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Any cloud Payroll software - not Xero or BP

Payroll with cloud/remote interface, ideally with Xero and OpenBanking integration. Do any exist?

I have a software business with a few employees. We use Xero for accounting. Currently our Payroll is run by an agency with BrightPay, but I'm keen to find an alternative to BP. Cloud or remote access would be ideal so payroll can be accessed from different machines in the office or at home, for employees to access documents and request holiday, and to give access for an agency. Calendar features syncing with other systems such as Google Calendar would be a plus. Open Banking support would be useful so that payments can be made easily, plus Xero integration for accounting purposes. Pension integration should work with Smart Pension.

I naively thought that there'd be a few systems to choose from by now that met the bulk of this criteria, but this seems not to be the case so accepting of a best compromise.

Xero was the obvious first look and should make a lot of sense, but many users report payroll issues, support is poor and agencies stay well clear. MoneySoft seems well thought of and is used and recommended on AW by our accountant, however it lacks cloud. 

Are there any popular alternatives that are either full cloud or a hybrid native / cloud that get closer to the above than BP or MoneySoft? Recommendations very welcome!

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By jcace
29th Apr 2019 13:51

I take it that you're aware of BP's Connect cloud facility and of their API integration with Xero from this year (and Smart Pensions).

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By ioncube
to jcace
29th Apr 2019 15:23

jcace wrote:

I take it that you're aware of BP's Connect cloud facility and of their API integration with Xero from this year (and Smart Pensions).

Thanks for the reply. I am, and as the employer we had access to Bright Pay connect. Some niggles were that I couldn't find an obvious way to edit and partially approve holiday, no way to mark HMRC payments as done (sometimes the HMRC due figure was wrong as a result), and no simple report of just what is due to be paid to each employee; better than a report, I could imagine a screen where you can cycle through each employee with a single click, see what is due to be paid, mark the payment as done, get alerts for any that are missed and record notes where necessary. There is also no Open Banking integration. The API I believe is unavailable to Connect users but might be useful for us as developers. So interested to see what else is out there.

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By jcace
to ioncube
29th Apr 2019 16:08

The new Xero API enables the payroll journal to either batch entries together or post as individual amounts, if that's of any use

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By Alex_T
to ioncube
29th Apr 2019 18:24

As @jpace mentioned, APIs for Xero and Smart Pensions are available in Brightpay so the agency processing your payroll will be able to post payroll journals to Xero and submit pension details to Smart Pensions on your behalf using these APIs.

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By ioncube
to Alex_T
30th Apr 2019 12:42

Alex_T wrote:

As @jpace mentioned, APIs for Xero and Smart Pensions are available in Brightpay so the agency processing your payroll will be able to post payroll journals to Xero and submit pension details to Smart Pensions on your behalf using these APIs.

Thanks and to @jcace. RTI and submissions to smart pension have been fine, so the most important things have been working, and if I can get the agency to use the Xero integration then that would be a bonus. With no clearly better alternative, sticking with BP connect does seem the most prudent option.

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to ioncube
30th Apr 2019 20:17

Hi ioncube,

I’ve responded to the other forum about these points - https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/anyone-moved-from-moneysoft-...

Paul

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29th Apr 2019 15:44

Open Banking is hard for software companies because to offer a service through Open Banking requires getting regulated by the FCA (even though the regulation is light touch) and that takes quite a bit of time. It is not just a question of writing a bit of code.

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By ioncube
to johnhemming
30th Apr 2019 12:31

johnhemming wrote:

Open Banking is hard for software companies because to offer a service through Open Banking requires getting regulated by the FCA (even though the regulation is light touch) and that takes quite a bit of time. It is not just a question of writing a bit of code.

Thanks John, and of course it's not trivial, and if it's technically challenging for Thesaurus or they would need to make infrastructure and procedural changes to become compliant then it might even be hard; if the issue is mostly just that it takes a fair bit of time to be FCA regulated then that's not the same thing though. Connect is at least a nod in the right direction, and to be fair it does seem more than many others are doing. Hopefully they've the vision to take it to where it needs to be.

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to ioncube
30th Apr 2019 13:56

I think one of the difficulties is one of knowing how long it is going to take to get FCA regulated and what the costs are. It makes it quite difficult for a new entrant. I am jumping through the hoops myself at the moment and it has taken about 3 months to get a case officer appointed (I want to be able to get bank entries through a standardised interface for accounting purposes).

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29th Apr 2019 15:51

There are plenty of software companies offering payroll out there. Just most of them aren't as good as Brightpay or Moneysoft. And aren't cloud.

So you move away from Brightpay at your peril unless you value a reliable payroll calculation that's easy to access.

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30th Apr 2019 15:10

My PAYE LTD excellent cloud payroll . I have been using it for 3 years .

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03rd May 2019 08:17

Hi ioncube. This is exactly what we're working on at Pento (pento.io/en). We have 300 customers in Denmark running payroll 100% automatically (including reporting, payments, pension, everything). We're launching in the UK very soon and currently running test pay runs in a closed beta. It's obviously 100% cloud-based. Would love to show you the product and get your feedback. Let me know at jonas @ pento . io

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07th May 2019 13:08

Hi, I'm with Moneysoft so cannot help you directly with the cloud feature. There is this list of packages recognised by HMRC... https://www.gov.uk/payroll-software/paid-for-software

There may be some cloud based ones, but I haven't checked them.

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