All posts by Rebecca Tonna

Marketing Manager at Shireburn Software

NEW: Assign and Clear Shift Patterns in Bulk

One of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks of many business is the shift planning process, especially assigning, editing and ending shit patterns to employees. Over the past few weeks, the Shireburn Team has made significant improvements in Indigo Attendance’s scheduler with the aim of improving your scheduling workflow.

Previously, shift patterns could only be allocated to or cleared from one employee at one go. With this new feature, we’re saving you time as it is now possible to assign and clear shift patterns to multiple employees simultaneously!

Simply navigate your way to the scheduler in Indigo Attendance, select the start date and choose which shift pattern you would like to assign or clear and which employees you’d like to action this for and you’re good to go. Once you are done your scheduler will be automatically updated with the information submitted.

Shireburn Software appoints Yasmin de Giorgio as CEO

Shireburn Software is pleased to announce that Yasmin de Giorgio will take on the role of CEO from 1st August 2021. Shireburn’s founder, John de Giorgio, will take on a non-executive leadership role as Chairman of the Board. Franco Galea will maintain his executive role and will continue to serve as a director on the Shireburn Board.

Yasmin has earned her recognition as a serial entrepreneur after founding three successful businesses within five years. She has spent the last ten years building start-up businesses in innovative fields and is passionate about personal development and mentorship.

“Shireburn has been successful for nearly 38 years only because we have learnt how to reinvent ourselves and our solutions to remain of value. This is another moment where we are starting a new cycle and I am proud to be handing over a solid legacy to the new CEO and the management team, many of whom have been with Shireburn through two or three of our significant times of change.

Of course, to be handing over through a generational change makes this transition extra special for me, and in many ways Yasmin’s strengths could not be more suited to the needs of the company at the present moment. She learnt about the realities of business the hard way, through her own entrepreneurial ventures, so she is accustomed to the responsibilities that fall onto the shoulders of CEOs. Her combination of people management skills with business acumen and strategic vision, and the technical competencies of the team are exactly the leadership qualities that Shireburn need for the next phase of our story.”

While John de Giorgio will be spending a lot more time on his other interests, he will also be strengthening the role of the Shireburn Board as Chairman. This will allow him to mentor the team, contribute on company strategy and ensure that the responsibilities Shireburn carries towards its clients are upheld.

Franco Galea will continue his executive role, particularly in respect of the requirements definition related to the transition of the current products to the Indigo Platform, as well as that of a Director of Shireburn, and will also contribute to the mentorship and guidance of the leadership team.

John de Giorgio said “I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude to Franco for the priceless role he has played in our story and for his tireless energy that he will still be contributing to Shireburn’s future. Franco will also be working alongside Yasmin during this transition.”

A letter from the CEO

Although taking on the role of CEO comes with many duties, the one I will carry forward most consciously is the sense of integrity towards our clients, that both my father and Franco have role modeled and championed over the years.

Shireburn was built on this principle and until this day many of the strategic decisions we take are informed by these relationships of trust with our clients. It is a value I am extremely proud to inherit from both of them, and one I will carry forward sincerely.

Over the years watching them both grow Shireburn from a one-man band into the market leader it is today, the software business seemed alien to me. However, since then, I have experienced the importance of software in business from the side of the user. How instrumental software can be to managing a business, and also how frustrating it is when things don’t quite work the way they should.

These experiences made me realize what my father and Franco have known all these years; that software is not only about coding, software is all about the end-user and making their lives better.

To achieve that requires an incredible symphony of people from coders, product engineers, designers, testers, team leaders, the customer support team and all the enabling functions of HR, accounts and so on. Those who know me as an entrepreneur, where I founded and run the Sanya Eco Spa, will know that I am driven by the satisfaction I get from impacting people’s lives. A huge part of that is mentoring and supporting individuals to grow personally so that they can be part of a better whole.

“The success of an individual lies in the team, and the success of the team lies with the individual”.
It is a particularly exciting time to be entrusted with the leadership of the company since we have embarked on developing a new accounting and inventory system.

We currently have thousands of companies using products within our current Shireburn Business Suite and Indigo range and providing them with continuity was a key factor in our decision. In light of that principle as well as investing further in transitioning more of our solutions to the Indigo cloud-based platform we are continuing to invest in our resources not just to maintain existing products but to keep improving them. Our new systems will be developed with integration capabilities to our previous accounting and inventory solutions and other third-party products to ensure that all our customers can keep working with their chosen combination of products while they transition to the new platform.

We have been market leaders in the accounting and inventory software solutions field for decades and we are in the privileged position of being able to blend the experience of past success with exciting new ideas for the future.

On a more personal note, I am looking forward to leveraging my experience in the sector of personal development and wellbeing to the Shireburn Human Resources strategy, and one of the key factors in the decision to take on this challenge was the abundance of talented individuals who embody a lot of the values that I hold dear; humility, integrity, and a desire to be of service to a bigger vision.

As with many people, I am a multi-faceted individual, with many passions and interests and my unwavering commitment to the business that I founded, Sanya Eco Spa will remain a pillar of my life. I am grateful to my team at Sanya for doing such an amazing job at running the show since I have been an active part of the Shireburn leadership team for some time, without significant impact to our operations at Sanya.

I look forward to this new phase in my life where I have the unique opportunity to impact people’s lives on an ‘outer’ level through software and on an ‘inner’ level through our wellness programs at Sanya. It also helps to know that I have a secret weapon to draw upon in ensuring my own work life balance, with Sanya’s sensory deprivation tank.

I look forward to updating Shireburn’s clients with more information about the leadership teams we are assembling and some personal development and CSR programs that are very exciting and innovative.

Yasmin de Giorgio

Process Payments Faster with SFM SEPA Module

Over the past few years, local banks have been developing their technology to provide better security access for online banking. However, the process is becoming ever-complicated with additional steps required to set up payees and authorise the payments.

Processing payments through a bank’s internet banking portals costs you and your employees’ valuable time as they are required to set up and maintain a profile for each supplier or payee in both the accounting system as well as the online banking system. This includes manually inputting the payments one by one which then have to be authorised by the top executives either by scanning or keying-in an authorisation code for payment. Needless to say, this also increases the risk of keying errors by employees copying the data from the accounting system.

 How can the SFM SEPA Module help you?   

With the SFM SEPA module you are able to authorise all payments in one click, with access to the details, and the payment file required by your bank is automatically generated. While reducing the time required for top executives to process the payments, the payment runs are all fully audited, including the maintenance of IBAN numbers.

SFM SEPA Benefits

Interested in finding out more about the SEPA module? Our team has prepared a quick demo video for you, so you can see the full value of how it works and how easy it is to use!

Ready to start saving time and money when issuing payments?

Contact our team on: sales@shireburn.com or through our online form here.

Shireburn achieves top security and quality management certifications

Shireburn Software is proud to announce that we have achieved certification to the ISO 27001 and 9001 standards. Adherence to these international standards will help us ensure that our products and services continue to live up to the high standards synonymous with the Shireburn name.

 As part of the certification process, Shireburn had to clearly define procedures which target incident management, business continuity, security and other crucial elements in our Information Security Management System (ISMS) and our Quality Management System (QMS).

Customers using Shireburn’s products and services are assured that interactions with the company will be undertaken to the very rigorous high-standards that these standards set including those related to confidentiality and integrity of their data.

The independent audits of Shireburn were undertaken simultaneously across both ISO standards as well as across all the scope of the operations of both Shireburn Software Ltd and Shireburn Co Ltd.

 “I am very proud of this important achievement of our team. While adherence to the ISO 9001 standard is fairly widespread, this is less the case with the onerous and very high-standards set by ISO 27001 related to Information Security which has become a central requirement of businesses.  Adherence to both standards provides a level of quality assurance, in a broad sense, to our customers, prospects and also our suppliers which sets our offering apart from others” said CEO, John de Giorgio.

The ISO 27001:2013 standard also assures our clients that the information we store is managed correctly, using the C-I-A triad. This means that at Shireburn we can ensure your data’s:

  • Confidentiality (only authorized users can access the data);

  • Integrity (the data stored is accurate and complete); and

  • Availability (authorized users can access the data whenever they need).

On the other hand, the ISO 9001:2015 standard specified requirements for the company’s QMS. As part of this certification process, Shireburn has formulated a structured and controlled supplier management review to ensure that our products and services meet our customers’ expectations as well as any statutory and regulatory requirements.

How automated attendance management can boost your bottom line

At Shireburn we understand that your workforce is one of your key resources, which means that labour costs are one of the main contributors to business expenses. This is why employee time and attendance management could have a substantial impact on your bottom line.

Furthermore, the use of an automated, cloud-based time and attendance management solution like Indigo Attendance can increase the overall productivity of your team. Indigo Attendance helps avoid payroll errors while standardizing your scheduling processes. Ensuring your timekeeping data is accurate also reduces your HR team’s workload.

Below are some of the top benefits of using Indigo Attendance to automate your attendance management workflow.

Reducing Human Error

Many companies still depend on a pen-and-paper approach for time-tracking – a process that can be easily affected by human error, such as entering inaccurate hours. Using Indigo Attendance along with clocking data from a punch-clock device, you can ensure that accurate data is always gathered.

Indigo Attendance automatically allocates the vacation leave records of employees to their schedules without any manual intervention, reducing false errors.

Understanding Employee Costs

Increased data accuracy allows for better insights into labour costs. The reporting functionality available in Indigo Attendance allows you to gain a clear picture of your employee cost. This comprehensive understanding of your company’s employee costs will empower you to make more informed decisions.

The Indigo Attendance Scheduler includes Costings and Budgeting features that will allow you to calculate the value of allocated shifts, set a cost or hours budget for specific cost centres and allow you to see the budgeted and scheduled costs and hours worked out and presented as net costs and hours.

Empowering Your Workforce

Employees can easily access their upcoming and remaining leave balances as well as apply for time off through the employee portal. Additionally, employees can view their shifts and clockings through Indigo Mobile. This empowers your team by allowing them to access all of their time and attendance data at their convenience.

This empowerment can help improve employee satisfaction and engagement, which have a direct impact on the efficiency of your team.

Increased HR Productivity

Upgrading to automated attendance management will also result in your HR team spending less time dealing with payroll calculations and employee scheduling, allowing them to focus on other essential tasks.

For example, the Indigo Attendance Proximity feature takes away the tedious task of maintaining a schedule. This feature populates your Scheduler on your behalf by using actual clocking data that you import into the system. Proximity works by comparing an employee’s first clock-in against the nearest timings of the shift presets to determine which shift to allocate.

Payroll Integration

Indigo Attendance seamlessly integrates with Indigo Payroll, so all attendance data is sent to your payroll module at the click of a button. This means that attendance information can be processed easily and without manual intervention, resulting in a more accurate payroll.

Indigo Suite also allows you to transfer authorized rewards and penalties seamlessly to Indigo Payroll for simpler payroll processing.

Get started with Indigo Attendance

Get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about how Indigo can help you, your team and your business.

Minimise Bank Charges with the SFM SEPA Module

Over these last few years, a lot of effort has gone into reducing the use of cheques within the local business community and the general public.  Businesses, especially banks, have implemented systems to manage payments electronically without the need to write cheques and go through the process of deposits which requires time and effort from employees.

Today, banks are providing better security to access your account balances and are rolling out reduced charges to process payments straight on their systems as opposed to cheque issuance. Payment of a few hundred euros will now cost €0.15, less than a postage stamp! On the other hand, banks are looking at increasing the rates to process your cheques, which could cost you €2 per cheque with the banks’ new terms and conditions.

However, processing payments through internet banking portals still costs your employees’ time:

  • You require to setup a profile for each supplier to maintain the IBAN number.
  • Each payment amount, after being updated in your accounting system, needs to be entered again into the bank’s system and double-checked to confirm that amounts are correct.
  • Top executives will require time to scan or key in the authorisation code for each individual payment.

How can the SFM SEPA Module help you?

The SFM SEPA Module offers a flexible approach to processing both local and foreign payments, with an easy choice of payment methods available upon posting, from SEPA to bank transfer or cheque.

How SFM's SEPA Module can help you minimize bank charges

Our team has also prepared a demo video for you, so you can get a better understanding of how our SEPA module works – and how easy it is to use! Check it out below.

Ready to start saving time and money when issuing payments?

Contact our team on: sales@shireburn.com or through our online form here.

Indigo Attendance Named Best Cloud-Based Solution as a Service in The Malta eBusiness Awards 2020

Shireburn’s Indigo Attendance was named the best Cloud-Based Solution as a Service in The Malta eBusiness Awards 2020. The winner was announced on Friday 13th November.

Shireburn had already won a series of awards for its software products, both locally and internationally, with the organisation’s Indigo Payroll solution winning the award for MCA eBusiness Award for Best B2B App back in 2017.

“Success does not usually come from doing one thing right but from repeatedly doing things right over years. You can only achieve this with vision, good design and development, excellent execution, combined with great support and continuous innovation – that is what Shireburn’s team does every day.

Maintaining high levels is always hard. Doing so in the Technology sector over a long time span is even more challenging. Yet again I find myself being so proud of the achievements of the team and grateful for the support of our clients as we get closer to the company’s 37th anniversary.” said John de Giorgio, Executive Chairman of Shireburn Software

Indigo Attendance forms part of Shireburn’s Indigo Suite solution. A powerful and easy-to-use software that simplifies staff rostering, scheduling, labour cost management and attendance tracking. Indigo Attendance has recently introduced Indigo Mobile, an extension to the solution which has been adapted and optimised for remote workers. Given the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigo Mobile has allowed Shireburn’s customers to continue to leverage the Attendance module to cater for the growing cohort of remote workers across the island.

The awards, organised by Tech.MT, aim to reward and aid in the promotion Malta’s best tech companies and solutions.

Shireburn Software is a 37 year old software products company, specialising in the development of business software solutions and their support, both locally and overseas. Solutions include accounting, payroll and HR, inventory and retail solutions among others.

Get Attendance up and running in your Indigo Suite by contacting our team today!

Indigo Payroll long prepared for the Tax on Overtime Rules, 2020

Shireburn Software takes pride in enabling customer success and growth through innovative solutions. A key factor in this is ensuring that our solutions are kept up to date with the any legislative developments that may affect our clients’ business processes. This is key in ensuring that our customers have peace of mind that they will always be in compliance with local legislation.

Indigo Payroll is designed to make pay runs and employee management as simple as possible for you, and that includes adjusting for tax and other financial regulations defined by the government.

The Maltese Government confirmed on Thursday, 18 June, the Tax on Overtime Rules, 2020. This rule, put into effect on January 1, 2020, decreased the tax rate on the first 100 hours of overtime worked by full-time employees to 15 percent. According to the Tax on Overtime Rules, 2020, an employee qualifies for this rule if:

  1. the rate of basic weekly wage for that employee does not exceed three hundred and seventy-five euro (€375) per week, and
  2. the post in which that individual is engaged in terms of the said full-time employment is not a managerial post.

You can read more about this ruling here. The full Income Tax Act (CAP. 123) can be found here.

What does this mean for you as an Indigo payroll administrator?

You as a payroll administrator may be wondering how to handle this change in your Indigo system.

While this decree has been issued only now, halfway through the year, our Indigo team pre-emptively developed a solution for this change back in our 2020 New Year system update.

The system is already prepared to apply this tax on calculations to your employees. Default overtime pay items (up to double-time) are configured with the new tax on overtime rules, meaning that the 15 percent tax rate is applied to the first 100 hours of overtime worked by employees.

Additionally, fields in Indigo payslips and cheques and columns in detailed payroll reports were created to help you report on overtime concessions.

What to do for employees who should be exempt for this rule?

Indigo has in place an overtime concessions opt-out checkbox for you to use in your employees’ profile pages. When you check this box for any employee, Indigo will exempt them from the 15 percent tax on the first 100 hours of overtime worked.

We have a help article to help guide you through exempting employees from this overtime concessions tax.

Clock in safely…from anywhere!

With the covid -19 pandemic heightening the awareness of surface transmission of viruses, bacteria, and other nasties, companies around the world are re-thinking the use of handprint or fingerprint punch clocks at their premises.  While some are switching to facial recognition, others may be looking for a more cost-effective solution with a quicker implementation time.

Shireburn Indigo provides a mobile app check in system that links to an integrated Attendance and Payroll suite of products for the management of your team. What’s more, it’s entirely cloud-based and available for both iOS and Android, so you can work from anywhere with any smartphone.

The clocking-in app is free with our basic T&A module as part of our Indigo Suite of products, so if you are already using our Payroll, you can upgrade to get the T&A solution and allow your team to clock in through their own personal devices.

No Internet connection? No problem! Employees do not even need to be connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data when clocking in. Clockings can be registered when offline, and all attendance data will then sync with the Indigo Attendance system once the mobile phone is connected.

The app captures the user’s current physical location at clock-in or clock-out and is ideal for remote check-ins, construction sites and even your office block. This means that your team are able to clock in from anywhere whether this is remotely from home or from their usual workplace.

STOP potential transmission from punch clocks, simplify clocking-in from anywhere, and save on hardware! Choose INDIGO.

Get Attendance up and running in your Indigo Suite by contacting our team today!

Indigo Mobile is available now in the App Store and Google Play.

 

 

Ensuring Effective Crisis Management

With the current COVID-19 situation, companies have become more aware of the intricacies of ensuring business continuity in the case of an emergency. Ensuring the safety of employees whilst protecting customers and shareholders is now at the forefront of every business leader’s mind. Effective crisis management and planning and thus business continuity measures are now becoming essentially integrated into workplaces.

Here at Shireburn, we firmly believe that companies should aim to be well prepared for unexpected emergencies that may occur to ensure that customers always receive the first-class service they have come to expect. Following our latest successful crisis simulation exercise held on the 5th March, which was carried out without our customers even noticing, we believe that there are 3 main competencies that ensure an effective crisis management plan: preparation, communication, and observation.

Preparation

Organisations must aim to always be ready with a contingency plan for potential emergencies as the integrity and reputation of the company can be heavily influenced by their reactions during a perceived crisis. A successful crisis management plan will include clear roles and duties as well as any company-wide procedures.

Ensuring contingency plans are in place is key to properly preparing for an emergency situation. However, contingency plans alone are not sufficient, drills and exercises to ensure that all players know their part should such an event arise need also take place. Such drills will allow the organisation to also evaluate the tools that will be used should the crisis management procedures be triggered.

Ensure that you are up to date with liability issues and local laws that cover any contingency plans. For example, by local laws, is the employer liable for ensuring a safe environment for employees working from home?

Any points of failure or weakness should also be understood. It is easy to understand the constraints of your workforce but the management should be looking into all critical systems and suppliers. If any of the suppliers were to suffer a loss of service, how would this effect the service levels? Ideally, suppliers should also share their plans on how to mitigate your risk.

It is also in the company’s best interest to gain awareness of nearby resources available for healthcare and emergency supplies.

Communication

Such crisis management plans would be rendered useless if they are not communicated both vertically and horizontally across the entire organisational structure, ensuring that all employees are aware of their role in case of emergency.

Communications regarding the crisis should be carefully scripted and kept factual to ensure that the employees are well informed of the situation and are able to better assess any risks that they may be taking. It is important that all communication is conveyed in as calm a manner as possible not to incite panic.

Firstly, the management team should be educated on the crisis at hand and any relevant procedures should be re-iterated and highlighted to all stakeholders. If the crisis calls for extraordinary procedures to decrease the risk to your employees or customers, these should be emphasized. Given the current situation, policies such as re-enforcing that symptomatic employees should stay home and that no punitive measures will be taken if they are genuinely taking preventive measures should be especially communicated. This allows all team members to take the proper preventative measures and reassures them that there are processes in place to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at the workplace.

When preparing announcements for external distribution a media reaction plan should be followed. Although such a plan should identify a company media representative, all Crisis Management Team members should also be trained in how to respond to the media so they are well equipped to do so should the situation arise.

Bearing in mind that your customers may be in similar situations and thus doing your utmost to make their life easier, support them or be open to changing your methods to allow some flexibility, is good business practice at these times. It would also be appropriate to assure your customers that they will be kept informed of any potential impact on agreed service levels. Such communication should be very carefully scripted to ensure that customers are kept at ease.

Observation

Following a drill or an actual emergency, the best crisis management leaders will see the opportunity to learn from the situation to fine-tune and improve the procedures in place and ensure organisational resilience. This will allow the company to react better and faster to any possible future threats.