Steps to run payroll in a nutshell
Running payroll isn't a mystery. An employee's work profile, the accompanying salary and the pay period are matched to calculate the income tax and employer overhead due and then the net amount is paid to the employee. The report of what was paid by your company is sent to HMRC, so the correct taxes and NI can be attributed to the person and the correct PAYE bill can be sent to your company. So what's the problem?
Usually there is no problem. Even micro-SME employers run their own payroll and then transfer the amount that needs to be paid to their employees without difficulty. So why do companies need payroll bureaus?
Payroll bureaus take care of payroll...but so does software
Payroll bureaus handle admin, keep employee details up to date, check payment amounts, confirm data is correct such as the NI number of the employee and they also make sure that the payment amount to the employee is processed correctly. You don't want a typo when paying an employee. Too much and he won't say anything, too little and you'll have a firestorm on your hands. That's why payroll automation through software means that these mistakes don't happen. Everything is calculated using inputs on the employee's HR profile.
So can I use software?
Yes, you can. Software is what most payroll providers use. They ensure that when you pay your employee, the correct payment is processed for PAYE, for employer and employee pensions, and student loans where applicable. But if you use the software yourself, your company is then able to reduce its reliance on an external vendor and save money each month as the 'processing' is done in seconds using software, and the process from calculation to payment can be completed in minutes.
Do you prefer paying for services of a person rather than software?
Trust us, we share the same sentiment. Companies and people are alike, we don't like to pay for things we don't value. Whether is it trying to get Microsoft Word for free or a pirated version of Windows XP back in the day, consumers have hated paying for software. Apple, of course, changed the entire game by releasing MacOS for free and keeping everyone up to date. But paying for a service such as ShiftAI's payroll is a little different.
ShiftAI provides payroll for free for micro-SMEs and startups and charges for Core and Business plans. The main advantage of paying is that your company has immediate support. Whether it is a question of reporting a bonus or making a one-off deduction to an employee's salary or making a first time payment for relocation costs, you are able to initiate our support team where one of our team members will be responding to you in almost real time. On the Business plan, you even get a dedicated Slack Channel to ask questions where a member of the team who is assigned to your account will respond to within 5 minutes during normal work hours (930am - 530 pm).
A question of control
Don't get us wrong, payroll bureaus are a great solution for some companies but so is software. The advantage of payroll software is that your company keeps the processes internal, doesn't give any outside control to any contractor or vendor, and is able to run payroll when needed and make adjustments and changes without the arduous back and forth of email. Employees log into their accounts, make the updates they need to, and you as your own company's payroll administrator can make additional changes or override the employee input. For example, an employee cannot change his or her salary even if the person would like to!
You are not just buying software with ShiftAI
With a company such as ShiftAI, you are paying for software and account management in one. Our basic software is provided free of charge to smaller companies just getting started, but most of our SMEs use Core or Business plans because the account management service that comes with the software is a service. ShiftAI empowers companies like yours to own the payroll process but have the peace of mind that account management support is there when needed. So why not give the software based solution a chance and sign up here.