Blog posts written during January 2017

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.




Payslips. automated payments RTI and HMRC

Friday Friday, February 3, 2017 by Administrator

Payslip reports


These reports give details of Payments, deductions and year to date in accordance with HMRC rules and UK government regulations. This is In addition to automated RTI submission required by HMRC. There are now two versions of these legally complying payslip reports.  The original report gives location of work, pay rate paid and grade or job worked at, date and times of work and totals.


Together with generating a file for gross payments for bulk payroll processing for upload to your bank, Ava advanced agency software eliminates the pain, work and costs of paying your staff.


The exisiting report more appropriate to weekly paid workers gives location of work, pay rate paid and grade or job worked at, dates, times and totals. (Click on the image to see a full size version)

 Existing Payslip Report 6225


The new report more appropriate to monthly paid workers gives location of work, pay rate paid and grade or job worked at and totals. (Click on the image to see a full size version)

New Payslip Report 6270



If you'd like to know more, please contact us on 01491 845 400 during normal office hours.





IR 35, public sector employees, umbrella companies and ridiculous offers

Monday Monday, January 30, 2017 by Administrator

Factoring, IR 35, public sector employees, umbrella companies and ridiculous offers


We had another spam email from an umbrella company today. It was trying to rattle our cage over “the new” Payroll IR35 and public sector employees.


IR35 if you are unfamiliar with HMRC's penchant for abbreviations is the rule under which a employees should be categorised self-employed, employees etc. for taxation purposes. See the links at the bottom for more helpful information.


Furthermore this umbrella company's headline offer was from as little as £10… That did sound to good to be true, £10 total for RTI, Employee NI, Employer NI correct deductions, payroll calculations in accordance with the new rules and if you have a payroll or more than £3 million per year, the apprentice levy.


All this makes what they were offering sound good value for very complicated calculations, but these implimenting these rules is not that complicated!


Here’s why and here is the real impact of their offer:


Each employee will have at least £10 deducted from their pay packet or in the region of £500 per year. Good reason for any worthwhile employee to take a trip to an agency that doesn’t deduct half a grand from them.


If you reimburse your workers then it’s out of your margin and pocket. 20 employees that’s  a massive £10k a year from you.

Ah! but now the umbrella company plays it’s trump card: they take the responsibility for the calculation. Except that these calculations are all subject to HMRC approval in HMRC devised tests. Well our software passes all of those tests too and we take the responsibility for the calculations being correct or we lose our HMRC status.


So let’s compare Ava advanced agency web system with an Umbrella company for: 20 workers:


You can manage 20 workers bookings per week with one user licence easily and get all you messaging and compliance sorted at the same time. A single monthly licence and server hosting is well repeat well under £80 and two user licences well repeat well under £120 pcm, so that is a massive saving of £700 per month or £9K a your pocket (or going to make your agency more attractive than the one down the road)
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but paying 10k for someone else’s somehow doesn’t seem right.

So If you use an umbrella company and would like a nice little present for Easter give us a call and see what we can do for you.


01491 845 400


Links that may help


What is IR35? the Goverment statement


What is IR35 Contractor Weekly

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