IRIS Software Group (@IRISSoftwareGrp), one of the UK’s largest providers of payroll and HR software, is today announcing it has acquired Dataplan, a leading specialist in outsourced payroll, pension and HR services.

Founded in 1969, Dataplan has unrivalled experience and expertise serving complex payroll needs, particularly in education, healthcare, hospitality, retail and charity. Set to expand the scope of both IRIS’ payroll and HR service offerings, Dataplan is closely aligned with the Group’s global vision to provide and strengthen mission critical services to payroll and HR teams in schools and organisations across every industry. 

This is particularly important in the wake of the pandemic as every business and public sector organisation looks to deploy technology solutions to free up time and resources so they can focus on making smarter decisions for their team or company. Payroll in education and the third sector is more complex than corporates due to specific pay scales, salary structures and pension filings. Added to this, data often exists in siloes, making it incredibly difficult for finance teams to create a single employee view. 

In education, Dataplan is an established and highly regarded partner to schools in the UK. More than 900 schools use its VERA solution to manage mission critical tasks including payroll, HR and pensions. Dataplan also works closely with healthcare, hospitality, retail and charity finance teams to reduce the risk of payroll inaccuracies and better manage costs to ensure efficiencies, giving them true peace of mind so they can focus on the work they love. 

The move marks the next stage in IRIS’ mission to rapidly expand its payroll and HR offerings in its education and commercial portfolios, following the acquisitions of payroll companies APS Global and PayPlus, and school MIS specialist iSAMS, as part of its long-term ‘build, buy, partner’ strategy. One in five UK employees is paid via IRIS payroll solutions and globally, IRIS processes six million payslips every month. More than 12,000 UK schools and academies use IRIS, with four million parents and guardians using IRIS apps to connect with their children’s school; 300 million messages are delivered between schools and parents each year, and more than £15 million worth of transactional payments are processed each month. 

David Lockie, Chief Operating Officer of IRIS Software Group says,

“Dataplan joining the IRIS family is another step in expanding both our payroll and HR offerings, delivering the best-of-breed software solutions schools, charities, hospitality and retail businesses need to succeed in today’s constantly changing landscape. It’s an understatement to say businesses have had a tough 18 months. With demand to continue delivering flexible and hybrid working along with changing regulations around pensions and payroll, they need software solutions that can be relied on to be right first time, every time.”

“We are delighted to bring Dataplan onboard to achieve this goal and will continue to support its growth and invest in its market leading people and products to benefit both existing and new customers.”

Stewart Waddell, Operations Director of Dataplan says,

“The last 18 months have proven educators, charity workers and retailers need the right tools to connect all of their mission critical processes in one place so they can create a complete picture of their employees. From payroll to pension management and sickness absence tracking, finance teams need to be able to break data out of its siloes.”

“We believe investing in people and technology creates the ‘perfect storm’ for excellent service. IRIS shares our vision entirely and with the incredible IRIS resources, we’ll be able to take our offering to the next level; ensuring our technology can do the heavy lifting of payroll processing, while our payroll heroes continue to add value through client relationships and delivering exceptional service. We’re delighted to be joining the IRIS family.”

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