BrightPay payroll software

There are plenty of options when it comes to selecting payroll software for your business. Take a look at our guide to BrightPay and find out if it's right for you.

BrightPay is a payroll and auto enrolment software package designed with small to medium businesses and accountants as the focus.

Created by Thesaurus Software, a company with over 20 years of industry experience across the UK and Ireland, BrightPay prioritises simplicity and ease of use. Their payroll software is used by over 100,000 employers across the UK and Ireland, and is supported by a growing team of 25+ people.

BrightPay payroll software

When creating BrightPay, Thesaurus’s aim was – and still is – to create and deliver (and then support) the best payroll and HR software service for small and medium businesses in the whole of the UK and Ireland.

Since launching in 2011, BrightPay has seen rapid growth, high levels of customer satisfaction and numerous award nominations. It’s clear to see that employers love BrightPay – read on to find out why.

If you are a business owner or work in a business or startup, and are looking for more information on payroll software, fill in the form at the top of this page.

You will be put in touch with several trusted and specially selected suppliers who can give you tailored information for your business, and can even provide quotes on the best payroll software suited to your business. It’s free, quick and easy,

What is payroll software and why will my business benefit?

Whilst most readers will be completely aware of what they stand to gain from using using payroll software, it is worth a brief mention for those that are perhaps new to business, or this software in general.

As a responsible organisation, it is your responsibility to ensure that at a specific time in every month or payment period, the large sums of money that will leave your bank accounts are sent securely to the correct people in the correct amounts.

This is where payroll software comes in – it automates this process and streamlines it, meaning less hassle for you or the business owner, and therefore more time to be productive elsewhere.

WIth the large amounts of rate and allowance changes, human error is to be expected. An automated, electronic system can help save your business time and money from these errors.


Payroll software functions can include automatic calculation of witholdings and deductions, generating tax forms, processing direct deposits and more. By using payroll software, users can then save time and reduce manual errors when carrying out these tasks.

It is also worth mentioning that HM Revenue & Custom’s (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) has essentially made manual payroll running virtually impossible.

RTI requires that you send information to HMRC each time you run payroll – and this data must be sent electronically, via an RTI compatible payroll system. If your business has not got an electronic payroll system yet, clearly, it is time to invest.

For more information on on the different types of payroll for different businesses, take a look at our small business payroll services page.

What services do BrightPay provide?

BrightPay has a huge amount of features available to users that will make sure that your payroll operations are efficient and genuinely useful. There is such a huge number of these features that this page will not be able to list all of them, so instead it will focus on some of the most notable ones.


One of the main aims of BrightPay is to be a flexible payroll platform – suitable for any employer in any situation.

Users can register an unlimited amount of employees on the software, with no additional pricing required, meaning the platform will grow as your business does.

BrightPay’s software allows you to pay different users on different days, progress any employees forwards and backwards in the payroll year, and run different payment schedules side by side.

You will also have access to free, unlimited support by either phone or email – meaning the support will be as flexible as you need it to be.

Additional features:

  • Unlimited payments, additions and deductions on employee payslips
  • Ability to print payslips on a variety of media, including popular stationary and A4/A5

Large number of features

BrightPay’s feature list is too long to list in full, however, some of the key offerings of the platform are:

  • Payment: can be done weekly, fortnightly, 4-weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, and be based on basic, daily, hourly, piece and Statutory pay
  • Employee documentation: ability to print, export and send payslips, print P30, P32, P45 and P60 forms, as well as download and process P6, P6B, P9, SL1 and Sl2 employee coding notices
  • View data: users can manage expenses and benefits as well as employee calendars and give holiday pay, view and manage starters and leavers via the software

While there are plenty of features on offer, BrightPay’s user interface visually prioritises the most frequently done payroll tasks, showing or hiding other features according to their relevance.

In doing so, the software manages to be uncluttered and simple to use, meaning you and your staff can spend more time focusing on growing your business.

Real Time Information

In a similar way to other elements of the platform, the implementation of Real Time Information (RTI) in BrightPay has been done so with simplicity and flexibility in mind.

BrightPay will automatically create Full Payment Submissions (FPS) as your business progresses through the payroll year – and other submission types, including additional FPS, NVR, EPS and EU, can be created when required.

Submissions as a whole have been made simple, too:

  • Unsent submissions will be updated automatically as you change payment or employee details
  • More than one submission can be sent at any given time
  • The information within all submissions is shown in a user-friendly, clear format

In addition to these features, the platform will also store all HMRC communication logs, and in the event of any submission errors, will relay the information back to you in a simple and user friendly format.

If your submission happens to be late, BrightPay will detect this and allow users to enter a ‘Late Reporting Reason’ for late FPS submissions.

Automatic enrolment

By October 2018, all employers will be required by law to provide a workplace pension scheme, and enrol employees automatically.

More information can be found on the government website, but the main point is that employers must make contributions to employee’s pensions if all of the following requirements are met.
The employee:

  • is classed as a ‘worker’
  • is aged 22 up to the state pension age
  • earns at least £10,000 a year
  • usually works in the UK

Automatic enrolment functionality has been integrated into BrightPay, which includes setting up pension schemes, employee enrolment, communications, making contributions and viewing reports.

Using BrightPay’s software will ensure that your business will be fully compliant with any government legislation surrounding automatic enrolment. It can obviously be difficult to keep track of these changes, so taking advantage of BrightPay’s functionality is recommended.

BrightPay automates the process of auto enrolment, incorporating employee assessment, personalised auto enrolment letters/communications, opt-in and opt-out requests, postponement, refunds and more – all with various pension providers.

This functionality comes free of charge to customers alongside the software. Feel free to watch the video below to find out more about BrightPay’s auto enrolment functionality.

BrightPay Standard pricing

BrightPay operate a simple pricing structure which allows customers to ensure they are getting the best value for their money, as well as a platform that suits their business.

The Standard package is for a single employer with unlimited employees – see the table below for pricing.

Version Feature Price
BrightPay Standard Everything an employer will need to manage their payroll £99 per year + VAT
Standard + BrightPay Connect BrightPay Standard, cloud backup + employee self service £148 per year + VAT
Standard Pro Bundle BrightPay Standard, cloud backup + employee self service, Bright Contracts Standard* £199 per year + VAT

*Bright Contracts is a software package that allows employers to create tailored, professional-looking documents, including contracts of employment and staff handbooks.

BrightPay free version

There is also a free package for a single employer and 3 employees, although functionality is relatively limited in comparison to the standard package.

  • For micro businesses with up to 3 employees in the tax year (this includes leavers)
  • Includes free email support but not any form of phone support – upgrade to standard version for this
  • Does not include support for CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) or an employee’s Expenses and Benefits (this includes P11D) – upgrade to standard version for this

BrightPay for payroll bureaus and accountants cost

BrightPay’s Bureau package allows an unlimited amount of employers, suitable for payroll bureaus and accountants.

Version Feature Price
BrightPay Bureau Manage payroll for all clients £229 per year + VAT
Bureau Pro Bundle 1 BrightPay Bureau (5 installations), BrightPay Connect (10 employer pack), Bright Contracts Bureau* £599 per year + VAT
Bureau Pro Bundle 2 BrightPay Bureau (10 installations), BrightPay Connect (30 employer pack), Bright Contracts Bureau £999 per year + VAT

*Bright Contracts is a software package that allows employers to create tailored, professional-looking documents, including contracts of employment and staff handbooks.

BrightPay connect

brightpay connect logo

BrightPay connect is an add on to BrightPay’s payroll software that allows users to link their data to the cloud, thus introducing a large amount of extra functionality to the platform.

All data with be automatically synchronised with the cloud, and the Connect software will maintain a chronological history of backups. This data can be restored or downloaded at any time.

In addition, employees will be able to access a Self Service part of the platform. This will allow them to browse a history of their payroll and payslip data, view their payroll calendar, request annual leave and more.

Employees will also be able to view the details that you hold on them and request changes, from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

All of these changes with then synchronize with the cloud and flow through to your BrightPay software.

BrightPay Connect safety

BrightPay Connect’s cloud software contains various security protection features that will protect your data from security issues such as:

  • Data injection
  • Authentication hacking
  • Cross site scripting
  • Exposure flaws

The software itself is powered using up to date internet technologies and is hosted on Microsoft Azure to ensure performance and reliability.

BrightPay connect costs

For single employers, BrightPay Connect costs £49 per year. For bureau customers wishing to purchase several BrightPay Connect subscriptions for multiple employers, see below.

Number of employers Price Number of employers Price
1 £49 5 £199
10 £349 20 £599
30 £779 40 £899
50 £999

Compare payroll quotes for your business

If you would like more information on BrightPay, or indeed any other payroll services, the best option is for you to speak directly to the supplier. Visit our guide on the other various payroll software providers for more information on the options available to your business.

In order to do so, and receive tailored quotes that are suitable for your business, fill in the form at the top of the page – the process is quick and easy, and could save your business money in the long term.

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