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Generalistic HR software applications let human resource managers handle their administrative tasks optimally via automation. It’s very task-focused, aimed at finishing things promptly. 

HR payroll software focuses on tracking how many productive hours staff members undertook, and then calculating the correct remuneration. It’s a tracking system of wage versus time worked.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the top HR payroll software providers for that.

HR Payroll

Table of Contents:


Our Top Pick of HR Payroll Software (UK) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

These guides are not definitive. We aim to provide Mission-critical data that is cultivated as efficiently as possible. So make sure you do your research attuned to your particular circumstances. There are a few key things to know about the characteristics of top HR payroll software for the UK and beyond:

  • โœ”๏ธ Automating and streamlining processes, saving you time and reducing overheads. Members in large teams that include payroll and HR professionals and admins.
  • โœ”๏ธ Detailed analytics, giving you deep insights into business reporting and forecasting — this is something that most popular HR payroll services offer.
  • โœ”๏ธ Organising shorter contracts, which is common for outsourcing. 
  • โœ”๏ธ Integrating with other financial software, such as bookkeeping and accounting software.

General HR software does all of these things but payroll software will be a little bit more specific – you should get the following features listed below:

  • โœ”๏ธ Having all of your payroll managed by certified HR and payroll specialists, so that you know your services are always compliant with HMRC, accurate and reliable. 
  • โœ”๏ธ Having flexibility with outsourcing to specialists, which you can tweak according to your specific circumstances; more or less, on an ad hoc basis.
  • โœ”๏ธ Handling complex tasks, which are common with HR and payroll.

Top HR Payroll Software โ€“ Reviews 2023 ๐Ÿ“˜

Service ProviderRating
1. MHR iTrentโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
2. IRIS Softwareโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
3. Moorepayโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
4. ADP UKโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
5. Moonworkersโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
6. TopSource Worldwideโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here
7. Alightโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Visit here


1. MHR iTrent โ€“ Top Overall Payroll Software

MHR has been operational for more than three decades, working in HR and payroll industries, as a specialist in managing talent. Today, they work with over a thousand companies.

A strong suite of pay or services suited to British small businesses, including an award-winning HR and payroll software iTrent — this comes recommended enough that we have positioned it into a number one spot of leading HR payroll software.

MHR Analytics

iTrent uses a modular system jampacked with more features than you can count on one hand, one of those being the modelling capability that lets you do financial planning — create an estimate of staff member costs, even up to including pension payments.

Another industry-leading feature to mention is the automation of legislative compliance. This is automatically updated on a quarterly basis, so that you can be sure you are to date with the latest regulations. If you need a quick answer to a complicated question, you can use the chatbot — your employers can also use it to plug in questions and receive answers. The aim of this is cutting down on overheads regarding dealing with staff concerns on technical issues. 

The MHR software is designed to give a comprehensive solution that integrates into your system, solving both HR and payroll problems. As previously won awards, including the well-known CIPP Annual Excellence Awards

Unfortunately, they do not publish fixed pricing plans, instead, you will need to ask for a quote after they assess your particular business needs. But general things you can expect to receive from this company include:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Software there is leading in terms of security, including multifactor authentication
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Having a manager dedicated to answering any issues enquiries
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Peace of mind knowing that MHR has expert systems for migrating from your previous provider to them; aimed at being as risk-free as possible 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Access to a financial salary modelling system to help you make budgeting decisions based on clear-cut data 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Detailed analytics and reporting dashboards giving you insights. 

โญ On the other hand, the pricing isn’t particularly transparent, you will find native apps to do things that bookkeeping, although it does integrate into third-party applications.

PROS

  • Multifactor authentication
  • Award-winning
  • Great migration provisions
  • Strong variety of dashboards and insights

CONS

  • Pricing isnโ€™t particularly transparent
  • No native apps for bookkeeping and accounting

2. IRIS Software โ€“ Leading Payroll Software for Admin Management

IRIS doesn’t quite reach the number one spot. But is of a similar opinion. The service provides managed payroll revisions and is a heavyweight in the industry.

In fact, IRIS is among Britain’s most long-lived private software firms. It’s been giving admin services to the U.K.’s small businesses, public sector and charities more than four decades.

In fact, this company caters to businesses of all sizes. However, it does offer solutions to small businesses too, by offering a special curated and integrated payroll and HR software, IRIS Software.

When using the integrated platform, which as mentioned above is smaller than the main product, you still get all of the central features. These include ensuring compliance with HMRC and RTI. you also get detailed analytics and reports, with automatic enrolments and P32s automatically produced at the months closer. More than that, you be given a performer of ways of managing and systematising your HR process. This is important for any business, simplifying key aspects like booking holidays, onboarding new employees, and breaking down tedious administrative tasks by leveraging self-service portals.

This is a leading HR and payroll software solution. It also packs in bookkeeping with a native bookkeeping tool. As with MHR, however, there are no published fixed rates to buy the platform – instead, you need to ask for a personalised quote after they go over your business circumstances. Some of the benefits that stand out with using this software are:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Powerfully automate tedious and repetitive administrative tasks across both HR and payroll workflows, massively reducing the resource burden on your team
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Increase communication intra-team by leveraging the IRIS Engage — this sophisticated service is aimed at bolstering communications across the corporation
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Because it is cloud-based, your service is highly flexible, accessible and integrated; no need for installations
  • โ˜‘๏ธ All information is encrypted, including attachments in emails, with access to a dedicated support team available at a time in the day, every day of the week.

โญ On the drawback side, reporting and analytics tend to be simple and not particularly attractive. Period and like with MHR, you were not given out why fixed prices to use the service.

PROS

  • Powerful automation to reduce tedious admin tasks
  • Bolster communication using IRIS Engage
  • Massive accessibility via the cloud
  • Security and encryption of information

CONS

  • Pricing isnโ€™t particularly transparent
  • Reporting very basic

3. Moorepay โ€“ Great Payroll Software for Onboarding

While it sounds like a circuit board for some kind of engineering product, onboarding describes the process of human resources integrating a new staff member into a company.

This is alternatively known as organisational socialising, wishes mumbo-jumbo for trying to describe the process of getting a new staff member to understand what things are necessary for them to integrate well and adapt to the new position and role.

Onboarding focuses on seamlessness… You want the new staff member to become a well-adjusted member of the wider body. There are many aspects to going about our onboarding — all the way up to training in the team and beginning from the job offer itself. Onboarding can stretch from a couple of weeks up to a year, but you typically do not want to go over a few months — that is the optimal range. By that point, staff members begin to feel confident and have a sense of competence and that’s when the onboarding process has been completed.

Who is Moorepay?

Moorepay is a titan and among one of the top HR and payroll companies. For instance, at the time of this writing information we found reportedly said that Moorepay is used to pay โ…™ of Britain’s working populace — nonetheless, it is still potentially powerful solution for small businesses.

Moorepay Analytics

You should know that it has a separate payroll and HR solution. Both of these operate on the same platform. However, you do not need to purchase both. Instead, you are given the flexibility to go for whatever solution is most important — use in conjunction with the HR solution or just use the payroll features.

Consider using it in a collaborative way there are many powerful features designed to streamline daily administrative tasks such as enrolment. As for the interface, it is one of the most attractive in the market and intuitive, so your experience is straightforward. And there is an abundance of features, from real-time reports and dashboards, waste the track absences immediately approval workflows, and checks and balances to ensure staff payments are accurate — with an accuracy rating of 99%.

As with the first two provided on this list, there is no fixed price for using the service, instead, they give you a bespoke quote based on your particular needs. View the advisers to keep in mind: 

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Use the software collaboratively or just opt for the payroll or HR features
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Access data-driven reports and dashboards to help you privately overview all of the various admin tasks and processes
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Workflows for onboarding and training designed to simplify the process
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Get guidance from a dedicated team of specialists based in the UK.

โญ Not recommended for the smallest of businesses that have less than 30 staff members, because at that point the expenses quickly may outweigh the advantages.

PROS

  • Detailed reporting and dashboards to discreetly overview key workflows
  • Track absences
  • Has an accuracy of 99%
  • Collaborative HR features

CONS

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Better suited for medium-sized businesses in many cases

4. ADP UK โ€“ Top Payroll Software for Training and Development

ADP ranks as one of Britain’s biggest and most reputable payroll and HR experts, with a whopping 70 years of pertinent industry experience and a client base with names as large as Amazon and Coca-Cola.

That obviously means this company is suited to small businesses with an eye on scaling up. The company itself currently servicing businesses of all sizes — micro all the way up to enterprises.

Worldwide capabilities is the USP of this company. If you are doing a lot of remote working, with businesses operating outside of Britain, ADP helps you to manage payroll and HR on an international scale, leveraging the experience of thousands of team specialists in more than 140 countries — with ad hoc advice and support.

The platform is iHCM and it is cloud-based, accessible from any device. As you would expect from any reading HR and payroll platform, they have systems in place to automate HMRC compliance. The interface is there to be as straightforward as possible. And there’s a keen focus on payroll accuracy, while balancing other key and critical HR components like attendance and staff performance. A few of the advantages to keep in mind:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ World-leading HR management processes and workflows streamlined for staff development and training so that you can simplify and manage your workforce with special feedback
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Get insights into schedules, discreetly one of the attendance and time logins for your workforce
  • โ˜‘๏ธ However payroll service that is ready to be scaled to an international level
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Operate using a payroll system that is compliant with EU data protection regulations

โญ The drawback to keep in mind is that the level of customer support may not be as high-rated as the other entries in this guide.

PROS

  • World-leading HR management solutions
  • Manage and balance rotas
  • Show attendance data
  • Ready to scale

CONS

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Customer service could possibly be improved

5. Moonworkers โ€“ Powerful Payroll Software for Payroll Customisations

All of the people providers on this list So far our massive conglomerates offering somewhat impersonal solutions. But Moonworkers is a family-run business.

So for small businesses that would prefer to operate on a much smaller scale than names like ADP, the solution may be the one for you.

For a purportedly have a keen focus on customising your user experience. To begin with, you can expect to get the basic payroll services such as end-of-year tax reporting, automatic enrolment and staff tracking.

They have a unique offering called the Shop Street app, which gives your staff members access to special discounts to more than a thousand different brands, aiming to save staff members up to 6% on everyday items. Once they enrol onto the system, this comes as an automatic benefit.

One feature to point out is the automation of workflows — use this to sort out your onboarding approval checklists, basic HR systems and reviewing performances. They have an e-signature capability that adds special security for businesses working remotely. Also find other savvy capabilities to try to streamline and reduce overheads. Unlike the other entries, Moonworkers offers transparent pricing and solid customer service purportedly. This is not a managed payroll solution, they are only offering you the software which does the following:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Get dedicated support from a family-led organisation that places emphasis on building their customer relationships
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Transparent pricing — more than this, get special benefits that give discounts on basic essentials in popular stores; and the first staff member is free, you only get charged after you hire somebody else
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Money-back guarantee for three months, with free setup
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Track staff absence, expenses and time worked using the app

โญ One of the big drawbacks is that there isn’t a managed payroll service, so you need to do everything yourself on the app. And this service seems to be tailored with a select number of specific industries that might not be fitting for your niche.

PROS

  • Handy for small businesses and micro businesses
  • Dedicated support
  • Discounts on the high street for staff members

CONS

  • More specific for some industries than others
  • No managed payroll

6. TopSource Worldwide โ€“ Top Payroll Software for Global Operations

TopSource Worldwide stands out for offering international payroll and HR services.

It could be a handy tool for small businesses that need to operate worldwide or want to enter into more international waters. They have systems to ensure compliance with more than 150 countries — HMRC compliance, end-of-year tax returns and reporting, calculating pensions, and more.

Also, expect handy reporting and analytics dashboards as well as a full-fledged HR service that can help you with organising your contracts and accurately handling staff remunerations. Here are a few of the advantages to keep in mind:

  • Access to specialists who are IPPM certified
  • Sleek onboarding systems that make migrating providers straightforward
  • An international roster of support staff able to advise businesses operating at any scale.

โญ The management offerings here seem to be a bit lesser than the first three entries in this guide.

PROS

  • Suitable for small businesses
  • Suitable for businesses seeking to scale internationally
  • Access specialists

CONS

  • Some sources say customer satisfaction is less
  • Reportedly has limited payroll management

7. Alight โ€“ Reliable Payroll Software for Admin Optimisation

This company boasts a reported accuracy rate for its payroll systems of 99.93%. Formerly known as NGA, Alight is one of the most well-known payroll and HR software companies in Britain.

They offer an integrated system that gives access to a wide range of features designed to streamline tedious administrative tasks as optimistically as they can. It’s a cloud-based HR system that sniffs out areas where your workflows can be optimised, rather than just providing checklists and action items.

One of the leading advantages of using the system is its communicative focus. Leveraging self-servicing is one of the most important ways a business can reduce its resource burden. Examples of this offer by Alight are the self-service portal, online chatbots, question centres and international language translations so that a lot of staff concerns can be answered independently without management.

In terms of its payroll features, you can choose to either integrate particular aspects of the service into your pre-existing workflows, or to totally outsource to its managed and dedicated payroll team of specialists — who are trained to take care of every aspect of staff payroll and HR. Let’s review some of the top advantages of using this leading HR payroll service:

  • Digitally view the onboarding and HR process journey for all of your staff members 
  • Handle the talent management, benefits and remunerations for your workforce on a quarterly and annual cycle using the dedicated team
  • Access intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Educate yourself using its webinars and even in-person training sessions
  • Features for different countries languages.

โญ Although there is a translation option for onboarding, it can be a little bit confusing to use.

PROS

  • View onboarding digitally
  • User-friendly interface
  • Education and self-service portals

CONS

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Some translation features are tricky to use

Powerful HR Payroll Software โ€“ Buying Guide ๐Ÿ“Š

Now that we’ve investigated some of the most powerful HR and payroll companies on the British market, let’s investigate in more detail what HR payroll software actually gets up to. That’s what this section is for — a quick education.

HR Software Explained ๐Ÿ“–

HR software solves the problem of optimising and managing day-to-day human resources and administrative tasks, in a digital fashion. It’s overall responsible for handling the HR responsibilities for a business. Using HR software, it is possible for staff members and managers to more efficiently allocate resources and time to the most rewarding activities.

Applicant Tracking System

This technology has advanced greatly since its first inception, when the early computers were used to optimise how data was used in the 1970s. HR systems became widely adopted by enterprises during the 1980s, then in the 1990s, the cloud version of these made it even more widely used. The 1990s saw the mass adoption of the internet. 

Today, mostly systems operate on the cloud, based on a membership structure, integrating in with the popular data management programs — most are designed to be customised to the individual business' needs, budget, and objectives. Many different HR solutions exist for virtually every scale.

How to choose your payroll and HR solution

How do you choose the best provider for your business? This is a complex decision, chiefly because there are so many different providers and many of these do not offer a transparent pricing disclosure for the very reason that there are so many different aspects of HR and payroll — you, as a business owner, have the choice to choose between specific integrations using the software, managed services outsourcing specialists, or a mixture of both. 

Here are some of the following things to consider when making your decision:

Managed services vs software โœ”๏ธ

The only way to make a decision here is to deeply understand your business. To know your business, you to know your value offering is. What single thing do you need to spend the most amount of time focusing on, in order to stand out as a differentiated product that is at the top of your industry? From there, consider what aspects of HR should be best systematised in order to give you more than advantage in adding that value to the world and your customers.

Balance the advantages and disadvantages of integrating each of these services.

Cost of the service โœ”๏ธ

Let’s be simple here. One of the chief concerns for deciding whether or not to use a payroll and HR platform is how much it costs. Small businesses have a harder time handling the churn of manage HR services the bigger companies do. So get a lot of different quotes before making a decision and do your research.

Features offered โœ”๏ธ

When doing your research, you want to look at specific features. Much of these will crossover from platform to platform. For instance, you should expect to get reporting for the end of the year and automatic enrolment. However, are you able to test or demo the product to compare one versus the other? Looking at the details can help you to differentiate between one versus another.

Headline features a very interesting and could be just what you need, for instance, iTrent uses a model for salaries.

Support level โœ”๏ธ

For new business owners attracting more revenue than they are able to handle, looking for ways to better cope with outsourcing, you may not have a good understanding of how HR payroll works. It can be very tempting to outsource everything to a managed solution, but you are probably stronger in the long run if you develop a ‘full stack brain’ — essentially, it means you are able to do pretty much everything but perhaps not as an expert.

This will help you with managing outsourced specialists and understanding where expertise is needed and where it is a luxury.

Types of HR and Payroll Software

As mentioned earlier, the reason why HR and payroll services give bespoke quotes is that they offer so many different types of offerings that fall into the category of human resources. This section deals with some of the various types of HR and payroll, such as monitoring staff performance, attendance and onboarding.

  • โœ”๏ธ Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS): HRIS does many things and could be said to handle the management of data across multiple arenas. These are diverse — for instance, how data is stored, compliance, legal and regulatory frameworks, remunerations of staff members, and more. This can be integrated with HR apps or your stand-alone solution itself, or act as a central database.
  •  โœ”๏ธ Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Your ATS handles the hiring aspect for organisations. This focuses on the actual job posts, screening for applications, looking for matches, and storing the data of applicants correctly.
  • โœ”๏ธ Onboarding: Onboarding Is specific to the actual integration of successful applicants. Aspects include electronic signatures, staff questionnaires, tracking training, and automating the compliance aspects of integrating new staff member smoothly.
  • โœ”๏ธ Performance Management: As the name sounds, this aspect deals with the key performance indicators for an organisation and its workforce — things like assessments of objectives, improvements and skill sets.
  • โœ”๏ธ Employee Engagement: This aspect focuses on the sentiment of staff members, in order to make sure that teams are coming together — self-improvement aspects include coaching, feedback, and analytics.

Top Advantages of HR Software to Look Out For

We’ve already gone through quite a few of these in this article.

But you want your HR software to boost your ability to do key human resources tasks and manual roles while ensuring that staff data is organised, safe, and that you have data-driven reporting. All of this happens centrally and electronically, removing overhead for paper documents. Not only does HR software assist managers, it also helps staff to serve themselves, answering questions, tracking time, and managing performance.

But let’s list out some of the perks of HR software:

  • Store employee data in an organised way securely
  • Design workflows and track their approvals
  • Free up resources via self-service portals
  • Track the training of staff, compliance and development
  • Keep a record of staff satisfaction via reports
  • Support the work of management at the admin team
  • Track team and staff performance
  • Integrate with third-party apps
  • Handle the pre-boarding, onboarding and offboarding stages automatically
  • Keep an audit trail of any data changes
  • Customise reports of data-driven insights

A leading HR payroll and human resources platform can handle all of these tasks. These can be purchased as a single package or a la carte. Overall, one of the key perks to using HR software is reducing time dedicated to tedious, repetitive, and low-value administrative tasks, freeing up high-value HR staff members to dedicate their time to higher-level responsibilities and strategies. The objectives of your HR software is to:

  • โœ”๏ธ Minimise errors
  • โœ”๏ธ Boost the quality of staff data and disorganisation
  • โœ”๏ธ Make processes more efficient
  • โœ”๏ธ Continue with your feedback
  • โœ”๏ธ  Improve analytics
  • โœ”๏ธ  Make your business more attractive to buyers
  • โœ”๏ธ Boost compliance with regulatory bodies

FAQs ๐Ÿ“™: Top HR Payroll Software

What Is Payroll and HR Software?

These are a combination of two central business workflows that are key to the efficient operation of any business. When producing a product or service that is of powerful value, which you can sell, managing your resources is key. If you employ staff members, then you have to manage and systematise some of the more mundane but necessary processes like absences, request for holiday, staff training, staff development and more. 

How Can I Do Payroll?

Staff payroll is a matter of handling a number of important tasks, including accurate payment, paying on time, making sure tax deductions are factored in, forwarding records of salaries to HMRC, given payslips of staff members, and delivering P60s at the end of the year. 

What Is the Simplest Payroll and HR Software?

MHR’s iTrent it’s reportedly very straightforward because it is a stand-alone solution. However, make sure you do your research, get several quotes and test these out for yourself. 

Should I Use HR and Payroll Services or Software?

Whether you go for a managed service or the software will depend on your business circumstances. If you already have a working team of HR and payroll specialists and admins, then the software can be a cost-effective way of optimising their work. But if you do not have this infrastructure, then hiring a dedicated service could be ideal. I have a way, you may want to take the time to make sure you have solid grounding and experience in doing this yourself — this will give you a strong footing when evaluating integrating into your business in any form.


Final Words

We hope you enjoyed this guide on the top payroll software. Systematising your business is a powerful way of allowing it to be scalable in the future. Systematising is all about focusing on key processes vital for your business to one as well as it can. Your central focus is of course creating the most powerful value you can for your customer.

Along the way, however, there are many different aspects that come into play with delivering this value. HR and payroll software focus on stripping away time needed to handle all of the tedious and mundane administrative tasks in HR, so that more of this power can be focused on cultivating the product or service.

Be wary of getting trapped into a long-term contract with a service or software that does not actually meet your business needs. So developing a ‘full stack brain; is one powerful way of ensuring that you know what you’re getting into. This is, of course, the harder approach to going about this but it will serve you in the long one because you have an education in the topic.