Blog posts written during 2017

How to upload compliance documents pdf, doc, docx, rtf, jpg and png images

Friday Friday, April 28, 2017 by Administrator

How to upload documents pdf, doc, docx, rtf, jpg and png images as part of any compliance record or profile


The web based agency staffing system can store an almost limitless amount of compliance data, documents and images for your HR needs.

You can freely create new compliance checks, general data or skill types. These can be organised to meet your exact needs by dragging and dropping them to excatly where you want them.

Each check can have start dates, end dates, text entries and images or documents attached.

  • The compliance checks can be set to apply be across the board for everyone employed: e.g. right to work, proof of identity, recruitment process etc.
  • Or job specific and apply only to one or more of the types of skilled people you are providing or indeed intend to provide though your bank or agency.

The images or documents are securely uploaded and stored, They can be attached to emails you create through our custom email designer. The emails (or texts) are automatically sent during a wide range of placement situations:

  • offers,
  • confirmations,
  • cancellations,
  • booking times changing,
  • etc.

Documents can be (word) doc, docx, rtf, pdf types. Images can be png or jpg.

Its easy to set up: just tick the appropriate box. How to set this up is here:

Attaching documents and images to record card (profile) information


Call us now on 01491 845 400 to find out how you can transform your agency or staff bank.


HMRC RTI and PAYE recognition and listing for 2017 2018

Tuesday Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Administrator

HMRC RTI and PAYE recognition has been much more difficult to obtain this year. There are a few good reasons for this. The PAYE rules for Scotland are now different to those for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means much more than twice the number of tests to pass. Our software now accommodates PAYE for someone switching from Scotland to England, Wales and Northern Ireland or back again. Auto-enrolment Pension provision adds another twist.


If I'm not mistaken the list is a little short than it was immediately prior to this 2017 / 2018.


HMRC paid for Payroll PAYE and RTI software official web site


Our confirming email reads:

As promised action has been taken to check all the documentation supporting your request for “Recognition” for “Ava Advanced Agency Web System with RTI" and congratulations are in order as HMRC “Recognition” awarded for 2017/18.


We Googled "HMRC RTI software suppliers" and not unexpectedly quite a few paid adverts came up. Reviewing the prices, we found that our software costs were similar to or even lower than advertised pay packages. Considering our software also provides compliance checking, messaging, invoicing, and lots of useful reports, it make more than a little sense to adopt our system and save on payroll and possibly Factoring or Umbrella company costs. If you are a temp staff agency, it makes a lot of financial logic to use our system as effectively you get all your payroll needs for free.


Call us now on 01491 845 400 to discuss how much you can save on your PAYE, RTI, Auto-enrolment invoicing and other management costs.








Security, your bank account details and the bad guys

Monday Monday, April 10, 2017 by Administrator

Data breaches (Name, Payroll details, bank details etc) are being reported in the press almost every week. Fraudulent Bank transfers also. It’s happening so often there is certainly a degree of fatigue and a “so what can we do about it?” numbness.

We take the view that it may be our data that is distributed far and wide with a resultant negative impact on our bank account. We treat your data as if it were our own.

If someone tries to log into an account more than a few times we assume the worst: it is a bad guy trying to steal your details. We block them immediately. Even the re-set password process is blocked. Re-enabling that profile requires the user to prove to you that they are who they say they are.

The message the user gets changes when they have tried too many times but does not indicate what is wrong.


Message When Too Many Incorrect User Attempts


To suggest what is wrong is the equivalent of saying the front door is locked, but if you go round the side of the building you will find an unlocked floor level window that you can climb in.

They will be asked to contact you.


How to re-set blocked accounts.


Whe  a user contacts you, log in.

You can then go to the web user information page.


User Information Page


Use this to re-enable their account and then get them to go through the re-set password procedure.


Blocked User


It is a little more arduous than re-setting your Twitbook account, but how many times do we hear that somebody’s Twitbook account has been hacked? You have a much smaller user base than Twitbook and (hopefully) Twitbook just has nice pictures and not bank details.

Pay, RTI and invoices - very easy

Thursday Thursday, March 23, 2017 by Administrator


Pay, RTI and Invoices are all very easy with the Ava Advanced Agency Web System: they can depend on the following:


  • Time of day, start end and breaks.
  • Shifts though midnight.
  • Number of hours worked.
  • Number of hours originally scheduled (Full NHS permutations).
  • Breaks taken (Including Periods of availability PoA).
  • Minimum payments (Shortened work periods and fixed appointment payments or visits).
  • Total number of hours in week.
  • Skill involved in the job type, grade or pay band.
  • Notice period for working (short notice of vacancy).
  • Customer worked at (differing rates for one or more customers grouped across customers for easy entry).
  • Department (Ward, depot, location) worked at.
  • London weighting.
  • National (Bank) holidays.
  • User defined special days.
  • Personal employee rates.
  • Employee self-invoicing (Limited companies).
  • Totally free ad hock rates for any shift.
  • HMRC codes (tax point or code).
  • VAT ratings.
  • AWR compliance.
  • From and to date ranges (e.g. rates changing on an annual basis).
  • Manadatory Pension contributions (auto enrolment).
  • Exceptions.

There are automatically configured reports that show the pay and invoice rates for the conditions set. Here is an example (click on the image to show an expanded example):


Rate Card Example

These can be exported and form the basis to Terms and conditions. Amounts can be sent to Banks for bulk payments, HMRC for RTI, 3rd party accounting packages, umbrella companies, factoring companies and pension funds as required. So if you feel you are being overcharged for any of these services Ava Advanced Agency Web System is an excellent way of reducing these costs and will pay for its self in hours, dramatically improving your bottom line as well as improving productivity.

Call 01491 845 400 now to start saving your company money.




In a nutshell: new Recruitment International suppliers directory entry

Wednesday Wednesday, March 1, 2017 by Administrator

New ground breaking, low cost, comprehensive, cloud hosted, end to end temping staff scheduling.

Speed things up, save considerable bookkeeping costs, keep in better touch with workers and customers.

  • With a few clicks or key presses: workers can be tightly matched to multiple shifts on any dates and times for any customer. It makes fully automatic and very quick background compliance checks including who will work where. Custom messages are automatically emailed from customisable templates.
  • Employees emailed, texted and sent job info and calendar entries to their smart phones with apps. All automated and quicker than you’ve read this!
  • A simple timesheet system allows shifts to be signed off, then invoices and payroll calculated, RTI sent to HMRC, Pensions calculated, bank transfer files generated, PDF Invoices and Payslips sent to: customers, PAYE employees and limited company contractors.

All done for a similar cost (or in some cases significantly less) to what you might pay umbrella or payroll companies for just part of this. Our software fully meets HMRC requirements. You can be sure that you have completely met all your legal taxation requirements.

As the Aussies would say: “No worries!”

Transform your bottom line: call 01491-845-400 now.



Ensuring the right people go to the right jobs

Monday Monday, February 20, 2017 by Administrator

We all know Temporary staffing is a repeat business process. Unlike permanent placements where a single employee well placed generates a single commission and a single employee less well placed may generate several commissions over time. In the Temp staff business a single employee well placed will generate revenue time after time after time and more likely stay with you as an agency.

There are many factors in doing this quickly and successfully. Keeping a good record of who likes to work where and in turn which of your customers like that worker as a temp is a good part of this process.

Providing compliant candidates instantly on this basis is essential in this age of rapid communications.

Ava advance agency web system (Aaaws) has four methods of getting the right people to the right customers.

  • When you first add an employee to the system you (or the worker themselves) can set the distance that they are prepared to travel. Say 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 miles etc. Any customer within this radius will be included.
  • If you are an agency serving a larger area you can specify a sales region and that person will be bookable to any customer in that (sales) region.
  • You can fine tune this by excluding or including any specific customers on a customer by customer basis.
  • Finally the selection process can be really fine-tuned by excluding specific areas within any customer and specific jobs for that customer.


The page for adding new employees has geographic lookup for a postcode and this stores their home location. A drop down region selector allows further refinement if your agency is large enough to need separate regions. A similar process is in place for customers.


Setting Work Locations 2


There are then tick box options for adding preferred customers outside the more general area selected or eliminating any particular employee customer combination. This overrides the general distance or sales region selections. Further specific work areas for a customer and specifc jobs can also be eliminated.


Setting Work Locations


This process seamlessly integrates with the automatic selection lists and automatic texting and mobile apps for customers and workers offers and fills.


If you want to know more, please contact us on 01491 845 400 and we will be happy to take the time to fully to understand your specific needs.




My site is made with WordPress, should I be worried? What could possibly go wrong?

Friday Friday, February 17, 2017 by Administrator

The short answer is yes! If you run a temp or permanent staff Agency and have personal data of any type entered or available by or through that site, you should be very worried.


This is why.


WordPress is open source. To most people that means nothing but maybe it sounds good? Even better there are lots of free WordPress plug-ins - What could possibly go wrong? Well for “even better” read “even worse!”


Open source means that all the code (stuff that makes it work) that goes into any WordPress is available to anyone who wants to look: not many. You could look, any five year old kid could look. Probably they may be able to understand is going on better than you or I. Let’s face it: if you got even a popular novel in a language you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t continue, you’re not a masochist and there are other web sites for that!


It gets worse, even though you might read it, and understand it, so you can also change it! For open source there is no guarantee that anyone other than the (last) author has read (and understood) it. No guarantee that what is there is goof for you and your site. Open source is considered good because its assumed someone with good intentions has read the code and held up a hand to say if it’s bad. Usually this does just not happen!


A few years ago a person who we probably should assume had malevolent intent did this for an open source security system and left it riddled with flaws. This went undiscovered for years. Only now is that security system being carefully controlled by a multi-million pound group funded by a group of large concerned software companies who use it. Only now is it considered reliable.


It is certain that similarly some WordPress add-ins or plug-ins have been written specifically to appear attractive and open up the end user to all manner people hacking their sites. Many users see “free WordPress  plugin” and think what could possibly go wrong? I’ll install that! So they add at least one bad hack to their site and probably the world’s supply.


Hackers 1 Security 0


This actually happens on a major scale every few years.


BBC 2017

Jamie Oliver website hacked 2015

BBC 2013

Why do companies keep getting hacked?




Public sector temporary agency staff HMRC and April 2017

Friday Friday, February 17, 2017 by Administrator

Public sector, temporary agency staff, HMRC and April 2017


There have been a number of legal rulings recently concerning temporary agency staff, zero hours contracts and the Gig economy.  In April 2017 HRMC rules specifically relating to public sector candidates or workers and PAYE will change.
To quote HMRC if you are a Public Sector Contractor (PSC) and you supply a public body (any organisations that are deemed public bodies under the freedom of information act) including but not limited to:

  • Government departments, legislative bodies, armed forces
  • Local government
  • NHS
  • Schools and further and higher education institutions
  • Police
  • Other public bodies such as the BBC, Channel 4 and The British Museum
  • Publically owned companies (wholly owned by the Crown and/or the wider public sector such as Transport for London)


You are now responsible for determining your workers’ PAYE status if you are the last link in the payment chain before the contractor.

So how does this affect the chain which can include umbrella companies and the like? Umbrella companies offered a service of tax optimisation and their margin or profit came out of the tax that they could usually legally avoid paying. The change in the rules means that it is no longer the contractor’s decision as to their PAYE status. They will have the same tax deducted willy-nilly. Probably the major reason for having Umbrella companies has been eliminated.

What are the options?

  • You can still use an umbrella company but it will likely now cost.
  • You can use a factoring company to smooth payments and income, it will cost.
  • You can use an accountant to do your payroll and to submit to HMRC, it will cost.
  • You can use a payroll package that does the MHRC calculations and submissions. It will have to integrate with you staff allocation system and it will take time and cost.
  • You can use our Ava Advance agency sheduling software with RTI, which allocates staff, does your HMRC calculations and submissions and costs no more than it did just for staff allocation, compliance checking and automated messaging, email, texts, smart apps, invoices and payslips.


Contact us to find out more. 01491 845 400

Instant messaging apps are available for Android and iPhone

Tuesday Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by Administrator

Instant messaging apps are available for Android and iPhone.

These low cost apps give you direct messaging (advertising or offering out) to multiple workers aka employees or staff (for banks) any jobs or vacancies. Once the offer is sent the booking is completed entirely automatically with compliance checked when the first employee clicks they are available to do the job.

They allow a single button response to instantly accept or decline any offer.

The app then updates the web database and following a compliance check will book the first responder(s) for the appropriate vacancy or vacancies. It will also put an alarm and meeting in their phone calendar as reminders for the job and give a more detailed description of the job and any joining details sent.

As with any booking on the system, the customer is also automatically notified of the fill by a custom fully automatic email containing any desired employee, customer or booking details.


Android phone instant staff messaging

Android phone low cost SMS Text app for Aaaws


iPhone and tablet instant staff messaging


If you are interested in making your agency or staff bank more efficient or just eliminating the aggravation involved in scheduling your flexible work force please call us on 01491 845 400






Top 10 benefits

Thursday Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Administrator

Outsourcing payroll: a new, more cost effective solution on the Block.
Running a staffing agency can be hard and without the right tools it’s getting harder. Historically there were good reasons of outsourcing some of the workload such as the pay and invoicing processes.
The argument was that a specialist Payroll or Umbrella Company can free up time and allow you to focus on the core areas of your business. They would also argue that they could be tax efficient and no net cost (to you). HMRC have successfully argued for changes in regulations that eliminate these tax avoidance savings in many many cases.
Payroll is a specific challenge and often a least liked job that simply just has to be done. It is also absolutely essential to get payroll right! Paying workers incorrectly or not paying them is a short route to disaffected, unhappy employees and leads ultimately to them going elsewhere.
Here are the top 10 benefits of using our solution:

  • 1.    Saves money:  any umbrella company will charge you what appears to be a small fee (insert your actual costs here): say in round terms £10 per paid employee per payment run. So twenty employees paid weekly cost around ten thousand pounds or £500 per year per employee. The Umbrella or Payroll Company may say the employee pays, but offer one of you employees a £500 pay rise and see how long it takes for them to accept it. A pure payroll company will charge significantly less but only processes your payroll.
  • 2.    Increased control and gives higher customer and worker satisfaction. Timesheets represent work done and profit, keeping a close eye on them identifies trends or errors before they threaten your business.
  • 3.    Improves accuracy: payroll mistakes are be painful, payroll mistakes anger employees and invoice mistakes anger customers: both can cause problems legally.
  • 4.    More reliability: humans make mistakes, copying data can lead to mistakes, keeping the data for your payroll within one integrated package means the absolute minimum of external sources for errors.
  • 5.    It’s quicker than outsourcing. You don’t have to access to specialists in payroll. It is much quicker to click one button: calculating each shift pay or invoice amount takes about a tenth of a second.
  • 6.    Gives you great insight: Reports on margins, employee performance and profitability instantly available the second the pay and invoices runs are complete.
  • 7.    We are accountable to HMRC, if anything ever does go wrong then it is our responsibility to fix it with HMRC the same day.
  • 8.    Increased security: No additional 3rd party: details only leave your secure business database by direct secure point to point to communication (https) to HMRC or your Bank.  This effectively prevents your employees and customer details falling into the wrong hands.
  • 9.    Peace of mind: you know it’s done because you clicked on the button to do it and the system reported back directly to you that HMRC was notified, detailed payslips calculated and emailed, detailed invoices sent.
  • 10.    Finally our software ensures legal compliance providing workers, automatically notifies customers and employees of fills, allows your customers to directly sign timesheets, monitors and checks right to work and training requirements, calculates pay and invoices, notifies HMRC and gives you valuable management information reports. This usually costs a similar figure to that you would be paying for just payroll processing and is a tenth of the cost of some Umbrella companies rates.


Cal us now on 01491 845 400 to make your savings and streamline your agency or staff bank.




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