At Bright we encourage continuous learning and development amongst our employees, however, it’s not always in a payroll or accounting way!
This week was Learning at Work Week at Bright, where we wanted to put focus on the personal development of our employees.
So we asked our employees what special talents or skills they had and would volunteer to show them to all of our employees.
Over the course of the last few days, our volunteers ran virtual workshops to educate our staff.
On Monday we joined a scouting expert Mike who showed us how to tie knots. We learned that they are many different types of knots and what each type is used for. The staff was able to follow Mike’s instructions with their own ropes or string at home.
On Tuesday, mixologist Andy showed us how to make cocktails, perfect for after work on a Friday evening. He gave us tutorials on how to make a Berry Bramble, Mojito, and a Strawberry daiquiri, which looked delicious. Andy gave the ingredients prior to the workshop so staff had time to buy them to follow along with him.
On Wednesday, Tibor gave us an insight into what to expect if you were going on holiday to Hungary. Whether you’re going on a city break to Budapest or partying in Balaton, Tibor gave us a great insight into the food, places to visit, and some basics of the language.
On Thursday, musician Ben rolled back the years to when he used to host percussion workshops before his time here at Bright. Those that were lucky enough to be in the Duleek office got to test the instruments for themselves. There was a great atmosphere in the office and the participants had so much fun playing the drums.
Many thanks to all our volunteers for hosting these workshops, our staff really enjoyed them and we look forward to seeing what next year’s learning at work week has to offer.
On Friday 17th June we were joined by Rory O’Connor also known as Rory’s Stories, who openly spoke about his struggles with addiction and mental health to mark Men’s Health Week.
The conversation was light-hearted as many would know Rory for his comedy content on social media which made his story more engaging. He spoke about his battles with addiction and mental health.
Coming from a background with the love of the GAA, Rory was asked to write a book about the GAA, something that he was passionate about. The book titled “The Rory's Stories Guide to the GAA” was his first published book and reached the top of the charts upon its release. With the success of his first book, he published a second and a third with the fourth on the way.
Those who were in the Duleek office on the day watched it together with their fry in the kitchen. There was a great atmosphere and a few giggles along the way. His talk finished with a Q&A session in which he told us what to say if someone approached us saying they struggled with their mental health and his greatest achievement in his career so far.
One of our employees said “it was just amazing, so glad I attended. It was funny, sad in a relatable way, and very inspirational. thanks so much for organizing, I feel renewed”
Rory’s story is a great example of if you put yourself into a positive mindset a positive outcome comes along with it.
Thanks so much to Rory for his session, our staff really benefitted from it.
It was announced this week that a new living wage, to replace the current minimum wage, is to be phased in for Irish workers, starting in 2023. A living wage is an hourly rate of pay calculated to be the minimum amount that a worker needs to earn to cover the basic cost of living.
The memo which Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar has brought to Cabinet proposes that the living wage is to be set at 60% of the median wage in a given year. Based on this percentage, if the living wage rate were introduced today, it would be set at €12.17 per hour.
The National Minimum Wage was first introduced in Ireland in April 2000 and was also roughly 60% of the median wage at the time. The minimum wage has increased by around 47% since it was first introduced, but it has not kept up with the average earnings or the cost of living.
Since 1st January 2022, the National Minimum Wage is €10.50 per hour for those aged 20 and over.
Rates for other workers are as follows:
|Age Group||Minimum hourly rate of pay||% of minimum wage|
|Aged under 18||€7.35||70%|
The national minimum wage will remain in place until the living wage rate is fully phased in, in 2026. The minimum wage rate will increase between now and 2026, closing the gap between the minimum and the living wage. However, the full living wage may be introduced faster or slower than the proposed time frame, depending on prevailing economic circumstances. The Tánaiste has said that the reason the living wage is being introduced gradually is because if it is brought in too quickly businesses could close, or employees could see their hours cut. Leo Varadkar will consult with various interested parties, including employer and worker representative groups, unions and the public on the draft plan.
The living wage is just one of the improvements to workers' rights to be introduced over the coming years. Other changes we are set to see for employees is the introduction of statutory sick pay and automatic enrolment onto pension schemes.
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Safeguarding your business for the future is crucial. This could mean protecting your business against threats like cyber-attacks or implementing changes that ensure your business can grow successfully. Streamlining your current business processes can allow you to work more efficiently, while also preparing you for business expansion or any unforeseen events the future might bring.
To improve your business, it is essential to keep up with the latest technology. Examples of this could be backing up your data to the cloud, going paperless, or using an employee self-service app to take care of HR tasks.
Payroll software, Thesaurus Payroll Manager, offers a cloud-extension product called Thesaurus Connect that is a one-stop shop for all your business's payroll and HR needs. Thesaurus Connect offers a number of features that can help you to streamline your business processes, and safeguard for the future.
Cyberthreats are extremely common, in 2021, it was reported by the Irish Examiner that 90% of Irish businesses had seen a rise in cyber-attacks in the previous twelve months. Therefore, backing up your data to somewhere other than your computer’s hard drive is vital for keeping you and your employees’ data safe. Using cloud storage to back up your data is not only convenient for the user as it doesn’t require the use of external hard drives, but it also helps ensure that your data is safe from hackers or cyber-attacks.
Thesaurus Connect, when used alongside Thesaurus Payroll Manager, can help protect your company against ransomware attacks by storing all your payroll data in the cloud. Thesaurus Connect automatically backs up your payroll data to the cloud every 15 minutes, and once again when closing down the employer file, making sure your data is safe. You can restore a backup on your PC or you can simply download a backup onto a new computer, making it easy to access, anywhere, any time. This means that should the worst happen, for example, if your computer is stolen or damaged, you will always be able to retrieve your payroll data.
When you connect your payroll software to Thesaurus Connect, you can invite your employees to access the employee self-service app. This can be downloaded on any smartphone or tablet device, or it can be accessed through an internet browser. Through the app, your employees will be able to access and download all their new and historic payslips, meaning you won’t need to distribute them or send them past payslips when they are requested. This will give you more time for other important tasks, rather than wasting time trawling through files. As well as this, if your employee’s personal details change (e.g., they move house or change mobile number), they can change these details themselves through the employee self-service app.
Documents which you want employees to read can also be uploaded to Thesaurus Connect’s online dashboard. You can then choose which employees will have access to these documents, and employees will be able to view them through the employee portal. As a lot of employees now work remotely or work a hybrid working model, sharing documents through Thesaurus Connect can be a simple way of ensuring that important documents are read, such as contracts of employment or a staff handbook.
As an employer, it can be difficult to juggle many tasks at once. One task which is essential, but can become difficult to manage, is dealing with annual leave requests from employees. Thesaurus Connect allows your employees to request annual leave through the employee app. You can then approve or deny the request from Thesaurus Connect’s online dashboard. This allows you to deal with annual leave requests in a way that is transparent and fair. Through the online dashboard, you can also view a companywide leave calendar, which allows you to easily track which employees are on leave, and the type of leave they are on. Other team members can be delegated the task of dealing with annual leave requests for selected employees, taking another job off your plate.
Ultimately, Thesaurus Payroll Manager’s cloud extension, Thesaurus Connect, will help you optimise your time, safeguarding future growth and development.
Why not book a free 20 minute demonstration of Thesaurus Connect to see the benefits for yourself.
Discover how you can reduce errors, save time, and streamline your workflow by integrating your payroll software with Surf Accounts. With this integration, you can send payroll journals directly to your accounting software, in just a few clicks.
Join our upcoming webinar on the 15th of June. We will be joined by Modulr's Tom Kelly, to discuss how you can offer payments as a service to your clients to improve profitability..
AccountancyManager is an award-winning practice management software that is part of Bright, provider of Thesaurus Payroll Manager. Take a look at our recent blog to discover the benefits of AccountancyManager, and how it can automate your admin and streamline your onboarding process.
Thesaurus Connect takes the stress out of managing annual leave. With a company-wide calendar and employee portal, your clients can easily approve holiday requests, on the go. The leave will automatically be added to the employee calendar and synchronised to the payroll software.
Surf Accounts is a cloud bookkeeping software that helps you to streamline accounting processes, and makes it easier for you to keep up with your financial admin. The system offers a dual solution for your invoicing and stock management needs while allowing easy collaboration with your accountant, in real-time.
In 2021, Thesaurus Software and Relate Software merged to become Bright – a payroll and accounting software powerhouse and in 2022 we welcomed our newest addition to the Bright family, AccountancyManager. By operating as Bright, we have access to additional resources to improve the services and support we provide to our customers. Our companies coming together as one community made us want to re-define our company values, values which we believe guide will us in how we behave when interacting not only with our colleagues but also our customers and the wider community within which we live.
To celebrate the official launch of our values and to welcome our colleagues from AccountancyManager and our office in Tallaght, we held a company barbeque last Friday in our head office in Duleek. It was great to bring all our employees together and celebrate the new beginning as Bright.
The night started with amazing food from AB Catering, followed by music, games, and a speech from our CEO Paul Byrne and COO Kevin McCallum, who outlined our six values outline below and what they mean to Bright.
We centre our business on our customer's needs and work tirelessly to make it easier for them to run their businesses sustainably.
We focus on the development and wellbeing of our people as they are the key to our culture, growth, and customer happiness.
We take pride in delivering our best effort in all that we do, setting and achieving high standards of performance.
We work together across functions and geographies, promoting clear communication to enhance our working relationships and bring the Bright Way to life.
We creatively explore solutions and new ways of thinking so we can be agile and go beyond conventional norms, in an ethical, socially, and sustainable manner.
Our colleagues in our India office unfortunately were unable to attend our BBQ but they held their own amazing launch night in the Kolkata office.
With these values in place we are really looking forward to the company moving forward as Bright and coming together to embody these values.
We would like to thank the HR team for all of their help in making the launch of our new values such a success and to all of our employees for making such an effort to engage with their fellow colleagues. It was a fantastic night, and we are excited to see what the future holds at Bright.
Last week members of our Bright Pay UK and AccountancyManager attended Accountex in the Excel London. Accountex is the UK’s number one exhibition and conference dedicated to the Accountancy and Finance Profession.
This was a great opportunity for both Bright Pay UK and AccountancyManager to showcase our best-in-class software solutions. We also had the opportunity to meet some new and existing customers.
The two-day event generated a lot of leads for both of our teams, Bright Pay and Accountancy Manager. We are looking forward to attending more conferences in the future.
On Wednesday we were joined by personal empowerment specialist, Nicola Connolly Byrne. Nicola empowered our Bright employees to be positive and take action towards a confident free life.
Nicola was invited to speak to our Bright employees as part of National Workplace Wellbeing Day which was held on the 29th of April. Nicola presented her 12 steps to a positive mindset to our employees. Some of these steps included smiling and doing a random act of kindness. She ended the presentation with a Q&A, where our staff asked her for a positive mindset book and social media recommendations.
It was great to see our staff engage with Nicola and learn how to have a positive mindset during growth.
Having a positive mindset in the workplace can improve your professional life in many ways. Thinking positively at work may help you stay motivated and work better with others. It can also reduce stress levels, boost productivity and improve problem-solving. Nicola discussed ways in which we can change our attitude to think more positively such as performing self-care, surrounding ourselves with positive people, and practicing gratitude.
In a Censuswide survey of 251 HR and payroll managers, 76% of businesses admitted to failing to pay their employees correctly or on time on one or more occasion. In the 2019 survey it was also revealed that, on average, employees had been paid incorrectly or late four times in the previous twelve months. This failure can sour employee relations and employees may feel they are unable to trust their employers.
Successful businesses are built on relationships and when there is a breakdown of trust, relationships are damaged, and your business may suffer consequently. When a concern arises for an employee, it is often the HR department that they first turn to – including questions and issues to do with pay. Whether or not you think that payroll should be the responsibility of HR personnel, businesses can benefit from integrating the two functions.
Thesaurus Connect is the cloud extension to payroll software, Thesaurus Payroll Manager, that can streamline payroll and HR processes; meaning less work for employers and more peace of mind that your employees’ pay will be accurate. Thesaurus Connect can also help improve communication between you and your employees. Effective communication within organisations has become more important than ever since the COVID-19 outbreak forced many of us to work remotely.
Thesaurus Connect gives you access to an online employer portal from which you can manage employees in many ways. An unlimited number of users can be added, meaning the portal can be accessed safely and securely by any colleagues you wish to allow access. Listed below are eight features of Thesaurus Connect and how these features can benefit employers, HR departments and payroll processers.
1. Payroll Records - Instantly access your employees’ payslips and payroll documents, run your own payroll reports, and view amounts due to Revenue anywhere, any time, through your secure online portal.
2. Employee Self-Service - Invite your employees to an online self-service portal and employee app where they can access their payslip library, request annual leave, access HR documents and update personal contact details. Find out more. Employees can download the employee app on their smartphone or tablet; giving them instant access to their payroll information on the go. The employee app is available to download for free on any Android or iOS device.
3. Employee Records - Employers and managers can keep track of their employees’ basic personal details, which can be updated by employees. This ensures that you have the most accurate and up-to-date details on file for your employees.
4. Employee Calendar - The real-time employee calendar allows you and your colleagues to see, at a glance, who is on leave, when, and whether they are on annual leave, unpaid leave, parenting leave or sick leave.
5. Leave Management - Employees can submit holiday requests with a few simple clicks. Managers will be notified of the request and can view the holiday calendar online before approving, ensuring that you always have sufficient cover.
6. Secure Cloud Storage - When it comes to payroll, data security is extremely important. Payroll information is stored on Microsoft Azure, which is one of the most secure ways to store data.
7. Company Messaging - Whether it is an important memo, the company newsletter, or details of a staff party, the notification system will transform internal communications. All employees can be kept up to date on what is happening in the workplace, regardless of where they are located.
8. HR Documents & Resources - You can share documents and resources with individuals, teams or the whole company at the touch of a button. Track who has viewed circulated documents and who has not.
Book a Thesaurus Connect demo today to learn more about these features and how they can benefit your business.
At Bright, we are committed to a cleaner, greener future for all. Our Duleek office which opened in May 2021 is built to be energy efficient, allowing us to record and monitor our carbon emissions. We have an amazing Green Team that educates, promotes, and inspires sustainability among our colleagues and our customers.
The Green Team members came up with a list of activities to help Bright operate in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Meat Free Monday: A plant-based diet can have a big impact on reducing our carbon footprint. We asked our staff to go vegan or vegetarian for the day or even for just one meal.
Carpool/walk/cycle to work Tuesday: We encouraged our staff to carpool, walk or cycle to work.
Compost Wednesday: We joined Alan at lunchtime he gave us a tutorial on how you can successfully start composting at home. Composting helps restore forests, wetlands, and habitats by improving the poor soil quality. It also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Litter Picking Thursday: At lunch, on Thursday our staff went litter picking around the office and the Duleek Industrial Estate
Save the Bees Talk Friday: Joseph from Trinity College Dublin presented a talk on the importance of bees and their positive effect on our environment to our staff via Microsoft Teams
To add to these events, we are encouraged our staff to make bird feeders from recycled plastic bottles.