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Staffology will bring cloud payroll expertise to IRIS Software Group
Staffology

IRIS buys cloud payroll innovator Staffology

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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.

12th Jan 2021
Editor at large AccountingWEB
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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 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.”

Replies (13)

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By carnmores
12th Jan 2021 18:29

Bureau?

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Replying to carnmores:
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By david_dbu
14th Jan 2021 10:28

Do you mean the spelling?
Bureau is a word of french origin, so the plural of bureau isn't bureaus, but bureaux.

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Replying to david_dbu:
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By carnmores
14th Jan 2021 10:46

take your pick

The usual plural in British English is bureaux. The usual plural in American English is bureaus

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
14th Jan 2021 10:06

BREAKING news - just a day or two after we published this piece, Senta users started reporting getting emails telling them IRIS has just acquired their cloud practice management software too. Here's the thread: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/say-goodbye-to-senta

We'll follow up shortly for the news pages.

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By AndrewV12
14th Jan 2021 10:24

Potential Bad news for cloud payroll innovator Staffology users, if they pay for it, there is a possibility they will be paying double or even more for the service in around 3 years time, but maybe the fees will remain the same, who knows in the current climate.

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Replying to AndrewV12:
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By carnmores
14th Jan 2021 10:48

I am sure that Duane has maximised his profit which is fine and he has had dealings with them before via Kashflow so hopefully IRIS will get it right this time or will they continue to be vultures

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Replying to carnmores:
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By AndrewV12
14th Jan 2021 12:31

well with all of your knowledge of IRIS............hazard a guess

(probably best if you don't reply, you never know who might be reading this article.)

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By KenKLM
14th Jan 2021 11:33

IRIS do not offer their tax / statutory packages as cloud products which is very disappointing and it seems the only way they "innovate" is buy up those that are providing clients what they need then collect the fees as their return and stifle the competition . Does not give a great deal of confidence that their own R&D people are up to much which could mean poor service at increased fees moving forward . I remember them taking over a payroll company many years ago and accountants had to change sharpish as the software became so cumbersome and slow. Fingers crossed for the current users . I only hope my payroll software provider is planning to offer their product on the cloud soon as it is clearly the way to go .

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Replying to KenKLM:
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By carnmores
14th Jan 2021 11:55

The Freeway disaster, I will always remember, they buggered up our computers and charged us for the privelige

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Replying to KenKLM:
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By alansmoore
14th Jan 2021 15:04

Iris did offer a cloud based version of their tax software a number of years ago but was taken off the market after the number of compaints about it :)

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By carnmores
14th Jan 2021 16:13

Was that PTP?

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By Cantona1
14th Jan 2021 15:03

I have been trying a few cloud payroll software and Staffology is one of them. It is the best in the market but lacks many features of Money Soft. Thus I am going to stick with MS despite it is still desktop based.

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By indomitable
14th Jan 2021 15:45

Got an email today from CEO of Senta saying they have been bought by IRIS.

Sad day, again this is VERY bad news for the accounting profession and innovation. IRIS just buy any decent small innovative software suppliers. Happened to Taxfiler now Senta.

Can't blame the founders but it is a sad day

IRIS need their wings severely clipped in my view

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