Why accounting firms should take a fresh look at payroll

14th Oct 2020
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People don’t like change, and quite often we don’t realise we can do things a better way, even if the evidence is staring us in the face. That’s why it’s important to challenge the norm and the ‘usual’ way of doing things, to ensure that you’re always getting the best result - whether that’s in the recipes you follow, the route you drive home, or the approach you take at work. The same goes for payroll.

Traditional payroll systems are inefficient and unable to keep up with growing client demands or ever-changing legislation. However, they are so commonly used that their pain points are accepted as the norm by accounting and payroll professionals. With 75% of payroll professionals in the UK reported to be using desktop-based or partly desktop software, there are efficiency issues across all aspects of the payroll journey that many won’t even recognise as issues until a solution becomes apparent.

Due to the time-consuming and tedious tasks associated with traditional payroll software, few accounting firms actively market payroll services. It’s a catch 22: outdated software reduces the profitability that payroll services can bring; but by undervaluing payroll as a service, research into new payroll technology will continue to remain the lowest priority.

Taking a fresh look at payroll

Accountants who refuse to innovate processes, and ignore the value of payroll, will continue experiencing payroll as a loss-leading service. But what once was a drain on resources, now has the opportunity to be a profitable business tool. Taking advantage of technology and automating the usually time-consuming compliance pieces can scale payroll with minimal effort, enabling it to become a profitable part of any accounting business. 

Fear of the unknown

Resistance to trying new technology such as automation often stems from the fear of the unknown and lack of confidence that tasks will be delivered to the same level of quality. Payroll is an incredibly vital function for every business, so to get client payroll wrong is a huge risk. What people don’t realise is that by choosing the right technology, and setting it up with the right data, automation is far more trustworthy than any human.

You don’t have to do what’s always been done

In this ever-evolving and competitive landscape, using a payroll software that “does the trick” is no longer enough to remain relevant and provide the value that clients require. Accountants need to invest the same effort into their payroll systems or processes as they do into the advisory side: by seeking technology to remove the manual frustration of payroll, compliance can do the work for itself and scale in the background, while more time can be spent providing value for clients and improving relationships.

Embracing change to improve profitability and client value

People don’t like change, but those who embrace it will continue to enhance client value and stay ahead of the curve.

With automation tools and more advanced payroll technology, change doesn’t have to be scary. By innovating processes for simpler payroll clients first, like limited company directors, valuable time can be freed up to invest back into client advisory, while easily profiting from compliance work in the background.

Download our white paper ‘How accountants can use technology to make payroll services profitable’ for more insights.

Automate your director payroll

Accountants can instantly reap the time-saving benefits of modern software without completely overhauling their processes or increasing software costs, by automating director payroll.

Director Pays is a cloud-based payroll system for accountants and payroll bureaux, powered by KeyPay. Designed specifically to remove the manual efforts involved with director payroll processing, Director Pays completely automates company director payrolls for the entire tax year. With a one-off set up, accounting firms can automate pay schedules, HMRC submissions including FPS and EPS, tax and National Insurance calculations, client reporting, and journal entries to accounting platforms. Configured warnings will pause an automation if something needs addressed prior to the pay run being finalised, ensuring accuracy and compliance.

With Director Pays, director payroll can be the easiest and most profitable part of any accounting or bookkeeping business. Firms can scale their director client base through automation, without increasing time or headcount. The hours of time saved each month on manual processes can be better spent on taking on more complex clients, driving value, and strategic work.

Try Director Pays free for 14 days