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Brightpay Lose Emails and Use the "Shaggy Defence"

We now have to cc ourselves in on EVERYTHING emailed from Brightpay and monitor receipt

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We recently moved to Brightpay - BIG MISTAKE!  Brightpay isn't good at payroll; Brightpay is good at marketing.

Like all accountants, when we run payroll we email everything out to clients and then invoice them straight away. This is a strictly process-driven, linear format. It worked like a dream with Payroll Manager; all we had to do was follow our process and everything was fine.  However, Payroll Manager is getting a bit tatty around the edges so we decided upon a change of platform.

Straight away our clients started complaining about the fact that we had invoiced them before they received the payroll from us. 

  • We thought we might inadvertently be stepping out-of-process, what with it being unfamiliar and all. We assumed it was us being Silly-Billys somehow so each time we apologised and resent missing parts of the payrolls. (We looked like complete idiots!)
  • We put in a workaround and introduced a 30-minute delay on invoicing to accommodate any Brightpay server shortfall.    
  • Each time, we checked our server-log to make sure we had not experienced an internet drop-out ourselves. This would be unlikely since nearly all of our systems are cloud-based and we would know really quickly but, belt-and-braces, you know. 

When clients still complained of missing payroll emails we started to cc ourselves in on everything.

It wasn't us at all - it was Brightpay!  They were simply losing our emails!

We contacted Brightpay who told us that it must be at our end since they had checked, and recipient email addresses we had used were incorrect and had failed. They further suggested that our internet connection must be dropping out.

  1. We told them that we ourselves were amongst those recipients and our email address was certainly correct;
  2. on a batch of payslips sent on the same "click", some got through and others didn't. 
  3. where WE didn't get the cc'd email we contacted the intended recipient and they hadn't had the original;
  4. that it was happening repeatedly;
  5. that our internet-log showed no interrupted service;
  6. and that clients who didn't get emails had received other emails from within Brightpay that same day.

They were simply not having any of it; they just used THE SHAGGY DEFENCE.  

We feel that we have been treated with contempt. Brightpay behaves like we are stupid; like we didn't understand and that this certainly wasn't their fault.  

So apart from the technical ineptitude of their support staff who, frankly, don't seem to know an awful lot about the mechanics or the laws of payroll (stories for another time, perhaps), they tell porky-pies and we will never trust them. 














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25th Apr 2019 09:06

Interesting. I also have comments where clients are saying they are not receiving payslips. not receiving p45's etc.

This seems to be happening more and more.

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25th Apr 2019 09:10

Move back to Moneysoft, youre one month into the tax year so better to do it now that later!

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to MissAccounting
25th Apr 2019 10:46


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to MissAccounting
25th Apr 2019 10:49

I'll also nod in the Moneysoft direction. Proven pedigree.

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25th Apr 2019 10:52

We've also experienced this issue, although only with one client that we are aware of.

The clients now acknowledge receipt so we can keep a check on it.

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25th Apr 2019 11:02

Perhaps they are getting mistaken for spam, now that they are coming from a different server (I think payroll manager uses your in-house mail server). Different clients will be using different filters so that could account for some arriving and some not?

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By Alex_T
25th Apr 2019 11:21

Maybe I've been lucky but this only happened to me once and it turned out to be an incorrect email address. I've always found BrightPay support very good on the rare occasion I need it. I hope you get sorted. Best of luck!

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By jcace
25th Apr 2019 12:20

"Brightpay isn't good at payroll"
I would take issue with this statement. BrightPay is very good at payroll and has a proven product that provides excellent payroll, CIS and auto enrolment processing.
The new feature providing an API link to some cloud based accounting packages is another helpful add-in.
Clearly there are some seriously troubling issues that you are experiencing with their tech side, but I would expect that BrightPay would be keen to address this. Keep on at them - there must be a logical solution!
I've not used their Connect cloud-based facility, so have no experience of it, but can't fault any other aspect of BrightPay as my preferred payroll software for a number of years now.

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25th Apr 2019 12:44

This appears to be one issue that obviously needs looking into. However, don't knock and kick Brightpay into touch on one aspect. On the other 99% it is an excellent bit of payroll kit. To say it is not good at payroll is completely unfounded.
I have used it ever since it became Brightpay from Thesaurus - must be in excess of 15 years now and I have found them nothing but helpful and professional.

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By Matrix
25th Apr 2019 14:06

I am glad I decided to renew with Payroll Manager. The AE is fine and I just emailed them a question and they replied straightaway.

However I have always copied myself on payslips, just in case.

Hope you get it sorted or move back.

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25th Apr 2019 14:22

Dear Anonymous,

Firstly, let me apologise for the issues you are having.

The vast majority of email issues are the result of invalid email addresses or the emails being incorrectly marked as spam. In some instances, where employers/accountants manage their own mail server, they may have set rules which block our emails e.g. not allowing emails with password protected pdf attachments. In such cases, the emails will not even make it through to the spam folder. These are things we have no control over and which are the bane of any email service.

Having said that, we have seen massive growth in the emailing of payslips and documents from BrightPay in the past several months, and the reliability of our system has been challenged as a result. We are aware that a very small percentage of the millions of emails we process each month might fail and we agree that it is not good enough.

We are currently working on a new system which, amongst other improvements:

Will be designed to be fully scalable from the ground up, to be able to reliably cater for not only our current load, but much larger as well.

Will provide reporting to customers so that they have more visibility over the status of emails (i.e. which emails were delivered, which were invalid, blocked, marked as spam, etc.)

This is planned to be rolled out in the coming months after time for completion of development and testing (we’re aiming for summer 2019).

In the meantime, we will revisit our existing systems to try and make whatever improvements we can for the short time it will remain in use.

Finally, I think you are being somewhat unfair with your comments about our support staff. They have huge knowledge and expertise on payroll and they are all extremely dedicated. Often communications can be misinterpreted, on both sides, and it is unfair to generalise as you have in your post.

Kind regards

Paul Byrne, Managing Director

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