The Focus Collection is an accountancy practice that specialises in bookkeeping to accounting for under 1000 small and micro-business clients. They run payroll for just under 100 of these clients, ranging from directors, to small businesses with 1-2 employees, to their largest client of 20 employees. We spoke to Daniel Markham - Accountant and Business Analyst at The Focus Collection.
Historically, The Focus Collection’s client payroll was managed in the office by a subcontractor, but when the subcontractor decided to leave to go travelling, Daniel made the decision to temporarily take on payroll himself before employing a replacement. Daniel was using Qtac at the time, which is a desktop-based software. He didn’t have the time to run payroll on his own and was seeking a more efficient solution.
“It was installed locally on machines so when we had bad weather, we had significant issues because we couldn’t come to the office to do payroll. It was on the radar to get something cloud-based. Fortunately I had been at Xerocon the week prior, and met the KeyPay team.”
By setting up his fixed payrolls in KeyPay as a first step, Daniel instantly began seeing the benefits of KeyPay.
“I was trained within a couple of days, and very quickly I had loaded all of my fixed payroll and director clients. Because of the automation I was able to set them up and prep them, and I’ve not had to touch their payroll since.”
The plan was to get someone else to run the payroll, but KeyPay is so efficient I haven’t had to get anybody new onboard.”
Daniel is now working on his variable client payrolls and has started with his most complex client - a care home with 20 staff.
Daniel’s care home client was previously using a complex rota system on which they had received 8 hours of training, but it still remained difficult to use. Whenever they phoned up to ask support a question they were charged anything up to £25.
“Through KeyPay, we provide a rota system that does all the same things but at a better price. It’s easy to use and they get proper support that responds.”
Employees would sometimes swap shifts and not tell the manager. KeyPay’s rota management reduces risk with visibility of staff and where they are. We’re adding value for our clients because they get much more than just a payroll service.
You can also remove the costs of external rota software with KeyPay because it’s all in the same system in the advanced subscription.”
The same client will be using timesheets and employee self service with KeyPay too.
“It’s a massive time saving for us. They’d email over their hours, or send a photo of an envelope with hours written on it. One of the pain points was manually keying those hours into the system. Now with KeyPay they don’t have to type them up or chase staff for them. Their workload has gone down, and mine. Everybody wins.
I’m now sending payslips automatically through the WorkZone app or employee portal. It saves the client reprinting payslips when the employees lose them, and it saves me time too.”
Daniel would spend around “30-45 minutes entering timesheets for this client each month.” With KeyPay, this is significantly reduced.
Daniel expressed the value KeyPay’s automation has brought to his workflow, allowing him more time to spend on strategic work, and reduce costs in the process.
“In theory I could use KeyPay’s automation to run the entire pay run. As long as the clients get the timesheets in on time, I could run them without any manual input at all.”
“While the base cost of software was more than the previous, we recovered the money very quickly. If you have a payroll clerk, you could use their skills and time elsewhere to add value and drive profit to the business, because the admin time is so significantly reduced. Not having to manually do the payroll and automating it is where the savings come.”
Dan has measured success with KeyPay through 3 key areas:
“My plan over the next year is to streamline business as much as possible so I can increase capacity without taking on more staff. KeyPay has saved an entire person’s weekly time so far, so that’s going exceptionally well.”
“Our small business clients are cost sensitive, so it was important for us to stay cost neutral. I’ve managed to do this and then some. We provide payroll for our clients to ensure we're meeting all of their service needs, and it would usually just break even. But now it's driving profit. Once KeyPay is up and running, we will have increased profit by around 5%.”
“KeyPay ties in with our values. We’re not just about trying to line our own pockets; we want to provide a valuable service to our clients. KeyPay gets clients involved deeply in payroll and their staff are engaged in the app. It gives an entire service and enhances the client experience, while saving them time, and not costing any more money.”