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Payroll Software Guide: 101 Features And Functionalities Recruitment Agencies Should Look For


Payroll Software Guide: 101 Features And Functionalities Recruitment Agencies Should Look For

There is no dearth of payroll software catering to the UK or the EU market. However, a good portion of the payroll solutions cater to enterprises and businesses. Agencies, especially ones dealing with a large volume of candidates, are best served by specialised pay & bill software built for the recruitment sector.

With the right software, a number of tasks can be streamlined and automated, leading to efficiency gains, superior candidate experience and improved cash flow. However, the sheer complexity of timesheet processing, payment and billing can make it difficult to identify features and functionalities that you should be looking for.

At QX, we process over 1.5 million timesheets every year, working for many of the biggest recruitment agencies in the UK. Our pay & bill teams have worked with almost all the major recruitment payroll software and we have a thorough understanding of the key features that any agency needs.

Read related blog: 7 steps to choosing the right payroll software for your recruitment agency

If you are considering to implement or migrate to new software for payment and billing, make sure that it has the key features from our detailed list below. It is likely that the software may not have ALL of these features, but if you process a high volume of timesheets, make sure it has at least the ones that are most relevant to your process. For convenience, we have divided the list based on key agency payroll activities. Click on any of the sections to navigate directly to the relevant features.

Candidate Management
Client Management
Contract/Booking Management
Timesheet Management
Managing Corrections
Paper Timesheet Management
Pension Management
Mobile/Web Application Features
P45 and Leavers
Generating Reports
Other important features

Candidate Management

1. Drop down to choose between different umbrella companies
2. Support for payslips from online portal, email and paper
3. Holiday payment calculation, with and without accruals
4. Scan employee documents (e.g. Starters, P45, etc.) and link to the specific employee
5. Make and access pop-up notes related to specific candidate while processing
6. Support for all relevant types of employee taxes
7. Ease of setting payment frequency – daily, weekly, monthly
8. Send automatic remittance emails to umbrella companies with payment breakdown
9. View, print and email historical payslips from within the software
10. Setup for payment deduction to recover overpayment, accommodation costs, etc.
11. Ability to send SMS to individual candidates as and when required
12. Paper timesheets barcoding to automatically link candidate timesheet with candidate records
13. Auto-import of tax code and student loan notices from HMRC (DPS)
14. Holiday management

Related case study: Automating master vendor process to boost payroll processing efficiency and accuracy

Client Management

15. Support for sending paper and digital invoices
16. Integration and interface with accounting software
17. Make and access pop-up notes related to specific client
18. Support for invoicing parent-child level (e.g. at site-location level)
19. Split or merge invoices as per client’s specifications
20. Facility to un-check self-bill clients to whom invoices are not to be sent
21. Setting to block invoice raising if selected parameters are missing. For example – missing PO or missing site details.
22. Option to print invoice address
23. Configurable invoice fields
24. Option to add IR35 inside/outside status
25. Ease of setting invoicing frequency as per client’s specification – daily, weekly, monthly

Contract/Booking Management

26. Pop-up of any notes made against specific candidate names
27. Permanent placement setup details
28. Facility to calculate consultant split margin
29. Automatic AWR (Agency Workers Regulations)
30. Facility to select framework; e.g. CPP, HTE, etc.
31. Import placement and contract details from front office software
32. Selecting key details while creating placements. E.g. Site, Ward, Hospital.
33. Easy to access rate history to review and make any rate changes
34. IR35 inside/outside status

Timesheet Management

35. Automatic pop-up notifying of duplicate timesheet
36. Pop-up for timesheets from ‘On Hold’ employees
37. Pop-up when the pay rate his higher than the charge rate
38. Attaching documents to the timesheet
39. Facility to place a specific timesheet on hold
40. Split consultants at timesheet level
41. VAT/NI adjustments at timesheet level
42. Automatic splitting of hours i.e. Day Rate, Night Rate, Saturday Rate, Sunday Rate, etc.
43. Timesheet Query Log management within the software

Managing Corrections

44. Error codes to populate adjustment reason
45. Facility for detailed notes
46. Adjust both pay and charge by selecting original timesheet
47. Automatically link original timesheet image with the adjustment entry

Paper Timesheet Management

48. Facility to upload timesheet images individually or in a batch
49. Configurable drop down of common reasons for rejection – e.g. Candidate Not Set, Duplicate Timesheet, Contract Not Set, etc.
50. SMS rejected timesheets to candidate or consultant for next steps
51. Email rejected timesheets to candidate or consultant for next steps
52. Automatically reject/ignore images that are not timesheet
53. Orient timesheets automatically and save (in case the image is upside down or sideways)
54. Zoom in on the timesheet image for improving readability
55. Option to fit to screen size to check the full timesheet image
56. Barcode or QR code search

Related case study: Recruitment agency saves over £6.5 million through successful payroll and accounts outsourcing relationship

Pension Management

57. Support employee assessment for pensions i.e. auto enrolment, deferment, etc.
58. Support different calculation methods for pensions i.e. relief at source, net pay arrangement, etc.
59. Calculate Auto Enrolment and opt out period automatically on updating employee pensions details.
60. Employee assessment for Re-Enrolment (every 3 years)
61. Allow to change pensions percentage to bespoke
62. Pensions calculation - Tax week or pay week

Mobile/web Application Features

Allows candidates to:
63. Submit timesheets
64. View and print payslips and statutory forms
65. Notification on approval, rejection and payment of timesheets
66. Facility to click on notification and respond via email
67. Upload paper timesheet

Allows the clients to:
68. Approve timesheets
69. Reject timesheet and/or suggest amends
70. Receive reminders to authorise timesheets

P45 and Leavers

71. Create P45 (Individual)
72. Create P45 (in Bulk i.e. After 12 Weeks)
73. P46 Entry Process / Starter Checklist Entry Process
74. New starter listing - P45 Listing

Generating Reports

75. Exception report to review
76. Pre-payroll calculation report
77. Payroll calculation report
78. Payslip report
79. Deduction report (details of deduction set for any candidates payments)
80. Invoicing report; i.e. Day Book
81. Email payslip report (provides information of any exceptions of sending email payslips)
82. Paper invoices report (provides information of any exceptions of sending email invoices)
83. Invoice – Monthly / Weekly
84. RTI Submission – FPS and EPS
85. Payroll update (to separate one payroll from the next payroll within the week)
86. Weekly update (to separate tax week to rolled forward to new tax week)
87. Intermediaries reporting
88. Gross Margin output

Other important features

89. Download reports and upload timesheets with VMS Tool
90. Payroll system - Desktop Base or Web Base
91. if Web base, can IP address be configurable to control access?
92. Check calculation method of payroll software (tax week or pay week, i.e. ‘when worked’ or ‘when paid’)
93. Facility to use different business logo on invoices and payslips for different offices or databases
94. Ability to configure payment process with banking software
95. Import timesheets from CSV files or auto transfer from front-office software
96. Calculate and make statutory payments i.e. SMP, SSP, SAP, SPP, etc.
97. Email key payroll documents (historic or current) from within the software
98. Can payroll pay back any wrong deduction i.e. student loan to the candidate?
99. Ability to refund excess/incorrect tax, NI, student loan deductions
100. Support for previous year tax and NI adjustments (EYU)
101. Print, email and/or upload P60 to online portal

Need more help?

  • Looking for more ideas on how to go about implementing a new pay & bill software for a high-volume process?
  • Shopping for a software and want unbiased advice?
  • Need tips of how to improve your pay & bill process?

Write to us and we will get back to you with answers and advice.

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