The SCVO Payroll Service was launched in October 1994 by David Kelly, to help member organisations with their payroll. 

I joined the Service in January1995 as a part time payroll administrator, when we had just 12 clients made up of 39 employees. Four months later, David was moved to the Membership/Publications department, and I was left on my own!

Two years later I was Payroll Manager and working full time because the Payroll Department was growing. As you can imagine, things were quite different back then – we had a Payrite system (DOS version), used floppy discs to back up the payroll information and issued bank giro credit slips that employees took to their bank for payment. It could be a struggle trying to ensure that all salaries were processed on time – especially when I wanted to take a holiday!

Then in 1999 we employed a payroll administrator (Katie Kot), moved from the old DOS programme to Windows and started using BACS which enabled us to pay employees direct into their bank accounts. Unfortunately, some of our smaller clients still used a Treasurers’ Bank Account and we could not make direct payments on their behalf, so they changed to paying by cheque (20 years later and some organisations still pay by cheque!).

Due to a steady growth of payroll clients, our team has also grown from two to eight, to include Lorna Heron, Morag McLeod, Lorraine Dick, Alana Allan, Yvonne Veitch and Lynne Hughes.

In October 2012, auto enrolment was introduced, meaning that all employers were required to provide a workplace pension scheme for their eligible employees.  This was a huge job for our team as we had to assess all payroll clients, inform them that they had to join a workplace pension, and then set the pensions up for them.  Unfortunately they weren’t all using the same pension scheme, which made it a slightly more complex task!

A year later in 2013, Real Time Information (RTI) was introduced – the most significant change ever made to PAYE. An improved way of reporting, RTI is designed to make PAYE submissions more efficient – meaning you need to submit in HMRC in real time, every time an employee is paid.

2018 saw the arrival of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – the result of four years of work by the EU to bring data protection legislation into line with new, previously unforeseen ways that data is now used. It introduced tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches, and gives people more say over what companies can do with their data. As a result the Payroll Team had to find a suitable secure solution for transferring and receiving data for our clients – earlier this year we transferred the entire SCVO Payroll database to Salesforce.

Now in 2019, we are currently processing salaries for over 400 voluntary sector organisations all over Scotland – which equates to approximately 7,000 employees – and have secured employment for eight staff. We even occasionally take on Community Jobs Scotland employees!

y journey within the SCVO Payroll Department has been awesome – lots of hard work, but also a lot of fun – and I have loved every minute of it. It’s been really rewarding watching the service grow. And remember, if your organisations is looking for payroll support, get in touch – as you can see, we have 25 years of experience!