Payroll solutions for charities – Comparing 6 top UK charity and non-profit payroll services

In the complex world of UK charities and non-profits, managing finances efficiently is crucial. Payroll, in particular, presents a unique set of challenges, from navigating tax regulations to handling varied employment contracts. Fortunately, several payroll solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of the sector. Here, we explore the top six payroll services for UK charity and non-profit organisations, offering insights into their features and benefits.


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Best charity payroll services compared

Feature/ServiceADP Charity Payroll ServicesIRIS FMP Not-for-Profit & Charity Payroll ServicesQuill PayrollCBR Business SolutionsDataplan Payroll by IRISHighland Payroll Services
SpecialisationCharities and Non-ProfitsCharities and Non-ProfitsCharities and Non-ProfitsCharities and Social EnterprisesCharities and Non-ProfitsSmall and Medium-sized Charities
Managed PayrollYesYesOptionalYesYesYes
Pension Auto-EnrolmentYesYesYesYesYesYes
Tax Compliance & HMRC SubmissionsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Integration CapabilitiesLimited details providedYesWith accounting softwareLimited details providedYesLimited details provided
User SupportComprehensiveComprehensiveComprehensivePersonalisedComprehensivePersonalised
ScalabilityHighHighModerate to HighModerateHighModerate
Cost TransparencyYesYesYesYesYesYes
Security MeasuresHighHighHighHighHighHigh
Special FeaturesHR resources accessGift aid processing; Donation managementIntegrated payroll & accountingPersonalised serviceElectronic payslips; Expert advicePersonalised service
Best payroll services for charities explained

ADP Charity Payroll Services

ADP is renowned for its comprehensive payroll solutions, and its Charity Payroll Services are no exception. Tailored for charities and non-profit organisations, ADP offers scalable options to suit various sizes and complexities.

The service includes everything from automatic enrolment for pensions to bespoke reporting, ensuring compliance with UK tax laws and regulations.

Its user-friendly platform also provides access to a wealth of HR resources, making it a comprehensive solution for managing charity workforce.

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Further information

Read our ADP Payroll review or visit the website.

IRIS FMP Not-for-Profit & Charity Payroll Services

IRIS FMP is specifically designed to address the payroll needs of the not-for-profit sector. This service stands out for its deep understanding of charity payroll complexities, including gift aid processing and the management of donations.

IRIS FMP offers a flexible approach, providing either fully managed payroll services or software-only options, depending on the organisation’s preference.

Their expertise in the sector also means they are adept at handling the intricacies of charity finance, from tax-efficient payment processing to detailed reporting.

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Further information

Read our IRIS Payroll review or visit the website.

Quill Payroll

Quill Payroll is a versatile option for charities looking for both payroll and accounting solutions. Its software is designed with simplicity in mind, allowing for easy management of payroll, pensions, and HMRC submissions.

Quill also offers comprehensive support and advice, ensuring charities can navigate the often complex payroll landscape with ease. Its integrated approach makes it an excellent choice for charities wanting to streamline their financial processes.

Further information

Visit the website.

CBR Business Solutions

CBR Business Solutions offers a tailored service focused on the charity and social enterprise sector. Their understanding of the unique challenges faced by these organisations makes them a valuable partner.

CBR provides a fully managed payroll service, including detailed reporting, tax and NI calculations, and pension administration. They pride themselves on their personalised service, ensuring that each charity’s specific needs are met.

Further information

Visit the website.

Dataplan Payroll by IRIS

Dataplan, another offering from IRIS, provides a bespoke payroll solution for charities. With a focus on flexibility and support, Dataplan ensures that charities can manage their payroll efficiently, regardless of their size.

The service includes features such as electronic payslips, auto-enrolment support, and detailed financial reporting.

Dataplan’s team of experts is also on hand to provide guidance on all aspects of payroll management, making it a robust option for charities needing a little extra support.

Further information

Visit the website.

Highland Payroll Services

Highland Payroll Services specialises in providing payroll solutions to small and medium-sized charities.

They offer a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of payroll, from processing payments to handling HMRC submissions and pension contributions.

What sets Highland apart is their commitment to offering a personalised service, adapting their solutions to fit the specific requirements of each charity they work with.

Further information

Visit the website.

What should a charity look for when choosing a payroll solution?

When selecting a payroll solution, charities and non-profit organisations face unique challenges and requirements. It’s crucial to choose a system that not only simplifies payroll management but also aligns with the organisation’s specific needs. Here are key factors charities should consider when choosing a payroll solution:

Compliance with UK regulations

Charities must ensure that their payroll system complies with UK tax laws, including PAYE, National Insurance contributions, and pension regulations. The selected solution should automatically update to reflect any changes in legislation, ensuring ongoing compliance.


As charities grow or experience fluctuations in their workforce, their payroll system needs to adapt accordingly. A scalable solution can handle an increasing number of employees without compromising on efficiency or accuracy.


Budget constraints are a reality for many charities. Therefore, it’s essential to find a payroll solution that offers transparent pricing without hidden fees. Consider both the initial setup costs and ongoing expenses to ensure the solution is financially sustainable for the charity.


Payroll can be complex, so a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process is invaluable. Look for software that offers clear navigation, straightforward processes, and robust support resources to minimise the learning curve and reduce the likelihood of errors.

Integration capabilities

The ability to integrate with existing financial and HR systems can greatly enhance efficiency. A payroll solution that seamlessly connects with other software used by the charity can save time, reduce manual data entry, and decrease the risk of errors.

Specialist charity features

Some payroll solutions offer features specifically designed for the charity sector, such as handling gift aid and other donations. Choosing a service that understands and caters to the unique financial operations of charities can provide significant advantages.

Support and training

Access to dedicated support and training resources is crucial, especially for charities with limited payroll experience. Ensure the provider offers comprehensive guidance, from initial setup to ongoing queries, to help the charity navigate any payroll challenges that arise.

Data security and privacy

With stringent data protection laws, charities must choose a payroll solution that guarantees the security and confidentiality of employee information. Look for solutions with robust security measures in place, including data encryption and secure data storage.

FAQ – Payroll for charities

Why do charities need specialised payroll solutions?

Charities and non-profits have unique financial management needs, including handling donations, gift aid, and often a mix of paid and volunteer staff. Specialised payroll solutions accommodate these needs while ensuring compliance with UK tax laws.

How do payroll solutions ensure compliance with UK regulations?

Payroll solutions for charities are designed to automatically update in line with changes in legislation, calculate tax and National Insurance contributions accurately, and manage pension enrolments, ensuring compliance with UK regulations.

Can payroll solutions scale with my charity’s growth?

Yes, many payroll solutions offer scalable services that can adapt to your charity’s changing needs, whether it’s increasing staff numbers or adjusting to seasonal fluctuations.

What is the cost of implementing a payroll solution for a charity?

Costs vary depending on the provider, the range of services offered, and the size of your charity. Most providers offer transparent pricing models to help you budget effectively.

Are there any payroll solutions that integrate with existing financial software?

Yes, many payroll services offer integration capabilities with popular financial and HR software, streamlining your charity’s processes and reducing manual data entry.

How user-friendly are charity payroll solutions?

Payroll solutions for charities are designed with user-friendliness in mind, featuring intuitive interfaces, straightforward processes, and support resources to assist users.

Do payroll solutions for charities include features for managing donations and gift aid?

Yes, some solutions offer specialised features for managing donations and gift aid, catering specifically to the financial operations of charities.

Can a payroll solution handle volunteer reimbursements and stipends?

Yes, many payroll systems can be configured to handle reimbursements and stipends for volunteers, in addition to regular employee payroll.

Can payroll solutions accommodate the diverse contract types found in charities?

Yes, payroll systems can manage a variety of employment contracts, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and fixed-term contracts, catering to the diverse workforce of charities.

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