Purely Payroll UK Summit: Scaling new heights Purely Payroll UK Summit: Scaling new heights

Purely Payroll UK Summit: Scaling new heights
30 Apr 2016

From Mount Everest to tax and termination, this year’s Purely Payroll summit provided inspiration and information in equal amounts. Working in payroll can indeed feel like scaling a mountain at times. Those attending Purely Payroll’s UK Payroll Summit however, perhaps weren’t expecting inspiration to come direct from a mountain top, or actually seven in total.

The keynote presentation at this year’s event was given by Ania Lichota who, while working in operations at investment bank UBS, climbed to the top of seven of the highest mountain summits around the world: Everest in the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Elbrus in Russia, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Mount McKinley in North America and Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

What made the Seven Summits achievement even more incredible was that prior to the challenge Ania had no technical climbing expertise, admits she wasn’t particularly fit, was afraid of the cold and an amateur at high altitude. She also had an extremely demanding day job.

Today she explains that climbing is not only a way to spend her free time but also a way to build character. “Mountaineering has transformed my private and professional life,” she says.

What can scaling seven summits teach payroll professionals?

Ania, now an executive coach, provided a fascinating insight into the challenges of each individual summit and related her experiences to lessons in life, work and leadership. Kilimanjaro taught her much about self-knowledge and how having emotional ownership of your life can help you in corporate life.

Elbrus was all about self-reference and the importance of not comparing yourself to others as well as getting the basics of good leadership in place. And on Everest, when in the grip of the elements with no control over what happens next, she learnt not just to appreciate the vulnerability but enjoy it.

“I just took millions of small steps”. Ania said she aimed to set delegates up for the day and there can be no doubt that she achieved that.

What we learned from the morning sessions

Each year at the Purely Payroll summit we strive to put together a programme that will tick as many boxes as possible for as many delegates as possible. Stream one kicked off with a session on tax and termination packages and was followed by a talk devoted to re-engineering the payroll department, entitled Joining the Dots by Roz Bendo, managing director, head of international HR operations EMEA and APAC at BNY Mellon. And its not just the technical side; Roz emphasised the importance of collaborative working, relationships and teamwork and gave practical advice on setting key performance indicators.

The morning session of stream two included a pensions update and hot topics for the public sector, while stream three focused on what can go wrong in payroll transformation projects and the European permanent establishment payroll issues. During lunch, delegates had the opportunity to visit the exhibitor stands with Accentra, Advanced, Bacs, Frontier Software, HR Comparison, MidlandHR, Nest and Pensionsync all in attendance. First prize for most desirable freebie had to be the cuddly Dalmatian on a stick from Bacs.

The future of payroll

After lunch we wanted to stimulate and generate debate in our panel discussion on the future of payroll. Kindly agreeing to take part in the Question Time-style approach were Kate Upcraft - ISIS Consultancy, Helen Harvey - Zinnia Payroll Consultants, Steve Wade - EY, Susan Ball - Crowe Clark Whitehill and Marcia Bowen – Payroll Alliance. Inevitably, there was discussion on payroll’s ever-expanding workload and whether the profession needs to reinvent or rebrand itself.

And it brought a number of questions and comments from the audience with those working at the coalface of payroll highlighting how they are expected to take on more and more responsibility. The subject of contingent workers, the impact of devolution and the emergence of self-service apps also featured.

As much as I tried to keep things on schedule the debate spilled over the allotted time and demonstrated the session could easily run to an hour. As organisers we are keen that delegates feel their voice is heard on a range of payroll topics and issues so this provided us with food for thought.

Then came the afternoon session

 In the afternoon there was a well-attended session on payrolling benefits in kind by Susan Ball before the three streams resumed for the afternoon. Stream one focused on IR35 and travel and subsistence proposals, stream two on the latest developments in employment law and stream three on employment tax compliance in the digital age.

As has become tradition, the final session of the day is devoted to a round up of “all of the other” payroll and HR legislative developments, by Kate Upcraft.

“I know it’s a big ask for people to stay around to the end although the thought of a drink afterwards helps I guess!” says Kate. “So when I’m putting this session together I start by pulling together the threads from all the other excellent speakers. And then make sure that people to go away with a few practical items on their to-do list as they get ready for the new tax year.”

Summing up the day

One delegate who had attended every Purely Payroll Summit said one of the best things about the day is that even if you go with a specific session in mind, you always come away with nuggets of information and tips on a range of subjects. “It is also great for networking, which is why I’ve come every year,” she says.

Purely Payroll would like to thank all of our speakers, exhibitors and sponsors and, of course, the delegates for the part they all played in this year’s summit and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

By Sue Weekes

From Mount Everest to tax and termination, this year’s Purely Payroll summit provided inspiration and information in equal amounts. Working in payroll can indeed feel like scaling a mountain at times. Those attending Purely Payroll’s UK Payroll Summit however, perhaps weren’t expecting inspiration to come direct from a mountain top, or actually seven in total.

The keynote presentation at this year’s event was given by Ania Lichota who, while working in operations at investment bank UBS, climbed to the top of seven of the highest mountain summits around the world: Everest in the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Elbrus in Russia, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Mount McKinley in North America and Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

What made the Seven Summits achievement even more incredible was that prior to the challenge Ania had no technical climbing expertise, admits she wasn’t particularly fit, was afraid of the cold and an amateur at high altitude. She also had an extremely demanding day job.

Today she explains that climbing is not only a way to spend her free time but also a way to build character. “Mountaineering has transformed my private and professional life,” she says.

What can scaling seven summits teach payroll professionals?

Ania, now an executive coach, provided a fascinating insight into the challenges of each individual summit and related her experiences to lessons in life, work and leadership. Kilimanjaro taught her much about self-knowledge and how having emotional ownership of your life can help you in corporate life.

Elbrus was all about self-reference and the importance of not comparing yourself to others as well as getting the basics of good leadership in place. And on Everest, when in the grip of the elements with no control over what happens next, she learnt not just to appreciate the vulnerability but enjoy it.

“I just took millions of small steps”. Ania said she aimed to set delegates up for the day and there can be no doubt that she achieved that.

What we learned from the morning sessions

Each year at the Purely Payroll summit we strive to put together a programme that will tick as many boxes as possible for as many delegates as possible. Stream one kicked off with a session on tax and termination packages and was followed by a talk devoted to re-engineering the payroll department, entitled Joining the Dots by Roz Bendo, managing director, head of international HR operations EMEA and APAC at BNY Mellon. And its not just the technical side; Roz emphasised the importance of collaborative working, relationships and teamwork and gave practical advice on setting key performance indicators.

The morning session of stream two included a pensions update and hot topics for the public sector, while stream three focused on what can go wrong in payroll transformation projects and the European permanent establishment payroll issues. During lunch, delegates had the opportunity to visit the exhibitor stands with Accentra, Advanced, Bacs, Frontier Software, HR Comparison, MidlandHR, Nest and Pensionsync all in attendance. First prize for most desirable freebie had to be the cuddly Dalmatian on a stick from Bacs.

The future of payroll

After lunch we wanted to stimulate and generate debate in our panel discussion on the future of payroll. Kindly agreeing to take part in the Question Time-style approach were Kate Upcraft - ISIS Consultancy, Helen Harvey - Zinnia Payroll Consultants, Steve Wade - EY, Susan Ball - Crowe Clark Whitehill and Marcia Bowen – Payroll Alliance. Inevitably, there was discussion on payroll’s ever-expanding workload and whether the profession needs to reinvent or rebrand itself.

And it brought a number of questions and comments from the audience with those working at the coalface of payroll highlighting how they are expected to take on more and more responsibility. The subject of contingent workers, the impact of devolution and the emergence of self-service apps also featured.

As much as I tried to keep things on schedule the debate spilled over the allotted time and demonstrated the session could easily run to an hour. As organisers we are keen that delegates feel their voice is heard on a range of payroll topics and issues so this provided us with food for thought.

Then came the afternoon session

 In the afternoon there was a well-attended session on payrolling benefits in kind by Susan Ball before the three streams resumed for the afternoon. Stream one focused on IR35 and travel and subsistence proposals, stream two on the latest developments in employment law and stream three on employment tax compliance in the digital age.

As has become tradition, the final session of the day is devoted to a round up of “all of the other” payroll and HR legislative developments, by Kate Upcraft.

“I know it’s a big ask for people to stay around to the end although the thought of a drink afterwards helps I guess!” says Kate. “So when I’m putting this session together I start by pulling together the threads from all the other excellent speakers. And then make sure that people to go away with a few practical items on their to-do list as they get ready for the new tax year.”

Summing up the day

One delegate who had attended every Purely Payroll Summit said one of the best things about the day is that even if you go with a specific session in mind, you always come away with nuggets of information and tips on a range of subjects. “It is also great for networking, which is why I’ve come every year,” she says.

Purely Payroll would like to thank all of our speakers, exhibitors and sponsors and, of course, the delegates for the part they all played in this year’s summit and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

By Sue Weekes