Our new resource: Demystifying payroll for SMEs

2 min read  |   11 February, 2022   By Nick Hardy

A man is using a black calculator to do payroll for his company. He is holding a slip of paper in one hand and his laptop is in front of him.

We’re pleased to share the launch of – Demystifying payroll for SMEs. This resource offers fresh insight into the management of payroll by UK SMEs. We commissioned a leading market research company – Censuswide – to survey 500 respondents who work for companies with 10-250 employees, with payroll management being all or a part of their responsibilities.

The resource also acts as a guide to PAYE which is suitable for people who might be new to the subject or who need some straightforward definitions of key terminology. Last but not least, we also cover payroll software, looking in particular at data security and the case for migrating to cloud solutions hosted in secure, modern datacentres.

The new publication covers our findings in detail but here is a snapshot of what we discovered…

Payroll still a manual, time-intensive task

This is the area of our research which revealed the most surprising findings.

  • Almost a quarter (22%) of those surveyed said they do not use payroll software to handle salary calculations
  • Worryingly, 1 in 10 still use spreadsheets to do this, leaving a huge margin for human error
  • 11% rely on manual timesheets to manage and calculate payroll
  • These figures come as no surprise, given that over a third (37%) of respondents said they spend around 12-17 hours a week managing payroll, which is a huge number of hours in a working week

Confidence is high, not all understand the function

Although PAYE is a complex subject, we were interested to find that our survey respondents were mostly confident in terms of this area of financial management, perhaps underlining the effectiveness of the training they have received as part of their roles.

Although those people who are ambivalent about their abilities or who feel unconfident about PAYE management are in the minority, this is a point of concern, especially in view of the importance of accuracy and compliance with employment law and legislation.

Cloud security concerns

One of the most interesting statistics which came out of our research which we discuss at length in our publication relates to people’s perception of cloud computing and security. Over half (51%) of survey respondents claimed they do not use cloud-based solutions for people management due to security concerns.

Many older payroll software systems were developed before cloud computing and SaaS became commonplace and in languages that made it difficult for providers to make them available to their customers online.

Given the importance of this topic we have dedicated a chapter in the publication to cloud security.

So, where do you stand on payroll management, PAYE and security? What are the practical and commercial benefits of using cloud-based payroll management software? For our in-depth analysis, please download your free copy of Demystifying payroll for SMEs.

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Author: Nick Hardy

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