Thesaurus Software was conceived in 1989 by Paul Byrne and Tom Horan. Paul was the figures guy and Tom was the techie. The pair spent the following 2 years developing the initial offering of Thesaurus Payroll Manager (or Proll as it was called then), while continuing to hold down full time jobs. Borland Turbo Basic was the programming language of choice.
At the time, most employers were doing their payroll manually. Thesaurus was the first company in the Irish market to offer payroll software at an affordable price. In its first year, Thesaurus achieved customer numbers of 100. A bottle of bubbly was popped open on the occasion of the 100th customer!
Thesaurus was also the first company in the Irish market to offer a free trial period, enabling potential customers to try before they bought. The competitors soon followed suit. Sales of Thesaurus Payroll Manager grew progressively over the following years, fuelled mainly through word of mouth.
The release of Visual Basic 4 by Microsoft in 1998 represented another milestone in the company’s history. Ably assisted by Tom’s son, Thomas, Thesaurus soon released a true Windows version of the payroll software which spurred its growth even further.
Another important milestone was when Ross Webster joined the company in 2010. Ross brought with him all the latest programming and design skills. Ross hit the ground running, developing BrightPay over the following 2 years and it was released in the UK for the 2012/13 tax year. BrightPay was also released in the Irish market in 2013.
Thesaurus Payroll Manager continues to hold the leading market share in Ireland.
BrightPay and Thesaurus Payroll Manager are currently used by (and used for) over 200,000 Irish and UK employers.