A guide to pay and bill software

Pay and bill guide header

All recruitment agencies will relate to the demands of managing payroll and invoicing.

While your key focus is on landing top talent, your middle to back-office duties can leave you juggling too many balls at once.

If you find yourself translating handwritten timesheets or tirelessly inputting hours into spreadsheets, there’s a solution.

Pay and bill software offers a modern, secure way to process timesheet data and enable self-service to cut down on admin.

In this guide, we cover the following frequently asked questions:

  • What is pay and bill software?
  • Who uses it?
  • What’s the difference between a CRM and pay and bill software?
  • What’s the difference between recruitment payroll software and pay and bill software?
  • Typical features
  • Benefits
  • Pricing
  • How can I choose the right solution?


What is pay and bill software?

Pay and bill software streamlines the process of recruitment agencies paying candidates and suppliers and billing clients.

It’s also known as middle-office software, compared to front-office and back-office software:

  • Front-office software: CRMs like Bullhorn
  • Middle-office software: Pay and bill software like Codabill
  • Back-office software: Payroll software like Codapay


Front- to back-office process


In effect, pay and bill software is the middleman between CRM and payroll software.

While your CRM is your big database of candidate data and CVs, you can place a candidate within pay and bill software including all placement information (duration, client, pay rate and so on).

Depending on the software you use, this will then unlock:

  1. A candidate portal to fill in timesheets and view placement information
  2. A client portal to view and approve timesheets

Once timesheets are approved by clients, pay rates are automatically calculated and you can raise sales and purchase invoices (self-billing). Reports can also be generated for transparency on business performance, including gross profit margin.

You can then import candidate and payroll data into your payroll software to pay candidates accurately. If you use pay and bill software that enables integration, this will sync automatically.

By managing placement data in a modern system, you save time on manual data input and ensure greater accuracy.


Who uses pay and bill software?

Pay and bill software is designed for recruitment agencies that process timesheets.

It addresses the unique need in the temporary staffing market to connect candidate and client placement data, keeping everyone in the supply chain happy. This means candidates get paid on time and clients receive accurate invoices.

Instead of handling data manually, pay and bill software is the middleman that facilitates self-service and automation.

Reasons you might need it as an agency

  • You experience inaccuracies in payslips, invoices and transfer of data
  • You struggle keeping on top of timesheet management, relying on manual data entry
  • You don’t have the resource to manually validate, reconcile, and manage records
  • You want greater visibility on gross profit margin from placements


What’s the difference between a CRM and pay and bill software?

Your recruitment CRM is where you store all your data on candidates and their placements. It’s a fundamental tool that allows you to source and nurture talent.

But at the end of the day, those candidates need to get paid for their work and clients need to be billed for the provision of labour. And that’s the process that pay and bill software addresses by centralising timesheet data and generating invoices based on assignment details.


What’s the difference between recruitment payroll software and pay and bill software?

Some providers use these terms interchangeably, but they aren’t the same.

Put very simply, pay and bill software collects the candidate and payroll data that’s then imported into your payroll software to create payslips for your candidates.


Typical features of pay and bill software

When looking at pay and bill software, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of features.

Fundamentally, these are the core tasks it should complete:

  • Invoicing: raise invoices and self-billing (if applicable)
  • Timesheets: collect and approve
  • Placement management: assign client and candidate, durations, pay rates, etc
  • Pay calculations: based on hours, pay rate, placement details
  • Gross profit margin tracking
  • Commission management for consultants

You should also have the option to provide web portals to clients and candidates. Self-service reduces the time you spend manually gathering data and is a massive value-add to improve transparency.


Benefits of pay and bill software

So now we’ve covered what pay and bill software is and how it works, these are just some of the benefits:

  1. It improves efficiency by automating things like pay rates and invoices
  2. It gives back time to your team by minimising manual data entry and communications
  3. Candidates and clients are happier because they can access information without having to contact you
  4. Payroll queries are reduced because all parties can self-serve
  5. Human error is reduced which minimises risk of penalties and reputational damage
  6. It pays for itself in the productivity gained from a modern platform compared to spreadsheets or makeshift processes


Pricing of pay and bill software

All those advantages, but at what cost?

Of course, it varies per supplier. But pay and bill software usually has a low-cost, straightforward pricing model that’s based on either:

  1. subscription cost per user
  2. the number of timesheets processed
  3. each contractor whose timesheets are processed

At Codabill, our pricing is based on the latter (3) – one small sum for each contractor who processes a timesheet. So, if a contractor submits five per month, you still only pay for that one contractor. And if they don’t upload any timesheets, then you pay nothing at all. Plus, there’s no extra cost per head.

If you’re weighing up other options, make sure you understand the pricing structure and any additional fees, including:

  • Set-up fees
  • Ongoing support
  • Exit fees


How can I choose the right pay and bill solution?

Get a feel for your options by booking demos with several software providers.

When weighing it up, consider the following:

  • Is the software easy to use?
  • Does it come with client and candidate portals?
  • Is it compatible with your payroll software?
  • Can it handle the number of timesheets you process monthly?
  • Will it be able to support your growth?
  • How long are you locked into the contract?
  • Is ongoing support offered?
  • Is compliance considered (IR35 etc)?
  • Does it have all critical features available? If not, are there workarounds?
  • Is it cloud-based?
  • Did the software provider’s representative seem knowledgeable about the industry and your requirements?
  • Do they have industry accreditations and partnerships g. Professional Passport, APSCo?
  • How are product bugs and unexpected downtime addressed?
  • How often do they upgrade the software and do they have ongoing plans for improvement?


Introducing Codabill

Our flexible pay and bill software scales as you grow. Whether you have 1 or 10,000 candidates being onboarded and placed, Codabill processes timesheets in seconds.

  • Cloud-based platform that you can access on any internet browser
  • Easily export data for your payroll software (API available) – direct integration with Codapay for a seamless middle-back office
  • Mobile-friendly candidate and client self-service portals
  • UK-based ongoing support included

Get it all on a low-cost pricing plan with a risk-free monthly rolling contract, plus no set up fee.

Book your free Codabill demo and go live in under 24 hours.

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