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4 payroll red flags you need to know about (before it's too late)

14th Oct 2022
Brought to you by
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The payroll solution that provides all you need for Auto Enrolment.

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The last thing any practice wants to see is their client list take a hit. It can be especially frustrating when clients leave, and you’re not entirely sure what has led them to that decision. However, unbeknownst to you, clients may have legitimate reasons for dropping your services. Let’s have a look at common red flags clients spot in their payroll services, and our tip tips for client retention.

payroll red flags

1. Sending employees paper-based payslips 

If you’re still sending paper payslips to clients, it can be a telling sign that the payroll system your practice is using is outdated. Not only this, paper-based payslips can raise security issues as the wrong payslip can easily fall into the hands of the wrong person. It can also be inconvenient for clients when employees are on leave or working from home, and they may end up having to send some employees their payslips by post.  

Paper payslips are inconvenient for the payroll processor too, from the cost of postage and paper and ink supplies to the amount of time that’s wasted unnecessarily each pay period preparing payslips. These factors may cause clients to look further afield, as there are much more efficient and automated methods of sharing payslips out there. 

Even distributing payslips via email can nowadays be seen as a more traditional distribution method. For the payroll processor, it’s time consuming, prone to error and can pose security issues if the payslip is sent to the wrong email address. Not to mention the tens of queries that you receive each month from employees who have forgotten their passwords.  

So, what safer, more convenient and more efficient methods are other practices using these days? Employee apps have taken the payroll world by storm, and with good reason. Using an employee app that links to your payroll software can allow payslips to be sent straight to the app, from within your payroll software. This removes the need for you, or your clients, to manually send emails or envelopes to each employee. It also means that employees can access a chronological history of their payslips from their phones, whenever they like. Clients no longer have to scramble their office or computer files looking for old or lost employee payslips or contact you requesting copies of past payslips – they’re all accessible from the app, at a moment’s notice. 

 

2. Delayed payments and payslip errors 

Using more traditional methods to pay employees, such as the Bacs payment scheme, can mean it will generally take up to three working days for earnings to land in employees’ bank accounts. If your client is late sharing payroll information with you or if you don’t get your bank files uploaded in time, it can lead to delays in your clients’ employees getting paid, especially if this happens just before the weekend.  

With the growth of Faster Payments over the past few years, using a less efficient and more time-consuming payment method can be a potential red flag for clients. 

For example, what if your local competitor started using a payment platform through their payroll software that utilises Faster Payments and could let them pay clients’ employees in just 90 seconds? This means that should there be any last-minute changes to employee wages, clients can send them over and have them adjusted in just minutes. It also means that employees will never be paid late again, as payments can be processed 24/7, 365, even on weekends and bank holidays. Using an integrated payment platform is a much more efficient and reliable payment system and could be considered a crucial component of your service offering to clients. 

 

3. Lack of online cloud based tools for their employees 

If your practice isn’t using cloud-based tools, your system could be in dire need of an upgrade. From making changes on-the-go to multi-user access, the cloud has changed the way accountants process payroll forever. As well as the benefits for the payroll processor, using cloud technology in your payroll process can have many benefits for your clients too, in the form of an online client platform which can offer clients access to a number of payroll tools. Cloud technology is no longer seen as luxury, it’s what clients now expect as part of the range of services accountants provide to them. 

Incorporating a cloud-based addition to your payroll service, can offer your clients a whole host of benefits. From an annual leave management system, instant access to payroll information at any time and the ability to run their own payroll reports – cloud capabilities can offer both you and your clients a much smoother and seamless payroll workflow, helping you retain your current clients and gain new ones. 

 

4. Tedious back and forth emails

The last thing clients want on a Friday evening is an email from their accountant looking for payroll details. While you might have their best intentions, this tedious communication can sometimes be seen as annoying, as clients can often be busy and forget to send certain bits of information. You may need to send several emails back and forth to these clients, which can eat up a lot of time for both parties. Whether you want them to add new staff members to their payroll or add any additions or deductions for that pay period, these emails can be often brushed to the side and ignored by clients. Afterall, they’re paying you to make their life easier, not more complicated! 

If your client’s payroll doesn’t usually change much from month to month or week to week, sending clients a summary of their payroll towards the end of each pay period for them to approve, before the payslips are finalised, can really ease this tedious back-and-forth communication. If they have any notes or comments to make about the payroll, they can let you know and send it back to you, at the click of a button. Likewise, if their payroll does usually vary each pay period and you want them to add any new starters or additions and deductions, you can also request this through a secure online portal that can be accessed from any browser, on any device. This seamless communication can increase client satisfaction and improve your client retention. 

 

Our top tool to eliminate red flags from your practice 

BrightPay offers many tools to help eliminate these red flags from your practice. Our integration with Modulr, can allow you to pay employees, HMRC and subcontractors in just 90 seconds, through your payroll software. All of the features mentioned above, from payroll summaries to an employee app, are all available through our cloud extension, BrightPay Connect. Interested in learning more about BrightPay Connect? Sign up for a free online 15-minute demo today. Make sure to stay up-to-date on all the latest payroll news, trends and legislative updates by signing up to our weekly newsletter

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