26th November, 2015
For a country with less than 0.2% of the world’s total land mass and only around 0.06% of the world’s total population, New Zealand has a disproportionately complex payroll system. Ranked fifth in the world in complexity for government reporting, it’s no wonder MYOB takes its job of delivering the highest level of compliance possible in a payroll solution very seriously.
“Our number one priority is to make sure our customers have the most tax compliant product possible,” says Trevor Leybourne, MYOB’s NZ Product Development Manager. “Payroll is one function that neither the employer or the employee ever wants to get wrong.”
Trevor looks after the teams that develop, maintain and innovate on a number of different payroll products for the New Zealand and Australian markets. He is passionate about driving teams to build feature- and functionality-rich solutions that not only provide high business value, but that clients love to use.
“The one thing that’s most important to our payroll customers is our compliance changes,” says Trevor. “Payroll is a very compliance driven solution and we need to make sure we’re up to date with legislation across both NZ and Australia.
“At MYOB, we liaise very closely with Inland Revenue and the ATO. We’re part of groups like the Inland Revenue Software Development Group, we attend meetings with IR in Wellington to talk about what’s coming up on the horizon, and we’re very active around the compliance changes that are coming.
“In each of our payroll solutions, the requirements to address certain compliance changes might vary slightly. For example, sometimes changes will only affect businesses of a certain type or of a certain size. We make sure that the right compliance measures are built into each product, whether it’s for a smaller business or a larger one.”
Trevor’s Product Development team is committed to keeping an eye on the industry landscape and building the type of features into payroll solutions that will save users time and money. The team prioritises features that will reduce the burden on payroll staff and empowers employees to manage some tasks themselves.
“A good example of this,” says Trevor, “is that once we saw businesses shifting towards the cloud, we wanted to enable employees to put their information in the cloud. For our MYOB EXO customers, we built a product called MyStaffInfo, which is an employee portal that allows employees to update personal information, enter their timesheets, receive payslips – even manage their leave. They can access the MyStaffInfo Portal from anywhere they want on pretty much any device. We’re now working on bringing the same feature to MYOB Essentials for our SME customers.”
Responding to user needs
One of the most important ways that Trevor’s team implements features into the payroll products is as a direct result of user feedback.
“We love getting customer requests,” says Trevor. “Often, our customers will approach us and say ‘hey, I really wish you had this feature’. We then create that as a feature request in our tracking system. If there are a lot of customer requests coming through for a particular feature, we’ll consider developing that feature into our products.
“One feature that was developed as a direct result of customer feedback was the ability to easily customise payslips. We built a very simple way to allow customers to modify and configure a payslip. They can now customise elements like banners, fonts and messaging.”
In other instances, the product development team actively seeks feedback on features. “One of our team members built a product called Lean Engage that allows us to ask customers for feedback,” says Trevor.
“While customers are using a feature, they can click on a button that says ‘give us some feedback’,” he continues. “A window pops up and the user can tell us what they think on the spot. That’s a really valuable way for us to enhance products so we can build the most valuable and user-friendly payroll product possible.”
Whatever type of MYOB payroll solution a business needs, Trevor and his product development team have their focus firmly on compliance, useability and reducing the burden on payroll staff.