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Cloud-based Payroll software

Cloud-based Payroll software

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I used MoneySoft(MS) Payroll software in the past. I loved it— simple, easy, flexible, and user-friendly. The biggest issue I have with MS is its accessibility. It is not a cloud-based software. I do not know about BrightPay, but it also looks like it is also a desktop. I use QuickBooks online (QBS) for accounting. It would be an ideal solution if QuickBooks Payroll is good enough as well.

I have heard some people mentioned KashFlow, Payroo, but have no experience of them.

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JCACE
By jcace
03rd Sep 2020 14:39

BrightPay is an excellent product that is predominantly desktop based, but it has an excellent cloud facility for backing up, delivery of reports, employee portal etc - well worth a look.

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By michaelbeaver
03rd Sep 2020 16:21

I've found that the payroll solutions attached to the cloud accountancy providers are limited in functionality. Perfectly fine for companies with standard employees, and not too many of them. If you run a payroll bureau, you will find that QB Payroll will not be up to scratch.

I've used Payroo, but this was prior to auto enrolment. It was certainly cheap, and it did the job just fine.

Looking at it from a slightly different angle, if you are looking to be able to do your work from anywhere or from multiple devices, you could consider at a hosted desktop environment - such as from Hosted Desktop UK. They host all your desktop applications, and network files and you access it via Remote Desktop from any computer or tablet you choose. That way you wouldn't be limiting yourself to just cloud solutions.

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By kathyk0410
03rd Sep 2020 17:02

We use BrightPay and have it on a hosted desktop so it's effectively cloud based. We don't use Bright Connect but everything else is there so useful with remote working. Obviously the hosted desktop comes at a price so it depends on what your other requirements are

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By johnt27
03rd Sep 2020 22:41

Best cloud payroll system? Easy - it's Paycircle - absolutely brilliant system and better than Moneysoft and Brightpay, both of which I'm a big fan and user of until recently.

Also worth checking out Staffology (build by the guy behind Kashflow before he sold to Iris) and Pento which is fairly new into the UK market

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
04th Sep 2020 10:12

For a fully cloud payroll bureau no desktop needed, look at My Paye Ltd for bureau or single companies. We have used it for years. Excellent software does everything you need including P11D's and as been reliably using the cloud for years. My PAYE Ltd was way ahead and forward-thinking prior to most, What I would say just because a company has a large marketing budget it does not make them the best software that applies to everything.

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Duane Jackson
By DuaneJAckson
03rd Sep 2020 23:48

I think Brightpay is far and away the best desktop payroll. But they didn't seem to be moving to the cloud very quickly.

So I developed staffology.co.uk. Originally taking a lot of inspiration from the Brightpay approach but adding lots more over the past couple of years. Especially around automation, collaboration and integrations.

We're now processing payroll for thousands of companies. By all means look at a demo company: https://www.staffology.co.uk/get-a-demo

By way of some background, I founded KashFlow years before Xero even existed. It was the first cloud-based accounting software.

I can't comment on or take any responsibility for what KashFlow is now, I've not been involved there for 7 years.

Take a look at Staffology if you get a chance. I'm sure you'll like what you see.

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Replying to DuaneJAckson:
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By raybackler
10th Sep 2020 11:28

I am sitting here looking at the agreement I signed with Liberty Accounts dated 6th October 2004. This was the first cloud based accounting system, as far as I know, and it includes an integrated payroll. I still use the whole system for all of my clients today. I don't think Kashflow was around back then and I certainly wasn't the first user of Liberty Accounts. Not knocking Kashflow itself and good luck with Staffology.

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By JuliaSmith2009
04th Sep 2020 05:47

I would definitely recommend that you look at Staffology. We started using Staffology a few months ago. It is cloud based and was exactly what we were looking for. It is very easy to use, excellent support (which we only needed once and was our fault for entering the wrong HMRC credentials), full functionality including NEST integration etc and reasonably priced. We are a small practice and were looking at an alternative to Xero (expensive for payroll esp when just one director). We trialed a few other cloud based payrolls following comments on an earlier post and chose Staffology.

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By pausten
04th Sep 2020 06:43

Staffology is the future! We used moneysoft payroll manager for around 12 years great software but not being cloud based and with no automation or API makes it out of date now.

Staffology is brilliant, does all the bits you need, P11Ds CIS etc is easy on the eye and easy to use but ticks all the key boxes for us i.e. cloud based, user access control for gdpr and different staff/clients, it has automation built in, integrates with more workplace pension providers and also has an api meaning you can integrate with other api based cloud software. Try their demo company and have a look a round, we would not have moved from moneysoft easily but this is the product we have been waiting for!

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By nrw
04th Sep 2020 11:14

Check out https://www.pento.io/ - though more company friendly / self-serve than a bureau offering.

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Kevin
By kjmayes
04th Sep 2020 11:45

I would definitely recommend taking a look at Staffology too. I have been using it since January 2019. It has allowed me to significantly improve the efficiency in my bureau and being able to look after my client payrolls.

It is always being improved with features and you can also give input as to what you would like to have in the software.

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By Khalil Ur-Rehman
04th Sep 2020 11:47

I wholeheartedly recommend Staffology payroll as it has reduced our repetitive payroll processing time by a one third. It is a pure cloud as opposed to other software with a cloud outfit.
Staffology Payroll was introduced to us during the implementation of AIRPA’s automation platform into our business. At that point, we have never envisaged it would bring our processing time down so significantly. As an example, prior to using Staffology our payroll processing took 3 weeks and required 3 staff members on average. With the use of Staffology, we have one staff member working intermittently on payroll over 3 days. Staffology caters for a variety of payrolls, in terms of size, payroll frequencies and trades without any complications. Its pay run automation takes good care of most of the monotonous tasks.

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By gerrysims
04th Sep 2020 12:49

Can only join in with the Staffology comments. Lots of support from Duane and reactive development. I once completed a payrun sat on a Spanish mountain using my phone. You don't get more cloud than that !

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By Alex_T
07th Sep 2020 12:49

BrightPay is superb! It just gets better and better. The addition of API integration with Xero, Quickbooks, Sage etc. is the icing on the cake. We network it via Dropbox which works great and gives us some cloud flexibility. Give it a try.
Best of luck!

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By NYB
07th Sep 2020 13:53

I go with the Brightpay comments. And its cloud bolt on gives self service to the employees and a host of add ons for the employer. AE is integrated with a few clicks of the button straight through to many pension providers. It is a very forward thinking company

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By Mr Hobbit
07th Sep 2020 14:18

I am big fan of Brightpay and despite the fact that the software is not fully cloud-based yet, I have stuck with it because it's so good. Like others, I have it networked via a cloud app so I have it on the go. At the rate the software has progressed over recent years, I would imagine it's only a matter of time before they offer a fully cloud-based payroll. Here's hoping!

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By pausten
07th Sep 2020 14:27

Brightpay is quite good, however, the problem is that it is not cloud native so you still have an application to install and it is syncing across the internet which is really already out of date for the future.

Also it does not have any API so you cannot integrate it with the best of bread of other systems or your practice management system - again already out of date.

I am sticking with staffology ticks all the boxes for future proofing and everything else.

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Replying to pausten:
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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 14:36

I'm not sure if we have different views on what API is, but I chose BP when I started my own bureau due to the large number of pension and accountancy API's available and this has only grown over the years. They certainly have Quickbooks API.

I respect that you have your own view on it not being cloud-native, so am not trying to convert you, but the API statement was incorrect!

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Replying to Coppice Payroll:
Duane Jackson
By DuaneJAckson
07th Sep 2020 14:55

I think you're mixing up "API" and "Integrations".

An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface for other software to talk to the system.

Similar to a UI (User Interface) that you as a user makes use for to interact with the system.

So when you say BP have *APIs* with pension providers and accounting software, you actually mean they have *integrations* with pension providers and accounging software. These are typically facilitated by BP making use of the pension/accounting providers API.

"Proper" cloud applications can surface an API so other systems can interact with them. For example, time an attendance systems can push data into a payroll system that has an API. For a desktop system this isn't possible.

I hope that helps clarify the teminology!

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Replying to pausten:
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By Alex_T
07th Sep 2020 14:54

I can't comment on Staffology as I've never heard of it before today however, I think you'll find you are incorrect about the lack of APIs in BrightPay. BrightPay integrates with several pension providers - NEST, People's Pension, Aviva and Accounting software - Xero, QB, Sage... to name but a few. There maybe others but these are the ones I've used.

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Replying to Alex_T:
Duane Jackson
By DuaneJAckson
07th Sep 2020 14:57

These are all great examples of BP consuming an API that the other providers make available.

Not BP making an API available themselves. Which is the point being made.

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Replying to DuaneJAckson:
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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 15:08

Hi Duane

Thanks for the clarification. Terminology clarification will certainly help me to explain things better in the future. If I may ask, what is the use of a payroll software having its own API, rather than integration with the most common accountancy packages? I would assume that you wouldn't want to bring in anything external from accounts to the Payroll and so is this just so that when a new accountancy solutions company comes up, you can approach them about integration? I am just a bit confused as to the benefits.

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Replying to DuaneJAckson:
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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 15:08

Hi Duane

Thanks for the clarification. Terminology clarification will certainly help me to explain things better in the future. If I may ask, what is the use of a payroll software having its own API, rather than integration with the most common accountancy packages? I would assume that you wouldn't want to bring in anything external from accounts to the Payroll and so is this just so that when a new accountancy solutions company comes up, you can approach them about integration? I am just a bit confused as to the benefits.

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Replying to Coppice Payroll:
Duane Jackson
By DuaneJAckson
07th Sep 2020 15:27

Coppice Payroll wrote:

Hi Duane

... what is the use of a payroll software having its own API...

People were askign the same question years back with regards to accounting software. I wrote about it here

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6517022048655548416

There are lots of reasons for having the API.

As I mentioned above, Time and Attendance systems and HR systems ca automatically push data to us. The emphasis here is on _automatic_. Somewhere else on this thread someone commented on "a single click" to send data to the payroll software. That's one click too many as far as I am concerned.

A proper web-based application is always on. You can't have features like these in a desktop product: https://www.staffology.co.uk/features/automation

I'm sure that in time BP will have their own full cloud offering. Their Connect stuff is a huge step in that direction.

When all's said and done, I guess all that matters is that you're using the system that works best for you right now. There are lots of people using Xero now that in 2009 wouldn't have seen any reason to move from Sage 50.

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Replying to DuaneJAckson:
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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 15:55

Thanks for taking the time to reply Duane. It certainly seems to be the way that the industry is moving, and it is good to see that it is moving. I was blown away by the difference when I stepped away from my old firm and moved from Sage to BrightPay. A lot of people stick to the old 'tried and tested' methods and pay through the nose for it too. I can see a place for more pricey solutions if it comes with the features that will help you, but the IRIS and Sage offerings were outright theft a couple of years ago!

I can see the benefit of those automation features to a full accountancy firm who take care of everything for a client, or one who has 100+ director only payrolls with the same gross pay each month. None of these features would benefit me greatly in my situation and do come at a cost, but would be worth paying if the situation fits. I didn't notice that you were the creator, but thank you for the explanation and the work that you have done. Any new feature that comes as a great benefit to a large number of people will inevitably make its way into the offerings of several providers and so any innovation should be respected as it ultimately helps companies like me.

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Replying to Alex_T:
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By pausten
07th Sep 2020 15:04

Yes definately some confusion here on the term API - when the software integrates with pension providers and accounting software it certainly has 'integrations' that (as another user said) makes use of the API's in those software providers i.e. QB, NEST etc but ideally, for me at least, you should be looking to get your 'cloud stack' (all your cloud based software) to have open API's of their own. This then provides an effectively unlimited integration with any other software that has an API or can integrate in this way. So for example each period I could get some other software to make a request to staffology payroll (via their api) for the last pay run details and put the data returned into a report of our own to send to the client and all of that could happen automatically - with the open api I am restricted to what integrations that software provider chooses to implement. If you get all your cloud software with open api's they can 'talk' to each other in whatever way you want as a firm.

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Replying to pausten:
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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 15:16

So you could compare it to two people sitting and working on a spreadsheet together, vs someone completing a spreadsheet and emailing it over to the other? It sounds like it certainly has its functions, and that it could really be useful for a large firm with a lot of very different clients as the more varied the client base and their needs, the more you would get out of the improved integration.

Thankfully, all of my clients have gone with the big market share packages and so the level of integration for me has been more than needed, but interesting to know what other options are out there!

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By Coppice Payroll
07th Sep 2020 14:28

I use BrightPay and just have all of the client files saved in OneDrive so that I can access the live files from multiple machines. Their BrightPay Connect cloud package is great as insurance on this and also comes with a load of features that save a lot of time and effort. I prefer it being desktop based as it means you can get on with changes if you are somewhere without internet (on the train, or in a house with spotty broadband) and just sync it back up with them afterwards. It hasn't been tricky to switch between PC and Laptop at all since I started this method years ago. If for example, you were to change things on both the PC and Laptop at once, it saves a slightly different file version so that you don't have one override the other, but this is an unusual situation to occur.

You should request a demo on the cloud software as there are things on there that I didn't even think about wanting. Some of the best are automatic payslips (as employees have their own login) and automatic P45's (I hate sending these out, as a bureau, the number each month is staggering). It does have QuickBooks integration as well, although I have no experience with this and so can't explain any of the features there. I think it is API and so would just be log in once via BP and then click upload each month/week.

The support and demo teams at BP are great, have had them do some BP Connect demos for clients to help convince them to commit to online payslips, just give them a call.

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By North East Accountant
10th Sep 2020 13:37

How about Moneysoft running on the PC in office, data on server and use teamviewer to access from home and run the payroll. Works a treat.

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