rather than simply dismissing paper as a means of communications.

Where can epayslips fit in and should I be considering them as an alternative to paper slips?

E-solutions and e-comms are developing at a fast rate and at some point during our working day we are likely to receive some form of e-communications whether it is a reminder that our mobile bill is ready for collection to a newsletter or an electronic invoice sent from one of our suppliers.

Online accessibility of information through the use of tablets to iphones has made it significantly easier to view your payslips or any other document online. The widespread availability of apps means that often there is a mobile version available to view.

Part of Digital Print Management’s services are outsourced payroll printing.

Some companies outsource their payroll functions and manage the distribution of payslips internally, others outsource the complete payroll process but retain control of a portion of their payroll processing like their pensioners.

Epayslips aren’t for everyone and there is a certain degree of comfort in receiving that monthly piece of paper that says I’ve been paid.

e-payslipsIn this example paper slips are generated monthly and posted out, epayslips would not work for the simple reason the company knows its aged employees well has surveyed them regarding migration to epayslips and the overwhelming response was a preference for a paper payslip.

Old dogs die hard – old habits are difficult to change.

What options are there for epayslips?

Standard online epayslips have low adoption rates. In comparison ‘push’ delivery of epayslips increases the recipients adoption of paperless documents.

Emailing payslips (or using a push service whereby the payslip information is pushed to the employee via the sender, sent either as an encrypted PDF attached to an email or embedded within the email) you can read more about pull e-services here.

The traditional ‘pull’ process is convenient for the sending organisation but cumbersome for most recipients. Senders ‘deliver’ their epayslips electronically by loading them on a website and then sending an email notification to recipients.

What are the advantages of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ epayslips

If you take a look at my slides and they highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the options available.

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Many of Digital Print Management’s customers use a combined print, push/pull distribution of payslips which works very effectively.

Every organisation is unique and is restricted or enhanced by its payroll software.

Ultimately the epayslip model chosen is often determined by the strategy of the HR and/or Payroll department, the types of employees from weekly, monthly and from young to old will also determine the successful take up of epayslips.

But, there is no reason why the use of paper payslips and epayslips can’t co-exist in our working environment.

Whether it is E-statements, E-billing the same process detailed above can be applied. The key to successful uptake is understanding your employees and customers to ensure a timely and effective transition to E-documents.

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Payroll outsourcing for the SME!

How can outsourcing the payroll process help you?

There are tangible benefits in outsourcing for the SME and I have talked about it here and here.

Small businesses face constant challenges and are often looking for ways to streamline some of their processes and enable them to focus on their core business skills.

Why Payroll Outsourcing?

Payroll is of paramount importance to the smooth running of any sized business because it is concerned directly with a companies primary asset – its personnel. The mechanics of running a payroll in-house has become more complex over time with frequent legislative and changes in taxation.

Outsourcing Payroll Services

Payroll outsourcing has become a cost effective way of overcoming these difficulties coupled with the de-centralisation of finance departments into task specific i.e. AR, AP and Credit Control makes Payroll ideal for outsourcing.

Outsourcing your payroll function is one sure way a company will start to see savings by saving time, money and resources.

Here’s how!

1. Outsourcing once the sole preserve of the corporate is now just as cost effective for the SME’s who are increasingly benefiting from outsourcing their payroll and payslip printing.

Processing your payroll can burn a hole in your proverbial coat pocket particularly if your company has fewer than say 30 employees. Work out the hours your employees are devoting to payroll activities and then work out the costs for printing and distribution of the payslips?

2. An SME payroll can be a time consuming process particularly where you may have an employee who spends a certain amount of time a month on this very specific task and upon completion of the task returns to their preferred job or skill set.

3. In-house payroll can only be as reliable as the people doing the work. Utilising a payroll service will result in increased output, speed and quality will be consistently accurate.

4. Speed – as payroll service providers are specialists with technical resources and industry knowledge; payroll bureau can impart to you their advice and knowledge without you having to spend £’s.

With access to vast resources they can also handle any changes in your personnel and accommodate seasonal fluctuations without you having to worry about upgrading or changing systems.

5. A good payroll service provider will have the inside edge on up and coming legislative and tax changes likely to have an impact on your business and can implement whatever changes are required with minimum fuss to you.

6. Outsourcing mitigates the responsibility to a third party so any delays, paperwork inaccuracies or mishandling its down to the payroll service provider to ensure the issue is resolved.

7. Outsourcing ensures that as your company grows so do the payroll service company tailoring the service to fit with your company growth.

8. Lastly and often overlooked is SECURITY how do you ensure that there is no payroll abuse i.e. time and rate?

Use a checklist to make sure your payroll service company delivers what you want!

Checklist for using an outsourced payroll supplier

  • Can the payroll  service company tailor the service according to your needs i.e small, medium or large payroll
  • Do they have a proven track record with your type and size of business
  • Can they supply weekly/monthly/bi-weekly payslips and provide weekly, monthly and annual returns (this is going to change in 2013 with the introduction of RTI)
  • Ensure that the charges for setting up the payroll system, printing and e-slip viewing if required are transparent
  • Make sure the administrative charges for managing the system are included in your monthly/annual fee
  • Do their charges allow for making all the types of deductions
  • Are there any additional fees
  • How scaleable is the service if you expand and take on more employees
  • Is the software they use HMRC accredited and is it compatible with software you use
  • Does it keep records in a format that will allow for easy online filing of forms P14, P35, P45 and P46
  • Agree that they’ll calculate tax and deductions accurately from the information supplied
  • They’ll make these deductions to your timescales
  • Ensure mandatory requirements are completed or met within the regulatory timescale
  • Stipulate reimbursement for any resulting penalties
  • Specify they’ll keep necessary records of any taxes and deductions as required by the HMRC
  • Transparency of any additional charges you might incur
  • SLA (service level agreements) to ensure that your timescales and deadlines are adhered to

But most importantly ensure the payroll service company provide you with up to date reporting, hold regular review meetings with you and deliver the service they commit to from the outset.

This can only happen if you are absolutely clear about which components of the payroll you intend to outsource and have committed the process to paper. in a detailed brief. Both you, the company and the payroll service company are clear on what is going to happen, by when and by whom. It also provides a valuable document by which both parties can refer to in the event of any discrepancy or disagreement.

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For more information on Payroll outsourcing please fill in your details here and one of our advisors will call you.

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Outsourcing Business Processes. Why outsource?

A necessary business evil or not?

The term outsourcing immediately conjures up a feeling of fear, creates a sense of foreboding and there tends to be a general misconception that it will lead to redundancies. Factor in a lack of awareness or understanding of the benefits that can actually be derived from outsouricng a particular business function or process of your organisation and you can understand why people pale in front of you when the “O” word is mentioned.

There are 12 good reasons why a company might like to consider outsourcing here!

As companies expand in size and in operations, management must become more focussed on core business activities and consider whether non essential, non core business activities can be outsourced to vendors who can provide the specialisation lacking in-house.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money!

Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money! 

Outsourcing business processes is when you contract out a business function either a task, role or process to a third party over a substantial period of time.  The outsource provider ostensibly takes control of the function and becomes responsible for managing its effectiveness and ultimately its success.

Outsourcing has become synonymous with large enterprises who offshore manufacturing or call centre operations to remote providers based in China or India.

This is not a viable option for the SME or for organisations wanting to outsource maybe one or two business processes. An effective and cost saving option is to consider “nearshoring” the process by which a company outsources to a local service provider (when I say local I am referring to a UK based provider)

Outsourcing core business processes may save you money, note I suggest the word may. The success of the process and its overall effectiveness must be clearly defined and managed and there are some guidelines to consider here!

An outsourcing partner can give you flexibility and the help you need to manage growth this is offset with the benefits you derive by offering your business access to outside expertise and technologies without having to make massive investments in infrastructure change and maintenance. Outsourcing can be scaled to suit the changing needs of your business.

Why outsource?

If you have found yourself asking the:-

  • are my resources being used effectively?
  • are my current resources capable of supporting new technology?
  • is there a better and more efficient way of handling our processes?
  • do the employees have the operational expertise to manage the tasks internally?
  • what is this all really costing the business?

Then the benefits of outsourcing can be great.

Capital for start ups is limited and outsourcing some of your business processes can ensure you know exactly what your on-going monthly costs will be allowing you to allocate much needed funds to the development of the business.

Consider these points:-

How?

  1. Will outsourcing allow my business to focus on its strengths?
  2. Will it improve efficiency of the business?
  3. Will your business gain a competitive advantage?
  4. Will it save me money?

How will outsourcing help me?

Firstly it will focus you and the business on what the company specialises in providing it’s customers, here I mean the core business function, whether it’s making hats and shoes or screws and plugs. You wont be distracted into unproductive and non-profit making business activities.

Internal resources will be re-directed and re-focussed into core business activity.

Migration to new technologies without you having to make investment internally reduces the risk of bad purchasing, minimum downtime and productivity ensuring that a move to newer technologies is minimal.

In any outsourcing partnership risk is further reduced because the outsource partner will have disaster recovery and back up mechanisms in place providing a rapid response to any problem that besets your company.

Points to consider

Think through what you need and how the company will benefit!

  • What process(es) are you thinking of outsourcing and why?
  • Weigh the costs of doing it in-house VS outsourcing
  • Consider a consultant to help you set up a service provider
  • Consider what the on-going costs would be if you don’t outsource it
  • Are you prepared to invest in the time and management of the outsourcing relationship?
  • Do you have realistic expectations?
  • Are you outsourcing a key function which you really should keep in-house?
  • Finally weigh up the risks of outsourcing VS managing the process in-house!

Whatever your decision, outsourcing or keeping the process in-house, you will need to consider the cost implications and the longer term impact on your business.

One final thing.

To reap true, tangible cost savings the process must be carefully managed and monitored. In other words the relationship must be built on trust, knowledge, security and ultimately become a partnership! Much like a marriage!

What do you think?

Have you outsourced a component of your business?

How successful was it?

Would you do it again?

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For more information about how to outsource click here

How RTI will impact your business in 2013! RTI – Are YOU Ready?

We’ve recently been discussing RTI with our Payroll Manager customers and what impact they believe it’s going ot have on their business.

Comments range from “really unsure how the HMRC are going to be ready to take in such a potential mass of data each month or week”; “what about data integrity?” to “We don’t know how its going to impact our business”; and what additional administrative tasks will be required?”

What is RTI?

Real Time Information is a new system that is being introduced by the HMRC to fundamentally improve the operation of PAYE (Pay as You Earn) Currently PAYE return process is a manual procedure that happens annually; it is prone to error and inaccuracies – employers only find out at year end if they have deducted the correct amount of tax during the year.

RTI will result in this information being collected regularly when employers submit their payroll submissions.

Why is it changing?

The current PAYE system has been in place since it was introduced in 1944 making it 68 years old; operating unchanged and is the method used by employers to pay income tax and national insurance contributions (NIC).

Employers deduct payments from employees’ pay each week or month and for a large part; the current system works for the majority of employers and employees.

However, it has become prone to error, fraud and inefficiencies making it difficult for the HMRC to identify errors and assist employers and employees’ to resolve problems in a timely manner.

 

The RTI system will require employers to send data about PAYE, NIC and student loans every time they pay their employees rather than with their end of year tax return.

Why introduce RTI?

Simple. RTI should enable HMRC to respond to errors, improve the accuracy of payroll and reduce the probability of fraud.

Benefits of RTI

The government wants transparency of financial status and RTI will consolidate and automate tax reconciliations for individuals. It should reduce administrative costs of PAYE by phasing out annual employer returns and removing the need to submit P45 or P46 forms.

RTI will prevent identity fraud, reduce errors and overpayments in the current benefits and tax credits system which will ensure that individuals are taxed correctly through PAYE.

payroll print out

Concerns of RTI!

Small businesses will struggle to implement real time reporting the Public Accounts Committee has warned the HMRC; who must or will have to find a way of supporting businesses that do not  have electronic payroll systems in place.

Approximately 94% of employees receive earnings electronically but small businesses without electronic payroll systems and self-employed don’t submit monthly data to HMRC. How the HMRC intends to manage these employees is yet to be worked out.

How will it affect you?

Instead of submitting information once a year at Payroll Year End, employers will submit information electronically to HMRC for PAYE, NIC and student loans every time employees are paid.

When will it come into effect?

RTI will be phased in from April 2013 and will be mandatory for all employees from October 2013.

The system is being piloted from April 2012 and the current timetable published by the HMRC is as follows:-

  1. March 2011 – technical specification to be issued
  2. Oct 2011 – test system available to solution providers
  3. April 2012 – pilot customers submitting RTI (complete by Oct 2012)
  4. April 2012 – Large employers (25o+) to start RTI
  5. April 2012 – Medium employers (50 to 249) to start RTI
  6. Aug 2013 – small employers (<49) to start RTI
  7. Oct 2013 – all employers submitting RTI

What do I need to do?

To get your software right you will need to ensure your payroll provider is compliant so you can submit additional RTI information required along with Bacs payments.

Small companies will have access to the HMRC’s basic PAYE tools which will work with RTI free of charge.

Ensure your data payroll is right ensuring that the payroll details for your employees are fully up to date and in the right format for RTI:-

Name must be your full name and official forename(s) surname; no initials and in the correct order. Date of birth must be given in the format “DD/MM/YY”. National Insurance Number (NINO) must be given as two letters, followed by six digits and end with a letter which will be either A,B,C or D.

With every business in the UK expected to commence migration to RTI between April 2012 and October 2013 it makes sense to prepare your business. Taking control and adopting RTI early will enable you to understand what the impact is likely to be on your business and its payroll practices, ensuring that you continue to pay your employees and HMRC on time.

What do you think of RTI? How do you think its going to affect you? Who will pay for RTI?

Is RTI the Government’s way of getting much needed revenue into the treasury quicker than the current PAYE?

Drop by and leave a comment in the comment box below; we love to hear your opinion!

If all this all sounds like too much hard work or worrisome then contact Digital Print Management for independent and impartial advice on how to outsource your payroll.

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6 great tips on why SME's should outsource!

Outsourcing

I ‘m a strong advocate of the benefits that can be enjoyed by outsourcing a component of your business whether its print, payroll, billing I.T or customer services to the outsourcing of a complete department of an organisation as long as it’s a strategic fit for the company and there is utmost transparency in the way an organisation manages the process.

Traditionally when people think of outsourcing they associate it with big corporations who have the infrastructure and the resource to benefit from a large scale re-deployment of one of their business components.

But this is not the only way that outsourcing can be used effectively. Small to medium businesses can use outsourcing to their advantage. Sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006 define an SME that has a turnover of not more than £6.5 million, a balance sheet of not more than £3.26 million and 50 employees; a medium sized company with a turnover of not more than £25.9 million, a balance sheet of £12.9 million and 250 employees.

I’ve talked about the benefits of outsourcing in the past with particular reference to payroll and billing here!

The same principles can be levied for any business component you are considering.

why its good to outsource

6 great tips on why companies should outsource

Here are 6 things to consider when outsourcing:

  1. What business aspects are you struggling with? Where can your company outsource to make cost savings and streamline the organisation processes for example it might be marketing, web design, payroll printing, invoice processing/printing. All of which are important to a company but are time consuming and manually intensive.
  2. Outsource as much as you can but not the core elements of your business after all that was the main reason the business was established unless it’s some manufacturing element that you are considering.
  3. Dont be afraid to use the same company for many different things the more services that an outsource provider does for your business in relation to outsourcing the more you are likely to see volume savings. In the same way you see in the supermarket buy two get the second for free. If you are looking to automate your accounts systems such as AR/AP or outsource your invoice processing/printing make sure the provider can manage the distribution element for example you may print, mail and electronically send your invoices so make sure that the company you choose can manage this process for you and more importantly they know what they are talking about and can demonstrate success criteria.
  4. Investigate the market place and evaluate who you think best accommodates your requirements. Don’t think short term, think medium term at least otherwise if you get it wrong it might be painful to get of and you may well end up by repeating the exercise again six months down the road.
  5. Don’t be swayed by the cheapest option or choose on price alone if you do you will shoot yourself in the foot. There isn’t such a thing as a free lunch! When you see something cheap what’s the first thing that springs to mind “what’s wrong with it?” or “that sounds cheap”! “What does everyone hope for but rarely gets? A great deal?” You get what you pay for and often a company that offers a service cheaply is trying to win your business with a view to a serious price hike three months later or they haven’t understood your requirements. In which case you will find yourself in trouble and the cheaper service could have a detrimental effect on your business. Can you afford for that to happen?
  6. Finally, know what area or business function of the business do you want to outsource? Why do you want to outsource? Be realistic about your expectations. Set a time limit to achieve your objective and most importantly work with a company that has the expertise and knowledge and can offer sound, impartial advice!
Digital Print Management are leading advisors in the outsourcing process. We are committed to ensuring our customers get the right solutions for their business which in turn results in cost and efficiency gains.

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Outsource payroll services: How to manage the process of outsourcing your payroll?

Payroll outsourcing

Payroll processing and printing can be time consuming. Outsourcing some or all of the processes will save time and money

Outsource Payroll Services

How to manage the process of outsourcing your payroll follows 10 Reasons to outsource your payroll

I’ve talked about the benefits that can be acheived by outsourcing payroll, invoice printing and processing here are a few reminders:-

  1. You know what your monthly fixed cost for the operation is
  2. Allows you to focus on the area of business you hope to succeed in
  3. Allow experts to manage the process
  4. Reduce the cost of internal errors
  5. Speed up the process
  6. Benefit from your providers’ technology without having to make the investment
  7. Flexibility – you’re no longer reliant upon people to manage the process in-house
  8. Secure in the knowledge that any disaster that affects your organisation it’s business as usual for your outsource provider

You’ve now taken the unprecedented decision to outsource your payroll function.

What happens next?

The next step is to find a payroll provider that can faciltate your requirements?

Easy?

Not so, when you are unclear or uncertain as to what you are looking for and what you need to look out for!

Where do you start?

You only have to google payroll bureau and a whole host of names pop up from the small to the large service providers and that’s where it gets sticky because do you have the time to search, research, evaluate, tender, set up visits to establish creditability then make a decision.

All told, the process might take you anything from 2-6 months and that is a conservative estimate.

Here are a few things to consider when outsourcing your payroll:-

 Small (1-50), medium (50-150) or large (150+) employees on your payroll will help determine the type of bureau you select to work with.

  • Expertise – does the payroll provider have relevant industry expertise to manage your payroll efficiently?
  • Flexibility – can they offer solutions tailor made to fit with your requirements and not a box that comes pre-packed and one you need to fit in?
  • Technology – can they offer online pay slips, paper slips or a combination of both? Can they manage multi-channel distribution?
  • Does their system offer the flexibility to integrate with yours?
  • What reporting functionality are you likely to get with each payroll run? Ask for sample reports and payslips both on and offline so you get to see the quality of the output. If you have a need for both paper and online slips how are the paper slips being printed – pressure seal (without envelopes) or A4 folded and inserted into an envelope establish the quality.
  • Find out if the cost of postage is included. There are a host of mailing discounts available via the Royal Mail and DSA (downstream access) which your payroll bureau should be able to offer.
  • One final thing – let your payroll team be instrumental in the project after all they will be the people managing some or all of the process going forward. Payroll outsourcing

What type of payroll services will you need?

  • A fully managed payroll system
  • Bureau payroll
  • Hosted
  • BACS
  • Multi-national payroll
  • CIS

 How do you then manage the process?

Project management is paramount. Any business process that integrates with the payroll function needs to be considered such as HR and Finance. A pay calendar or schedule is imperative for the bureau to determine cut off times and when data will be made available to the bureau for processing.

This must include BACS transmission dates, pay dates and the physical distribution of the pay slips.

During the migration phase the payroll system will need to be tested to ensure data integrity, compliance and accuracy with the current system.

This process is usually tested over a 2-3 month period where parallel runs will be done by the payroll bureau and measured for accuracy against the current system.

Feeling overwhelmed!

Digital Print Management are independent of any manufacturer, I.T. solution provider and print supplier.

As a solutions and print management specialist emphasis is on understanding the customers requirements and not trying to sell them something which doesn’t cut the mustard in the long term.

Put simply we offer a free consultative, no obligation approach to helping customers who are overwhelmed by the prospect of outsourcing any business process.

Processing and printing or the complete function of a department.

We are here to help so please do call us or leave a message and one of our consultants will be in touch.

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Outsourcing Payroll Services. What to look out for.

10 reasons to outsource your payroll.

Outsourcing payroll services

There are a number of reasons why outsourcing your payroll can be a cost effective option for you by optimising a payroll services company.

Firstly, it affords the opportunity to drive down operational costs and remove inefficiences within the payroll department. A decision to outsource any business function is a result of various internal and organisational pressures such as the lack of skilled personnel suitable to handle the task and to keep control of costs.

In the current economic climate companies face increasing pressure to keep up to date with new technologies, legislation and organisational change at the same time having to streamline some of their internal business functions and processes.

Outsourcing payroll

Why use an outsourcing payroll service?

  • Cost – even before you consider outsourcing your payroll function you need to know what it is costing you to process in-house. How many hours are spent engaged in payroll activities? This must include the cost of labour, technology, office space, stationery, printing and postage. The more manual the process the more people that are required to maintain and administer the function.
  • Productivity – payroll management is a time consuming activity by outsourcing this function employees can focus on productive activities focussed on the business. The more you automate the process the less people involved in the pay roll cycle.
  • Accuracy – Payroll mistakes can result in angry and worried employees. A good payroll bureau is far less likely to make errors because it is their job to provide accurate payslips.
  • Reliable service – Outsourcing to a bureau won’t be impacted by staff illness and holidays therefore the output speed and quality will be constant. Neither will you have to spend time helping new employees learn your payroll system.
  • Speed – payroll bureau are designed to speed up the process of payroll printing and distribution as specialists they have technical resources enabling them to process payroll quickly and cope with on going changes within an organisation such as seasonal or temporary workers without having to upgrade systems.
  • Expertise – a payroll bureau will have the expertise to provide the services you need irrespective of industry sector.
  • Accountability – it becomes the payroll service providers responsibility to ensure your payslips are accurate, comply with HMRC and tax regulations and are distributed on time.
  • Technology – a payroll provider will keep up to date with new technologies and software ensuring that you don’t need to make additional investment in-house as they invest so you benefit from increased efficiencies.
  • Flexibility – by being able to meet your needs overtime as requirements change and your business expands.
  • Security – working with a carefully selected payroll provider frees you from worry associated with possible abuse of the payroll function by employees and if it’s on time and accurate!

COMING NEXT:

How to manage the process of outsourcing your payroll function?

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