Unsung heroes of payroll – meet our Professional Services team

unsung heroes of payroll
By Anthony Wolny | 4th June 2020 | 15 min read

Continuing our unsung heroes of payroll blog series, we caught up with our Implementation Manager, Simon Clark-Jones, to get a greater understanding of how our Professional Services team is supporting payroll professionals across the UK.

Could you break down your role and give a brief explanation of what your department does?

I'm the Implementation Manager for our payroll and accountancy divisions, looking after a team of consultants and trainers who provide ongoing support and also assist customers with new software integrations.

We also help payroll professionals enhance their current software, locating their knowledge gaps and supporting them with a wide array of training resources via the IRIS Training Centre.

Additionally, utilising bespoke Best Use Assessments, we help payroll professionals identify ways and means of enhancing their ROI by leveraging the most from their software.

How has your team risen to the challenge of COVID-19?

We were one of the first teams within IRIS to embrace remote working, ensuring our customers didn't see a drop-in service during these crucial times.

Once everyone was set up at home, we came together as a collective team across implementation and training to adjust our services, altering on-site appointments to virtual meetings.

By calling upon the skills and expertise of our team, we ensured our customers faced minimal impact when swapping to remote appointments.

We adopted the use of Microsoft Teams quite heavily so that we could conduct video calls, allowing us to still see faces and gauge the understanding of customers and consultants alike. 

This has proved useful in liaising with our customers who are now also working from home across many different locations around the UK.

During the virtual meetings, we can also share desktops, presentations and even remote control the customer’s PC, enabling us to guide them through the software.

The remote-control functionality allows us to continue providing a hands-on approach as if we were in the room.

Many customers have valued our change in process and have praised the collaborative approach demonstrated.

Has your department taken any proactive measures to support customers?

We started offering free COVID-19 update sessions twice a week that have become so popular, we had to duplicate them as we were exceeding the attendee limit for the individual sessions.

Our efforts are now doubled and we’re delivering the content over multiple session so that our customers can continue to receive the first-hand knowledge from our trainers and consultants.

Every Monday and Tuesday, the webinar looks at furloughing, calculations, employers National Insurance and Automatic Enrolment.

While every Thursday and Friday are the more generic COVID-19 webinars, looking at the latest news and also how IRIS can support customers with remote working and business changes.

Another measure we've taken is when working remotely with clients we take regular breaks throughout the sessions, similar to if we were on-site.

As everything is being conducted over a video call, it's easy to go on for a lot longer and for all the information to become overwhelming.

So, we're now ensuring there are adequate breaks and also allowing customers to split the sessions over a few days.

Our IRIS Training Centre is also proving to be incredibly valuable for customers, providing a single point for our accountancy and payroll customers to enhance their knowledge and consume training on demand.

As there are new products/features due for release very soon, we are excited to see our customers consuming not just our webinar content, but also our vast array of e-learning resources.

Do you have any advice for payroll professionals moving forward?

Quite simply, remember IRIS is always here to help, I'm a huge advocate for the support we provide payroll professionals.

We have outstanding Product, Development, Customer Support and even Admin/Finance Teams, all of which are doing everything they can for our customers.

Also, normally our Product and Legislation Teams get some advance notice from HMRC on what's changing which allows us to stay ahead and provide the most up to date guidance. 

So, definitely register for the webinars we're hosting each week because we'll keep you up to date with the latest information.

In the meantime check out our support hub and also read our last Unsung Heroes blog with our IPP Support Team.