IRIS buys cloud payroll innovator Staffology
The ever-expanding IRIS Software Group has added a new payroll subsidiary to its portfolio with the acquisition of cloud payroll specialist Staffology for an undisclosed sum.
There’s an intriguging backstory to the Staffology acquisition as it is the second time cloud entrepreneur Duane Jackson has sold out to IRIS.
Jackson founded Staffology in 2018 after a stint at IRIS following its acquisition of his pioneering cloud accounting app Kashflow in 2013.
The big accounting platforms all have built-in payroll applications, but don’t cover the full sweep of functionality that payroll managers, bureaux and accountants need. After leaving IRIS, Jackson saw a gap in the market for a cloud payroll app that used application programming interfaces (APIs) to link payroll calculations to feeds from other programs.
Jackson told us at the time that he was designing Staffology for “those who want to do high-volume payroll via automated processes” – companies that look after multiple employers or freelancers that wanted to integrate payroll into existing apps such as HR and accounting.
Aside from the API side of things, he also saw an opportunity “for a user-friendly app with a good, intuitive, modern interface”.
Staffology now caters for those requirements with bureau features, functions to support umbrella companies and off-payroll admin under the revised IR35 regulations, auto enrolment pension management and automatic journal posting to accounting programs.
IRIS buys in cloud expertise
In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and the demands it placed on payroll departments, IRIS executive chairman Kevin Dady explained that Staffology was a natural fit for IRIS’s expanding cloud strategy: “Businesses are demanding critical operational software that’s suitable for remote working, that can be quickly updated when regulations change and take advantage of greater flexibility and agility as payroll demands fluctuate.”
The IRIS Elements transition to cloud-based data integration has taken the company several years to implement, so bringing Staffology and Jackson on board may help accelerate the process. Jackson will take on a senior technology director role across the group to inject a bit of cloud expertise, while Staffology is being positioned as the foundation for IRIS’s next generation payroll product line.
In the short term, however, Staffology is joining a crowded stable. IRIS payroll products range from a free IRIS Basics tool and Kashflow Payroll to IRIS Payroll Business, IRIS Payroll for Accountants and IRIS Earnie. The company also runs a full payroll outsourcing service.
As product evangelist Steve Cox explained at last month’s virtual IRIS World, the MyePayWindow portal gives payslip and employee self-serve access to all of these solutions.
In 2018 IRIS acquired Star Payroll, now known as IRIS Payroll Professional. This application has a foothold among larger accounting firms that run large numbers of company payrolls – the same territory in which Staffology operates. Once the dust settles from the latest acquisition, Jackson and his new colleagues will need to start working out how to rationalise all of these products into a coherent, cloud-enabled payroll product family.
In case you missed it: I went and got myself a real job https://t.co/Lhwo3T6Dbz
— DUΛПΞ JΛCΚSOП (@DuaneJackson) January 8, 2021
In a post announcing the acquisition, Jackson wrote of his motives for selling to IRIS: “I know what it takes to lead a business from concept to start-up to scale-up. While it’s an incredible journey to take, I’m very keen to remain focused purely on the product and technical side of things this time around.
“With its significant experience in the payroll software industry, IRIS will give a substantial boost to delivering the support and commercial support you need. Our commercial relationship with customers will not change. In fact, the ability to focus purely on the product side of things means you'll start seeing lots more features over the coming months and years.”
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