I originally formed Eira Consulting Limited in 2009 after working for over 25 years in the payroll and HR profession in a variety of roles and for a number of different companies. The intention was to work with organisations to improve not only the services they provide but to support the individuals in learning how to continue making improvements long after the consultancy project was complete.
My first experience of payroll was back in 1984, working for a Chartered Quantity Surveyors in Central London. I’d been working for the company for a year or so, and the person who was responsible for payroll had to leave to look after an infirm relative back in Southern Ireland. I had two weeks to go on training courses and run the next months payroll. Five years later, and a brand new job costing system in place which linked to payroll, I was ready for a move…
In 1990 I joined what was then, Cyborg Systems, a payroll and HR software supplier, initially as a Support Consultant, but quickly moving through the organisation in a variety of roles including QA, Training, Sales Support and Help Desk Manager, looking after 17 Help Desk Consultants who supported over 100 customers solving queries in payroll, HR, Pensions, T&A and IT. Cyborg changed ownership several times during my 16 years, with both Meta4, Cyborg Inc and Hewitt Associates as owners. In mid 2000, after a change in my personal circumstances, I moved across to the Cyborg Consultancy team where I worked with customers across the UK and Ireland. I worked with customers in a variety of sectors including retail, Local Government, Police & Fire, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Railways, Financial Services and Water and thoroughly enjoyed every week being different to the one before. I loved the satisfaction of seeing customers success and thrived on sharing my knowledge and experience.
In 2006 I saw an opportunity to change roles, and relocate from the south of England to Lincoln where I joined HBS as Head of Outsourced Payroll and HR Administration. I managed a team of over 50 payroll and HR operational staff looking after customers including County and District Councils and over 350 schools across the UK. My role was a new one, and the remit was to expand the business and develop the service offering to new customers, improving service delivery and transforming the tradition ex-council culture of the staff to a profitable and professional outsourcing team. HBS was bought by Mouchel in 2007 and I continued to grow the outsourcing business, adding Universities, Police and more Schools to the rapidly growing portfolio of customers. On leaving Mouchel in July 2009 to set up Eira Consulting Limited, my team had increased to over 100 staff delivering payroll and HR transactional services to over 130,000 employees monthly.
In the following year, as well as working for a number of different customers in improving their operational processes and utilising their systems, I also worked for a large outsourcing provider and led a successful major re-bid. I enjoyed that process so much that in 2010 I went back into full time employment with BT, where I joined the Outsourcing Team and went on to win several large HR and Payroll bids and set up a brand new shared service centre in the North East of England.
In 2015 I decided that I missed the flexibility and variety of working with many different customers and so I came back to Consultancy to once again make a difference by supporting employers and payroll and HR professionals in making the best out of both their systems and their people.
Having worked with hundreds of different organisations over the years, I’m still surprised that so many companies aren’t putting any investment into one of the most costly departments in their business. Payroll is probably still the biggest expenditure for most companies worldwide and yet it probably receives the least support and investment in its people or systems.
In looking at other organisations and their investment in people, I started to look at my own personal development, and in November 2003 I graduated with the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management with the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP).
At that point, I wanted to give something back to the CIPP for supporting me through my studies, so I volunteered to become a Tutor myself and after training have worked with many students and continue to take great pride in watching them graduate.
My own personal development continued, and in 2007, as well as winning the CIPP Manager of the Year Award, I stood for election to the Board of Directors for the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP as it was then). Unfortunately I didn’t get elected in 2007 but decided to stand again in 2008 and following a successful election, I took great pride in joining the other members of the CIPP Board to lead the Payroll Profession and our industry.
Back in 1983 when I started off in the payroll industry, I never would have expected to be where I am now, and having been selected to be the Chair of the Board for the CIPP in July 2016 it’s hard to know where else my development will take me. I love networking and meeting new people, and take great delight in sharing my knowledge and experience with people who are keen to develop themselves and hope that the next phase of my personal development, and Eira Consulting Ltd takes me even further in my desire to share and support as many people as I can.