How KeyPay made payroll a profit centre for PennyBooks

26th Jul 2021
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"We could have gone down a different road with different payroll software, and I'm just so thankful that we didn't."

PennyBooks is a forward thinking accounting firm offering a broad range of services from bookkeeping, reporting and payroll, to VAT returns. Launched in April 2019, PennyBooks has grown its client base to 50 clients and is now a team of 5. PennyBooks works with a range of clients, from ecommerce businesses, to boutique fitness studios and property companies, and aims to grow to over 1000 clients in 5 years.

Brendon Dallas - Founder and Director of PennyBooks - and his business partner James previously worked as Finance Directors and didn’t have much involvement in payroll. It was therefore vital for them to find a reliable payroll system for PennyBooks that was intuitive and easy to use, and also cloud-based because their payroll work would eventually be done by a team overseas.

Intuitive payroll

“We had to get our head around payroll and make sure that we had a good solution for clients that we were onboarding. We tried a few different systems, but found them to be clunky and sometimes quite expensive. Some seemed to be about 20 years old. We found out about KeyPay on Xero app marketplace and saw it had a very high customer rating. When we looked into the software, it looked slick and modern, and it was intuitive to use. The support articles were so concise, well written, and easy to understand. Being an accountant with very limited payroll experience, those articles have been really helpful. Plus, when we're setting up our clients’ employee portals and it’s got our branding on it, it helps us to look much more established.”

“The onboarding was fantastic. Having everything we needed meant that we wouldn’t need to come back to KeyPay with issues down the line.”

“The fact that it's a modern day pricing structure is really beneficial. You don't have to buy a minimum set of licences or a minimum time period. You pay for what you need, and if your needs change, then your billing changes that month to reflect it. You’re not locked into anything like other softwares.”

Streamlining pensions with PensionSync

“The PensionSync integration in KeyPay is brilliant. The fact that we can pull down people's workplace pensions directly from the pension provider is just something we don't have to think about. Since we've onboarded a couple of clients, we've even found that their old accountants were doing it incorrectly. We can say that with real confidence, because we know that we're getting the pension details straight from the provider. The old systems we did try just didn’t even compare to what KeyPay offers.”

Integration with Xero 

“The integration with Xero is another brilliant feature that sets KeyPay apart. You set it up one time, and the journal is always posted accurately at the time that you submit the payroll. It’s seamless.”

Automated pay runs

“We are only just scratching the surface with what is possible with KeyPay. Everyone’s on a static salary so we have been using automated pay runs. It’s a great feature because we literally set up once, put the client’s data in, and it just runs in the background unless something has to be changed or altered. It’s helped streamline our monthly processes.”

Changing the perception of payroll

“Since we've gone live, we've not had a single complaint from any of our clients. It's just made life easy. I used to see payroll as an old school thing that nobody paid much attention to. But actually the software has helped with this. KeyPay has definitely changed my perception of payroll. I have a newfound respect for the people that used to process our salaries at my old company.

We're thinking we could start a payroll agency as well. We could take just payroll clients on if the opportunity arose. We see payroll as a profit centre. It's not just something that we have to do to keep clients satisfied; payroll is one of our main touch points with clients because it happens every month as opposed to their annual accounts and management reports or tax issues. We can engage with them monthly, tell them about our process and consistently show up and provide a good service. KeyPay makes that possible.”

A modern payroll system

“When I saw your co-founders were responding to some support queries, I could see this was a company that suits our persona. We're adapting and changing, and I know that from having seen that, KeyPay is too. The software is only going to get better because you've got people that really care managing it, rather than some software that was developed 15/20 years ago. I can imagine just the type of developer that you've got at KeyPay versus what's in these other companies.”

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