“The clarity, simplicity, and hands-on support make Penfold the easiest way to manage payroll.”
Zak Round, Director at Kaizen Accountancy Services
Kaizen Accountancy Services is a boutique firm that – as its Japanese name implies – is all about ‘Kaizen’, or 'continuous improvement'. The company takes pride in providing first-class accounting services to clients, including running their payroll effortlessly.
After struggling with Nest’s payroll process and customer support, the Kaizen team partnered with Penfold to make pensions a better experience for their clients – and a quicker process for themselves. We spoke to Zak Round, Director at Kaizen, about his experience switching pension providers.
Zak’s first and most pressing worry was that processing errors with Nest caused a lot of headaches. With many of his clients using Xero, he found the pension integrations between Xero and Nest to be the opposite of seamless.
“An issue with the API link meant there wouldn't be any indication if something was wrong with the data,” said Zak. The errors could be as minor as an incorrectly formatted date of birth. But this would set off a chain reaction and delay pension contributions for all employees of Zak’s clients, who would look to him for answers.
“That was always a difficult position to be in, especially when clients are trusting us to manage their payroll, and you have to explain that their monthly statements are inaccurate.”
It wasn’t the only issue; Zak was also frustrated when waiting on hold to speak to someone who could help him resolve the problem after being directed to FAQ pages that didn’t offer advice specific to his situation.
Many of Zak’s clients had never considered switching pension providers, but after he showed his clients Penfold’s easy-to-use app, sustainable fund options, and financial education tools, they were eager to upgrade.
The transition to Penfold was seamless and only took a few weeks. Fully managed by Penfold, an account manager contacted the previous provider to initiate the change and manage the upload of employees to the new scheme.
Kaizen’s account manager, Maria, also launched the scheme via a video call to help Zak understand the platform, get Zak’s clients onboarded with the app and move their pension pots across. Zak explained that this was well-received:
“Penfold offers a range of pension options rather than a generic pension, which my clients tell me their employees saw as a big win.”
Zak now has total peace of mind over his clients’ payroll:
“I download the file from the accountancy software, then have two options: I can either email it to the Penfold team or upload it through the Penfold portal, which is drag and drop.”
“If there’s an error, it will come up immediately – the system won't let you upload the file with a detailed message about what the issue is. You can reach out to the team, and they'll come back very quickly.”
“With Penfold, there's always an account manager to help you work through any issues.”
He added that clients have found Penfold’s app especially helpful because it shows “what you've got in your pension pot and a breakdown of what pension you'll get if you continue to earn at your current rate – as well as letting you pick how you invest, and how you’re set to live in retirement.”
“There's a lot of stuff you can do with Penfold that you couldn't do with Nest,” continued Zak.
“Penfold gives employees immediate access to their pension rather than having to go through the payroll team to remind them of how to access their details or wait for paper letters.”
“Penfold definitely allows us to offer clients a better service,” Zak says.
“The simplicity of the Penfold app, the platform for accountants, and the personal touch the team bring – make all my monthly processes much easier. There are no more frantic emails from clients, delays or hiccups when it comes to processing payroll.”
Zak credits Penfold’s “straightforward and direct approach” with helping his clients to have a much stronger understanding of their pensions, from their current status to what their retirement income could be in the future.
By using Penfold to cut out unnecessary admin and hoops to jump through, Zak has introduced a payroll process that makes his clients’ lives easier, making his own life easier too in the process.
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