Anne Reilly, managing director, Paycheck Plus.
Outsourcing payroll resolves many knowledge or expertise issues and allows the company to focus on its own business rather than having to stay up to date with changing information, said Anne Reilly, managing director at outsource payroll company Paycheck Plus.
With skills and expertise across finance, risk analysis, employment law, payroll calculations, fraud and corporate compliance, the company advises SMEs on all areas relating to payroll.
Advising clients on the introduction of Sepa (Single Euro Payments Area), for instance, Paycheck Plus worked with companies to ensure that they were aware of the implications from a payroll perspective.
''Sepa was originally scheduled to apply from February 1, but this has been extended. When it became obvious that the deadline would be extended, we worked with our clients to remove any unnecessary stress or over-reliance on resources preceding the deadline, said Reilly.
It is this type of partnership approach that has seen the company grow from a single operator in 2005 to a company with 11 employees operating out of state-of-the-art clean-room facilities today.
''A condition of employment here is that all staff are IPASS (Irish Payroll Association) accredited, said Reilly.
''It's this level of knowledge combined with a personal and professional service that has seen our clients move from other companies to us. We work hard to achieve the right balance between providing rigorous data protection and delivering a professional, friendly service.
In the past two years, the company has seen an increase in demand for management reports and for overseas payroll services.
''We've seen a big increase in demand for reports as companies see the value to be gained in careful management of their payroll spend, said Reilly.
She said payroll taxes accounted for more tax receipts to the exchequer than corporate tax and Vat combined. This gives some indication of the significant size of the payroll bill for most companies.
''We emphasise to clients the importance of managing their payroll spend correctly. There are several areas where we find potential for achieving savings, she said.
''For example, some companies are overpaying tax because they are not analysing the age profile of their staff, said Reilly.
''Where there is a more mature workforce with staff members over 66 years of age, a company might be paying the standard PRSI rate of 10.75 per cent instead of the reduced rate applicable of 0.5 per cent for people over 66.
The second area of focus is that of overseas payroll. Reilly said the services provided by Paycheck Plus were particularly attractive to companies establishing a business in Europe and seeking payroll services in Ireland or in Britain. It now provides payroll services to British companies and to Irish companies that have expanded their operations to Britain.
''Ireland is often the headquarters for a large company's European operations. As these companies expand into other jurisdictions we have accompanied them on their journey, she said.
''We find ourselves answering a lot of questions from companies setting up operations in Ireland. We spend a significant amount of time explaining how the system works and explaining the entitlements for sick leave, maternity leave and public holidays.
Having seen the impact on payroll processing of job losses and redundancies at the onset of the recession, the company is now seeing an increase in demand for payroll services from client companies as they expand.
Employee services are also an integral part of the Paycheck Plus service offering. As well as liaising with Revenue on behalf of clients, Paycheck Plus answers employees' queries regarding items on their payslips.
It provides in-house training and consultation on how payroll items are calculated and conducts workshops with HR and finance staff to bridge the gap on payroll issues.
''We also provide training on issues like redundancy and on the impact of introducing private healthcare and benefits in kind.
''Often the unknown is scary to many employees and we explain it in terms that they can understand and relate to. It's important that they know and are aware of their entitlements, said Reilly.
See paycheckplus.ie for the full range of outsource payroll services
Sunday Business Post 23rd February 2014