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Novopay presents a tremendous opportunity

Novopay presents a tremendous opportunity

The failure of the Novopay payroll system in schools represents a tremendous opportunity for the government, says the boss of payroll specialists Advanced Management Systems, Noel Reid.

“The Minister has done the pragmatic thing in taking over the project entirely. This gives us the opportunity to provide a solution that is robust and delivers certainty to the country’s teachers and school staff.”

Noel, who has been providing software solutions in New Zealand for 30 years, says while payroll complexity is an issue, it’s not an unusual one.

“We operate one standard payroll system across eight District Health Boards where they face similar issues. Awards-based government-led agencies and departments all have multiple pay rates, differing pay scales, rosters that can change daily and leave requirements that make life difficult for payroll administrators.” There is no customisation – it’s the same version of the system across our wide user base that includes Government agencies and private sector customers.

The trick to it, says Noel, is to take the complexity away from the user and automate it. In the 21st Century, that’s what software has to take responsibility for.

“Rod Drury does this with Xero – he takes the complication away from the customer and automates it.”

Noel suggest the Minister should set up an advisory panel of local software providers that are willing to work with the new government agency to help ensure the software capabilities are maximised.

“In terms of the new setup, there are still many questions about the future of payroll services in schools. Does the government now own the source code? Will any future changes to the system require Talent2’s sign off? What happens if we want to upgrade the system entirely? Having a local advisory board would ensure the combined experience of the local experts is made available to the Minister.”


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