Payroll service providers
Payroll service providers offer a range of services to match the requirements of small businesses. Find out more today and compare suppliers
If you own and operate your own small business you, will be fully aware of how rewarding the process can be – and also how exhausting.
The leap from employee to employer can be surprisingly intense when the minutiae of staff management and welfare are factored into consideration, and payroll duties can be among the most labour intensive duties of all.
It’s not just about getting people paid on time – that, in theory, is the simplest part of the process.
Many business owners struggle to find the time to remain on top of their administrative processes, the regular changes in tax law and regulations bestowed by HMRC, the many and varied deductions and calculations that need to take place in an employee’s gross salary each week or month, and all the printing and paperwork associated with hard copies of payslips and other documentation such as annual P60s.
A payroll service provider will be able to assist you with all these tasks, doing so much more efficiently and accurately than an in-house excel spreadsheet could ever hope to be.
This article will guide you through the many and varied services offered by such providers – along with insights into the differences between them – to ensure that you find the best match for your business needs.
What do payroll providers offer?
In short, payroll providers offer you two precious things that money may not otherwise be able to buy: time and peace of mind.
If you use a payroll service provider and the appropriate professional software, you will be granted the serenity of allowing professionals to handle the details of your staff-related expenses, leaving you to focus on more pressing matters pertaining to your business.
Should you decide to take on a fully managed payroll service you’ll have as little to do with the process as possible, paying a fee to an outsourced contractor to think about such matters so that you don’t have to.
A popular – and less costly – choice for business owners is to adopt a part-managed payroll service. This would entail maintaining an accountant or payroll executive on staff (unless you have the skill and inclination to manage this process yourself), and the purchase of a payroll software license of your choice.
If this is the path that you choose, data entry and management of the company payroll will be kept in-house, but your business will have dedicated external support from the software provider for complex queries.
Your company will also enjoy the full support of qualified professionals when it comes to filing your year-end payroll accounts – be that online or off–, and assistance with administrative tasks such as the of issuing BACS payment runs and design templates for hard copy payslips if this is a service you’d like to provide to your staff.
All of this, of course, raises the question as to just which payroll software and service caters to the needs of your business best. Let’s take a look at what sets each provider apart from the competition.
Payroll service providers comparison
There are a number of payroll providers with varying services. In the sections below we have provided information about some of the most reputable suppliers in the market. Find out more about them today and choose the option most suitable to your needs.
The list below includes the top UK payroll providers – continue on down the page for more information about each.
Sage Payroll Solutions
Sage is one of the most reputable payroll packages in the UK, with up to half the businesses in the nation using this software to keep on track of their salary payments and liaise with HMRC.
If you own and operate a small business, you are particularly advised to investigate Sage One. This online-only package is available for a very low monthly subscription cost, and offers auto-enrolment as it manages all payroll requirements for up to fifty employees with no binding contract. Should you decide that this product is not for you, or you need to upgrade to a more elaborate package, you can do so with no penalty fees.
The next step up is the hugely popular Sage 50, which – in addition to managing your payroll needs by staying current with HMRC regulations and calculating deductions and additions as required – can provide HR services such as holiday and sickness tracking of your employees.
Sage 50 generates payslips online, which ensures that staff members will have 24/7 access to such essential information at their fingertips, and with built-in help and advice resources (as well as a full-time customer support line) even a novice payroll executive will be able to install and work with the product with minimal fuss.
SAP Payroll Solutions
Arguably the most popular and prominent payroll software used, especially by large and multinational businesses, SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) is a one-stop shop for all payroll and HR needs.
Capable of running a regular payroll in multiple currencies, and enabling a user to make one-time adjustments to a regulated weekly or monthly BACS schedule (ideal if your salary structure is based on regular and variable additions to a gross figure, such as overtime or bonuses), a license to bring SAP into your business can be tailored to a price point and level of service that you find appropriate.
Perhaps best of all, SAP enjoys a reputation as arguably the most reliable payroll software on the market, boasting an extremely small margin for error and a thoroughly user-friendly interface.
HMRC-approved and regularly maintained, SAP can be hugely useful to a small business thanks to its ability to marry up payroll and HR requirements into one package. The software is typically managed through the cloud, meaning that updates will regular and ensures that any changes to an employee’s tax status or benefit entitlement will be swiftly and efficiently factored into a salary.
SAP tends to be more complex than some rival providers thanks to the sheer amount of services it can offer, but with regular training any business will enjoy the benefits associated with the program.
Moneysoft Payroll Solutions
Moneysoft is steadily building quite a reputation in the realm of payroll services thanks to an excellent, user-friendly interface on their Payroll Manager software, and a reliable and knowledgeable customer service team that are always happy to assist where required.
Moneysoft’s Payroll Manager is particularly effective for a small business that prefers to keep their payroll services in-house. Business will pay a small annual fee for the software as opposed to monthly subscription costs, with the price point of the package coming in three different tiers that depend on how many staff you employ – 20, 100 or 250.
Payroll Manager is HMRC-recognised and the software automatically updates roughly every other month, so changes in employee tax bands will always be taking into consideration among the automatic deductions attributed to a gross salary.
Payroll Manager is extremely easy to use, and while it does not boast quite as many advanced services as a more internationally-established competitor such as SAP, it’s the perfect starting point for a small business owner embarking on their first attempt to managing their payroll within the confines of their own organisation.
Just be aware that this software is only compatible with Windows computers; if you operate from Apple hardware, you will have to look elsewhere for your payroll needs.
Moorepay Payroll Solutions
Also boasting a great deal of HR-centric programs, Moorepay have been operating their payroll-centric software Payview for several decades.
Claiming an accuracy of 99.8%, Payview is a cloud-based software that offers all the bells and whistles that you would expect from such a service, including automatic integration with HMRC policies and any changes to an individual’s circumstances.
Moorepay operate a sliding scale of expenses depending on how many of their services you wish to incorporate (HR facilities such as sickness or holiday logs will obviously cost a little more), starting at a very reasonable monthly rate, and employing over 500 employees mean that Moorepay are clearly big hitters in this environment.
It would, however, be remiss to fail to mention some of the peer-to-peer feedback that Payview have received online – it does not make for pretty reading. Obviously online reviews can be an emotional reaction to the trying time of one individual and do not represent the global experience, but if you are a small business with little margin for error and limited practical familiarity with matters such as payroll management, it may be advisable to tread with a little more caution where this provider is concerned.
Every payroll provider offers a different service, and while any of them are suitable for a small business, some are more tailored to the needs of a company of this type than others. Base your decision on factors beyond pure economics – such as any additional support that you may need, the possibility of expansion within your workforce that will dictate a change in package and the flexibility of salary payments that you may require – and make an investment appropriately.
Compare payroll service provides
The information on this page should help you to understand what payroll option might be best for your small business. However, it is also important to get information that is tailored directly to your business or situation. We can help with this.
To compare tailored quotes from the top UK payroll providers, you simply need to complete the form at the top of this page. Comparing quotes this way is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business both time and money.