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Is Moving to the Cloud the Best Way to Manage Compliance During COVID-19?

24th Nov 2020
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The issue of compliance and the effort and time it takes to ensure your payroll is adhering to multiple complex legislation is one that raises its head repeatedly. Anyone involved in managing a payroll will acknowledge that compliance is one of their biggest challenges. COVID-19 has made this task even more difficult. There are issues around job losses, furloughed workers, government subsidies, and that’s on top of employees also moving to the home office and having to deal with all these changing situations remotely. 

The big question was, how do we maintain strict control over payroll data and processes while away from the office? While many payroll professionals had already begun the move to the cloud, the pandemic has accelerated this shift as it offers multiple benefits and can solve many of the concerns around compliance. 

Access for all 

Obviously, when personnel moved home, the work of payroll still needed to continue. Whether it’s a payroll bureau or an individual, being able to continue their work and complete a payroll run is paramount.

BrightPay Connect provides a secure, automated and user-friendly way to backup and restore your payroll data to and from the cloud. This cloud backup means that payroll can be restored and processed remotely, anywhere, anytime. BrightPay licences can be activated on up to 10 different PCs, which means payroll can be processed by 10 different users, or from 10 different locations.

By storing payroll information in the cloud, other functions within an organisation can also have access to view important payroll and HR data. Whether that’s departmental heads, line managers, or your accountant, again, location is no longer relevant, so if working remotely extends beyond the pandemic, there will be no access issues.

If you are a payroll bureau, you can grant access to the client payroll dashboard for as many users as required for each of your payroll customers. Or you can also share administrative access with your colleagues to access some or all clients. 

Employee self-service 

Much of HR and payroll work revolves around answering questions about pay, taxes, or benefits from employees. Plus, there is the issue of updating personal information to ensure the correct taxes are deducted. With workforces now dispersed, it is important that employees have a way to access their data. BrightPay Connect, our cloud add-on, enables employees to:  

  • Browse and download their history of payslips and other payroll documents. 
  • View their leave calendar, including annual leave, sick leave, and parenting leave. 
  • Request annual leave directly from their smartphone or tablet. Approved requests will flow directly back down to BrightPay on your PC or Mac. 
  • Access documents and resources that have been shared with them, for example a contract of employment, or furlough arrangement letter. 
  • View their personal details that you have on file, and request to make updates. Approved requests will flow directly back down to BrightPay on your PC or Mac. 
  • Receive notifications when new payslips are available, when a document has been shared with them and when a leave request has been approved. 

Employees can access the employee self-service from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

It is not only employees who benefit from this function. Managers can now also gain better insight into workloads, attendance, and time-off requests and use this for better workforce planning.  

Automatically back-up your data 

Privacy rules such as the GDPR put employers under immense pressure to safeguard their employee’s data.  Our software can help ensure that you never lose your payroll data again. When you link an employer to BrightPay Connect, it will be automatically synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes. BrightPay Connect maintains a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time. You can restore a backup onto your existing PC or Mac (for example, to roll back your employer data file to a previous version), or simply download a backup onto a new computer (for example, to get up and running on a new PC right where you left off). 

Expanded capabilities for bureaus 

If you operate multiple payrolls for different employers, one of your objectives is always to find ways to streamline the payroll process and improve accuracy. With BrightPay Connect, as well as being able to give your clients’ employees access to their own self-service portal, but you can also give your clients access to their employer dashboard, allowing them to: 

  • Run their own payroll reports, without the need for you to manually send it to your clients each pay period.  
  • Submit employee hours and pay information, or details of new starters. This information will seamlessly flow back to the payroll software, eliminating the need for manual data entry on the bureau’s side.
  • Approve the payroll run or reject it if there are changes that need to be made, putting the onus on the client for accuracy of data.
  • Access the data for each of their employees, including the ability to manage employee leave on the company-wide calendar and make updates to employee information, which all flows back to BrightPay on your PC or Mac.
  • View the schedule of HMRC payments, outstanding amounts, and access the P30 for each tax period. 

Improve security 

As we mentioned earlier, GDPR and other legislation have put the onus of data security squarely on an employer’s shoulders. Advances in cloud technology and choosing a provider that takes security seriously and implements measures to safeguard your data relives some of this burden. For example, all communication between BrightPay on your computer and the BrightPay Connect servers is carried out on a secure channel with maximum security. As you or your employees browse the online dashboards, we use various methods to protect against things like data injection, authentication hacking, cross-site scripting, exposure flaws, request forgery, and the many other types of vulnerabilities.

Book a free online demo today to discover more ways that BrightPay and BrightPay Connect can help you with compliance during COVID-19, including BrightPay’s furlough pay calculator and CJRS claim report.