What is branded payroll and why is it valuable?
Improve your client retention, value and brand perceptions
Cloud accounting has opened up so many opportunities for accountants, including the ability to share their software with their clients, who the have more sight of their data and the ability to take on some of the admin burden (which in turn also increases the efficiency of their internal processes).
But why should these advantages stop at accounting packages?
Payroll processing and branded payroll services
Payroll processing can also be used as a resource for increasing your value add (and consequently your fee revenues), while similarly reducing your administration burdens and increasing the efficiency of your small business clients’ internal processes.
But to maximise these advantages to the full, you want your clients to be giving you the full credit and to constantly be reminded about the value that you are adding to their business.
And this is where branded payroll comes into play - you offer up a product which has your branding front and centre, every time they log in to the system.
What is branded payroll?
Branded payroll is when a product or service is produced by one company and allowed to be rebranded by another company to make it appear to be their own - usually (but not always) for a fee.
When might you want to brand a product or service?
You’re not going to write your own software from scratch (or you’d have become a software developer).
But, at the same time your clients trust you as an expert and there is no advantage to anyone in exposing a product to them that features the name of a software product that they have never heard of.
We are all wary of scams these days, so is your client going to feel more comfortable engaging in a software with your brand on it or for a software that they have never heard of?
So what has this got to do with payroll?
Most practices offer some form of payroll services, whether reluctantly, enthusiastically or even as a service that they outsource to a specialist payroll bureau.
With a plethora of new legislation within the industry, payroll is a boom area for many accountants who are using payroll to drive new business, increase client retention, revenues and margins.
But, many larger accountants are taking this a stage further by moving to a payroll system that can add intrinsic and monetary value to their clients (expense, absence and timesheet management) while reducing their own administration burden (no more uploading CSVs, manually typing in data etc).
And these practices know that they need to be highlighting their brand at every opportunity.
Adding brand value through payroll services
Branding a poor product in itself is of no use to anyone - it simply won’t improve your brand value.
More on what to look for in a product is below but, for now, imagine you’ve selected your “own” unique platform with a payroll software that ticks all of the boxes. You’ve put your name and branding on it, and set your own fees and pricing for your services. Here’s 3 things it will help you achieve:
Save time and money with your payroll system
Let’s look at the obvious first - you have a payroll product where someone else is looking after the development, automated integrations, testing and legislative updates. No development costs for you.
Secondly, your system means that any timesheets, holidays, sickness and expense claims are managed by your client but are immediately available in payroll for processing (less chasing, no manual or CSV updates).
Thirdly, you have automated pension or retirement fund submissions and ledger updates to your cloud accounting package.
Increase trust with your clients
Your client now has access to a branded platform, which improves visibility of payroll data and allows them to manage approvals for things like timesheets, leave requests and expenses. The client can see what’s going on with the pay run and value is added above and beyond just payroll.
And what's more - you get the credit, because all of this is branded with your company name and logo.
Boost the visibility of your brand and grow your business
Not only do employers have access to the branded portal but so do their employees - meaning they’re exposed to your brand nearly every day when using the portal online or on their mobile.
This is great for creating a strong brand and improving client retention (how would they do it without you?), but don’t forget the referral opportunities. People move jobs and often comment on how the new admin processes are inferior or better than at their last place.
Key decision makers often like to show off good business decisions they made (especially in an app) or take good technology to their new workplace.
So, what features should feature as standard in your new branded offering?
Is it truly in the cloud?
None of this desktop system with cloud backup palaver. You need flexible access, compliance, no risk of data loss, visibility for your clients and most importantly - the ability to scale so you can work with as many businesses as you’d like.
When your client makes an update (e.g. approves timesheets) - then you want those updates to be immediately available to payroll - and only a completely integrated cloud system allows this.
Does it offer anything other than payroll?
Find a system that incorporates scheduling, employee self service, time and attendance, and HR functions such as leave management - so all of the data is streamlined in one place. Don’t waste your time double-handing and data dumping.
Is it mobile?
Make sure employees have access to a mobile app and employee self service portal (which you can also brand) so they can manage their own data - saving you and your client heaps of time on employee requests.
Make sure the system can reliably automate payroll processes - things like net to gross calculations, notifications and automatic enrolment take up precious time and risk too much error to be done manually.
Branded payroll allows you to provide your clients with extra payroll services cost efficiently and with the benefit of enhancing and creating a strong brand.
By increasing that brand loyalty and providing extra tools to employers and employees, you can really increase revenue, grow your business and start moving towards a value-based pricing model.
KeyPay is the only cloud-based payroll provider in the UK that offers branded payroll services to payroll bureaux, and is one of the first of its kind globally to offer this solution. Would you like to grow your bureau in the cloud and increase your value as an advisor? Find out more.