passFINANCE has been managing the employee payment process in independent schools since February 2004 when the first pilot schools migrated from WCBS’ earlier product. Our payroll module has been providing accurate and reliable payslip calculations for 16 years, with annual updates to incorporate the requirements of HMRC.

The Marketing team caught up with Christina Brown, WCBS Development Manager for a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in keeping Payroll up to date.

“Each year our Payroll project starts with our Product Managers watching out for mention of payroll changes in the government’s annual budget, as that usually indicates what size the project will be.

“We’ve now got the process for getting Payroll updates out on time down to a fine art; once HMRC have issued a notification of the intended changes in September, Karen, our senior Finance Business Analyst starts to detail how the changes will affect our software. Then, with my Senior Finance Developer, Steve, I start to look at the size of the project and the resources required to complete on time (by the last working day in January).

“As my team completes the final checks for the December (ISC Census) release, Karen will be finishing the Payroll requirements and the race is then on to complete the Payroll work so that our Training Consultants and Support team have plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the changes in advance of the release to our customers in early March.

“This winter, the Payroll development team (Adrian, Nicole, Steve and Vitalie) spent over 40 days working on the payroll changes enabling me to apply for HMRC recognition as soon as their requirements were published. We received the quickest confirmation we’ve ever had, with the email from HMRC stating, ‘I am pleased to confirm 2020-21 PAYE recognition for your product passFINANCE Payroll.’

“When we first applied for recognition by HMRC, back in 2012, we were working towards compliance in preparation of RTI. Payroll has appeared on the HMRC website each year since then as ‘tested and recognised’, and continues to be a powerful, easy to use payroll solution, with nearly 300 of our customers adopting it for their payroll needs.”