Oil industry supplier drives down costs with Advanced’s payroll system

Enterprise Applications

by Duncan MacRae| 24 June 2014

Aberdeen-based Sparrows has seen its postal and stationery costs fall by £18,000 annually.

Oil and gas industry supplier, Sparrows, has driven down costs by implementing new payroll software from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced), a business applications and services provider.

The OpenPeople solution is also effectively supporting the complex payroll requirements with regards to overseas employees.
Sparrows provides global oilfield engineering services and specialises in offshore lifting, crane engineering and services, for a worldwide client base. The organisation, which employs more than 2,000 staff globally, has seen its postal and stationery costs fall by £18,000 annually since introducing Advanced's OpenPeople payroll solution. The solution allows payslips and documents, such as P60 and P11D forms, to be accessed via a secure website electronically, which has also resulted in a 20% headcount reduction in the payroll team, thereby achieving further cost savings.

Open People payroll from Advanced was selected as a result of having demonstrated a high degree of product flexibility with a solution easily tailored to the specific demands of the energy sector. Advanced is already an established name in the UK oil and gas sector where its back office software is used extensively.

Sparrows was seeking to introduce a more efficient payroll solution, with a key requirement being flexibility of report building, proactive software development team ensuring the product is always up to date with upcoming legislation changes and the capability to cope with the legislation surrounding Appendix 5 - a HMRC system for employers required to deduct foreign tax in addition to UK PAYE for staff working overseas.

Advanced agreed to tailor OpenPeople specifically to meet Sparrows' payroll needs.

Carole Mellis, global payroll manager at Sparrows, says: "While the Advanced software is already well respected in the oil and gas sector, we found the flexibility of OpenPeople, the efficiencies it provided and user friendliness of the system particularly impressive. This was something our previous payroll provider had been unable to offer.

"Since implementation, the flexibility of the solution and the ease of use of the reporting functionality has made life a great deal easier for both the payroll team and the staff generally. Having online pay slips, P60s, and P11Ds, is a great benefit for people working both on shore and overseas, usually offshore. It gives them access to important documents as soon as they are available rather than relying on the post."

OpenPeople is also helping the payroll team compile detailed management reports quickly and accurately, covering areas which would not have been possible with their previous software.

Mellis says: "One of the standout benefits of OpenPeople is its reporting capability. We can report on any aspect of payroll very quickly - in minutes rather than days."

Payslip history reporting is also proving invaluable, allowing Sparrows to report on backdated calculations. The payroll team can do far more now than work out how much has been paid out as wages, they can also report for example on how much overtime a particular department has historically paid.

Mellis adds: "OpenPeople has improved our efficiency as well as our capability for forecasting as we are now using real-time information.

"I would wholeheartedly recommend OpenPeople to anyone and, in fact, have already done so on several occasions."

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