What is a Payroll Bureau?

What is a Payroll Bureau?

A payroll bureau is an organisation that provides payroll services to other businesses. They offer a range of services to help businesses manage their payroll responsibilities - from processing employee wages to providing expert advice and support on complex payroll issues. They keep businesses compliant with payroll legislation, reducing the risk of penalties caused by mistakes.

Payroll bureaus use specialist software and technology to manage payroll data and ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time. They also have the responsibility of submitting specific employee data to HMRC and pension providers.

Businesses of all sizes can outsource their payroll function and have varying different reasons for doing so.  Small to medium sized business might not have the headcount or expertise in-house to manage payroll, whereas a larger business may choose to outsource because the business has scaled beyond their payroll capabilities. Those businesses may want to manage costs and increase efficiency. They might not want to be burdened by the challenges that growing organisations face. These challenges include resourcing and training payroll teams as the business scales.

Failing to adequately resource a payroll department can have a disastrous effect on the quality of the payroll results and heavily impacts employees. By outsourcing, these problems are removed from the equation as the payroll bureau has the team already in place and can recruit, train and scale payroll teams easily and quickly if needed.

What do UK Payroll Bureaus do?

Payroll bureaus offer a range of services to help businesses manage their payroll responsibilities. Some of the key services that they provide include:

Payroll processing: Payroll bureaus gather data to calculate employees’ salary and wages. This is a mixture of employment data and pay elements that make up an individual’s gross pay.  The bureau then takes that data and calculates an employee’s take home pay, taking into account deductions such as tax, National Insurance contributions (‘NICs’), pensions and benefits.

Payroll bureaus also manage statutory payments relating to employee absences such as the calculations of Statutory Maternity Pay (‘SMP’), Statutory Paternity Pay (‘SPP’), Statutory Adoption Pay (‘SAP’), Statutory Bereavement Pay (‘SBP’) or Statutory Sick Pay (‘SSP’).

They ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time and that the business remains compliant with relevant legislation.

Compliance: Payroll bureaus keep up to date with all HR requirements and payroll legislation. They adapt business processes and ensure businesses remain compliant with legislation, regardless of the complexity of change being introduced. They’re also responsible for submitting key information to HMRC each month, and pension information to providers. They can even support with audits to satisfy other regulatory bodies, such as The Pensions Regulator and Department of Work and Pensions.

Reporting and analytics: Payroll bureaus can provide businesses with detailed reporting and analytics on their payroll data, helping them to make informed decisions about their workforce and finances.

They can help businesses produce, for example, data for Gender Gap reporting which is a legal requirement set by the Government Equalities Office. Gender Pay Gap reporting and Gender Pension Gap reporting applies to public authority, private and voluntary employers in the UK with over 250 employees and must be submitted annually.

Employee support: Payroll bureaus provide employers and employees with expertise and guidance on payroll-related issues or queries. This helps businesses reduce their financial overhead and limits the questions that are directed to an in-house team.

Expertise: Payroll bureaus invest in the quality of their teams, they ensure that their payroll professionals are constantly up to date with knowledge and are effectively trained and qualified to deliver the high levels of service expected of them. This is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses where there may not be a dedicated payroll professional and someone steps into the role to run payroll.

Benefits of using a UK Payroll Bureau:

Using a payroll bureau offers a range of benefits for businesses, including:

Saving time: Outsourcing the payroll function can save untrained resources within a business a significant amount of time and resources, allowing them to focus on other areas of their business. Bureaus enable businesses to maximise the efficiency of their in-house personnel, allowing them to focus on their areas of expertise.

Saving money: Businesses can reduce their payroll costs through the provision of efficient and cost-effective services from a payroll bureau, eliminating the need to employ payroll professionals within the company.

Expertise: Payroll bureaus invest in the quality of their teams, they ensure that their payroll professionals are constantly up to date with knowledge and are effectively trained and qualified to deliver the high levels of service expected of them. This is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses where there may not be a dedicated payroll professional and someone steps into the role to run payroll.

Scalability: Payroll bureaus can provide services that are scalable and flexible, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Increased accuracy: The risk of human error from in-house processing is reduced by using advanced technology. Many of the payroll processes are automated, eliminating the risk of human error and ensuring the calculations are accurate. Payroll bureaus also know how to use payroll technology to its full potential, employ best practice and know what to look out for when looking for inaccuracies and errors.

Keep businesses compliant: Payroll bureaus are experts in best practice and applicable legislation. They ensure that businesses are compliant with all relevant regulations, reducing the risk of penalties and fines.

Provide knowledge and expertise: Personnel have specialist knowledge and expertise in payroll management, allowing them to provide businesses with expert advice and guidance.

How does PayCaptain help?

There are over 170 pieces of legislation relating to payroll in the UK. For an SME, it’s almost impossible to keep up with legislative changes and if businesses fail to keep up with them, they’ll run the risk of fines and penalties. Not only is there the financial implication of failing to keep up with legislation, but there’s damage to a company’s reputation to take into consideration too.

By outsourcing payroll, this responsibility is handed to PayCaptain. It becomes PayCaptain’s responsibility to keep systems up to date and automate complex payroll calculations.

PayCaptain has a team of dedicated, qualified and trained payroll experts on hand to support customers’ every payroll need.  With decades of experience in UK legislation and a multi-industry bureau service, the team is equipped with everything needed to support the most complex of payrolls.

With PayCaptain, employees are provided with interactive payslips on the payroll app. If they've any questions regarding their payslips, they can either speak directly to one of the team or ask questions to the PayCaptain AI chat bot, which gives quick answers to most frequently asked questions.

If the employee doesn’t get the information they need from the AI chatbot, they can still be transferred to a PayCaptain expert who will answer their queries in real time. PayCaptain gives employees multiple methods of communication - such as the chatbot, WhatsApp, speaking directly to one of the team or by raising a support ticket, so their preferred method of communication is covered.

PayCaptain also helps employers with an intuitive cloud-based portal to quickly and easily add and amend employee data. Employers can check and approve payroll as well as run detailed reports, making critical payroll information clear and easy to access.

Updates to payroll legislation is automatic, so employers and business owners never have to worry about falling foul of the law. Employers can be assured that their payroll will be run on time, correctly and comply with all payroll legislation.

In summary, UK payroll bureaus are third-party companies that provide payroll processing services to businesses. Using a payroll bureau has many benefits to businesses and employees alike. Using a payroll bureau can offer businesses a range of benefits, including time and cost savings, compliance, expertise and scalability.

Payroll is a business-critical function that, done right, improves productivity and morale by demonstrating to employees their worth to the business.

Outsourcing payroll to a payroll bureau can save both time and money. It can give business owners the opportunity to concentrate on running their business and plan for strategic growth. It also provides peace of mind that payroll is in the hands of experts and ensures compliance with legislation, protecting the business in the long run.

PayCaptain Payroll Solutions Limited, www.paycaptain.com is a multi-award-winning Payroll/FinTech company that delivers a fully automated cloud outsourced payroll service. The solution contains many unique and innovative features for employees, helping them to take control of their pay and increase their financial wellbeing.

PayCaptain is a payroll solution that helps employers pay their workforce, regardless of income, industry and personal circumstances. The solution incorporates functionality that's specifically designed to positively impact financial resilience for people struggling with money, or vulnerable and low-income employees.

PayCaptain is the world’s first payroll company to be B-Corporation certified. To read more about B-Corporations, visit www.bcorporation.net

PayCaptain has been recognised and rewarded with two B Corp ‘Best for the World’ awards for being within the top 5% of highest scorers within both the Workers and Governance impact areas in the B Corporation B Impact Assessment.

In October 2022, PayCaptain was awarded the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals ’Software Product of the Year 2022 at the CIPP Annual Excellence Awards.