CASE STUDY Andrew Seinor takes company culture so seriously he chose his payroll based on it. Perth-based accounting firm the H Factor is focused solely on business consulting – it doesn’t even offer compliance services for its clients’ tax returns. Instead the H Factor’s primary line of work is in teaching the benefits of business culture. The firm’s own culture is quite radical as far as businesses go. The four full-time employees are supported by casual staff; there is no office nor any plans to have one. And technology is a serious concern. “There’s a fairly high creative element to our work,” managing partner Seinor says. So when Seinor looked for a better way for staff to look up their payslips he wanted a better solution than logging into the company’s online accounting software, Saasu. “We wanted something a little more complex and sophisticated” for handling staff requests, Seinor says. “If we left it all in the accounting program our staff would have to log-in to see their own stuff. That doesn’t feel right to us.” Seinor found a dedicated online payroll program, KeyPay, which had an employee portal where staff could download their payslips and apply for leave. The flexibility of the self-service portal was a way of extending our business culture, Seinor says. “We don’t have an office so you can’t just walk in and ask for all your information. The portal helps us share information and gives employees control of which accounts they get paid into, the superannuation fund they use and all those things which they completely self-manage. “It also says something about our professionalism and the way we want to treat them.”
Making Payroll Pay
Many of the H Factor’s employees use the KeyPay portal to download past payslips to check the hours they are working compared to what what they are paid. “They don’t have to ask us, they can get it from our system. That says a lot about how we want to treat them and changes that relationship for the better,” Seinor says. His favourite features with KeyPay are the automated superannuation calculations and the leave accrual. “I have absolute confidence in all the reports I get out of it,” Seinor says. These reports include total hours worked, leave accruals, leave balances and time management. KeyPay also calculates superannuation and future obligations. “We also look at it from a cashflow perspective. Being able to see all our payroll in one place and in the past six weeks we can see how much we have spent. it makes things easier to predict,” Seinor says. “You can do all the same stuff in Saasu but it’s not as user friendly.” There were few alternative payroll apps that worked with Saasu. Seinor briefly considered outsourcing payroll completely but decided it would be better to find an app that they could also use with clients. The H Factor has now set up KeyPay to help clients with their own payroll requirements. The fact that KeyPay is online promotes collaboration and openness, which compliments the culture of the H Factor, Seinor says. “For us it’s really trying to practise what we preach.”
Do Staff or Customers Like KeyPay?
“The staff love it because they’re in control. They know where their money is being paid into, they know there’s a leave process, it’s clear and unambiguous,” Seinor says. If an employee wants a past payments summary they can go and download it at any time. The freedom to check their pay details removes payroll compliance as a source of potential conflict. “Our staff aren’t worrying whether we have paid them properly or if it’s been paid into the right account,” Seinor says. “We can talk about the things that are important to us, and in the professional environment that’s especially important.” The cost benefit of KeyPay is intangible and therefore difficult to measure – but it’s still significant, Seinor says. Super payments often take time to sort out among multiple staff, and the payroll queries that followed each payrun have disappeared with the portal. “No-one wants to have a conversation where the starting point is the employee is concerned that they haven’t been paid properly. There’s an element of anxiety taken out of the process.”
Best Thing about KeyPay?
“The portal component and the super payments. Even with four or five staff they all have different superannuation funds. That can become a nightmare pretty quickly. Some of our clients have 30 staff and being able to do that in one transaction (is great). The best thing is it makes us look good.”
Worst Thing about KeyPay?
“None that I can think of.”