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Feb 2022

11

Increase profits and improve client satisfaction with Thesaurus Connect

A recent customer survey revealed that only 15% of Thesaurus bureau customers actually charge their clients for the extra features of using Thesaurus Connect. This is a very surprising figure, as we expected it to be much, much higher. Thesaurus bureau customers are losing out on potential profits and revenue by not at least passing on the cost of Thesaurus Connect to their clients – even though they are providing an additional service to their clients.

 

Additional services

You may not use every single Thesaurus Connect feature, but below is a list of additional services alongside processing the payroll, that can be offered to your clients. Remember, once signed up for Thesaurus Connect – all of these features are included in the price - so why not make use of them!

  • Client dashboard
  • Annual leave management tool
  • Multiple users
  • Extra support for remote working
  • Employee self-service

Client dashboard

Invite your clients to their very own client dashboard where the client can view and run payroll reports, upload important documents for employees, and manage annual leave. We recommend that you book a 15-minute online demo to view an overview of Thesaurus Connect.

Annual leave management tool

Employees can be invited to a self-service portal where they can request and cancel annual leave. Once the client approves the leave request, it flows automatically into the payroll software on the bureau’s PC and is added to the employee’s calendar. 

Multiple users

Both the bureau and client can add as many users to Thesaurus Connect as they wish. We recommend that you only set users up as standard users. You will be able to edit permissions on what each user will have access to. Follow step-by-step instructions to assign a new user on Thesaurus Connect.

Extra support for remote working

Post-pandemic, there has been a growing trend of businesses implementing long-term and permanent remote working and hybrid working work environments. Thesaurus Connect has been updated to include improved remote working functionality. This includes a ‘version checking’ feature when opening the employer file and an ‘other users check’ to prevent the risk of conflicting copies. This is extremely useful when there are two of more processors, processing payroll from multiple PCs.

Employee self-service

Thesaurus Connect’s employee self-service portal allows employees to access their payslips, documents or their holiday calendar 24/7, anywhere, anytime. The portal can be accessed through an internet browser or through the Thesaurus Connect smartphone and tablet app which is available on both iOS and Android devices. This employee app reduces admin work for a manager or HR department having to accept and track annual leave and sending payslips.

Increase profits and client satisfaction

The many features and benefits mentioned above will ensure that your business is future proof in keeping up with all payroll trends. Thesaurus Connect will benefit you, your clients and their employees. The client will have more control over payroll data and can create custom reports without having to request them. There is less admin work needed overall, meaning that the time saved can be spent on other important aspects of the business that need attention.

We recommend that you list all of the additional services that your client can benefit from by introducing Thesaurus Connect. They might want to use all of the features or others might want to select a few. Either way, it’s helpful to include everything as they might want to re-visit the features at a later date. The client could be saving money themselves as they could have been paying for a separate annual leave system that they can now get rid of as Thesaurus Connect includes one.

By introducing Thesaurus Connect to your clients, you are giving them access to the great benefits of cloud technology. Integrate your payroll and HR processes to save time by eliminating manual data entries, using one system that caters for multiple processes. Book a 15-minute demo today to discover more about Thesaurus Connect.

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Posted byHolly McHughinBrightPay Connect


Dec 2021

15

How to avoid employees carrying over their annual leave into the new year

For most employers in Ireland, their annual leave year runs from January to December and an employee’s annual leave entitlements will depend on how much they’ve worked that year. As we get closer to the end of 2021, you may notice some employees who still have days or maybe even weeks left to take. Depending on what type of business you’re in, this could be a real headache to deal with. For example, if you are in retail, giving employees time off at Christmas could be impractical.

Some employees may ask if they can carry over their leftover leave into 2022. According to Citizen’s Information, annual leave should be taken within the leave year it was earned. Whether or not an employee can carry over annual leave entitlements will depend on the policy you have in place. Some employers will agree to allow employees to carry over untaken annual leave within 6 months of the relevant leave date, while others may allow employees to carry over leave even further. It is important to note, if an employee is on extended sick leave, then legally, they are allowed to carry over any unused leave for up to 15 months after the end of the year it was earned.

While in most cases allowing an employee to carry over annual leave shouldn’t be a problem, it can become impractical, especially when you have a lot of employees wanting to do so. Making sure your employees take their annual leave within the year it was earned can help avoid employee burnout as it encourages them to take more regular breaks. It also prevents employees saving up their annual leave and using it all in one go which could result in your business being short staffed for a long period.

Whatever you decide, it is important that you have an annual leave policy in place which clearly outlines whether employees can carry over leave from one year to the next. If you would rather a “use it or lose it” policy where employees must take their leave within the year it was earned, then it is important that you carefully track employees’ leave taken and remaining. Doing this will help you avoid having employees on leave, when you may need them most.

If you would like a ready-made annual leave policy which you can tailor to your own needs, visit our sister company Bright Contracts to find out more, or book a free online demo with a member of their team today.

How can I keep track of employees’ annual leave?

If you have a lot of employees, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone’s annual leave. Luckily, your payroll software can help. Thesaurus Payroll Manager used alongside our optional cloud add-on  Thesaurus Connect has an annual leave management feature which allows employers and employees to keep track of annual leave taken and remaining.

1. View a company-wide calendar of employees’ past and scheduled leave

When you open up Thesaurus Connect’s employer dashboard, from the calendar tab, you can view a company-wide calendar which shows all your employees past and scheduled leave. The calendar makes it easier for you when you need to decide whether or not you will approve an employee’s request for time off.

2. Let employees request leave through their phone

Thesaurus Connect also includes an employee smartphone app which the employee can use to request leave. From the app the employee simply selects the days which they would like off, the type of leave (paid or un-paid) and the times (e.g. a half day). Employees can request leave anytime, anywhere, even on the go. Once a leave request is approved the calendar on the employer dashboard is automatically updated.

3. Let employees know how much leave they have remaining without having to ask you

Another great feature of the Thesaurus Connect’s employee app is that when an employee opens the app, they can see how much leave they have used so far that year and the amount of leave they have remaining. When an employee can easily keep track of the amount of leave they have used it means they will be less likely to have leave left over by the end of the year.

While some employees will still need an extra nudge to remind them to take their full annual leave entitlements before the end of the year, Thesaurus Connect can greatly help payroll processers in keeping track of who has leave left to take. This can help avoid employees carrying over annual leave days and having too many employees requesting to take leave at the end of the year.

To learn more about how Thesaurus Connect can help you manage your employee’s annual leave, why not book a free online demo today.

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Posted byElaine CarrollinAnnual LeaveBrightPay Connect


Nov 2021

22

Christmas bonuses and One4All gift cards: your festive payroll guide covered

It’s coming close to the end-of-year madness, and as payroll processors you’re likely to be particularly busy in the lead-up to Christmas. Between managing the annual leave requests, Christmas bonuses, and holiday pay, there are a quite a few payroll tasks to sort out. To help you with this, we’ve put together a few key points to remember if you’re processing the payroll this Christmas.

Christmas Bonuses:

A Christmas bonus can put a smile on every employee’s face and can be the perfect way to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work done during a difficult year. However, it’s important you don’t get caught out on tax implications.

Under Revenue’s Small Business Exemption Scheme, employers can gift employees and directors a small benefit of up to €500 in value, tax free, each year. Certain guidelines must be followed:

  • This benefit cannot be in cash.
  • Only one such benefit can be given to an employee in one tax year. Only the first one qualifies for tax free status, even if you do not offer the full €500.

With this tax-free benefit, you have the potential to save up to €653.65 in tax per employee as the total cost of a net €500 gift paid through payroll is €1,153.65. Remember though, if a benefit exceeds €500 in value, the full value of that benefit is subject to tax.

In order to qualify for the small benefit exemption, it is important that gift cards are not given to employees as a salary sacrifice. This means you cannot fund the bonus from a deduction of your employee’s salary. The rewards must be invoiced and paid external to payroll.

Vouchers:

  • Tax-free vouchers are a popular way of gifting a Christmas bonus to employees.
  • Tax-free vouchers can be used only to purchase goods or services.
  • The tax-free vouchers must be purchased from the business bank account or credit card.
  • Employees or directors cannot purchase a voucher themselves and seek reimbursement for it.

One4all gift cards are commonly used as they allow employees to choose a gift from over 11,000 retailers. They also don’t charge over administration, service, or delivery.

If you’re a Thesaurus Payroll Manager customer, you can purchase One4all gift cards through the software. The software's integration with One4all allows you to easily purchase the cards, and more importantly, it can keep track of your purchases. This ensures that you’ll be notified if you attempt to purchase more than one gift card for an employee in any one tax year. Click the link to discover more about how the integration between Thesaurus Payroll Manager and One4All works.

Please note: to use the One4All feature on Thesaurus Payroll Manager you must have upgraded to the latest version of the software.

When to pay employees in December:

It’s common for many businesses to have a different payroll date in December. Often, employees will be paid earlier in December so they can cover their holiday expenses and because many businesses are closed at the end of the month.

It's likely only your monthly paid employees will be affected by this. If you plan to pay employees early, make sure you give yourself enough time to process the payroll in advance. Give your employees notice of the change in pay date and enough time that they can submit their expenses if they have any. Remember to make provisions to ensure that you report your employees’ pay to Revenue on or before the pay date.

Managing annual leave requests:

Christmas can be a very busy time for many businesses, and it may also be a time when employees are most looking to take annual leave. While you need to ensure you have enough employees working to cover this busy period, you should also look to be as fair as possible.

It’s recommended that you have a clear policy on holiday requests. Most often, a “first-come, first-served” approach is used. This provides a fair and transparent method for all employees. One way of achieving this is by using an employee app. Thesaurus Connect, a cloud add-on to Thesaurus Payroll Manager, includes an employee self-service platform which can be accessed online or through the Thesaurus Connect employee app. The app gives employees access to a self-service portal that they can use to request leave at any time. Once a request has been made, the employer or their manager, will be notified of it. When a request has been made it is time stamped, allowing you to see the order in which they come in. The employee will then be notified if the request has been accepted or rejected. Thesaurus Connect also includes a company-wide calendar for the employer to view so that you can ensure that there is adequate staffing before approving an annual leave request.

Discover more

Interested in learning more about annual leave management on Thesaurus Connect? Book a free online demo here for a detailed walkthrough of everything Thesaurus Connect has to offer you and your business.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinAnnual LeaveBrightPay ConnectPayroll


May 2021

31

Ransomware: How to keep your data safe

Unfortunately, we have all become way too familiar with certain concepts over the course of the past year. Concepts such as R number, variants etc. With the recent ransomware attack on the HSE still disrupting Irish health services, the subject of ransomware is on all our minds.

One of the important lessons that we can take from ransomware is how we should have backups to quickly restore data to get back up and running as soon as possible, if data was lost after a breach.

If you use Thesaurus Connect alongside our payroll software, you can be assured that you already have this covered.

All data in Thesaurus Connect is stored securely within Microsoft Azure data stores, access to which have been tightly restricted to a limited set of servers and IP addresses. These data stores are replicated across multiple data centres to protect against a major data loss event impacting a particular data centre. Furthermore, the data itself is encrypted and multiple versions of your employer data are retained as a further safeguard. All traffic into and out of Thesaurus Connect is encrypted using SSL and we undergo regular penetration testing to ensure our public-facing applications are secure and resilient.

This should provide some comfort for you if you are already using Thesaurus Connect.

If the payroll data on your own device is compromised, it should be worthless as many of the key fields (e.g. PPSN, names, bank details) are already encrypted within the software.

If you do not use Thesaurus Connect, please ensure that you keep regular external backups of your data. You might even consider using Thesaurus Connect for this. View the pricing model for Thesaurus Connect where users are billed on a monthly subscription, based on usage where you only pay for what you use.

There are many other Thesaurus Connect benefits that we would be delighted to show you on a free 15-minute demo. Book now.

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Posted byHolly McHughinBrightPay Connect


May 2021

19

Vaccine Policy and Returning to Work: What employers need to know

As we finally leave Level 5 lockdown, we are taking one step closer to a more ‘normal’ life. As such, more businesses will be opening, more employees will no longer need to claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, and new employees will be hired. All of this means that employers have a busy few months ahead of them. There are a number of challenges associated with returning to work. As expected, businesses will need to adhere to the guidelines set out by the HSE and carry out risk assessments, while also managing administrative duties such as the annual leave backlog. Going forward, they will also need to look at how they manage and implement more permanent working from home solutions, as well as tackle the issue of a vaccine policy.

An upcoming webinar, hosted by Bright Contracts, our sister product, will discuss the new legislation surrounding working from home to ensure you are compliant, how to return your employees safely to the workplace when phased returns to the office begin and how to address the topic of vaccines and the workplace with your employees. This webinar has been specifically designed for employers and their Human Resources department.

The webinar will address:

  • Working From Home: New legislation
  • Return to Work Safely Protocol
  • Vaccine Policy
  • No Jab, No Job
Register for Free Webinar

 

These challenges may seem daunting at first, but if you’re prepared, you can ensure a smooth and safe return to the workplace and even use the changes to support improvements to your business and employee relationships. Managing a team, with some working from home and others in the office, will require regular communication. An online employer and employee portal can offer significant help with this. With an online portal, such as Thesaurus Connect, an employer can communicate with the whole company or share confidential documents with specific employees such as those working remotely or are returning from leave. To learn more about this, click here.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinBright Contracts NewsBrightPay Connect


Feb 2021

8

Thesaurus Connect: Two Factor Authentication Explained

As security is a large concern for many businesses nowadays as data breaches are a threat to all entities, Two Factor Authentication can now be enabled as a feature for users of Connect and Thesaurus Payroll Manager. Two Factor Authentication is a second layer of protection to re-confirm the identity for users logging into Connect through an internet browser or through Thesaurus Payroll Manager. This improves security and protects against fraud and lowers the risk of data breaches as users can access sensitive employer and employee data in Connect with the increased security layer.

Thesaurus Connect is an optional cloud add on feature that works with Thesaurus Payroll Manager. Thesaurus Connect provides a secure, automated and user-friendly way to backup and a self-service dashboard to both accountants and employers so they can access payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to Revenue, annual leave requests and employee contact details.

How it works

If Two Factor Authentication is enabled for a Connect account, when any user on the Connect account tries to sign into Connect via their internet browser here or through Thesaurus Payroll Manager, they will be asked to enter in a security code that needs to be sent to them. The user can select to have the security code to be sent by email or by text to the user.

Once the user receives the security code the user enters this in the 'verify code' field and selects 'Verify Code'. The user will only be able to access the security code if they have access to the email account or mobile device. The random generated 6 digit security code will expire after fifteen minutes so a new code will have to be sent if the code is not used in the time limit. 

This Two Factor Authentication uses a second security measure of identification ensuring the user is the correct user when logging into Connect. It adds an additional layer of security to an already secure hosted platform and gives the user more reassurance that their payroll data is safer and more secure.

To Enable this option in Connect when you are logged in > Go to 'Settings' > Go to 'Two Factor Authentication' > Tick the box > 'Save Changes'.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinBrightPay Connect


Sep 2020

10

Remote Working Is Becoming The New Normal - What Does That Means For Payroll?

2020 has been a transformative year for most businesses. Many employers have had to take a long hard look at how they manage their employees and make significant changes in the wake of COVID-19 in order to adapt to what is quickly becoming the new normal. For a large proportion of these businesses, allowing employees to work remotely is playing a central role in that change. And this throws up some challenges.

Remote working isn’t a new phenomenon. Cloud innovations have made it possible for people to work from home for many years. However, most businesses have been reluctant to embrace this practice up until now. This is because, when employees are spread out, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult.

Today, however, employers are finding themselves in a position where they must allow employees to work remotely and find clever solutions to these challenges. And Thesaurus Connect is one such solution that makes remote working easier for everyone.

How Does Remote Working Affect Payroll and HR?

You might not think that remote working has any impact on processing payroll, especially if you’re a small business with just one payroll administrator. But there are a number of ways that remote working can indirectly impact payroll. It also has numerous knock-on effects on human resources management which need to be addressed in order for a business to thrive.

Here are some examples of the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working:

  • Distributing payslips manually can be more time-consuming, costly and less secure when employees are not located in the workplace, and instead payslips must be posted to their home addresses. 
  • Making sure that the payroll and any employee leave during that particular pay period are aligned can be tricky, especially if a number of different line managers and/or HR staff are operating from different locations. 
  • Checking that the information for the current pay period is accurate can be challenging with employers and managers working from home with often unreliable internet connections. 

Thesaurus Connect Makes Remote Working Easier

Thesaurus Connect is a cloud portal add-on to our payroll software. While the payroll software gives you everything you need to process your payroll, Connect offers a range of additional features that streamline your human resource management.

The features of Thesaurus Connect include:

  • An employee self-service app that’s compatible with both iOS and Android. On the app employees can apply for leave, view and edit their personal data, access a secure payslip library and view HR documents, all from their smartphone or tablet. 
  • An online employer dashboard. Because payroll information is stored in the cloud with Connect, employers can access their dashboard from their laptops at home. On this dashboard, employers can view a company calendar which displays all past and upcoming employee leave, upload and share documents with employees, and view any outstanding payments due to Revenue. The employer dashboard also shows notifications for any employee leave requests, or requests from the payroll processor. 
  • Secure cloud backups. With Thesaurus Connect, you don’t need to worry about safely storing your data. Thesaurus Connect prompts you to automatically back up the payroll data to the cloud each pay period. It keeps a chronological history of all backups so that you can restore previous versions if needed. This is a great step towards GDPR compliance for businesses who are trying to modernise their data protection practices. The cloud backup is also extremely useful for remote working because everything is stored and accessible via the cloud from any location.
  • Clever employee leave management. Employees can request leave directly from their smartphone app. This is beneficial to remote employees because it eliminates the need for employees to visit their line manager or human resources manager in order to fill out leave request paperwork. The request instantly appears as a notification on their manager’s online dashboard. From here, the manager can use the company calendar to see who else is on leave for the dates requested, and either approve or deny the leave request. A time-stamped log of all leave requests is maintained which is particularly useful when a number of different people are managing employee leave as all of the relevant parties can easily see who approved or denied a request, and when. 

Book Your Free Thesaurus Connect Demo Now

If your business is embracing remote working and trying to find ways to facilitate this new practice, then book your free Connect demo today and let our team of experts show you just how much easier remote working can be.

Posted bySarah TyrrellinBrightPay ConnectPayroll Software


May 2020

12

How to introduce Thesaurus Connect to clients

Introducing a new service to your payroll clients isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be. Yes, you know that it would be great for their business and maybe they do too, but it’s likely that they’ll still need some convincing to get them over the line and on board. So, here are 3 things to keep in mind when introducing Thesaurus Connect as a new payroll process.

What Does Your Client Need

Before you make your case to your clients, you need to be sure that you’re offering them the best service for their business. Every client is different in one way or another, and this means that a one-size-fits-all approach to their payroll just isn’t going to work. It’s also not going to give them confidence in your ability if they think you don’t understand their business, so doing your homework here will really pay off.

In order to get your client on board with your new payroll offering, it’s useful to think about what challenges they’re facing right now regarding payroll, and whether Thesaurus Connect is a right fit for them. Thesaurus Connect offers a whole range of additional HR benefits, so think about how these extras can save your clients time. Begin your introduction by showing your clients that they’re in safe hands because you fully understand their payroll challenges and you’ve got just the product to help them make their payroll processes even easier than it’s ever been before.

How Can You Provide Added Value

So now that you’ve established how Thesaurus Connect can modernise your client’s payroll process, it’s time to pitch the benefits to them. For most clients, this is a simple case of informing them about the HR features they may not have themselves including:

  • Client payroll portal
  • Payslip library
  • Employee payroll app
  • Annual leave management
  • HR document upload feature 
  • Automated payroll reports

You can also present Thesaurus Connect as a time saving opportunity by explaining to them that the cloud functionality frees them up to dedicate additional resources to other aspects of the business.

What’s The Bottom Line

Every client, whether big or small, is always trying to find new ways to cut costs, reduce administration and maximize profits (without cutting quality services). And in today’s climate, most businesses don’t have any choice in keeping their costs down as much as possible. So, one of the best ways you can sell your payroll services to your clients is by simply showing them just how cost effective it is.

Thesaurus Connect offers highly competitive pricing options where users are billed based on usage. The usage subscription model is based on the number of active employees in the billing month. The more clients you have the lower your cost per employee, which means you can pass the savings along to them. You can also find ways to make it even more tempting to your clients, such as offering them a free trial period, or a special deal if they refer a new client to your bureau. This is totally up to you, but don’t be afraid to be creative with how you cost this service.

Book a demo of Thesaurus Connect to see how you can help your clients with a new and improved payroll service offering.

Posted bySarah TyrrellinBrightPay Connect


Nov 2019

19

Can the Cloud help you attract new staff?

The Cloud is the current buzz-word in technology. Employers in the know are reaping the benefits from its capabilities, including helping them attract and retain new staff.

Why is this important? Becoming an employer of choice has never been more important, especially as we are at near full employment. A quick search of any of the main job boards will show an abundance of available jobs. It’s a jobseeker’s market. The challenge for employers therefore is to attract and retain the best candidates. One way to attract and retain employees is to offer them something new, something edgy… a strong, feature-rich, cloud employee self-service system could be it.

Today’s world has gone online, everyone has social media accounts, we are all familiar with buying many of our goods and services online. This is particularly true for millenials (generally defined as those born between 1984 and 1999) who are are fast becoming the largest sector of our workforce. Understanding how to tap into their fast-paced expectations is crucial for business success.

Businesses who do not compete in this space run risks of being overlooked by prospective employees, millennials in particular. This is where employers should consider a cloud, employee self-service system. Offering online access to their annual leave calendar, their personal details, their employers details, all their HR documents and all of their payslips on their smartphones via a dedicated employee app is the smartest, most cost effective way to show your employees you are in the same digital space that they are.

Book a demo today to find out how your business can benefit from cloud self-service systems.

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byJen McBrideinBrightPay Connect


Nov 2019

12

Christmas & Connect…. How to get the most from your Connect this festive season!

  1. Plan in advance – we all know how crazy the festive period can be; leave requests, last minute plans and staff parties to name a few. Now is the time to start planning. Make sure your employees are using their Employee App to organise all their leave requests in one, easy to access place that you can access 24/7’.

  2. Get creative – Need to get the Christmas party menu choices sorted? Need to organise the Secret Santa? Use the document upload feature in Connect to take care all of it! 

  3. Stay engaged – It’s very easy for your employees to become distracted by all the craziness of Christmas and become switched off right at the busiest time of year for your business. Use Connect to send out flyers, links to motivational websites, targets and goals and company updates to keep your staff engaged and on top of their game.

  4. Say Thank You – Did you know that you can buy One4All gift cards directly from your Thesaurus Payroll Manager? Use Connect to let your employees know that you appreciate their hard work and that a One4All gift card is on the way! 

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software

Posted byJen McBrideinBrightPay Connect