Sunday Tribune 31st January 2010

Payroll is not just about the numbers

Paycheck Plus has combined sophisticated systems with a personal service to create a seamless payroll bureau for its clients

Payroll is one of the most important functions in a business, especially considering that it concerns the greatest asset that any company or organisation has – its people. But payroll is never straightforward. Legislation is in a constant state of flux, people’s personal circumstances will dictate their levels of allowances, and overall it takes specific skill sets to ensure that every employee in an organisation is paid their fair amount – skills that may be outside of the remit of an in-house accountancy department.

Of course, even if the knowledge does exist in-house, the information behind that knowledge needs to be constantly updated as legislation changes and employees’ circumstances change. This places added pressure on a company which should instead be using its personnel to concentrate on its core business, especially in these straitened times. Outsourcing is a proven means of freeing up this time, but when the issue is as sensitive as payroll, businesses need to ensure that their payroll outsource partner is someone in whom they have full confidence.

Paycheck Plus offers companies, and especially SMEs, a modern, cost-effective payroll outsourcing service which come with the utmost of personal attention and quality customer service. Every member of the Paycheck Plus team is fully qualified in payroll, which gives it an immediate advantage over traditional accounting departments – as Paycheck Plus managing director Anne Reilly put it, the company “occupies a niche between accounting and HR”.

“Accountants look at the numbers,” she said. “We look at the person behind the numbers. For example, if you are a single parent, you may be exempt from the health levy, and that could lead to a saving of 4% on your gross salary. Other factors such as age, or whether or not you are a medical card holder, can also affect what you are paid. We understand that payroll is not just about tax – you also need to take the time to understand each individual’s personal circumstances.”

Paycheck Plus typically deals with companies ranging from one employee to 500 employees, and it will tailor its services to its clients’ exact needs. It does not impose its own systems on its clients – rather, it will try to dovetail its systems with what its clients already have. This is all part of its client-centric approach, which is about “making payroll easy”, and achieving the maximum benefits for its clients with the minimum of effort.

Obviously with such a sensitive subject as payroll, security and confidentiality are paramount, but these are just the starting point for Paycheck Plus. More important are the personal relationships that that company forges with its clients, as well as the levels of tailored and sector-specific information that Paycheck Plus makes available to their employees in the form of newsletters, e-mails and a download centre on its website –

“We have spent the last five years trying to identify our typical clients,” said Reilly. “But the only common factor that we can find is that they are striving to be the best in their given sectors. They are the best managed, and the best at what they do, and they truly value the services that we provide.”

Dave Boland – Sunday Tribune