How Beacon ditched their traditional payroll bureau and switched to automated payroll with Pento

Read about Beacon’s journey of moving away from their payroll bureau, the challenges they faced, how they decided to switch, and their experience with Pento so far. If you're currently struggling with your payroll provider and looking to switch, this one is definitely for you!

HiBob (HRIS)
NetSuite (Accounting)
~100 employees
London, UK

Frustrating, no control, no visibility, processing delays, poor support, manual, error-prone – the traditional payroll bureau wasn’t working.

Before Pento, Beacon's People team outsourced their payroll to a traditional bureau. The process started with Beacon's People team collecting payroll information and updating it in Hibob or tracking it in emails. They cleaned the data to fit the bureau's payroll template before sending it to them. The payroll bureau would then send back draft reports and request funds to process salary and HMRC payments.

While this sounds straightforward, the manual data collation and validation checks took away the People team's productive time. And with deadlines as close as the 11th day of every month, the People team had to jump on the next month's payroll as soon as they closed the current month's payroll.To add to the misery, the payroll bureau was making an increasing amount of admin errors like overpayments to leavers or repeating last month's changes. It was hard to ignore that the entire payroll process relied on a human's capabilities to be accurate and thorough.

All these errors and delays were also affecting the employees' payroll experience. Even though Beacon's People team wanted to help, the lack of visibility into the payroll process meant they couldn't and had to relay the queries to the bureau. As they acted as the liaison between the employees and the payroll bureau, they witnessed firsthand how the bureau's poor communication affected the employees' confidence in the company.

As they were scaling up, it became apparent that outsourcing payroll to a bureau wouldn't be scalable. It would become more labour-intensive, increasing manual intervention and leading to more errors. The risk was too high, so the People team began searching for a better payroll solution.

Better value for money, intuitive, user-friendly and more – how Beacon evaluated their payroll options and why they chose Pento.

Beacon had plans to grow their headcount rapidly. Naturally, for Oju Williams, Head of People Operations at Beacon, their next payroll solution needed to be reliable at scale. When they went out into the market, they only had two payroll options:
1. Continue with a traditional solution like their previous payroll provider but go with a more global and established provider, knowing they might experience similar pains.
2. Choose a modern solution like Pento that is scalable, intuitive, user-friendly, and innovative in its approach to payroll, with a heavy emphasis on automation.

When Oju and the People team compared all the solutions, Pento quickly came out on top. Here's why:

Better value for money: In terms of pricing, Pento provided a better value for money in comparison to the other providers. There were no hidden charges whatsoever. And while Pento's recurring monthly fees were competitive, the cost difference for implementation was too huge to ignore – some providers charged 10x more than Pento as one-time fees. Other providers also charged additional fees for processing end of tax year or providing payslips.

An innovative approach to payroll: Oju and her team appreciated the lens through which Pento was solving payroll. With the level of automation, intuitiveness, and user-friendliness, everyone fundamentally agreed that this is how payroll should be for modern, efficient People and Finance teams.Flexibility: It became apparent that Pento would provide a lot of flexibility to Beacon's payroll process. The People team could make pay adjustments until the night before payday without additional charges. The Finance team could easily access up-to-date reports directly from Pento. It became evident that they could easily control every aspect of their payroll and mould it to best suit them vs running on the payroll provider's calendar as they did with their previous payroll provider.

Beacon’s payroll experience with Pento so far.

Beacon felt the impact of implementing Pento from day 1. Be it the level of control, the speed of their payroll process, Beacon’s payroll process has improved drastically after switching to Pento.

Payroll process automation

Automated salary and tax calculations: With Pento, Beacon’s People team are completely automating all calculations – pro-rata, salary, taxes, maternity or paternity pay, pensions and more.

Automated payments to employees and HMRC: With Pento, Beacon automatically pay employees on payday and pay HMRC on the due date compliantly.

Integrations with HiBob and NetSuite: With Pento’s integration with HiBob and NetSuite, Beacon’s People and Finance teams never have to make double-entries. Be it sending payslips to HiBob or reporting journals to NetSuite, Pento automatically takes care of it all.HMRC sync: Pento syncs with HMRC to auto-update tax codes and student loans.

End of tax year duties: Be it reporting P11Ds or sending P60s to employees, Pento automatically takes care of it all, within the HMRC deadlines. Beacon’s People team never have to worry about compliance or missing deadlines.

Ultimate flexibility, visibility and control over payroll

Pay adjustments without any cut-off: With Pento, Beacon don’t have to follow any artificial deadlines. The People team can make amendments to the payroll until the night before payday. No additional costs or fees.

Payroll reports: Beacon’s Finance team can easily access and download all employee or payroll data from within Pento.

Variance report: The People team can now verify monthly changes at a glance with Pento’s variance report.

Decentralised responsibility: Since Pento is so intuitive and easy to use, the People team is comfortable taking the day off during paydays while their colleagues take care of payroll for them.

Fast and reliable payroll advice and support

Oju and her team love that Pento’s support team has always been a click away, be it for a quick query, to share feedback or get complex payroll advice.

Schedule a demo today

No more running payroll in spreadsheets & emails.

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  • Real-time changes and calculations

  • Employee data stored in one secure place

  • Automated payouts (employees, HMRC)

  • Real-time variance report

  • Integration to accounting / ERP software

  • Integration to HR software

  • Pro-rata & holiday pay calculated automatically