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Mobile payroll service makes life easier for small agritech businesses

27 Apr 17

Revenue Minister Judith Collins announced this month that the Government will legislate changes to employee tax reporting, requiring employers to provide a monthly schedule - including payday reporting of employee information.

The change is expected to increase the compliance burden for many smaller Kiwi family farms and agritech businesses struggling with taxes and health and safety compliance.

The complexity of managing payrolls in farming and agritech, where people work long, irregular or seasonal hours, often results in payroll compliance issues.

Farmers, who are small business owners and often underresourced, find keeping track of the problem a costly and demoralising challenge.

Solving that problem has catapulted New Zealand fintech startup Simply Payroll from startup to major market player in under three years, thanks in large part to the company's focus on the primary and agritech sectors.

The company recently signed a strategic partnership with Federated Farmers providing free setup, training, and support for the mobile service.

Simply Payroll has come up with firsts like an automatic calculator that alerts farmers if an employee is being underpaid.

“Running a small business is not easy, and automating payroll to run smoothly and intelligently gives valuable time back to owners,” Simply Payroll co-founder Asantha Wijeyeratne says.

Federated Farmers says they formed the partnership with Simply Payroll because "it’s the only New Zealand payroll system that tracks hours for salaried staff, and automatically compares against the minimum wage level."

"If a top-up is required, it’s calculated automatically and you’ll be prompted to apply it."

Another feature, which Wijeyeratne calls payroll by exception, means employers only have to act if anything changes, like if a staff member is promoted.

Reports are automatic and repetitive tasks are eliminated.

ASB recently selected Simply Payroll as a key service provider of an application programming interface (API) over other more entrenched industry players.

The company has also integrated its systems with those of Xero, and will be doing the same with MYOB and other major accounting platforms and working on integrating closely with other HR industry players in areas such as rostering and timesheets. 

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