Simon Palmer explains why your accountancy practice should consider payroll within its service offering
Historically, a large number of accountancy firms haven’t offered payroll support to their clients as there wasn’t the financial incentive to do so. However, as developments in technology have improved, payroll software has changed the way that businesses operate.
So now, more than ever, you need to embrace payroll provision.
Payroll management has, in our experience, been viewed by most accountancy firms as a burden, with minimal reward for the workload and risk involved. Risks including ever-changing legislation, such as pension auto enrolment and GDPR, caused just another headache.
As such, firms have preferred to focus on higher revenue generating services, leaving clients to either manage their own payroll in-house or use another outsourced provider.
This, however, may not always be the case, as developments in technology are changing the way that payroll can be managed, as well as the way in which businesses want to work with their accountants.
Payroll software is changing
Technological advancements over the past five years and the integration of payroll with accounting data have brought about a revolution and enabled payroll software providers to significantly improve and automate processes. Software advancements include:
• Improved user interfaces, enabling personal data to be updated easily.
• Portals allowing the simple flow of information.
• Automatic tax calculations, reducing processing times and the risk of error.
• Utilising data already within the accounting system to process payroll, reducing duplication.
• Scheduled payments.
• Pre-scheduled notifications across any number of events and time.
• Client calendars with simple deadline management.
• Smooth integration of payroll with accounting data.
The result: quicker processing times, less risk of error and a reduced staff requirement.
Businesses have always had a number of different options available to them when it comes to the management of their payroll, from processing payroll in-house to outsourcing to accountants or payroll bureaux.
The changes taking place in the market are having a significant impact on choices as business owners become more aware of how the payroll software market is changing.
They are regularly being offered new services from new providers and technology is offering them the opportunity to change outdated business models and operate more flexibly.
More and more business owners don’t want to take on the cost and risk of running their own payroll in house.
As this trend continues, an accountancy practice that doesn’t offer payroll within its services will be less attractive to new clients as they don’t provide a holistic accounting and payroll solution. More significantly, the potential for client losses is very real as they are lured away by the competition that can accommodate what they want.
If an accountancy practice can adapt and move quickly then it stands a good chance to capitalise on the changing market.
The key is to keep it simple. Selecting the right payroll software product with features that will enable everything to be managed as efficiently as possible is the first step. Alternatively, look for an experienced payroll specialist that you can outsource the work to.
A simple and competitive pricing structure will attract new clients and protect existing client relationships and revenue. Finally, a slow and measured approach will ensure success. Pilot programmes and staged marketing will ensure a seamless transition with minimal disruption to the firm and avoid expensive mistakes.
To find out more about how your accountancy practice can benefit from offering a payroll service to your clients, take a look at the Qtac Payroll website, or alternatively give their team a call on 0117 935 3500.
• Simon Palmer is Sales and Marketing Director at Qtac Payroll
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