Tag Archives: Payslip

How to outsource your employee P60 printing but you don't know where to start?

p60 and payslip printing

Outsourcing your payslip and P60 printing is an effective way of reducing the headaches in your payroll department.

Why should you use an outsourcing service and are there any tangible benefits?

Outsourcing payslip printing and p60s will save time and reduce the hassle of keeping on top of one of the most complex and daunting tasks for any business, it will also ensure your staff are paid accurately, on time, every time and free them up to concentrate on business related tasks.

To make sure your supplier achieves this you need a reliable partner who can demonstrate they can deliver for you.

With p60s omnipresent I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions by customers during the investigation phase to help you along your payslip and p60 printing  journey.

But first here is a quick recap to the benefits of outsourcing:-

  • Experience in delivering the services you need.
  • Expertise in the area or areas in which you operate.
  • Support to help you with any queries you may have during the implementation process and beyond.
  • Technology that can deliver the job now and in the future as efficiently as possible.
  • The flexibility to meet your changing business needs over time.
  • Concise and accurate pricing giving you get the best value for money ensuring you pay for what you need when you need it.

I want to outsource our employee p60 and payslip printing but I don’t know how to start?p60 and payslip printing

It’s not a complicated process if you follow the steps below.

A good provider will discuss and understand your internal processes, how the data files are generated, what system(s) you use and if you already have an existing layout of the p60s, to timescales and deliverables and agree an implementation brief and specification so all parties are working from the same document.

Before you embark on the process of outsourcing your payslips and p60s you need to have a clearly defined set of objectives and a specification that can be presented to the incumbent suppliers during the selection process.

It doesn’t have to be a long winded document on the life and times of the organisation but should include a simple overview of the payroll department as follows:-

  • How many employees work in the company?
  • Are they located centrally or in branch offices?
  • How many p60s are you likely to process and want posted or delivered back to your organisation?
  • What timescales are you looking at? Consider starting with the end in mind for example if your p60s historically get despatched mid April then work back from that date and establish when the data files are prepared ready for printing.
  • Are there likely to be any changes from the HMRC which could slow down the process or require you to make amendments to the current p60 slip?

I only want to outsource our company p60s is that possible?

Yes. Many companies process and print their payslips and ancillary documents in-house but p60s are a time driven task often tieing up payroll departments unnecessarily at a peak time during the year. Simply outsourcing this task can reduce the burden on your payroll department and free up time for staff to concentrate on dealing with everyday payroll queries. Because p60s happen once a year it makes sense to consider removing this task from payroll and as long as you follow the steps above it is a straight-forward process.

payslip and p60 printingI’m worried about the timing, how will I know that my p60s will go out on time?

Firstly make sure you have a clear and planned outline of when they are required to be printed and despatched. It is also a good idea to have what I call a fall back date in other words date 1 is the ideal date you are working toward getting your p60s out the door, date 2 is the very latest date you fall back on should there be any problems with you generating the information you need for the p60s or you have some technical issue which means your despatch window becomes smaller.

The p60 deadline for 2014 is 31st May by which time every company employee should have received a p60.

Agreeing with the supplier the dates and deliverables ensures that all parties are working toward those dates. It is no good agreeing dates and then forwarding a test file two weeks after the agreed date and then expecting a live file to be processed on time.

In my experience companies need to be aware of the impact of missing deadlines. Suppliers can accommodate your wishes but it is a big ask and usually invokes a best endeavour approach.

You have to be realistic and set expectations that your supplier can work to, moving and changing timescales when you are well into the implementation phase makes it very difficult for your objectives to be achieved so bear that in mind.

If you believe you will miss the deadlines due to internal issues then advise your supplier at the earliest so they can re-schedule and work with you.

How do I find the right supplier? payslip printing checklist

There are many companies that can provide outsourcing payroll services. A google search for ‘payslip printing services’ or ‘p60 printing’ will give you a number of options.

The key is to research the services on offer, read what is on their website, look at any relevant articles and evaluate the services, do they meet your key criteria?

When you have a minimum of three potential suppliers contact them via telephone or website and request a call back with more information and details. Using the questions above will tailor the information you get during the conversation. Set up either a site visit to the production facility or request that a consultant visits you to talk through your brief. The next stage will be to get indicative pricing; either you will make a decision solely on price which is unwise or you’ll agree internally on a process of elimination and end up with 2 potential suppliers that you are keen to have further exploratory discussions with.

At this stage you must be absolutely clear what your criteria of selection is for determining which supplier you intend to work with.

We’ve never outsourced before and I’m worried about data security, what compliancy should I be looking for?

I would advise that you work with an ISO27001 accredited production facility where files sent via SFTP, a secure mode of transmission can be accepted. After all, you are outsourcing your employees payroll information. Ensuring that payslips and p60s will be processed accurately, securely and confidentially should be key to your selection process.

What else can I do to ensure the supplier can deliver the service we asked for?

Ask questions, no matter how trivial they might sound they are important and relevant to you. The surest way is to visit the production facility and follow the process through from start to finish if you are happy that the supplier can show you a comprehensive, secure facility and can demonstrate work they do for other companies along with case studies and references then your evaluation is complete.

How do we go about implementing the project?

The right supplier will effectively manage the project from start to finish for you. Reminding you of key dates and deadlines thus justifying their service pricing and reducing the headaches for you. In turn you must be prepared to respond quickly to any queries and make sure the supplier has every bit of information they need to ensure the successful implementation of your project.

We only want a short-term payroll solution?

Although p60s come but once a year companies often need help with fluctuating peak times in payroll where there is a requirement for part-time or casual employees such as christmas time.

Outsourcing your payslip printing for 3- 6 months makes outsourcing an ideal choice for organisations. There is a long held belief that outsourcing involves a long drawn out contractual process and a minimum requirement of three years applicable to I.T outsourcing or payroll function but for print and mail requirements outsourcing can provide a great cost effective short-term solution.

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Outsourcing – The Pros and Cons!

In my last blog I talked about why outsourcing can be good for organisations and the benefits that can be derived from outsourcing.

Outsourcing is not a four letter word (11 to be precise but who is counting)

What is often overlooked or never written about are the disadvantages or pitfalls that companies fall into when considering outsourcing!

It is important to point out that these pitfalls can be avoided if you plan and manage the process. When it does go wrong and believe you me it can, outsourcing is then tarred with a brush such as ‘it doesn’t work’, ‘we tried it, it failed’, ‘it was a disaster, never again’.

If there isn’t a clearly defined set of objectives then don’t be surprised when it fails.

Think of it as inviting a domestic goddess into your house to help with your cleaning, if you don’t give her clear instructions on what it is specifically you want doing she will most likely assume what you think you need and both of you then wonder why you are disappointed with the results.

The concerns about outsourcing anything from your payroll printing to a whole department are based on trust and whether the incumbent supplier will deliver the intended outcomes.

It’s pyschological! Outsourcing 

Considerations are “does the cost outweigh any benefit after all, you could/should be doing it!”

A compelling argument but imagine the time you gain by finding the right partner to manage the outsourcing process for you? TIME is money and if a part of the business process or function is broken then in reality it’s probably costing the business a whole lot more!

Its true that businesses are wary of outsourcing and recent figures from research conducted by the National Outsourcing Association revealed that “80% of the general public do not believe that outsourcing helps the British economy, with only 19% believing that outsourcing can help get the UK out of recession.

An alarming 22% of people dislike the process of outsourcing despite us paying £21 billion in income tax every year.

Perceptions of outsourcing centre on cost-cutting, job losses and offshoring and onshore outsourcing.

There is huge concern for the organisation that is handing over a primary business process(es) and/or functions to a third party perpetuating the myth you feel out of control of the process and bereft of what is going on.

The purpose of outsourcing is to allow the proper use of internal resources. For example if you are printing and fulfilling orders in house, your employees are doing busy work not business. Imagine how the business focus would change when it has more time to think up new ideas, invest in creativity freeing up employees for more meaningful mission driven work all of which help fuel those ideas to fruition.

But what do organisations concern themselves with when they think of outsourcing?

These challenges tend to centre on:-

  • service levels not meeting expectations
  • data integrity and confidentiality worries
  • the contract being too inflexible to allow for change in growth patterns of the company
  • management changes at the outsource company creating friction and uncertainty
  • the outsourcing company going out of business or changing/discontinuing the provision of the services originally hired for
  • failure to provide the necessary resource in your company to manage the success of the outsourced business process
  • can the process be shared by 2-3 partners rather than giving it to one supplier

When considering outsourcing it is always worth having a contingency plan should a problem arise for example could you bring it back in-house for a short period, do you have an alternate service vendor? This is a double-edged sword because outsourcing by its very nature assumes that the company you choose to partner with will never give you cause for worry.

However, outsourcing should include extensive research, selection and recruitment of the right provider for your proposed business function. But things do happen, events intervene, companies change management, companies get bought out, companies go bust!

Unforeseen problems can arise when “force majeure” intervenes or you have not planned and managed the process as outlined here!

How do you avoid the pitfalls!

Let me start by saying “outsourcing is about creating a successful partnership” much like a marriage as I have previously alluded. In 90% of failed outsourcing processes this was the fundamental component missing! (Based on DPM statistics) It is no good you choosing to make a commercial decision to outsource a component and handing it lock stock and barrel with no active involvement or development of the relationship.

Regular communication is pivotal to any business relationship, an example of that is marriage if you don’t communicate it can quickly break down leading to misunderstandings and mistrust!

How do you find the right partner/supplier?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Does the service provider have a track record of service?
  • How does it manage service levels and expectations?
  • Is the business expanding?
  • How good are the service level agreements it provides?
  • How will the relationship be managed?
  • Will there will an account manager?
  • Who are the providers existing customers?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the provider?
  • How do they manage problems?
  • Visit each supplier and ask questions about the processes
  • How secure are their IT systems? Is data integrity (if relevant) conform to UK standards i.e. Data Protection, ISO 27001
  • Can they demonstrate good quality assurance management systems?
  • Are they financially stable? How long have they been trading? (Don’t be mesmerised by the scale of the turnover its more important they have a proven track record in delivery)
  • Ask the service provider if they plan to subcontract the work out and carry out the same checks
  • Do they really know and understand their industry sector?

Finally?Outsourcing

Question your assumptions about outsourcing, this can be a good thing for the business and the employees it also means you are thinking through the process logically. Trusting someone else to manage the process doesn’t mean you have to let staff go it is simply a matter of redistributing human resources.

You can do all the necessary checking, set up a tender process and visit the select few. But there is nothing like good old fashioned gut instinct if it feels right it probably is.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can trial the service for 1-3 months to get the “experience” (subject to type of business function) although there may be some initial setting up/running charges for the trial it’s worth asking for. If the service is of high value over a long period you may even be able to trial the process free before you make your final decision!

One more thing, whether the value of the process you are outsourcing is £5K or £50,000,000 the above steps still apply!

What do you think? Can you share an outsourcing story that went horribly wrong or was it the best thing you ever did?

 

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Why Outsource Your Payslip Printing?

 

There are many benefits for a company considering outsourcing its payroll processing and printing.

Businesses face enough challenges on a daily basis and being able to streamline some of the internal processes is advantageous. One of the key areas is by outsourcing either payroll processing or payroll printing, or both because it affords the following benefits:

  • Cost reduction
  • Reduces the workload of the payroll department
  • Reliability – outsourced payroll processing and printing will speed up the process providing paper and electronic distribution of payslips
  • Expertise in payslip printing – assuming you select the right service provider
  • Flexibility to meet your needs over time and as the business grows
  • Speed and accuracy using pressure seal mailers
  • As the payroll is processed offsite there are no concerns with data integrity or data protection
  • Allied to the above are the provision of a full disaster recovery facility which means that your payslips will be processed and your data will remain totally secure
  • There is no expensive in-house I.T as expertise is provided by the incumbent supplier

How do you choose the right partner?

  • Do they have ISO27001 and can demonstrate secure processes and procedures?
  • Expertise – how knowledgeable about payroll systems and software is the service provider?
  • Can data be accepted from more than one source i.e. multi-files, multi-channels, multi-locations?
  • What mailing or distribution options are available by your managed service provider i.e. mailing, return to head office, electronic to email or online payslips
  • Offer the flexibility to meet your specific needs?
  • Can they demonstrate excellent customer service?

Find out more about payslip printing at Digital Print Management or call us.

Please call us if you are thinking about outsourcing your payroll printing and would like independent and free advice or email us.

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