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Xero readies UK payroll module

10th Feb 2015
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Oliver Furniss, general manager of product development for global payroll confirmed at Xerocon that Xero is working on a payroll application for the UK market, following similar moves during the past six months in the USA.

Furniss told delegates that the payroll market has been marked by a lack of innovation in recent years and vowed: “We want to do to the payroll industry what we did to accountancy.”

The initial launch will be a fairly basic payroll application, focusing on the needs of companies with fewer than 10 employees. The Xero payroll module will appear as an extra tab within the accounting application and payroll information will automatically update accounts in Xero, with no duplication of data-entry. The cost will be included within a user's Xero subscription.

The payroll module will be capable of filing RTI returns and can accommodate the basic information types required for auto enrolment, but more sophisticated AE communication and reporting features are more likely to be supported by specialist add-on developers via program links, Furniss told AccountingWEB.

“We’ll have the functionality available for people to manage auto enrolment when we roll the product out, and will do enough for small businesses’ typical needs,” he said.

Watch the short video below to hear Furniss' further thoughts: 

To date, the focus of development has been on employee collaboration and mobile use, so employees and payroll staff can make queries and schedule time off from their mobile devices.  “We want to put payroll in your hands - and make it as simple as a few clicks,” Furniss said.

Xero’s global approach to payroll has absorbed a lot of the company’s time and effort in the past year - and there will be more work to do as it attempts to enhance its functionality and extend it to additional markets - such as the 50 US states (for which Xero Payroll is only available in seven).

To manage this on-going workload Xero has built a “payroll engine” for each of its territories, which will be programmed separately. 

The announcement drew some flack from a rival developer who hit back at Furniss' suggestion that nothing innovative has been done in the payroll market. 

Managing director of Sage UK Lee Perkins said: “Payroll professionals have just been through an unprecedented time of change with the twin pressures of RTI and Auto Enrolment. Anyone who suggests the payroll market has been marked by a lack of innovation simply doesn’t get the pace or scale of what the industry has achieved in transforming payroll.”

Meanwhile back at Xerocon, attendees also heard about the New Zealand-based cloud accounting developer's plans to introduce a business performance dashboard.

In addition, high street bank Metro Bank has become the fifth live bank feed that Xero can handle, alongside RBS, HSBC, Natwest and Silicon Valley Bank.

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
10th Feb 2015 11:31

A Xero con

Quote:

Furniss told delegates at the Xerocon event in London today that the payroll market has been marked by a lack of innovation in recent years

What about the innovation of handling RTI?

Quote:

... and vowed, “ We want to do to the payroll industry what we did to accountancy.”

You may have done something for book-keeping, but you have done nothing for accountancy.

Quote:

The initial launch will be a fairly basic payroll application, focusing on the needs of companies with fewer than 10 employees.

Oh!  You mean that it will be targeted at users of HMRC's Basic PAYE Tools.  Not much for the real payroll software providers to worry about, then.

Quote:

The payroll module will be capable of filing RTI returns ...

It would be useless if it couldn't.

Quote:

... and can accommodate the basic information types required for auto enrolment, but more sophisticated AE communication and reporting features are more likely to be supported by specialist add-on developers via program links, Furniss told AccountingWEB.

So, nothing earth-shatteringly innovating about that.

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By Cantona1
11th Feb 2015 11:51

Payroll

The e-mail I have received from Xero regarding the launch of Xero payroll is different to this article. I wonder which one is right?

I do not know how to attach a link to the site

 

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
12th Feb 2015 09:28

@Cantona1 - what you read here is NOT official Xero announcement

Just to fill you in on why the material here differs from what you see from Xero, AccountingWEB is an independent community serving the profession. We will write our own interpretation of events based on the material companies and firms give us, along with our own investigations, insights and conversations.

The source material for our article is drawn from things Oliver Furniss and other Xero executives told us at Xerocon this week, backed with my own observations and further comments from Sage UK (a rival to Xero) and AccountingWEB member Euan MacLennan.

Our objective is to offer supplementary information from these sources to provide a fully rounded view rather than the "official line" that you can always find from the original source - Xero in this case.

PS - Feel free to come back anytime with further queries about payroll software, practice management or any other accounting issue that concerns you. Out of our 100,000+ members, someone should be able to help you. If you want to add a link, you can either just paste it straight into the comment box as you type, or select a key phrase to hyperlink, then press the globe/chain icon on the little menu bar at the top of the text-entry box, and past it into the URL box that pops up. That will produce a link like the "Xero" one in the previous paragraph.

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By Cantona1
12th Feb 2015 10:05

Officialdom

John,

The e-mail I have received came from Xero team. I do not know which one is official and unofficial.

 

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Jon Jenkins - accountant, app adviser
By jenks81
02nd Mar 2015 05:40

.

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By DMGbus
20th Feb 2015 13:18

Automatic enrolment (AE)

So far as I can see automatic enrolment ("AE") gets no mention in Xero's promo pages for their new payroll product.

Maybe that aspect of the payroll is yet to come or a "work in progress"?

No payroll product should be considered without receiving assurances about AE functionalty / capabilities and (preferably) compatability with pension providors.

 

 

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
Jon Jenkins - accountant, app adviser
By jenks81
20th Feb 2015 14:07

AE

There was mention of it at Xerocon and some data fields in the screen shots that referred to AE but I am not entirely sure what the offering is as I did not attend the breakout session on payroll.  I was told a few months back that Xero would be directly integrating with some major pension schemes.

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By axw001
01st Mar 2015 23:20

Zero Innovation

It is all very well describing yourself as innovative and beautiful over and over again hoping enough people will believe you, but there comes a point when facts will get in the way of fantasy:

from:

https://www.business-cloud.com/articles/news/xero-announces-integrated-c...

"The new solution is described in the press release as "the first seamless, all-in-one accounting and payroll solution,..."

They are not the first online accounting software provider to offer a seamless accounting and payroll solution. They are probably the first in the UK to upset their 3rd party payroll plugin providers who have put business their way only to marginalised when things start to get interesting.

We at Liberty Accounts have been offering Payroll as an integrated part of our online accounting product since 2005, so I guess we were innovative in this area about 10 years before them.

We also were the first of any software provider to offer online VAT filing in 2006, which xero forced it users to do manually until 2013, so we only out-innovated them by 7 years there..

Will they be innovative enough to add one-click P11D preparation from accounting records and filing to their product? We have had that since 2008.

I guess we should be flattered that we get business analysts from xero registering for our free trial.

 

 

 

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