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Payroll software for accountants

We run the payroll for around 40 clients - 30 are 1-2 person payrolls, the others are 10-30 staff, 1 has CIS, 10 run AE (mainly NEST, 1 x L&G, 2 x Creative via Enrolex). We currently use Moneysoft, with licences on 5 machines with the data files all being run from the server. Each of us can log on at the same time, servicing different clients. 

Our larger payroll datasets keep getting corrupted (after speaking to Moneysoft its as we’re using a network), so I’m considering moving to an online software. 

Primo Pay, BrightPay & 12Pay seem to be the main options. We don’t need the e’er / e’ee portals - what are people’s recommendations?

 Thanks 

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By jcace
25th Nov 2017 01:19

I'm a firm BrightPay supporter - excellent integration with NEST, great at CIS, works over a network as you've described, very user friendly, intuitive Auto Enrolment features.

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to jcace
25th Nov 2017 01:35

Except that BrightPay is not cloud software. The only part of BrightPay that is cloud is the portal, which is what the OP says he doesn't want. I like BP but it is very possible that whatever network problems are plaguing MoneySoft will also cause issues with BrightPay, since it is not clear whether it is the network at issue or the software.

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25th Nov 2017 08:01

We run pretty much the same configuration with Moneysoft as described with more than double the number of clients. Several of our clients have more employees than mentioned so, presumably, our data files are also larger.

We have not had the issues described so I agree with Tim Vane in that the issue is likely to be the network.

Switching to cloud based software might solve the payroll problem but I would be concerned that a problem with the network might cause issues elsewhere.

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to jpcentral
25th Nov 2017 17:29

Same here. Data files for about 90 clients on a server with Moneysoft installed on 2 workstations (why on earth do you need 5 users for just 40 payrolls?). No problem handling 80 employees on a client.

It sounds as if your problem is your network.

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25th Nov 2017 08:47

I would say that it is very likely that the problems with data corruption rest somehow with the network rather than Moneysoft itself, in which case those problems might persist if Brightpay or 12Pay were adopted.

By all means switch if you like the features of an alternative package, but probably not to solve networking problems.

Thanks (3)
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25th Nov 2017 10:43

Moneysoft themselves have investigated and decided that the larger files couldn’t cope with being in a network. Currently we have to ‘TeamViewer’ onto the server to access those larger files, which isn’t ideal. Can anyone recommend a good 100% online software?

Failing that, are BrightPay/12Pay the sort where you have desktop software (interface) but they host the data online?

Thanks

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
25th Nov 2017 10:57

atleastisoundknowledgable... wrote:

Moneysoft themselves have investigated and decided that the larger files couldn’t cope with being in a network. Currently we have to ‘TeamViewer’ onto the server to access those larger files, which isn’t ideal. Can anyone recommend a good 100% online software?

Failing that, are BrightPay/12Pay the sort where you have desktop software (interface) but they host the data online?

Thanks

12Pay doesn't have a hosted data option because most sites would not have sufficiently responsive broadband to make online data a pleasant experience in conjunction with desktop software.

But it wouldn't have any difficulty across a Local Network with payroll files far larger than the ones you use. Even several hundred employees per scheme wouldn't be a problem.

I'm no longer connected with 12Pay but I speak from ample personal experience.

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27th Nov 2017 08:37

One thing to consider is whether the software keeps each employer's data in one cumulative file, or one file per tax year. The latter is the approach taken by Brightpay and it keeps the files smaller, but cross year reporting can be a pain if you ever need to do it (for instance if the FY is offset from the TY). But what can happen in either case where individual users share the same payroll data store (as we do with Dropbox) is that two users do something in the same employe at the same time which creates a conflicted copy of the file.

A while ago we looked at MyPAYE for cloud payroll but at the time it lacked some basic features like encrypted payslips and was a bit clunky to use, but it does have integrated HR.

When Xero added payroll we got mildly excited until we concluded that would need some bureau functionality in order to use it within the practice, plus not all of our payroll clients are on Xero and we didn't want to run multiple payroll platforms.

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By Alex_T
27th Nov 2017 13:25

We've been using BrightPay for some time now and find it great. We had shared access via a server originally but recently moved to Dropbox. Whilst it's not cloud-based software, there is the option to store your payroll data in cloud which has worked very well for us. I would be surprised if you experience the same problems networking BrightPay as you have with Moneysoft. I think there is a try before you buy option with BrightPay, why not give that a go. Best of luck!

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30th Nov 2017 10:14

I suspect as others have indicated that more than one user is trying to accessa moneysoft file at the sametime or more likely is forgetting to close moneysoft at the end of use. As indictated by another in the end you may find that having less people administering payroill is the way forward. Alternative you could take out another money soft licence and split your payrolls .

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to pauljohnston
30th Nov 2017 10:29

pauljohnston wrote:

I suspect as others have indicated that more than one user is trying to accessa moneysoft file at the sametime or more likely is forgetting to close moneysoft at the end of use. As indictated by another in the end you may find that having less people administering payroill is the way forward. Alternative you could take out another money soft licence and split your payrolls .

It is very easy (trivial) for the software to prevent a second user from opening a file until the first person has released it. So it would be astounding if Moneysoft hasn't done that, and if they hadn't I would expect a very high level of complaints on LAN sites with shared folders. What we have is one site complaining of this problem and everyone else saying that shared folders with Moneysoft data are OK.

My money is on some kind of LAN failure on the OP's site, or some piece of third party software (eg auto-backup software) interfering with normal processing in a way that occasionally results in file corruption when multiple users are accessing the same folder.

Personally I wouldn't place a lot of credence in one person on the support line "admitting" that this is a Moneysoft problem that won't go away. This could easily either be miscommunication or part of the traditional support process of buck-passing to make the problem go away. To some support operators a closed call is a closed call... Problems like this can be difficult to diagnose, particularly if they rest with some kind of obscure on-site failure.

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to TomMcClelland
30th Nov 2017 13:16

MoneySoft does have file locking preventing multiple access. We have one member of staff handling CIS and others doing PAYE and occasionally they attempt to access the same payroll at the same time. The software won't let the second user cannot access the payroll until the first has exited.

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30th Nov 2017 10:34

I wonder . . . . . does PrimoPayroll have an integrated C.I.S. function? And is it all fully in the cloud?
Chris.

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30th Nov 2017 10:58

I use Brightpay and am very pleased with it. I changed from 12Pay about 18 months ago and prefer Brightpay. I don't have any experience or knowledge of Primo Pay.

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30th Nov 2017 11:29

We use Brightpay and have it on a hosted desktop. The files get saved onto a shared network. We can all log in at the same time to different clients- you just can't work on the same client at once. No issues with functionality and have 30 + payrolls. Definitely recommend this software- been using for 3 years and it is very good.

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30th Nov 2017 13:19

We use MoneySoft and have abvout 700 payrolls of which the larges has about 200 employees. All data is stored on a Windows Server 2012R2. We have 3 full time staff and a couple of part timers accessing it using W7 or W10. There are 2 network problems:
1. The list of employers is slow to populate. It used to be even slower and it used to get corrupt but that hasn't happened for a year or so.
2. We never had a problem with data files getting corrupted until the Windows 10 Creators Edition. That caused numerous problems with MoneySoft and other programs. Our IT people have done something to our W10 PCs which has cured the problem.

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to kevinringer
30th Nov 2017 13:25

Useful information.

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to kevinringer
30th Nov 2017 13:27

Hi kevin,

Do you have any idea what your IT people did? Or what they were saying the issue was?

Much appreciated...!

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
30th Nov 2017 16:47

Our IT guys have emailed to say that the I disabled SMB3 on the Windows 10 PCs by launching PowerShell and running the following two commands on each PC:

sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/nsi
sc.exe config mrxsmb20 start= disabled

Then reboot

Hope this is helpful.

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By chatman
30th Nov 2017 17:43

Alex_T wrote:
I would be surprised if you experience the same problems networking BrightPay as you have with Moneysoft.

Very hard to say whether the OP would or not, given that we don't know why the problem is occurring with the Moneysoft files.

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By Alex_T
to chatman
04th Dec 2017 10:00

Hence why I suggested giving BrightPay's free trial a go.

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