Lucent’s Partner Success Story Published by Employment Hero
Located on the fringe of the Adelaide CBD, Lucent Advisory is part of the new generation of tech-smart, cloud-savvy business advisors.
Starting life as two separate businesses, Lucent Financial and Essential HR, the two firms offered outsourced finance, CFO/tax services, and outsourced payroll and HR advisory respectively.
For the two founders Rachael Turner and Justine Pepper, it was clear to see synergies across the businesses and how together they might provide added value for their clients. As such, the decision to merge was an easy one.
So, at the start of 2017, the two established firms became one. Offering an end-to-end business management solution, Lucent Advisory helps SMEs to maximise business performance, improve business processes and use data they can trust.
To service the business, the firm employs a team of CA and CPA qualified accountants, accounting undergraduates, and HR professionals.
The two founders believe that for any business to thrive, accounting, payroll and HR must work in harmony. They are also passionate about making technology an integral part of the mix.
SMEs stuck on paperwork
“Technology must be used wherever possible to streamline and automate essential tasks and processes,” says Justine Pepper, Director HR Advisory at Lucent Advisory. “Yet it seems that in most small and medium size businesses, paper forms and labour intensive processes prevail.
“They have poor systems and processes, have no form of HR software, and the owners of these businesses are often stuck in the day-to-day issues of running the business, rather than growing their business.
“This means they have a limited view of how they are performing. And when it comes to the people side of their business and things like pay rates, recordkeeping and HR compliance, there are huge gaps. Many of these businesses are non-compliant and don’t even know it.”
So, Turner and Pepper made it their mission to partner with the right accounting, payroll and HR technology platforms so that they could show their clients a better way.
“We knew it was essential to partner with the right technology providers. We wanted to give our clients peace of mind that they are operating in line with legislation and are doing what’s right for their staff.
“And by employing the right technology, we knew our clients would benefit from productivity gains as they free up their people from administration-intensive tasks to focus on revenue creating tasks instead.”
Partnering with Employment Hero
Deciding to partner with an HR platform was an easy decision for the pair. Though finding the right partner took quite some time.
“I actually spent about two years searching for the right HR platform,” explains Pepper. “It had to tick a lot of boxes.”
In fact, Lucent Advisory set a very high bar in terms of functionality and features. In short, the HR solution they wanted to work with had to:
- Integrate easily with a payroll platform
- Be cloud based, and available as a subscription service per employee, so that even very small businesses could afford it
- Automate requests for leave, timesheets, rostering, onboarding
- Provide automated notifications around expiry dates and deadlines
- Offer employee and manager self service
- Have workflow tools to generate online HR letters, and contracts, and keep digital signed copies in personal files
- Offer an online performance review system allowing users to set KPIs, measures and values/behaviours.
“When I commenced my search, I did look at Employment Hero but it was very early days then for the platform,” reflects Pepper. “I also looked at enableHR and few others, but none of them came close to ticking all the boxes.
“So, I continued my search, and over time I eventually took another look at Employment Hero. I saw that the functionality had really evolved over that time, meeting all my requirements, and then some.
“Plus, another big bonus for us was that Employment Hero interfaced with KeyPay which we had already chosen as our Payroll platform.
“So, we elected to partner with Employment Hero, and I went to Sydney to visit their office and meet their people. This visit certainly filled me with confidence that I had made the right decision.”
Offering new services
Since partnering with Employment Hero, Lucent Advisory has been able to package up new services as add-ons to their Payroll & Compliance service which uses KeyPay as its base.
“Our new HR Manager package uses Employment Hero. Clients are assigned their own highly qualified virtual HR Manager who injects innovation in managing the entire employee lifecycle. This includes everything from the compliant onboarding of new employees and independent contractors, to workplace policy updates, to maintaining and updating the HR system.
“Likewise, we’ve introduced a People & Performance package, operating on the Employment Hero platform. This package helps clients develop strategic HR plans, conduct annual employee satisfaction surveys, prepare for performance reviews, and provides support and advice in dealing with disciplinary matters.”
“With Employment Hero, we can now offer services via the platform that automate and streamline HR tasks,” says Pepper.
“Beforehand, many of these services were manual in nature and as such were incredibly time consuming, and therefore expensive.
“Now these services are truly affordable for any size business. And our service packages are based on a per employee pricing model.”
“Our clients love Employment Hero’s onboarding functionality, automated notifications, and employee self-service. The integration with payroll is also a boon.
“Of course, with onboarding, it’s so important for a business to meet its compliance requirements, without making a new hire’s first day all about filling in paperwork.
“And Employment Hero’s onboarding functionality does just that. It features inbuilt compliant contracts and gives users the ability to imbed customised employment contracts and letters. It’s perfect for any business that need specific clauses in their contracts due to their industry.
“Plus, the tool allows businesses to get all the paperwork out of the way well in advance of the new hire’s important first day. So, you can leave it free for the new employee to get to know more about their role, your company culture, and their colleagues.
Serving real needs
“Partnering with Employment Hero has really helped us define what we offer,” says Pepper. “We’ve been able to package up services that meet the real needs of SMEs that we work with.
“Rachael and I are so passionate about helping SMEs grow and be profitable. We love completing an implementation (which typically involves a major overhaul of their systems and processes) and then watching them flourish.
“It was also important to us to use technologies that integrate with each other, which we have achieved by using Xero as the accounting platform, KeyPay for payroll, and of course Employment Hero for HR.
Read More: As An Employment Hero Partner, It’s Great To Share These WFH Tips
“We are now in a strong position to stand out in the market, not just in South Australia but nationally. These technology platforms allow us to operate a client’s back of office from anywhere.
“So, in 2017, we’re focused on getting the word out there to all SMEs across Australia. Don’t miss out on innovative technology coupled with forward thinking advice to run your business. It’s now more affordable, more available, and more achievable than ever before.”