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A screenshot of BrightPay's cloud software
Bright Group

BrightPay unveils new cloud payroll product

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Payroll specialist BrightPay has announced that the much-anticipated cloud version of its desktop product will be available from 22 March.

6th Mar 2023
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In an email sent to customers on Friday, the Ireland-based vendor said it was responding to demand by launching the online version of its desktop product. Called BrightPay (but currently labelled as ‘cloud’ on its site), the online payroll tool will mirror the functionality of the existing on-premise product.

“It’s the same tabs, the same buttons in the same place,” BrightPay product manager Debbie Clarke told AccountingWEB. “Visually and aesthetically it’s more or less the same, just online. We didn’t need to produce a different product, so little to no training is required for existing users.”

“BrightPay is already an award-winning payroll software, so we knew we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel,” added Kevin McCallum, CEO of parent company Bright CEO. “I’m excited for our customers – both current and new – to get started with this forward-facing incarnation of BrightPay.”

New features available on the cloud product include the ability for different people to work on the same file at the same time (with the software highlighting which part of the product users are working on), automatic payroll data backups, and the means to run payroll from a single browser tab.

Over the coming months, the cloud version will also feature an employee self-service portal, offering access to payslips, and annual leave and calendar tools.

A screenshot of BrightPay's new cloud software
Bright Group

The vendor also plans to add the ability to set user roles permissions allowing access to certain levels (depending on company preference) and offer a public API and other integrations.

BrightPay’s desktop version currently allows users to run multiple pay frequencies side by side ie weekly, monthly etc. However, users are limited to a single period end date for any of the individual schedules. With the cloud version of BrightPay, this can now be catered for as users can run multiple period end dates for any pay frequency. For example, a monthly payroll with part-time staff paid up to the 25th of the month and full-time staff paid up to the last day of the month.

At the time of launch, some functions are still to be released on the cloud version – for example, batch processing for bureaus, importing from and exporting to CSV and direct payments (for a full list see the Bright website and scroll to the FAQ section). BrightPay told AccountingWEB that it hopes to match up the functionality of its cloud and desktop products by the end of 2023.

According to the vendor’s website, access to BrightPay’s cloud is currently restricted to 100 employees per employer until sufficient testing has been completed.

Pricing will shift from an annual licence purchase for the desktop product to a monthly subscription, paid in arrears per active employee for the cloud version. A full pricing list and monthly bill calculator can be found on the Bright website.

BrightPay’s desktop product for Windows users will continue to operate as normal and will be supported for the foreseeable future, but the vendor told AccountingWEB that after 2023/4 tax year desktop product support may be discontinued for Mac OS users.

BrightPay has produced a guide for how to move to their cloud product, and to explain more about the product and the differences between BrightPay for Windows or Mac, BrightPay is hosting a webinar on Tuesday 7 March. You can register for the webinar here.

7 March 2023: This article was amended to clarify the pay frequency functionalities on BrightPay's desktop and cloud products

Replies (14)

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By ABC12
06th Mar 2023 14:13

It's not ready for accountants/bureaus to use yet looking at the missing features list.
No bureau pricing on the website.
They're ignoring their biggest customers

Thanks (1)
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By ABC12
06th Mar 2023 17:21

BrightPay’s desktop version currently limits users to one payment schedule (for example, weekly or monthly).
That's incorrect, I have a BP payroll with fortnightly and monthly schedules side by side

Thanks (1)
Replying to ABC12:
Tom Herbert
By Tom Herbert
07th Mar 2023 11:35

Thanks ABC12 - I've been in touch with BrightPay and received clarification on this. The article has been amended accordingly.

All the best,

Tom

Thanks (1)
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By Winnie Wiggleroom
06th Mar 2023 20:15

Hmm, I will wait to see the details, at first glance I thought this was great as we currently have some staff on Windows and others on Mac sharing the data file on Dropbox which is a pain. However I just took a look at the pricing!!

We currently pay approx £600 a year for maybe 100 employers with anything between 1 and 80 employees - according to the pricing our 80 employee client alone will cost more than this. Oh and they are discontinuing support for Mac.

Thumbs down so far, sounds like a massive price hike by stealth

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Replying to Winnie Wiggleroom:
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By ABC12
06th Mar 2023 21:23

But of course, they are part of the HG Capital behemoth now!

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By ABC12
07th Mar 2023 11:55

Over a £400 increase for my payrolls if I want to use the cloud version, or 65% if you want to look at it that way and with reduced functionality.
And how many years before they stop releasing the desktop version (Mac version already stopping after 2023/24)
Thanks HG Capital!

Thanks (1)
Replying to ABC12:
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By Winnie Wiggleroom
07th Mar 2023 14:54

Yes, our costs would triple. Thanks for nothing

Thanks (1)
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
08th Mar 2023 10:58

Switch to the cloud gives them the opportunity to price per payslip which is no good to us as accountants, they just become like Booking.com earning a cut of your turnover the more success you have.

We will be sticking with the desktop product with data stored on the cloud so we have access like cloud but with full functionality of desktop, which for me is best of both worlds.

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Replying to Glennzy:
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By ABC12
08th Mar 2023 13:55

Until they discontinue the desktop version.....

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
08th Mar 2023 14:04

Its a real shame to see another good product get slowly murdered by the big boys.

The old "we don't care if half our users leave if we triple our price" mentality.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Hugo Fair
09th Mar 2023 00:04

And 'move it all to the Cloud' ... even though ALL the major advantages accrue to the developer (cheaper to maintain and to upgrade - and of course all those lovely recurring revenues from a subscription model)!

I still don't understand how their marketing depts have managed to con(vince) so many that it's a benefit for users when, as Glennzy says, you can have all your 'access on the move etc' without handing everything to the Cloud.

And FWIW Payroll is probably the *least* suitable application to be a Cloud App.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Winnie Wiggleroom
09th Mar 2023 10:29

Hugo Fair wrote:

I still don't understand how their marketing depts have managed to con(vince) so many that it's a benefit for users when, as Glennzy says, you can have all your 'access on the move etc' without handing everything to the Cloud.

Theres no doubt that moving to a proper cloud option would make life easier, storing data files in the cloud accessed by desktop versions creates its own complications and hassles especially where you have some on a mac and some on windows as they release the mac updates later than windows.

But I am happy to live with that rather than paying 3 times more to make life slightly easier!

Thanks (1)
Replying to Winnie Wiggleroom:
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By ABC12
09th Mar 2023 13:44

Well, one important part about that - at the minute I can open previous years' Brightpay versions and access old data. With purely cloud only access you can forget that.
This is why vendors LOVE SAAS, it ties you in to continually pay

Thanks (0)
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By JD
09th Mar 2023 13:29

Interesting, but please can you include a price with these articles. Like most unless the price is right, we are not interested in wasting our time considering features and benefits.

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