small business

Accountants: unwrap the chaos of Christmas Bacs, with Modulr

Modulr By Modulr on 12 December 2023   •   4 mins read
Over the Christmas period it can be more difficult for accountants, bookkeepers, and payroll professionals to process payroll and supplier payments. This is because there are multiple bank holidays to work around, on top of the standard 3-day Bacs clearing cycle. This adds complication and disruption to the usual payment process. 
This year, the Bacs payment gateway is closed for a total of seven days because of the holidays: December 23-26 and December 30-January 1. With fewer days to input and process payments, accountants need to plan way in advance. 
While this might mean chaos this Christmas, a simple change in approach to payments can bring transformative benefits next year.  
Thanks to Modulr, accounting teams can:   
  • Process payroll and supplier payments up to 80% faster 
  • Make payments 24/7/365; even on bank holidays 
  • Process payments in just 90 seconds 
In this blog, we'll tackle the holiday challenges accountants face and show how to overcome them. With Modulr integrated into their accounting and payroll software, accountants can avoid Christmas planning hassle and run payroll and payments as usual. No need to check the Bacs processing calendar or worry about clearing cycles – payments are simple, fast and always on. 

The challenges of the Christmas accounting period

The run-up to Christmas and New Year is an intense period of work for many people, and accountants are no exception. Let's consider some of the issues that add to their burden at this time:

Payroll complexity

The Christmas accounting period is a complex time for payroll processing as many companies intentionally move payday forward so employees have access to funds earlier. By doing so, they inadvertently pile on the payments pressure for accounting teams. There may also be additional income tax calculations to be made owing to Christmas bonuses which are subject to National Insurance and tax deductions in the usual way. 
And, with many employees taking annual leave over the festive season, there are often fewer workers available to run the complicated December payroll.  

Intense payment processing in Q4

In December, most companies have extra payments to process related to the festivities (think office parties, meals out, gifts, employee expenses, and other additional costs). All of this creates a major bottleneck for accountants as they have additional payments to process, less staff to help them, and less processing time. If errors are made, they’re not easily rectified due to the Bacs non processing days, and ad hoc payments are the proverbial nightmare before Christmas. 
While December may be challenging, accountants are also gearing up for HMRC self-assessment deadlines on January 31. The effort required to meet this deadline makes this one of the most intense times of the year and can cast a shadow over Christmas.  
And burnout is becoming endemic within accounting. According to a new study, 99% of surveyed accountants admitted to suffering from chronic workplace stress. The Christmas period only adds to this pressure.  

How Modulr saves Christmas

Christmas doesn’t have to be a nightmare for accountants, if they have the right tech behind them.  
With Modulr integrated into their accounting software of choice, they can process payments in real-time and reduce Bacs cycles to just 90 seconds, even at Christmas. 
Thanks to Modulr’s direct access to the Faster Payments Scheme, payroll and supplier payments can be made every day, even Christmas day (or easily scheduled in advance!). Say goodbye to checking the Bacs processing calendar and having to calculate dates accordingly – avoid disruptions and stress before payday. 
And Modulr already works with the software accountants know and love, including Xero, Sage, BrightPay and IRIS.  
Modulr also leverages automation to replace the tedious job of manual payment entry and reconciliation, saving users hours. There’s no more downloading large CSV files to upload into the Bacs payment gateway. And accounting teams have the flexibility they need to make crucial last-minute payment changes, and to anticipate and respond to demanding December deadlines. 
It’s the payments gift that keeps on giving! 

Process payments more efficiently with Modulr

Modulr is the digital payments partner of choice for leading accounts and payroll software providers like Xero, Sage, BrightPay and IRIS. Join thousands of accountants and SMEs already using Modulr to keep on top of their workload and process payments faster than ever before. 
If you’d like to learn more about how Modulr can help your accounting and payroll team boost efficiency, then visit our solutions page