What are the challenges of running multiple payrolls?

multiple payrolls
By Anthony Wolny | 28th May 2020 | 11 min read

Payroll is undoubtedly tricky at the best of times, and this becomes increasingly apparent for bureaux and accountants; often called ‘payroll service providers’, who manage the payroll for hundreds of clients each of which bring their individual challenges and quirks.

To get a greater understanding of the complications of managing multiple payrolls, we caught up with our Professional Services Manager, Eanna Cullen.

In this blog, we’ll detail the challenges they outlined and also take a look at how IRIS can support.


Businesses that run a single payroll will have a lot to do, but once they reach the end of their pay cycle, their workload drops immediately.

Bureaux don’t get this temporary relief as they typically process 100s of client payrolls with around 50% of them being paid weekly.

This means bureaux and accountants face a continual influx of work and additional requests, which if not efficiently managed simply won’t be processed.


When managing multiple payrolls, one of the most important considerations must be data security, especially after the introduction of GDPR.

The pressure is particularly on bureaux and accountants because the payroll data handled includes sensitive information such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Bank details

Failure to uphold data security will not only result in a rather hefty fine but may also lead to a damaged reputation.

Work Oversight – Task Management

If someone is absent in a bureau or accountancy firm, the workload needs passing onto another team member because unlike other industries, they can’t afford to miss a client’s payroll.  

But without the right tools, it’s incredibly difficult to have visibility over the workload and the additional tasks often seem to be sprung rather than planned.

Payroll complexity, Legislation and specialisms

Offering a payroll service means having the flexibility to run the payroll for a potentially huge range of employers across varying industries and with differing requirements.

Factors such as the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), Automatic Enrolment, pay scales or ‘spines’ and expatriate employment all bring their own complexities to payroll which in turn has resulted in a large number of businesses looking to outsource.

Having the right tools to provide oversight, manage payroll tasks across your team and segment your clients into ‘processing’ groups according to their complexity is essential in a bureau payroll solution.

If bureaux and accountants are unable to accommodate the rise in demand and meet the specialist requirements, customers will undoubtedly turn elsewhere.

Human error

Due to the number of payrolls handled each week, the processes become prone to human error.

Especially if the payrolls are being managed through manual processes instead of utilising a modern solution.

As bureaux and accountants are providing a service, there is no room for mistakes as it will severely impact their reputation and client relationships.

How can IRIS help?

We saw these challenges and responded by creating IRIS Payroll Professional (IPP), a solution designed specifically for bureaux and accountants.

Whether you have 10 or 10,000 clients, IRIS Payroll Professional is the all-in-one software that streamlines your processes and handles even the trickiest reporting requirements.

A few of our key features include:

  • Award-winning support
  • Multi-user solution
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Easy bulk data input for bringing on new clients
  • Backup and restore data
  • Built-in Automatic Enrolment functionality
  • Financial costing and analysis
  • Secure payslip and document exchange with Clients and employees

For more information on IRIS Payroll Professional, click here and for an in-depth look into our platform and its purpose, check out our new blog.