Wednesday, 14 November 2018 09:56

PAYROLL – A love that will never die!

With the latest intake of trainees now more than 2 months into their professional working life with AAB, it made me reflect and think about myself as I approach 20 years’ service within payroll!

Looking back, I’ve went from trainee through to manager and it’s empowering to give something back to our trainees and train / coach them in a career within payroll but also assist our clients who require our professional advice / expertise.

Below is my story and how payroll has been half my life!

The beginning

From the very beginning I loved working with numbers. It fascinated me and my ideal job was to work in a bank. I managed that, but only lasted 4 weeks, it actually wasn’t what I thought it would be!!

My payroll journey began in January 1999 where I worked for the local Council. When I look back, it was the best training ground that I could have had. Constantly busy, dealing with mounds and mounds of manual paper timesheets, different T & C’s for the different departments that were operated under the Council, it was a hive of activity. When it was not busy, I would ask for tasks, but was always advised to do 10 manual tax calculations. Still to this day, I still enjoy manually writing out a manual tax calculation!!

As time went by, I started to realise that no-one really left the Council, so being able to have a career in payroll with progression was limited, so after three years it was time to move on.


A life changing decade

The next step in my payroll career, was working within a payroll bureau.

Fast-paced, non-stop, ever changing it was everything that the Council wasn’t!

From being pigeon holed in just understanding what was required to process a Council payroll, I was soon learning about Share Scheme Options, Stock Options, the 12 mile offshore limit, foreign tax, Net of Tax Credit Agreements, PSA Agreements and P11d’s in a very short space of time.

Having a group of people who were all within the same age group and all had the same drive and energy to deliver and help each other and the clients made the job more fun that it should have been!

At the same time, I was out meeting current clients and potential new clients. This was something that I really enjoyed doing and something that I wanted to do develop and I was given the chance to do this. It allowed me to develop personally, meet many new contacts and I felt comfortable speaking in front of people that I had just met.

Nearly 10 years within a bureau environment came and went in a flash and it was a tough decision to leave something that I enjoyed but a new challenge was waiting in the private sector.


Boom and Bust!

With a move into the Oil & Gas sector, the price of a barrel oil was consistently over $100. There was lots of work being done for clients and with a weekly payroll of over a 1500, time was a precious commodity in ensuring every person was paid correctly and on time.

But then the oil crash happened, the good times stopped and cut backs happened and happened fast!! It was during this time, that as a manager, it was difficult to make these decisions but they were required to ensure that the business could continue. Losing good people was hard and morale within the team was low. It took time to get through this and build up morale again, but I learned that as a manager you had to lead and show the team that things would get better.

For myself, this was a time where I had the chance to re-evaluate what I wanted to do. With a qualification already gained with CIPP in Payroll Management, I wanted to extend my knowledge and gained my CIPD Advanced Award in Reward Management which was hard but challenging for a payroll person!

Upon receiving this qualification I was at a crossroads on what to do next. I enjoyed my job, but I still really enjoyed the bureau environment and meeting and helping clients and with a broader base of knowledge with my qualifications I felt it was time to come back to move back into the bureau environment.


The Full Circle

Coming back into the bureau environment and working for AAB has been one of the best decisions that I made and the only drawback was why I didn’t do it earlier! It was everything that I missed and it was great being back in it.

Having worked within the public and private sector, within an in-house payroll and a bureau payroll, each one has taught me different things that I still continue to apply every day.

Within AAB the department works really well and the different services that work under Payroll & Employment Taxes work seamlessly together, always working as one team, delivering an advisory service to our clients whether it’s about payrolling benefits, demonstrating our global mobility platform, compiling and completing tax reporting in multiple countries or assisting launching a new flexible benefits package.

My job entails meeting new clients, which has led to client relationships being developed, nurtured and maintained. I still really enjoy processing payroll and one of the keys things when meeting client is to assist and understand their needs for outsourcing their payroll and how we can assist.


The next 20 years!

What does the future hold within payroll? It’s hard to say, but one thing will remain constant. It is ever evolving, constantly changing and legislation updated regularly. Being a payroll professional means that we are ideally placed to ensure that your payroll is processed correctly, compliant and as efficiently as possible which reduces the time / administration that companies require to spend on their payroll, which they can utilise elsewhere within their business.

We are there for our clients and we see that we are part of the company, albeit somewhere safe, secure and offsite.

There are times, as well, where it maybe more beneficial that a PAYE / payroll review is conducted to review the current internal process and any changes that may be beneficial to implemented. As business advisors, AAB are there to help clients to achieve this and change the approach for handling the data within their payroll.


Brian Robb, Payroll and Employment Tax Manager