Iris Staffology Bureau or Employment Hero Keypay?

How to decide on the best cloud based payroll software for our payroll bureau

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We are a payroll bureau running around 250 payrolls each month and are looking to move away from Sage Payroll which we find very time consuming.  We are looking at cloud based payroll software, and have narrowed down the options to Iris Staffology Bureau and Employment Hero Keypay, integrating our payments with Teleroo,  but find it difficult to chose between the two.  Both seem to offer the same functions and features but are unable to supply us with a demo version.  Can anyone offer any advice from experience with either company in relation to training, on boarding, support, ease of use etc.  

Replies (11)

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By rmillaree
18th Aug 2023 13:22

any good company should let you have a months trial to run one company on each - i suspect it would become apparent running payrolls or dummay payrolls which is the best - probably factoring in transferring date over.

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By williams lester accountants
18th Aug 2023 14:01

We looked at both about 18 months ago, and went with Keypay. No real experience of Staffology so can't really compare, but have been impressed with Keypay as it does everything we need for around 140 payrolls (we are an accounting practice not a payroll bureau).

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By johnthegood
19th Aug 2023 06:49

we use staffology for a client with 80 weekly employees with variable hours, we like the way it keeps track of holiday pay, and I really like the way when first move a client to the software mid year you can upload an FPS and it imports all the data.

pretty expensive though, what are the Keypay prices like?

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Replying to johnthegood:
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By Gillwal
19th Aug 2023 08:17

Thank you for your reply. Both charge per payslip and Keypay are quoting significantly more than Staffology. Keypay appears to have more features so we just need to decide if they are worth the additional cost.

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By johnthegood
19th Aug 2023 12:18

I would be interested to know if anyone knows of a cloud based solution cheaper than these two, apart from one client that uses staffology we use BrightPay, but if I was to move everyone onto staffology if would more than triple our cost.

I would also add that I much prefer using BrightPay than Staffology

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John Toon
By John Toon
19th Aug 2023 12:43

I would say you're looking at two differing products here. Staffology wasn't necessarily designed with bureaus in mind, although I'm sure Duane would disagree. It offers a simple user interface and backs that up with a great API (if that's of any use to you) and integrations with some other software in the space - HR/accounting etc, subsequently integrated with Octopus HR. Obviously both now owned by Iris and it's unclear whether it will become an integral part of Elements or be sacked off like they've done with other acquisitions.

Employment Hero started life as a HR system, and then with the acquisition of Keypay has moved into payroll and bureau support. Keypay has always been one of the better products out there and EH seem keen to build on that. With the other HR functionality it may be of interest to you to start to provide additional related services in this area or encourage clients to utilise the other features in the product. Albeit, you may prefer the Octopus functionality noted above - I'm familiar with neither.

I've used both as payroll software and slightly preferred Staffology, but really Brightpay is my preferred payroll solution still (but not fully cloud yet, if that matters). I haven't used EH's HR features but other accountants I speak to rave about them and they're on our list to consider as a possible replacement of our crappy HR system used internally.

Ultimately a move from Sage Payroll will only bring benefits and your two choices are solid options. Also, there's nothing stopping you revisiting this decision in another year, couple of years (in fact I'd encourage it even if you don't choose to move to something else it ensures your provider is staying up to date with the market) - the days of making a software choice and sitting on it for a decade should be long gone

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Replying to johnt27:
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By Gillwal
20th Aug 2023 10:18

Thanks for your advice. We did look at Brightpay but had to dismiss it because they only integrate with Modulr for payments, and Modulr won't allow us to use their service because of KYC. Both Staffology and Keypay also integrate with Telleroo and Telleroo have confirmed they would be able to process the employee payments through their system. We handle all income (direct payments funding) and expenditure for our clients, and pay all employee, HMRC, and pension payments from one bank account

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Duane Jackson
By DuaneJAckson
21st Aug 2023 14:27

> Staffology wasn't necessarily designed with bureaus in mind, although I'm sure Duane would disagree.

To some extent.
It certainly wasn't originally designed for bureaus, but an extensive amount of work has been done to build some very nice bureau-specic features. This was done becuase IRIS wanted to use it as their in-house solution for their very large Managed Payroll (ie: bureau). This is now the case - it powers thier in-house bureaus.

I'd be very surprised to see it binned off as I've seen first-hand the significant investment being put in to it.

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By AdShawBPR
24th Aug 2023 10:24

I am a sole practitioner with about 60 payroll clients. Most of them are straight forward, director only payrolls.

I used Keypay for about 6 months a few years ago having used Moneysoft for over 10 years. Though it has loads of features I found KP's layout very confusing whereas Staffology was much more straight forward and logical so moved to Staffology pre the Iris acquisition.

After using Staffology for a couple of years, I had a couple of issues and found Iris support to be dreadful (email only and slow) so had another look around at the beginning of this tax year. I tried Capium, Keypay (again) and Brightpay. Capium didn't seem developed enough with some features missing (e.g. CIS and - as I recall - full automation). Brightpay was like an updated version of Moneysoft (which is good) but didn't seem to have the automation that I want and which both Keypay and Staffology provide. Seriously considered moving back to Keypay but I still really struggled with its layout even after several in depth training/induction sessions so in the end I stayed with Staffology.

I do really like Staffology's simplicity and automation; running payroll has never been quicker. Speaking to my account manager at Iris, they are throwing everything into Staffology so that will become their go to product. That gives me confidence that it will only get better from here.

I do still use Moneysoft for a couple of clients because of the integration I need with Creative autoenrolment. In fact I'll probably always keep Moneysoft as it's cheap and is a great tool for looking at future pay runs and what if analysis which none of the other payroll software providers give.

It is annoying none of these providers offer a free trial period. It's ended up being a very expensive year for payroll software!

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Replying to AdShawBPR:
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By Gillwal
24th Aug 2023 12:23

Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful to learn of your experiences. As you say Staffology scores highly for their simplicity and automation, and hopefully you'll be proved right in your prediction that they'll be introducing further improvements in the future.

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By David Hartley
24th Aug 2023 13:01

Have you looked at Qtac? We find it very good. https://www.qtac.co.uk/

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