How to charge more for payroll

Are you charging enough for payroll? We recently spoke to Nicola Hageman about how to build a more profitable payroll system and we discussed how to charge more for payroll, let’s dig in.

Payroll management is an essential part of any business, but it’s often seen as a time-consuming, complex process that offers little in terms of profitability. However, Nicola Hageman, a management accountant turned business owner, believes otherwise. In a recent podcast, Nicola shared her insights on how bookkeepers can make payroll profitable.

The Importance of Payroll Management

Nicola started her business offering bookkeeping and payroll services, which has since grown to serve over 600 clients. She explains the importance of payroll compliance, emphasising that clients want peace of mind knowing their employees are being paid correctly and on time.

While payroll may seem straightforward, there are many intricacies and emotions involved. Clients need reassurance that they are compliant with regulations and penalties. To meet these needs, Hageman took a flexible approach, starting her business around her children and adapting to the constraints of certain types of work.

Building and Profiting from Payroll Software

Nicola’s interest in payroll led her to create her own payroll software, aiming to make the payroll process more efficient and profitable for her team. Despite the challenges of building software, including the steep learning curve and financial costs, she expresses pride in her achievement and sees potential for future growth.

Nicola is optimistic about the software’s potential in six months. The goal? To make payroll processing as easy and profitable as possible.

Payroll Software Efficiency and Pricing

The benefits of using cloud-based payroll software are numerous, including increased efficiency and reduced time spent on payroll processing. Hagerman’s company prices their payroll services using a mix of a per-pay slip fee and a minimum fee structure.

She emphasises the importance of charging correctly and finding ways to be more efficient in order to make payroll processing profitable. This includes automating certain tasks in payroll processing, such as sending pay slips and producing reports.

Streamlining Payroll Processing for Accountants and Employers

Nicola’s company charges for payroll processing and other services but provides a detailed list of everything that might be charged extra to clients. This transparency is key to building trust with clients.

The software development process has focused on user experience and simplicity, automating tedious manual tasks and errors. Hagerman highlights the benefits of involving employers and employees in the development process to ensure the software meets their needs.

Entrepreneurship, Software Development, and Business Growth

Nicola shares her experience with Lisa Johnson’s one to many program, leveraging her training to build an audience and develop a program for clients. She finds value in hearing from different people and sources, seeing potential to apply Johnson’s teachings to her own business.

Running a business can be overwhelming, especially with a multitude of ideas and tasks to manage. Nicola emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive networks of people to provide guidance and perspective.

Looking ahead, Nicola plans to make Fresh Pay the number one payroll software in the UK and beyond, focusing on continuous improvement and growth. Her journey demonstrates how bookkeepers can indeed make payroll profitable, turning a traditionally time-consuming process into a profitable service.

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About our Sponsor

This episode of The Bookkeepers’ Podcast is sponsored by Xero. Find out more at:


The information contained in The Bookkeepers’ Podcast is provided for information purposes only. The contents of The Bookkeepers’ Podcast is not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of the Bookkeepers’ Podcast. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of the Bookkeepers’ Podcast. The 6 Figure Bookkeeper Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of the Bookkeepers’ Podcast. 


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