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Bringing payroll in house

Sage vs Quickbooks ease?

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By Moonbeam
04th Sep 2016 09:38

Sage payroll is full of bugs and far too expensive for what it is. I suggest you tell your employer that Brightpay is much cheaper, friendlier and easy to use. Then insist you need a half day training session run by a commercial provider to get started.
It's best that the transfer from your accountants is done after the March 2017 payroll has been run, to avoid your having to enter up lots of detail. March isn't so far away, and you can get your training done before then and run a few example payrolls to see how it all works.
I suspect your employer is one of those people who think everything we accountants do is dead easy. Payroll is not difficult if you have the training, but you shouldn't start work on what is a really critical job without it.

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By Smalltalk
09th Sep 2016 11:18

Moonbeam wrote:

Sage payroll is full of bugs and far too expensive for what it is. I suggest you tell your employer that Brightpay is much cheaper, friendlier and easy to use. Then insist you need a half day training session run by a commercial provider to get started.
It's best that the transfer from your accountants is done after the March 2017 payroll has been run, to avoid your having to enter up lots of detail. March isn't so far away, and you can get your training done before then and run a few example payrolls to see how it all works.
I suspect your employer is one of those people who think everything we accountants do is dead easy. Payroll is not difficult if you have the training, but you shouldn't start work on what is a really critical job without it.

We are in the similar boat. Our Sage payroll cover runs out in a month' time. and their sales over £700 a year which doubled we paid last year. And we are thinking of moving to Brightpay as well. But not sure now, or till next March

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By Counting numbers
05th Sep 2016 10:51

From what I’ve seen Sage is not the easiest of systems to use. They like to offer training to get even more money out of you. I had been using IRIS but recently looked to make the move to either Brightpay or moneysoft due to IRIS’s increasing costs. Both have good reviews here on accounting web.

Agree with @Moonbeam - I’ve been trialing both but I’ve decided that Brightpay is the best. They even have training videos online that take you through everything step by step. It’s quite an easy system to find your way around and if you get stuck or need any help their support are friendly and really helpful. I just recommended it a client this morning. It’s only 89 for licence for one company so you’ll get brownie points for saving your company even more money.

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By ScribbleD
05th Sep 2016 13:27

Don't mention the S word! There is so much choice now in the payroll market that I wouldn't even consider Sage or Iris and their extortionate prices.
I agree with @Moonbeam, whilst payroll is not hugely difficult and a good payroll package will do the calculations you, you would still benefit from knowing the basics.
BrightPay is a superb payroll package. It is slick, user friendly, comprehensive and incredible value for money. I have been using it for a while now and couldn't fault it. I was more than a little skeptical that it would deliver everything it promised but I was very wrong. They even offer an import facility from Sage which will certainly help when/if your employer decides to move everything from the accountant in-house.
Good luck in your new role.

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By fiona_howells
06th Sep 2016 12:25

I'd give QB payroll a go -its very easy to use

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By Slim Freddie
06th Sep 2016 14:30

BrightPay - cheap and easy.

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By Euan MacLennan
09th Sep 2016 11:43

Moneysoft - even cheaper than BrightPay and very easy!

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By Samantha20
15th Sep 2016 13:19

Euan MacLennan wrote:

Moneysoft - even cheaper than BrightPay and very easy!

I would also recommend MoneySoft as I have used it for years. It is much easier to use than Sage. You should also look at BrightPay as I have heard good things about it but have not used it as I am happy with MoneySoft.

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By SMNBS
15th Sep 2016 13:41

I use QB desktop and was similarly nervous when I started using it as I have always outsourced payroll before. But it is quite easy to use and I use their support helpline when I get stuck which is very rare. On the whole a lot easier than I imagined it would be.

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By zxcvb
15th Sep 2016 13:46

We use QB desktop and made the same move a few years ago. Found it very easy to use. We not only save the outsourcing expense, but the journal inputting each payroll period too, so the payroll expenses & liabilities are in place in our accounts immediately.
We also recently had to start auto enrolment pension deductions and have managed to set it up without any help.

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By JoeGilbert88
15th Sep 2016 14:21

AVoid Sage. Google CIPP Payroll Fact Card. The rest is common sense unless outside UK.

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By JoeGilbert88
15th Sep 2016 14:21

AVoid Sage. Google CIPP Payroll Fact Card. The rest is common sense unless outside UK.

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By chatman
15th Sep 2016 14:43

I used to use Iris and hated it. Now I use Moneysoft Payroll Manager and find it very easy to use.

I have heard good things about Bright Pay but have never tried it.

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By Fenella
15th Sep 2016 14:46

We use Moneysoft Payroll - it's inexpensive and easy to use, but we only have ten employees and I have done payroll before (including manually for 100 weekly paid employees). Frankly you don't need to know much about payroll to run the software because it does it all for you (with the usual proviso of crap in crap out), but you will need some training if only to be able to explain things to the employees.

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By coops456
15th Sep 2016 14:49

I'd firstly look at the whole idea of bringing it back in house.
Investigate the cost/benefit - the cost of training you and at least one other person (holiday/sick cover), cost of software, cost of your time that was previously spent doing other things of possibly greater use to the company..

What benefit does your employer want/expect to get for all this?

If it's just about the £70+ /month, it's worth getting some quotes from payroll bureaux to compare with what your accountant is charging.

If you do go with in-house, I vote Moneysoft. Your Excel skills will make you feel right at home, plus it's cheap and very forgiving.

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By ColinNibbs
15th Sep 2016 17:01

I know that no-one on this site likes Sage - apart from me. I will now try to put a little bit of balance back in. I use Sage Payroll, and have had no issues with either the introduction of RTI, or auto enrolment. It is dead easy to use, and the helpline is very efficient. Yes, it is more expensive than other products, and yes, you will need training, not only in the software, but also in being able to answer questions from employees. I would never use anything else.

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By Counting numbers
15th Sep 2016 17:23

ColinNibbs wrote:

Yes, it is more expensive than other products, and yes, you will need training, not only in the software, but also in being able to answer questions from employees.

I think most people would have an issue that Sage is more expensive and secondly that you will need training. Am I right in saying you also have to pay for training?

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By ColinNibbs
16th Sep 2016 08:44

You will have to pay for training whatever payroll product you buy. Sage training can be either by using their practice data within the product, or web based, or by external training or a Sage training centre, the latter being very comprehensive, but also the most expensive. I am not sure that the other products have external training centres. I have a client that uses QB, and I have to help them constantly with errors, as the help available from that product is poor.

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By Fenella
16th Sep 2016 16:50

The training I mentioned in relation to Moneysoft Payroll would be in the basics of payroll/PAYE so you understand what the software is doing behind the scenes - I don't think someone with experience of accounting software and the most basic understanding of how their own wages work would need to do formal training to use the software itself.

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By Hyprosteps
16th Sep 2016 12:26

I used to use Sage (14 employees) but the price over the last 2 years rocketed (and that's before AE costs to come). I used the free trial on both BrightPay and Moneysoft. Both are very good, both are considerably cheaper, both have AE costs included and both are easier to use than Sage. My personal preference is Moneysoft. You can import the info from Sage via a csv file. Whatever you choose, I would recommend you write yourself a checklist for your chosen software and work through it each time until you can do it without the reminders.

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