Payroll in the cloud - making life easier for SMEs

Johannesburg, 18 Sep 2012
Sandra Swanepoel, director, Softline VIP.
Sandra Swanepoel, director, Softline VIP.

Five years since its inception, the cloud is making life easier for start-up businesses and SMEs, according to Sandra Swanepoel, director, Softline VIP, a leading HR and payroll software and services provider in South Africa and across the African continent.

Payroll legislation is often a challenge for small businesses, especially during tax season. Swanepoel says payroll software's move into the cloud, and the affordable pricing of cloud applications, has enabled companies to access a payroll system even if they employ two people.

"In the past, most start-up businesses would utilise manual processing until they reached at least 10 or 15 employees. A downside of this approach was the added stress of managing E@syfile submissions and issuing of tax certificates. As a result, the average size of a company now using a cloud-based payroll solution has come down to as little as five people," says Swanepoel.

She says ease-of-use is definitely one of the drivers for a small business when considering a payroll application. "We offer SMEs a 'try before they buy' option for the first month. This gives them the opportunity to experience the ease-of-use and tremendous time they save when using an online payroll application compared to manual calculations."

In addition, tax calculations and printing of professional payslips will reduce a significant burden for small business owners and assist them to focus on managing costs and running their operations. According to Swanepoel, the biggest value for small companies lies in the time they save and peace of mind they are guaranteed when using software that is compliant with all legislation. She cites an example where VIP added leave functionality to its payroll application, allowing users to be instantly compliant with the basic conditions of employment where it pertains to annual, sick, maternity and family leave.

"Companies can now also load leave transactions and link sick leave notes and applications to employee records. This will save them money and time, as well as reduce the immense stress caused by managing manual leave systems," concludes Swanepoel.

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Softline VIP

Softline VIP is a leading supplier of payroll and human resource management solutions in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Coupled with an extensive service offering, Softline VIP is the only payroll and HR solution geared to meet the challenges of the modern payroll office. The VIP products are synonymous with ease-of-use, stability and reliability, with the flexibility to cater to the unique needs of every client. VIP promises long-term sustainability over and above legislative compliance. VIP understands the human resources and payroll environment and offers the client peace of mind by providing a total solution.

Softline VIP achieved an overall fourth place in the top 10 for medium-sized businesses in the Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey 2009 and a second place in the industry category "business and professional services". Softline VIP also emerged one of 48 participants out of an overall 98 to score above the standard of excellence threshold of more than 75%.

Softline VIP products include:

VIP Premier - Softline VIP also supplies leading technology to service large and corporate clients. VIP Premier is geared towards increasing the functionality of payroll systems and provides an uncomplicated solution for medium-sized to large organisations. One of the key features of this product is that it is quick to implement in comparison to similar solutions. Meeting the needs of any payroll office and supplying the most suitable solution is important for Softline VIP as it strives to ensure practical solutions for all users. Its products are easy to use and reliable and the information produced is accurate and complies with all statutory requirements.

VIP Classic - VIP Classic is the perfect solution for clients with bigger operations than the one-man business. VIP Classic provides the same flexibility as larger systems but is aimed at the small to medium-sized business sector. This software offers a total solution to users.

VIP Essentials - VIP Essentials is geared towards small businesses and contains the same ease-of-use and stability of all VIP's products. VIP Essentials is an affordable product making it an ideal solution for the small business paying less than 30 employees.

Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.


Softline is a leading provider of business software and related services. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the business software industry. While Softline's heritage is in the SME market, the group also offers expertise and solutions that meet the needs of specific industries and larger organisations. In 2003, Softline was acquired by The Sage Group, a FTSE 100 company. Softline has a solid track record offering customers local expertise backed by the global Sage brand. The group delivers quality software solutions to make customers' business lives easier.

The Sage Group

The Sage Group is a leading global supplier of business management software and related products and services, principally for small to medium-sized enterprises. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Sage has 6.3 million customers and 13 600 employees worldwide. It operates in over 24 countries covering the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, India and China. For further information, please visit

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