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Wedlake Bell is a law firm employing around 200 members of staff, approximately 50 of whom are partners. Wedlake Bell has been using the core Octopus HR system since 2012 and in 2013 added the Octopus Payroll module.

Natalie King is the Head of HR for Wedlake Bell and we spoke to Natalie about her experience of implementing and using Octopus Payroll at Wedlake Bell.

How Were You Managing Payroll Before Switching To Octopus?

Before Wedlake Bell started using the Octopus Payroll module we did most of the inputting of data in-house. It was a lot more complex as a lot of the calculations like monthly PAYE returns had to be carried out internally.

Because of the complexity of managing the process it wasn’t easy to train members of staff to manage such a critical process, as such the burden of running payroll fell on my shoulders. Per month this amounted to approximately 2 to 3 full days of admin work that I was having to deal with.

What Were Your Reasons For Choosing Octopus For Your Payroll?

Prior to taking the Octopus Payroll link we were using separate HR and payroll systems and having to duplicate everything. With the inherent admin and risk that accompanies trying to keep two separate systems up to date it just made sense to have something that linked directly to the Octopus HR system.

"It just made sense to have something that linked to the
Octopus HR system"

How Have Things Improved Now You’re Using Octopus For Your Payroll?

It has improved things dramatically. The amount of time managing payroll has drastically reduced. It just doesn’t take as long to do payroll and because it’s a much simpler process it’s possible for other people to do the payroll which frees up a lot of my time.

"The amount of time managing payroll has drastically

In terms of the environment we used to go through big, thick bundles of paper every month for copy payslips and reports. Everything's online now through Octopus so from a paper saving point of view and being able to refer back to it it's much better, we just print off what we need when we need it or just review it on the screen. The fact that we have online payslips through Octopus is brilliant. We were always getting people losing payslips and P60s. That has now gone which is a big benefit as it used to eat up a large amount of our time.

"It's much more streamlined"

A lot of the time used to be spent sorting out all the journals after the payroll had been run, working out the PAYE and NI that needed to be paid over. This is now handled by Rayner Essex, our payroll bureau, channelled through the Octopus payroll link. As it all comes through Octopus it's much more streamlined, I can see everything that comes through and what relates to each month's payroll.

"The fact that all this information is all in one place
makes life so much easier"

The reports we were getting previously were all over the place. Now our payroll bureau provide us with a custom made report that makes it easy to flow into our journals. The fact that all this information is all in one place makes life so much easier.

How Easy Was It To Implement?

Because we were already familiar with the Octopus HR system the implementation was really straight forward.

"The implementation was really straight forward"

We had the payroll link set up, liaised with support about various pay elements and then it was just a case of speaking with our payroll bureau just to work out what we need to do and how we need to pass over the information. We picked it up really quickly.

The support team were very accessible so any questions or queries I had were dealt with very quickly.

When we rolled it out I was expecting a draft of emails from our staff asking for things like "what's my password, how do I use it etc." Thankfully this didn't happen as we embarked on an internal communications program in advance of the change. It also helps that everyone was already familiar with the Octopus HR system before we made the change.

For further information about how Octopus Payroll can help your business, email our Sales Director chris.b@octopus-hr.co.uk or call 0845 1304 138
1 Gelderd Road
West Yorkshire
LS12 6NJ
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