dataplan payroll services

Posts By Richard Rowell

dataplan payroll services
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:05

What About HR Services?

Within a business, payroll often sits within an HR department.

It is also the case that HR can be outsourced with payroll ‘bolted on’ to this service.

We believe they are very different skill sets and with HR focussing on ‘the recruitment, training, development and management of employees’ whereas payroll very specific technical process ‘related to the activity of your employees, calculating taxation, deductions etc.’

Our philosophy is that to get really good at something you need to specialise, and that’s why we concentrate on provide the best payroll service we can.

If you do have any HR issues, we do have a number of trusted HR partners who we would be happy to refer on to you.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:04

Flexibility of Your Payroll

If you already have payroll systems and processes in place, it can be daunting to consider outsourcing your payroll and the perceived disruption this may bring.

At Dataplan, we believe that outsourcing an area of your business should be ‘pain-free’ and streamline your business, not force you to make compromises or work to rigid processes that don’t suit you. That’s why we provide a flexible service that works around your existing systems and timescales.

We do not impose our needs over yours, down to using any forms you may already have in place and working to the timescales that you need, rather than the ones that most suit us.

Of course if you would like our advice and help in refining your payroll processes, we certainly have the expertise to work with you on doing that.

And our flexibility doesn’t stop there, we also ensure that your reporting provides the information most important to your business, rather than forcing on you generic reports that may not be relevant.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:03

BACS and Payroll Systems

Most businesses today use electronic payments of some form or another - to pay employees and suppliers.

At Dataplan we are a fully accredited BACS bureau using the latest BACSTEL IP systems.

The benefits of using BACS is that it is a fully automated system. You simply approve your payroll and we do the rest for you. No re-keying of information into your electronic payments system and no having to remember to send a file to the bank.

Via our BACS system we can pay your net pay, PAYE & NI, attachment of earnings, pensions, health schemes, Union deductions. In fact, we can BACS just about anything. All you have to do is approve your payroll and we take care of the rest.

To be allowed to operate BACS facilities on behalf of clients you must be initially accredited and then reassessed every 3 years. At our last assessment Dataplan scored top marks and ranked excellent in each of the five assessed areas –

  • Bureau Organisation and Financial Information
  • Physical Security
  • Computer Operations
  • Applications and System Support
  • BACS processing and Operations
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:02

Branch & Multiple Site Payroll

If your business or organisations has multiple sites or branches you will probably be facing the following payroll issues:

  • A large workforce split across multiple sites
  • Remote workers
  • A lack of payroll reporting
  • Problems with the complexity of the payroll reporting
  • Difficulties in obtaining information across the divisions or branches
  • Dependence on branch or line managers for the accuracy of the payroll
  • Delays caused by Head office approval of payrolls
  • Current payroll systems in place

If any of this sounds familiar we can help in a number of ways. We have experience handling both branch payroll and multi-site payroll for many of our clients and are used to the challenges of managing complex information and the data capture needs or branch and multi site payroll.

We can work with your existing payroll systems and create fully bespoke management reporting to give you the payroll information you need, when you need it.

Our ePaysafe online payroll system allows your branch or line managers to enter payroll information directly with the facility for you to carry out exception reports and detailed reviews before you send the data to us for processing. So you cut out the delays and inaccuracies yet still regain control for the approval of your payrolls.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:34

Questions for a Payroll Provider

Choosing a payroll provider is a difficult task.

Before you decide on an outsourced payroll provider, we recommend that you ask a number of questions of them and of your business to make sure you make the right choices.

When choosing a payroll provider - ASK YOURSELF

  1. Do you have more important business matters you could be focussing time and resources on than payroll?
  2. What kind of service do I need? Bureau or fully managed.
  3. What level of contact do I need?
  4. How quickly do I need them to respond to queries?
  5. Am I looking for improvements in service levels?
  6. How complex is my payroll?
  7. What management reporting would benefit my business?
  8. Is there other important information I could gain from my payroll data?
  9. How secure is my in-house payroll data?
  10. What is my budget?
  11. Do I understand all the cost implications?
  12. Do you want to approve and view your payrolls online?
  13. Do you want to use ePayslips?

When choosing a payroll provider - ASK THEM

  1. How can they streamline your payroll process?
  2. Do they offer proactive support?
  3. How often are they willing to meet?
  4. Do I have a dedicated contact?
  5. What Service Level Agreement can they offer?
  6. What is their track record with organisations like mine?
  7. What is their culture and is there a fit with your organisation?
  8. Where are the payrolls processed - within the UK or overseas?
  9. Do they offer fully customised bespoke reporting?
  10. And if so, is there an additional cost?
  11. Can they offer any added value information such as absence tracking?
  12. What is their security and disaster recovery policy?
  13. What is their charging structure?
  14. Are there any hidden extras or charges in addition to their ‘per payslip’ price?
  15. What is the notice period if you want to leave?
  16. What is the minimum contract period?
  17. When you start with them what is the setup charge?
  18. What are the processes when something goes wrong?
  19. Are they BACS accredited?
  20. Are they adequately insured in the event of something going wrong?
  21. Do they offer online payroll services?
  22. Can they provide ePayslips should you need them?

Choosing a payroll provider is a process you need to get right. See our section on choosing a payroll service provider.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:33

Choosing Your Ideal Payroll Partner

We have deliberately used the word ‘partner’ rather than provider, because we believe that is the best type of relationship for outsourced payroll to work.

Yes processes and systems are important, but let’s not forget that at the heart of a good outsourcing experience is the trust and confidence you have with the people you are dealing with.

You want to be working with a payroll service company who is not purely interested in short term gains but who want to work with you, building your business for many years to come.

So what are the key criteria when choosing a payroll partner?


You need to make sure that your payroll partner will be able to work with you, your systems and deadlines without imposing their rigid processes on you.

At Dataplan we take this approach - companies of 50 employees plus will already have reasonably sophisticated systems for paying their people. If it isn't broken don't fix it.

If you don’t have established systems then, of course, we can help you with your systems and processes.

Going the extra mile

So many businesses talk about ‘quality’ and ‘service’ but what does it actually mean. At Dataplan we have translated this into a number of tangible promises including –

  • Regular update meetings
  • Proactive communication and recommendations
  • Consistency of a named team that will get to know your business
  • Service that is backed by our awards from the IPP (Institute of Payroll Professionals)
  • A Customer Charter
  • Continued technological innovation designed to streamline and add value to your payroll


It is a sad fact that the payroll outsourced industry has in the past been driven by the cheapest ‘per payslip’ price. Whilst on the surface this may look like good news for you as the buyer, the reality is that all too often this is achieved by stripping out costs for things that actually have to be provided, such as starters and leavers. These ‘additions’ then get added on leaving you with unexpected, and unbudgeted for, costs.

We believe in transparent pricing. Once we define your requirements, we will provide a complete price that has no hidden extras or surprise charges.

Not all payroll service companies are made equal. Take care when you choose your payroll service provider.

See our checklist of questions to ask your payroll service company.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:12

What Could You Save?

Saving money is often the initial driver for payroll outsourcing but how can you assess whether it will save your organisation money?

And what about the financial impact of other benefits of outsourcing?

What costs should you consider?

Outsourcing can initially seem a high cost option compared to an in-house system, but when comparing the costs it is important to consider all the costs associated with running a payroll.

The cost of staff

Members of staff are your most obvious cost. It is very convenient to have an in-house payroll person, they are there to answer questions and may have other responsibilities. But payroll staff, like all staff, have holidays, have time of sick, may have long periods of absence due to illness or maternity, require training and, ultimately, they may leave. This is all a cost for your business, the cost of paying someone who isn’t working in the business, the cost of bringing in someone to cover for them if longer term or the cost of recruiting and training their replacement.

With a team of experts on hand at all times you can have access to payroll expertise when you need it, without the variable costs associated with payroll employees.

The cost of the technical stuff

In addition to staff costs is the cost of software and hardware necessary to run your payroll. You will need to upgrade and pay maintenance on your payroll software. You will also need IT support which either ads a burden to your own in-house IT department or will be an additional It outsource charge.

The other problem with these costs is that they can require capital investment whereas outsourcing your payroll, apart from any set up costs, will be rolled into a monthly charge, allowing you to budget and avoid any nasty surprises.

The cost of non compliance

With increasingly complex compliance, and HMRC investigating around 50,000 businesses a year, the cost for your business on non-compliance on your payroll can be harsh. Ignorance is not a valid excuse and if you make a late payment or forget to send off a particular return and you will be penalised.

You also need to consider the cost of keeping up with legislation.

As part of our service we will ensure your payroll is fully compliant and because this is what we do, we are fully up to date with the regular changes and complexities surrounding all types of payroll such as education.

To help calculate the true cost of running your in-house payroll, complete our online cost calculator now.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:04

Why Should You Outsource Your Payroll?

In today’s business environment outsourcing areas of your business to experts who can provide a reliable and cost efficient service is generally viewed as being a sensible decision.

Payroll is one such area that has a proven track record and evidence as to the benefits it can bring a business.

Outsourced payroll is now within the reach of all sizes of business and organisation from the largest companies looking to streamline their operations to small and medium sized organisations faced with problems of compliance and recruiting, training and retaining staff.

How can payroll outsourcing help your business?

Reduce overheads

For many companies, payroll outsourcing is initially viewed as a cost saving exercise. This may be the case, but it will depend on how efficiently you have been running your payroll. What it will certainly do is alleviate the burden of variable costs such as updating technology, staff recruitment and training.

Free-up time to focus on core activities

Although costs may be the initial driver, the primary reason businesses choose to outsource is that it frees up time and resources to concentrate on more strategic areas such as recruitment, staff retention and performance that have a direct impact on profitability.

Peace of mind gained from expertise

With the constant stream of new and complex legislation affecting payroll, keeping up with changes and ensuring your payroll is compliant is a real headache. By outsourcing to payroll experts this is one less thing to worry about.

Increased payroll efficiency

Despite often being viewed as a ‘back office’ activity, payroll is fundamental to the life of the organisation. If people don’t get paid, the company will not exists in the very short term. If people are not paid accurately, it will have a negative effect on staff morale and motivation.

Decrease the risk of relying on one person

Organisations that rely on a single member of staff to handle the payroll are placing themselves in a highly vulnerable position if that person leaves or is absent.

Improve management information

One benefit of payroll outsourcing that may not come first to mind is the impact it can have on the quality of management information. By choosing a provider that offers tailored management information and reporting, your payroll can bring rich and timely information into your business.

Reduce Risk

Payroll data is extremely sensitive and in light of this payroll outsourcers have developed extremely high levels of data security including online payroll approval and robust disaster recovery and business continuity processes.

In today’s business climate, the business benefits of payroll outsourcing to a specialist provider such as Dataplan are hard to ignore. Contact us or request a quote.

Download our comprehensive Guide to Payroll Outsourcing.

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