Modern, intuitive, fast: meet the new face of UK payroll at Coventry Building Society.

“We're so much more efficient on Workday than we were on our old system. It’s been night and day.”—Andy Smart, Payroll Officer

Intuitive design enables rapid learning and self-service

Speed and efficiency allow more time to focus on high-priority areas

Continual updates ensure continuous relevance and currency

Supports proactivity in identifying and resolving issues

Coventry Building Society’s Payroll Officer Andy Smart doesn’t have to think for too long about the key challenges the Coventry payroll team faced prior to deploying Workday Payroll for the UK. “There were many,” Smart says. “First, we were using old software that wasn’t well supported, meaning we couldn’t get any additional functionality we might need. For example, we had no sickness calculation tools, meaning we had to use Excel and manually put the results into the system. And we had no form of retro functionality, meaning we also had to do backdated calculations manually.”

Smart continues, “When enhanced family leave was introduced, that had to be done manually too. As payroll data was introduced right at the end, we had very little time to do any compliance and validation checks, resulting in a higher error count than we’d have wanted.”

Switching to Workday Payroll for the UK was like day following night.

Smart was delighted when the green light was given for a new payroll solution, and was particularly impressed by the Workday demos which, Smart says, ticked all the boxes. “For me, having everybody across the world all running off the same code was particularly important. That way the updates are always there, meaning you never get left behind.”

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to do a full retro and pay calc in Workday. Our old system would take 1 to 2 hours just to do a pay calc, and that was if it didn’t fall over halfway through.

Andy Smart, Payroll Officer

Freeing up time to do “what we should be doing.”

One of the advantages that Smart particularly appreciates is the way that Workday Payroll “just frees up so much time for us to be doing what we should be doing. For example, it takes 5 to 10 minutes to do a full retro and pay calc in Workday. Our old system would take 1 to 2 hours just to do a pay calc, and that was if it didn’t fall over halfway through.”

As Smart explains, “Merely having the ability to calculate statutory sick pay within the system streamlines everything. It means we have the scope to do all necessary compliance and validation checks. And because Workday Payroll for the UK opens up so much time, it means we’re not rushing at the end of the month. It’s all about ensuring our people are paid accurately and on time, and now we have the scope to do just that.”

Smart identifies this as the single biggest gain that Workday Payroll has delivered for the team. “That ability to see the full payroll data in advance is just huge for us,” Smart says. “It means we get to be proactive in identifying and resolving any issues. Overall, we’re so much more efficient on Workday than we were on our old system.”

Smart also emphasizes the savings the team has gained following the shift to Workday. “When one team member retired, thanks to Workday we did not need a replacement” Smart says. “Also, before the change it was impossible for our people to take holiday around payroll time. Now we’re much more flexible around when people can have time off.”

Intuitive interface supports rapid user adoption.

The highly intuitive and user-friendly design of Workday has made it easier for Smart’s team to get up to speed with the system.

As Smart says, “A member of my team is on maternity leave, and we’ve brought in somebody to cover who had no payroll background at all. With a bit of guidance, the co-worker picked things up quickly because the system is so easy to use.”

This is one reason Workday Payroll for the UK is extremely popular across the team. According to Smart, “It’s so much more modern and intuitive to use. Everybody has their own favorite bits: with me, of course, I love the way you can actually track down and resolve issues to make the whole payroll process so much more efficient.”

The benefits of this intuitive interface extend far beyond the payroll team. “We’ve made more things self-service,” Smart  says. “For example, employees can now manage their own pensions. We do publish guides, but because it’s all so straightforward a lot of people just go ahead and do things for themselves.”

Through Design Partner Groups, I get the opportunity to work with Workday Payroll product managers and other customers to influence future features, which is exciting.

Andy Smart, Payroll Officer

Exciting opportunities for influence and continuous improvement.

For Smart, one of the most important gains from moving to Workday Payroll for the UK has been the opportunities to get involved with the products and customer community.

“I can log a support case if I have a problem, but I can also go to the Workday Community portal to get real-life experiences from other people who’ve been facing the same issues. In addition, I’ve signed up for Design Partner Groups. Through these I get the opportunity to work with UK payroll product managers and other customers to influence future features, which is exciting.”

Smart  also emphasizes the  Workday Sandbox tenant feature  for testing configuration changes in a safe environment. As Smart says, “It means that we’re not reliant on third-party providers to make changes for us, so we can properly own our system. We can play around with changes, and when everything is working, promote them to production.”

Smart has done this several times. “For example, when we changed our Maternity Enhancement Policy, I just messed around in the Sandbox tenant, figured out what I needed to change in the configuration, and everything was sorted. It’s really empowering.”

More Customer Stories

See All Stories

Ready to adapt to a changing world?