By: Ben Smith, Senior Consultant, ClubIT

Background

Micropower have recently advised clients that they will be discontinuing their Payroll classic program for the 18/19 financial year, the reason being that the program requires substantial updates in order to stay relevant to the ATO legislation.

Micropower is now recommending users of Classic Payroll migrate away from the program to an alternate payroll platform.

Users of Micropower Payroll have a range of approaches moving forward, each option is dependent upon the following factors:

All of these questions factor into what solution is best for your club.

Rostering

Having rostering systems that are easily manageable, that can be easily viewed by staff and are dynamic enough for the inevitable changes throughout the week is critical to smooth operation of any Club.

If you’re currently using a separate rostering program like Micropower Rostering or another program, it’s worth considering using KeyPay (as Micropower have suggested to some Clubs).

Additionally, if rostering is an area of your operations that requires improvement, again KeyPay is also ideal.

The reasoning for this is that KeyPay includes both Rostering and Payroll within its cloud package, There are a lot of solutions available on the market that do just Payroll or just Rostering but few have the complete integration of both like KeyPay does.

Some key Rostering features of KeyPay include:

In conclusion, if you are using Micropower Rostering currently, or require upgrading of your rostering solution, utilizing KeyPay will enable you to substantially improve your Rostering capability without incurring additional cost(in the case if you are paying for an existing Rostering program).

If you are not using Micropower rostering currently or are satisfied with your current rostering system then there may be other purely Payroll options to consider(See heading other payroll solutions).

PeopleKey

If you are using PeopleKey or a similar clock in system for employees to track time, then again, ClubIT recommends KeyPay for the simple reason that you’ll be able to upgrade your Payroll system at no cost.

KeyPay comes with a kiosk solution that allows employees to clock in, meaning you can save several hundred a month by discontinuing PeopleKey (or your similar solution) and effectively save money by upgrading to KeyPay.

Micropower Financials

Most Clubs that are using Micropower Payroll are also using Micropower Financials, the key question a Club needs to determine is whether or not they are interested (or prepared) to move away from Micropower Financials completely in the new financial year and start fresh in a completely new financial package.

The key Advantage of continuing to use Micropower Financials is integration.

Micropower Financials directly integrates with their POS solution (both OMNIS and SwiftPOS variations) and also integrates with Membership meaning all sales data from both POS and Membership can be easily synced across.

If cost is a driving factor, sticking with Micropower Financials will ultimately be a cheaper option.

None of the current cloud based accountancy systems integrate with SwiftPOS or Micropower membership directly, either getting someone (like ClubIT) to develop an integration or manually entering in this information daily will negate any cost upfront savings (Although a custom integration by someone like ClubIT can provide long term cost benefits and productivity improvements).

If a Club wishes to minimise changes and are satisfied with Micropower Financials then ClubIT recommends again utilizing Micropower Financials with KeyPay, as both have direct integration and while it’s still early to be definitive, at this stage, this appears to be the most readily available alternative to a Clubs current environment.

If a club is to prepared to move to a new accounting package, in the new financial year, ClubIT recommends Clubs move to one of the many cloud based accounting packages available.

Typically speaking, the most mature cloud based Accounting program available in Australia is xero (xero.com.au), Xero is also readily recommended and supported by TNR and other major auditors.

Both MYOB and Quickbooks now also offer cloud based options, those familiar with these products may feel more comfortable with these options, both of these products are also mature, however Xero does offer more customization which ultimately may be required to optimise the accounting package for the Clubs industry.

Clubs moving to Xero will be able to take advantage of its full Payroll system and timesheets system for employees, this is a big benefit, Xero supports the latest ATO regulations (They liaised directly with the ATO for the new regulations).

The downside to this is that no integrations exist for POS data and Membership data currently, meaning Clubs that choose to go down this path will be required to manually export sales data and insert it into Xero, Clubs are advised to review their current journal entry practices to determine how much of a productivity cost this will be and how it may (or may not) affect the possibility of inaccurate data reaching the accountancy program.

Any Clubs that have had issues in the past with auditing are strongly advised to continue to use Micropower financials and utilize KeyPay due to the direct integration.

Utilizing Xero for both Financials and Payroll will provide numerous cost and productivity benefits in the long term, if processes around Sales and POS data can be comfortably resolved/mitigated, those Clubs that wish to pursue this path as a long term option(or a phased implementation) are encouraged to talk to ClubIT about custom integration options that are available with Xero’s powerful API functionality(Programmable Interface).

In Summary, If a club is comfortable with Micropower Financials then ClubIT recommends KeyPay.  If cost is the primary driver KeyPay will still work out cheaper, Xero will work out a cheaper option long term if suitable solutions to handle POS and Membership data can be utilised or designed by a third party like ClubIT(for integration).

Other Payroll Solutions

The primary issue with an alternative club based Payroll program is the need for it to then integrate with the Club’s Accounting package, this may be reasonably insignificant if your club only has a dozen journal entries in the ledger for Payroll.

If this is the case, ClubIT recommends SmartPayroll or EmploymentHero.

Smart Payroll (smartpayroll.com.au) is fully up to date with the latest one touch pay legislation, it’s possible to process pays from anywhere, it’s very similar to KeyPay in functionality and has an employee kiosk function(like KeyPay).  Smart Payroll is arguably the closest alternative to KeyPay and is cheaper on price.

Smart Payroll does have less rostering functionality built in, it lacks the smart rostering and cost management functions of KeyPay.  The other consideration is that Smart Payroll at this point in time doesn’t integrate with Micropower Financials, however Clubs considering this option can talk to ClubIT about integration options.

Employment Hero(employmenthero.com) has a more HR focus, with electronic on-boarding(induction) and policy management systems built in, this can be particularly useful if a lot of time and resources go into on-boarding employees in your Club.  Employment Hero can also store and manage employee contracts, Employment Hero’s Payroll system has similar rostering functionality as KeyPay.  Employees also have access to an appto submit timesheets and receive payslips etc.

Prices range between $100-130 per month for these solutions for 25 employees (between 4-5 dollars per employee per month, SmartPayroll does advertise $2.5-3 per employee but they also charge a service fee on top of this).

In the scenario that it’s your Clubs preference to move away from Micropower Financials and you do not want to implement Xero(or another cloud package that does accounting and payroll), under this scenario,  your Club will have no integration between, Payroll, Accounting, Membership and POS.

ClubIT does not recommend this as an option.

In Summary, If your Club wishes to continue with Micropower financials, doesn’t wish to change its rostering processes and has no appetite for employee time tracking solutions, SmartPayroll or EmploymentHero should be considered.

If your Club wishes to move away from Micropower Financials, ClubIT currently only recommends utilising a complete cloud accounting and Payroll solution like Xero to minimise the lack of integration between systems.