My Big Idea: Paycheck gets you paid on time
AFTER spotting a gap in the market for a payroll outsourcing service, Anne O'Reilly started Paycheck Plus from her garage in 2005. Now the Dunleer, Co Louth-based company employs 11 people and has just opened its first overseas office, in Manchester.
"I developed a real interest in the business of paying people while working for multinationals in the early stages of my career, including Heinz and Unilever. After taking a break to have kids I went back to college to study payroll and then began lecturing part time on the subject for IPSO, the Irish Payment Services Organisation.
It was there that I noticed a common theme – whether it was plumbers or HR people from massive firms, they all had the same questions and the same obligations when it came to paying staff. There was clearly a need for an outsourcing service to help people manage the process and get the most out of it, as well as giving them peace of mind and allow them to focus on core profit-making activities.
Using a variety of software programmes, we help clients maximise entitlements for employees while making sure they adhere to all obligations. Among other things we calculate how much tax they should pay, produce payslips, arrange the money transfer process, file revenue returns and create spending reports for them. What makes us really different from our competitors is our expertise; all of our team are trained in employment law and payroll calculation by the Irish Payroll Association and we know payroll inside out, it's all we do. That means we spot things that technology alone misses; making sure people fully utilise their pension tax incentives according to their age, for example. Income taxes generate more revenue for the exchequer than VAT and corporation tax combined and you'd never hire someone without serious qualifications to manage your corporation tax commitments – so why take a lax approach when it comes to payroll?
We offer UK payroll services too, having just opened our first overseas office in Manchester. The UK is the first step for Irish companies expanding abroad so it really made sense. We get a lot of business from foreign companies with Irish operations too. Over 40pc of our clients came from overseas last year. There have been extensive legislative changes in the UK around taxation and pensions in recent years that have had a significant impact on payroll, making this service all the more necessary.
The biggest challenge, for me, was going out and making sales in the early days of the company. I'm not a sales person by nature, but managed it nonetheless.