KeyPay: The UK's first cloud payroll designed for bureaux

Cloud payroll KeyPay for the UK

We are different to most payroll companies. We don’t just speak about the cloud, we live and breathe it. KeyPay launched in Australia back in 2012 with a focus on simplifying payroll and changing the way businesses worked. Why? Because everyone loves getting paid. And with Australia having one of the most complicated payroll processes in the world, there was no better place to start building a system that took all the spreadsheets, convoluted processes and disconnected systems and combined them in a single, automated platform in the cloud.

The 4 co-founders: Richard McLean, Phil Bernie, Paul Duran and Kristian Reynolds

Enter KeyPay

Like many ideas before it, the seeds for KeyPay were planted over a few beers at the pub. The seeds were watered with a belief that a business could be built around a focus on delivering value to customers and creating an environment where employees could do their best work. So the founders got to work and after months of juggling their day jobs and coding on nights, weekends and even during commutes, those seeds started to sprout and the first version of KeyPay started to grow.

Then in 2012, KeyPay launched its beta product and paid 116 employees that first year. Despite the modest numbers, the founders were convinced they were onto something and decided to quit their day jobs and work on KeyPay full time. After enlisting their friends and family as their first "clients", they took their "constructive criticism", and using trial and error they tested and iterated, and learned a lot of lessons that were poured straight back into improving KeyPay. That continuous focus on taking feedback and improving the product to increase the value KeyPay delivered to clients helped grow the number of employees paid to just over 5000 by the end of 2013.

Over the next 12 months, KeyPay added timesheets, rostering (or rota management) and the industry leading pay rules engine that gave KeyPay a reputation for simplifying complex business processes. It didn't only save time and money, but delighted customers. The team was also growing, with the first employee hire in 2014 to support the near 20,000 employees getting paid on KeyPay. To this day, KeyPay prides itself on its rapid support, with an average initial response time of under 12 minutes.

Fast forward to 2017, KeyPay’s continual focus on delivering value to customers accelerated its growth in the Australian market, and with the addition of WorkZone and Clock Me In, KeyPay truly changed the way payroll managers were working and paying their employees. At this point, KeyPay was processing pays for over 150,000 employees and employing 26 people.

The KeyPay team at their 2017 Christmas event in Hunter Valley, Australia

Enter KeyPay UK

Remember we mentioned Australia is ranked in the top 5 most complicated payrolls in the world? Well, so is the UK. So we decided to take KeyPay global. UK businesses outsource 60% of their payroll to accountants, bureaux and bookkeepers. Imagine the possibilities of ‘outsourcing the outsourcing’? What about building a cloud payroll platform designed specifically to streamline bureau businesses who have traditionally been weighed down with manual processes and data entry? A solution for bureaux drowning in the complexities of pensions and HMRC requirements, mailing physical payslips and manually entering the same data in multiple systems? The complexities and intricacies of UK payroll shouldn’t mean payroll managers spend their time entering and updating data. It should be simple. Straightforward. Easy.

The KeyPay team spent 18 months understanding exactly what the customer pain points were and built the UK’s first cloud payroll platform designed specifically for bureaux. Countless hours were spent with payroll bureau managers, accounting firms and payroll managers alike, learning about how they were currently working, and how we build out our own platform to be the best payroll solution available.

After beta testing in the UK, KeyPay launched in May 2018, and we've been constantly evolving and improving using real time feedback from UK businesses and bureaux. It has been a long and exciting journey, and we are continuing to improve the way businesses work and pay internationally.  This year, we're testing our beta in New Zealand! Next stop: world domination.

Sarah Yancey

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