How to run a successful payroll

10 October 2022

How to run a successful payroll

Successful payroll management is not always easy if you are running your payroll in-house and purchasing payroll software.

Having correct payroll processes, company payroll policies, well trained staff, up to date software, accurate payroll data and an ongoing knowledge of payroll legislation are all critical for you to run a successful payroll and for you to manage your own payroll process in-house.

In this blog, I'll cover the tips to run a successful payroll, what to look for in payroll software, but also the benefits and considerations to using external payroll management services.

5 Top tips for your business payroll

If you are managing payroll processing in-house, then here are our top 5 tips for processing payroll.

  1. Invest in great payroll software.
  2. Keep accurate employee records.
  3. Keep up with payroll legislation.
  4. Invest in good payroll training.
  5. Review payroll processes and payroll policies regularly.

If managing payroll in-house becomes too expensive or too difficult then outsourcing your payroll to a recognised payroll management companies such as Haines Watts should be considered.


How do I choose the right payroll software?

If you are considering running your own payroll, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right payroll software for your business, such as:

1.     Security

You will be managing sensitive employee information, so your payroll software needs strong security features, such as password protection, secure storage, and limited access control.

Here at Haines Watts, we use BACS Approved software to run your payroll. BACS Approved means that we adhere to the highest standards of data security, and we are compliant with current GDPR legislation to protect your data and that of your employees.

This also gives us the ability to send encrypted payslips, P60's and P45's to your employees. 

2.     Costs and budget

You need to factor in the cost of the software, an in-house payroll person or payroll department, training costs, support costs and ongoing upgrade costs to the software.

  1. You should also figure in costs to keep your payroll team up to date with payroll legislation and payroll processes.

All of these costs can mount up quickly, meaning it is often more cost effective to outsource your payroll to an approved payroll provider, such as Haines Watts.

4.     Scalability

If your business is likely to grow, then will your payroll software grow with you?

Consider how many employees you currently have and anticipate for the future. Bear in mind that your number of employees is a key factor in the price you’ll pay for a robust payroll system.

5.     Payment frequency

Your payment frequency may impact the software you choose, so do you pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Ensure the software supports your payment needs.

6.     Tax filing

Having payroll software that will automate the entire process for you, including national insurance, tax calculations and handling Real Time Information (RTI), will help your payroll administrators navigate the complexities managing your payroll successfully.

7.     Compliance with legislation

Ensuring you are always compliant with the latest tax and payroll legislation is imperative, does the software provider help to ensure this. How will you keep your internal staff up to date on this legislation and can the payroll software be quickly updated to handle changes in legislation?

8.     Integration

Integration with other software can help streamline processes, improve analytics, and reduce time, cost, and resources. Payroll software that integrates with HR software, timesheet software and accounting software can reduce errors and time.

9.     Reporting capabilities

Most payroll software has reporting capabilities but there may be specific information and payroll reports you will need. Ask this to understand the cost if you need to create bespoke reports in the software.

10. Employee self-service (ESS) portal

Giving employees access to download payslips, upload timesheets or access their personal data can make for a happier workforce and can save you time as well. However, this type of portal needs to be secure and easy for untrained employees to navigate.

When outsourcing payroll to Haines Watts, we can give your employees access to all their information 24/7, if they want to look back at current or past documents, they can do this as well as print them out.

11. Employment options.

Consider if you employ contractors as well as full-time employees. You may need software that can handle things like IR35 or the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Depending on your business, you will need to choose payroll software that has flexible options.


Why can the payroll process be challenging?

Payroll can be a real headache for business owners. It is important you pay your people on time and accurately, but with ever changing legislation and changes in your team members and their circumstances, it can feel overwhelming at times. 


How long should a payroll processing take?

This will depend on the number of employees you have, the complexity of your payroll and the in-house person or team you employ. Here at Haines Watts, we process our client's payroll in a matter of days.

We believe in giving all our payroll clients the simplest and most streamlined processes to make running your payroll and paying your employees easy and efficient saving you time, money and worry.


What do I have to do at payroll year end?

Payroll year end can be a major part of the payroll process and can be a lot of work for HR and payroll departments payroll calendar. Here's some tips on things to do for payroll year end:

  • Check when your payroll year ends.
  • Check all leavers and new starters.
  • Send your final Employer Payment Summary (EPS) as well as a Full Payment Submission (FPS).
  • Process and make your final submission for the tax year.
  • Prepare P60s for all your employees.
  • Prepare for the next payroll year by checking HMRCs website for the P9X document (explaining what tax codes you must change for the coming year).

Payroll mistakes and how to avoid them

If you have disgruntled employees who have not been paid correctly and on time, then that’s not good for them and the business.

Read our blog to find out some of the most common payroll mistakes and how to avoid them.


Top 10 benefits of outsourcing your payroll services

  1. Cost savings – it is much more cost-effective as we provide a fixed fee package and can also save you time and money on payment processing.
  2. Increased productivity – payroll completion is time consuming; outsourcing frees up your time to focus on your business and what you do best.
  3. Reliability – payroll completed correctly on time every time.
  4. Speed – option to make same day salary payments where needed.
  5. Insight – we provide payroll cost analysis, tailored reports and keep you up to date with any new legislation.
  6. Communication – emails to your employees including secure payslips and correspondence.
  7. Security – the highest level of data security and GDPR compliance.
  8. Administration - Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE filing, preparation of end of year tax returns and other forms.
  9. Advice - bespoke advice on all related issues.
  10. Auto enrolment – our outsourced service also includes assistance with Auto Enrolment Pension reporting and correspondence compliance.


Running and managing your own payroll can often be costly and stressful, especially as your company grows. It is worth considering outsourcing your payroll to ensure cost effective, accurate and secure payroll processing for your employees.

Read our Haines Watts guide to payroll to find out more or contact us today for more information or a quote.

You can email us on or call us on 01244 400315