Tingdene Homes Case Study

Simon Iliffe, HR Manager of Tingdene Homes has been using Earnie Executive since 2011, with a payroll of 184 employees.

Simon explained that the employees are split between weekly and monthly pay cycles. When asked about the day-to-day use of Earnie Executive, Simon explained that “it is smooth and runs well, very easy to move around. My experience with Earnie Executive has been good because it is very easy and intuitive to pick up when you first start using it.”

Auto Enrolment

Simon’s initial thoughts of automatic enrolment were that it “all seemed like a bit of a nightmare. There are a lot of different things that are quite complicated in places. We also found that much of what was initially coming through from the government about auto enrolment was hard to interpret. This was made worse by the systems not being in place with pension providers which made it hard to get everything set up.”

Simon also explained that initially, they used a piece of middleware from their pension provider as it was one of the only solutions on the market at the time. Simon explained that “at the time, it was a brand new platform and we were the first company to go on it with a weekly based payroll which complicated things even further.”

Simon explained that they started quite late in their preparation for auto enrolment because they were awaiting decisions to be made on pension providers and automatic enrolment solutions. He estimated that it was probably around three months before their staging date that they started to prepare for auto enrolment. He went on to say that “if we had to go through auto enrolment again, we would have given ourselves more time to prepare; in particular our communications to employees which could have been more spaced out.”

When questioned about the process of choosing which solution that Tingdene Homes would adopt for auto enrolment, Simon explained “I could never imagine running auto enrolment manually. The amount of admin that you could end up with each week including the handing out of letters and ensuring compliance with all of the different aspects would just be a full-time job on its own. It would have to be, just to make sure that you are compliant with the regulations.”

Simon explained that they used their pension provider’s auto enrolment solution which was a piece of middleware. Tingdene Homes had to do a lot of manual work themselves because of the different reports that they needed for different aspects of the payroll.

“The main problem for us was that with the majority of our staff being on a weekly payroll, the middleware solution was not suited for those with weekly and monthly pay schedules. This caused compatibility issues to begin with.”

The IRIS AE Suite™

Simon talked about the functionality and the integration with the Earnie payroll software as being the main reasons that attracted them to look at the IRIS AE Suite™. He said that “it allows you to run the assessment and create and distribute the communications without setting up a separate report and upload it to a separate system”.


“The integration was straightforward after we had worked out some of the initial settings that needed to be altered from the existing solution. In addition to this, I also had to become used to running the solution in a certain way after having done reports and processes in a certain order for so long.”

Benefits of the IRIS AE Suite™

Simon told us that “The IRIS AE Suite™ has completely streamlined our automatic enrolment process. It takes less time to do, you do not have to worry about uploading and sending files to a third-party platform anymore. It is literally just a case of you running the reports at the end and sending off the letters to your employees electronically and carry on with the payroll.”

IRIS OpenPayslips

“IRIS OpenPayslips is brilliant. When we first rolled it out, we had a very impressive 60% of our workforce adopting it straight away. When those that didn’t adopt IRIS OpenPayslips straight away saw their colleagues using it, they were easily convinced to take it on as well.”

When asked about the amount of time that Simon saves by using the IRIS AE Suite™ he explained that “The IRIS AE Suite™ must have saved me at least 2 days per week from when I was using the middleware provider; it could even be more depending on how complex that certain week’s payroll was due to overtime rates and other factors”.

Spreadsheet Import

Simon then went on to talk about the 'Spreadsheet Import Module' that he used. He explained that “Tingdene Homes halve the amount of time that it takes them to run their payroll and auto enrolment due to the 'Spreadsheet Import Module'. The plug-in removes the entirely manual processes of inputting data that they used to have to do.”

Advice to other businesses

I would say that businesses should avoid using a piece of middleware and look into Earnie and the IRIS AE Suite™ because it brings everything all under one roof which makes the solution so much easier to run and saves you a great deal of time and effort. Payroll is the best place to run auto enrolment”.