Emma meets: Vickie Graham, Director of Business Development at CIPP

Emma Peterson, Director FinTech Awards Wales & Finance Awards Wales Meeting:

Vicky Graham,

Business Development Director,

CIPP

Continuing this new 11-part series of “Emma Meets”, Emma Peterson, Director of Recruit 121 Finance & Accounting Solutions, learns more about the sponsors of the upcoming Finance Awards Wales 2022.Finance Awards Wales is designed to recognize, attract and invest in the talented finance professionals working in Wales, showcasing the best of the best in the finance industry. In this edition, Emma meets Vickie Graham, Director of Business Development at CIPP.

Tell me about yourself and your career to date?

I have worked at CIPP, and therefore in the payroll industry, for almost 20 years. I started as an administrator and worked in various roles up to Director of Business Development. In this role, I work with partner organizations to raise the profile of payroll as a recognized profession.

Payroll is such an important part of any business; people wouldn’t go to work if they weren’t paid. But very often it is underestimated as a mere “push of a button” due to the great advances in technology that have streamlined some of the transactional aspects of the role. Those who are part of the payroll know that it is much more than that. There are over 185 pieces of legislation, some conflicting, that impact payroll in the UK alone. Additionally, payroll often contains vital data to consider when thinking about strategies around employee engagement and reward.

My role is to represent payroll and ensure that business owners, finance and HR teams realize the true value of the payroll team, the strategic aspect of the role, how payroll can influence and impact employee engagement, and what data analysis is possible with the payroll software and service that will benefit the organization’s overall strategy and performance.

Within the business development team, I have overall responsibility for membership strategy, consulting, salary insurance plan, marketing and sales, events and IT supporting the CIPP.

Can you tell me about your company and what you do?

The CIPP is the only accredited professional body representing those responsible for payroll in the UK. We provide support, advice and training on all aspects of payroll legislation and technical payroll processing to ensure that our members, students, course or event delegates and the wider profession are in able to deliver compliant, efficient and effective payroll within their businesses. This is done through member benefits such as Professional magazine, News Online and events such as our BeKnowledgeable webinars on topics such as national minimum wage and paid leave, and our BeConnected series which provides our members with free updates on the new fiscal year. We also offer training courses and education programs for all levels of payroll, from newcomers to the industry to payroll professionals who have been in the industry for years and are more strategic within their organizations.

We also give the payroll profession a voice in government, as our policy and research team participate in more consultation forums impacting payroll legislation than anyone else in the UK. These forums allow us to discuss first-hand with the government the impact of proposed changes to legislation in practice, and the impact on payroll and organizations in general. Participation in these forums also gives us the opportunity to conduct research among our members and provide the results of this research in consultation responses when changes are proposed.

What was the biggest challenge the company faced and how did you respond?

Recently, the biggest challenge we, like many businesses, have faced has been the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge for us has been the introduction of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the speed at which subsequent legislation and changes were announced. Our members looked to us to understand the legislation as it was announced and to keep them informed on how to ensure they were compliant, but we received the updates at the same time as everyone else . To support members, we introduced the Covid-19 HUB, through which we posted updates, fact sheets and videos to keep members informed. The BeKnowledgeable webinar series was launched with webinars initially focused on the CJRS to educate a large number of members at once, and the advisory service team was strengthened to cope with the increased number of incoming calls. While the CJRS is now over, the introduction of the BeKnowledgeable webinars has been positive and these events continue as member benefits and calls to the advisory team remain high.

How do you think the Welsh economy will perform over the next 12 months?

According to the Office for National Statistics, at 6.2%, the Welsh economy had the strongest quarterly growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of any country in the UK. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, change the way we operate following the UK’s exit from the EU and deal with the current situation in Eastern Europe, the Welsh economy is well positioned as Wales’ main industries include agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy and tourism.

What plans do you have for your business in 2022?

Over the next 12 months, we hope to expand our operations in Wales by working with partners to deliver our payroll update training course to more Welsh locations. We will also hold our annual conference and exhibition in Wales at Celtic Manor Resort, a location where we have held our conference since 2012.

Why did you choose to sponsor the Finance Awards Wales 2022?

We are proud to support the new Payroll of the Year category at the 2022 Finance Awards. The introduction of this award shows the importance of investing in developing payroll talent within finance teams and businesses. .

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