Payroll for accountants – top software, services and business development opportunities compared

Updated on 7 August 2023

When it comes to payroll for accountants in the UK, there are a range of different software and services available to choose from.

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One of the key decisions is whether to offer an in-house payroll service at your accountancy firm, or outsource the payroll element of your business to a specialist.

Video: Payroll outsourcing explained

In this guide, we compare some of the top options to help you make the right decision for your business.

Moorepay logo Cutting edge payroll software
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  • HMRC & RTI compliant
  • Used by payroll pros
Pipedrive logo The CRM platform to grow your business
  • Great for entrepreneurs
  • Powerful data analytics
  • Manage sales and data
Wix logo Powerful web builder and advanced business tools
  • Great for startups
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  • E-commerce available
Planable logo Supercharged content planning
  • Great for marketing
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  • Manage social media
Webador logo Create a new website in 10 minutes. Easy.
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Benefits to clients of hiring one single company for both accounting and payroll services

There are a range of benefits to clients of hiring one single company for both accounting and payroll services. By consolidating these two services into one provider, businesses can often benefit from a more cost-effective service, as well as reduced administration time and effort.

In addition, many businesses find that having a single provider for both their accounting and payroll needs helps to ensure a more co-ordinated and consistent service. This can be particularly important for businesses with multiple sites or locations, or those that operate in different countries.

Potential rewards include:

  • Reduced administrative burden
  • Easier to manage and communicate with one contact point
  • Streamlined and co-ordinated reporting
  • Improved workflow and efficiency

Reasons to begin offering payroll services at your accountancy business

Offering payroll services can be a great way for accountants to expand their business and offer a more comprehensive service to their clients. Benefits include:

  • Added value for clients
  • Increased revenue potential
  • Opportunity to build stronger relationships with clients
  • Improved workflow and efficiency in your own business

When it comes to finding the best payroll software and services for your accountancy firm, there are a range of important factors to consider.

Should accountants offer payroll services in-house, or outsource to a payroll specialist?

Many accountants choose to outsource their payroll services to a specialist provider, as this can be a more cost-effective and efficient way to manage this aspect of your business. However, there are also benefits to offering payroll in-house, such as greater control over data and the ability to customise services to meet your specific needs.

So, which is the best option for you? Here are some of the key considerations to take into account:

1. Cost

One of the main reasons businesses choose to outsource their payroll is because it can be more cost-effective than doing it in-house. Specialist providers have the experience and resources to do this effectively, and can often offer a more competitive price than if you were to try and manage it yourself.

2. Time savings

When you outsource your payroll, you also free up time for your accountants to focus on other important tasks. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses who may not have the resources to manage everything in-house.

3. Expertise

Payroll is a complex area, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest changes in legislation and best practice. Specialist providers have the expertise and knowledge to manage this for you, ensuring your payroll is always compliant with the latest requirements.

4. Peace of mind

If something goes wrong with your payroll, it can be a headache to try and fix it. By outsourcing to a specialist provider, you can rest assured that any issues will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

5. Compliance

One of the key benefits of outsourcing your payroll is that you can be confident that it is always compliant with the latest legislation. Specialist providers have extensive knowledge of the latest requirements and will ensure that your payroll is always up to date.

So, which option is best for you? If you’re not sure, speak to a specialist provider about the options available and they can help you make the right decision for your business.

White label payroll services for accountancy firms

If you’re looking for a hassle-free payroll solution, then white label payroll services could be the perfect option. These services are designed specifically for accountancy firms, and they take care of everything from processing wages to issuing payslips. This means that you can focus on your core business activities, safe in the knowledge that your payroll is in good hands.

There are a range of different white label payroll services available, so it’s important to choose one that fits your specific needs. Make sure to compare features such as the level of automation, customer support, and compliance with current regulations.

Step by step guide to choosing a payroll provider for your accountancy firm

When it comes to choosing a payroll provider for your accountancy firm, there are a number of factors to consider. Here’s a handy guide to help you make the right decision:

How to choose a payroll provider for an accountancy firm

  1. Consider your needs

    What kind of payroll services do you need? Do you need a full-service provider, or will you be handling some of the tasks yourself? Make sure to choose a provider that offers the services you need.

  2. Consider your budget

    How much can you afford to spend on payroll services? Make sure to compare prices and features among different providers to find the best option for your budget.

  3. Check the provider’s compliance with regulations

    Payroll providers must comply with a number of regulations, including the Data Protection Act and the National Minimum Wage. Make sure to choose a provider that is compliant with current regulations.

  4. Consider the provider’s customer support

    When it comes to payroll, things can go wrong occasionally. Make sure to choose a provider that offers good customer support, so you can get help when you need it.

  5. Read reviews

    Before making a decision, make sure to read reviews from past customers. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from the provider.

  6. Make a decision

    Once you’ve considered all of these factors, it’s time to make a decision. Compare different providers and choose the one that best suits your needs.

How much does payroll for accountants cost?

The cost of payroll for accountants can vary depending on the provider you choose. Generally, providers will charge a fee per employee, with additional costs for services such as payslips and P60s.

Some providers also offer a subscription-based model, which can be more cost effective for small businesses. With this model, you pay a monthly fee and the provider takes care of all the payroll tasks for you.

When choosing a payroll provider, make sure to compare prices and services to find the best option for your firm. Ask the provider about their rates and what services are included in the price. You should also ask about any additional costs that may be incurred, such as for payslips or P60s.

What are the best payroll software options for accountants?

There are a number of different software options available for accountants, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular options include:

Top payroll software for accountants

First up is Xero, a cloud-based accounting software that is popular among small businesses. It offers a range of features such as invoicing, expense tracking and reconciliation, as well as payroll capabilities. Xero is easy to use and can be accessed from any device, making it a convenient option for busy accountants.

Another popular choice is Sage 50cloud, which is a desktop-based accounting software. It offers a host of features, including payroll, invoicing and budgeting, and is suitable for businesses of all sizes. Sage 50cloud is also easy to use, making it a good choice for those who are new to accounting.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive payroll solution, then Paychex may be the right option for you. Paychex is a cloud-based service that offers a range of features, including payslip creation, tax filing and employee self-service. It is also compliant with UK law, making it a safe choice for businesses.

Finally, we’ll take a look at QuickBooks, another popular cloud-based accounting software. It offers a range of features, including invoicing, expenses and payroll. QuickBooks is easy to use and is suitable for businesses of all sizes.

So, which payroll software is right for you? It really depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use solution, then Xero or QuickBooks may be a good option. If you need a more comprehensive solution, then Paychex or Sage 50cloud may be a better choice. Whichever option you choose, make sure to research the software thoroughly before making a decision.

Which payroll software integrates with other accountancy software?

Most of the popular payroll software options integrate with other accounting software, making it easy to manage your finances. For example, Xero integrates with a number of different accounting software options, including QuickBooks, Sage 50cloud and MYOB. This makes it easy to switch between different software platforms and get the most out of your accountancy software.

Hiring a payroll administrator to work in-house at your accountancy firm

If you don’t want to handle the payroll tasks yourself, you may want to consider hiring a payroll administrator. This is a person who will manage the payroll processing for your firm. They will be responsible for ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time, and that all applicable regulations are followed.

Hiring a payroll administrator can be a great way to reduce the workload for accountants. It can also be a cost-effective option, as the administrator will likely charge less than a payroll provider.

When hiring a payroll administrator, make sure to ask about their experience and qualifications. They should be familiar with the latest UK regulations and be able to handle all aspects of the payroll process.

If you’re considering hiring a payroll administrator, here are some tips to help you choose the right person:

1. Consider the administrator’s experience

When it comes to payroll, experience is key. Make sure to choose an administrator who has a lot of experience managing the payroll process. They should be familiar with the latest UK regulations and be able to handle all aspects of the process.

2. Check the administrator’s qualifications

Administrators should be qualified to handle payroll tasks. They should have a certificate in payroll or accounting, or be certified by the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP).

3. Ask about the administrator’s availability

When hiring a payroll administrator, you need to consider their availability. They should be able to work the hours that you need, and be available on short notice if necessary.

4. Ask about the administrator’s rates

Rates can vary greatly from administrator to administrator. Make sure to ask about the administrator’s rates and find out what services are included in the price.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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