A look into IRIS’ rapid support to aid payroll professionals

By Anthony Wolny | 13th May 2020 | 15 min read

The impact COVID-19 has had on businesses is huge, there’s been a record number of people working remotely and a vast amount of legislation has been introduced.

We’ve never seen anything like this in the payroll industry and our IRIS Payroll Team has risen to the challenge, working non-stop to ensure payroll professionals can adapt to this uncertain time.

To get some further insight into how the team is helping businesses not only deal with the current situation but prepare for the future, we spoke with our Payroll Product Manager, Lindsay Mungin.

How are we helping payroll professionals simplify the furlough process?

The team have been amazing and rapidly put a vast amount of support in place to help payroll professionals.

As soon as the scheme was announced, we immediately began putting out guidance on how businesses can most effectively furlough employees in their current system.

Also, some of our payroll products offer quick report writing so we took the initiative and began advising customers to create specific reports that can help them identify and calculate their reclaim amount. 

Alongside the initial guidance, we were working tirelessly to tweak our payroll solutions so that users could identify their furlough payments separately within their software, simplifying the calculation of their reclaim values.

We did face challenges throughout this process as we were mid-development cycle when on 17th April, HMRC changed how businesses calculate their reclaim values.

But our teams worked extremely hard and quick when this was announced, dropping everything to accommodate the changes and make the required adjustments to our payroll offering.

The result is that now in addition to the simplified furlough calculations, our software can also create the necessary output file report for users to submit their claim.

How have the product and development teams been working to meet customers' needs?

The teams have put in a huge amount of effort and even worked three weekends in a row to ensure we got these new furloughing features out to customers. 

As the requirements were constantly evolving when we were working on the product it was challenging at times, but the team powered through to ensure rapid delivery.

In addition to the development side, we also have quite a few people documenting advice and guidance, providing instant support to those that need it most.

The documentation we're creating is in place to resolve common issues that we're regularly seeing when businesses are trying to submit their claims.

As we found a lot of businesses are struggling with the process, the team ensured they got this crucial support out to payroll professionals as soon as possible.

We’re proud to say that without all the guidance we're producing, payroll professionals would have to spend an enormous amount of time looking through multiple sources to try find a resolution.

How has our customer-first mantra been used during this period?

Essentially, the teams have dropped everything in their development cycle and purely focused on supporting customers.

Also, since everything is changing and there is pressure on the Government to make more alterations to the scheme, we're ensuring a safety net is in place within our software.

For example, there are currently restrictions on employers as they can only bulk upload their claim if they’re furloughing more than 100 employees.

We've put measures in place within our software in case that changes so customers can automatically create smaller output files without us having to do an update.

Another form of customer-focused support is that we're hosting multiple webinars each week with various experts from across the business to keep payroll professionals updated throughout the uncertain times.

Plus, I've run a lot of internal training for our support teams to ensure as a business, we're in the best possible position to offer assistance.

What are we doing moving forward? 

We've put no limits on our furloughing functionality so for now in the short-term users are covered if the scheme is extended.

As for looking to the future, our experts will keep an eye on the details of the scheme changes announced on 12/05/2020 to ensure our products are updated if required.

We'll also keep working on functionality to support businesses in the new way of working that we've all had to adopt. 

In the meantime, we recommend you check out our Business Continuity Support Hub for all our latest content and advice.