13 Reasons Why You Should Welcome Online Client Portals

31st Jul 2020
Brought to you by
brightpay
Share this content

One of the main challenges many accountants face is that they are so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running and maintaining a business that they simply do not have the time to consider creative ways to stand out from their competitors. Standing out in a crowd of other accountancy firms is no easy task. The solution is to find unique ways to differentiate your payroll service. 

Cloud innovation and online payroll portals make it easier than ever before for bureaus to expand their service offering. Payroll servicing is evolving with a move towards cloud access and flexibility for your clients while reducing the amount of time you spend on repetitive payroll tasks.

There are a number of factors that are very important to businesses who are looking to outsource their payroll, such as security, compliance, reliability and cost-effectiveness. But, there’s one other thing that is very important in terms of differentiating your services - you shouldn't just meet your client’s expectations, but you should exceed them. Surprise them with other benefits that they didn’t realise that they were looking for. 

1. Move with the times - Clients are no longer interested in printed or paper forms, or hard copy material. Instead, they are increasingly looking for digital options to instantly access information on their mobile device. With BrightPay Connect, clients have instant access to their own employer dashboard from any device. Here clients can run payroll reports, access employee payslips and view amounts due to HMRC. For bureaus, this eliminates the need for you to manually send payslips and payroll reports to clients each pay period. 

2. Environmentally friendly - With online payroll portals, payslips are automatically available to both employees and clients through their self-service portal. In a world that’s becoming more and more eco-conscious and eco-aware, by replacing paper documents with online portals, you are also reducing your impact on the environment. 

3. Online annual leave tool - Managing annual leave could be considered a full-time job in itself with the amount of paperwork and administration required. With BrightPay Connect, clients have access to an online annual leave facility, where employees can request annual leave electronically, and once approved by the client, leave will automatically be added to the employee and employer calendars, and it will also synchronise back to the payroll software on your PC, streamlining the entire annual leave process.

4. Simplify annual leave requests - In recent years, employees are using holiday time in a different way compared to previous generations. Shorter, more frequent bursts of annual leave tend to be requested last minute rather than planned in advance. This alone creates new challenges for payroll and HR managers. It is important for employers and to be able to quickly review and approve leave requests. With BrightPay Connect, the employer calendar has instant notifications and visibility of all employees' leave, and so leave requests can be processed by the client at the click of a button.

5. Reduce sick days - Some businesses have noticed a reduction in sick days since implementing employee self-service systems. With BrightPay Connect, there’s a real-time annual leave calendar. As sick days are much more visible on-screen to both employees and their managers, this likely acts as an incentive to keep sick days to a minimum. For bureaus, a reduced number of sick days means less last-minute changes to the payroll. 

6. Eliminate employee requests - An online client portal means that you can eliminate employee requests for past or lost payslips and for leave balance enquiries. The employee can access their information directly by logging onto their portal, where they can view a payslip library, download historic payslips, and they can also view their leave entitlement for the year, and their balance remaining. For you and the client, it eliminates those time-consuming, day-to-day HR tasks - the interruptions that distract you from getting your work done. 

7. One central online location - Another benefit of Connect is that it enables the client to store everything in one central location. The client can upload documents, such as employment contracts, staff handbooks, privacy policies, etc., but they can also upload documents that are not visible to employees, for example, a performance review, where the document is only visible to the employer, yet still attached to the employee’s record. Ultimately, there’s a central location for everything pertaining to each individual employee, and similar to the online annual leave management tool, this is a nice value-added feature, that you can pass on to your clients.

8. Keep staff up-to-date - As well as adding documents, an employee self-service system can allow clients to notify employees of policy changes or company-wide announcements. Employees can simply log in to their self-service employee app, wherever they are, to stay abreast of any company-wide changes that may affect them. The employer can then track whether or not an employee has viewed the notice, resource or document. 

9. Attract and retain new staff - Becoming an employer of choice has never been more important, especially as we are at nearly full employment. The challenge for employers is to attract and retain the best candidates. Offering smartphone access to their annual leave calendar, their payslips, their HR documents, their personal details, is the smartest, most cost-effective way to show your employees you are in the same digital space that they are. The option to view and manage their data online provides a source of independence, power and control.

10. Ensure Data Accuracy - Giving employees the ability to edit and update their own personal contact information can also help with reducing errors and ensuring data accuracy. Mistakes can be avoided as changes made by the employee automatically sync back to both the payroll software and the client portal, as opposed to manually updating the information. 

11. Client Responsibility - For bureaus, mistakes can easily happen with the manual data entry needed when processing payroll. By requesting the client to enter the employee payments and approve the payroll run, bureaus can take less responsibility for errors and mistakes that occur, with the ultimate responsibility on the client for accuracy of data, thereby protecting you as a bureau.

12. Reduce administration - With BrightPay Connect, clients have the ability to add a new employee to the bureau’s payroll software. Within the client dashboard, the client can add all basic details required for processing the payroll, such as the new employee’s National Insurance number, date of birth, tax code etc. Once accepted by the bureau, the new employee is automatically added to the payroll software, eliminating the need for the bureau to gather this information from the client and manually set up the employee in the payroll software. 

13. Delegate tasks - Requesting the payroll information from the client is just one example of how Connect enables you to delegate administrative tasks to clients. Empower your clients to do all the manual work - not just enter the payroll and add new employees, but also to run their own payroll reports and view amounts due to HMRC. Clients also have the option to delegate tasks. Clients can add HR or department managers where users can be set up to approve holidays for specific employees, and restrict access from the payroll information. 

Book a demo today to discover how BrightPay Connect can help you save time, improve efficiency and increase profits. 

BP