HR and payroll software provider Ciphr has expanded its payroll business by acquiring Shape, a cloud-based payroll platform utilised by 1,500 UK businesses.

Based in Reading and backed by ECI Partners, Ciphr processes over £2 billion in payroll and BACS salary payments annually. Since April, Ciphr has added over 20 new payroll customers and expanded its team of payroll experts. Key appointments include Julie Lally as MD of payroll, Daniel Turnbull as VP of customer operations, Andrew Stevens as CTO, Jaspal Randhawa as director of product (payroll, compliance, and data platform), Eira Hammond as payroll bureau and transformation director, and regulatory analyst Claire Warner FCIPP.

The integration of Shape’s API-led payroll solution will bolster Ciphr’s market-leading payroll technology, enhancing the customer experience for both new and existing clients. Shape’s founders, Alex and Cheri Bartlett, along with their team, will join Ciphr.

CEO’s Vision for the Future

Sion Lewis, CEO of Ciphr, expressed enthusiasm for the acquisition, “We’re thrilled to welcome Alex and Cheri to the Ciphr team. Shape is a cutting-edge, API-first payroll solution with a great reputation in the payroll sector. Shape’s applications are extensive and well-suited to medium and large-sized organisations, like Ciphr’s customers.

“We have great HR solutions, we are HR experts – it’s what we do best – and we have more than 40 years’ experience in the HR and payroll industry. Building out Ciphr’s payroll business is a key focus for us this year, and part of our longer-term growth strategy. And Shape is a perfect fit to take our payroll tech to the next level.”

Lewis added, “This acquisition will truly enhance our payroll proposition and help us to continue to support and empower the payroll professionals who use, and rely on, Ciphr’s software and solutions.”

Welcoming Shape’s Customers

Julie Lally, MD of payroll at Ciphr, also commented, “This is an exciting acquisition for Ciphr. Shape is a pioneering payroll technology company that is renowned for its innovative, API-first payroll solution and commitment to payroll technology excellence. It has a proven track record of simplifying payroll operations, as it is implemented at pace and integrates with other systems with ease.”

Lally emphasised that Ciphr and Shape share a commitment to revolutionising payroll management, highlighting the importance of technological excellence and customer satisfaction.

Alex Bartlett, co-founder of Shape Payroll, remarked, “Cheri and I founded Shape with a vision to build the most flexible payroll software possible, allowing integration at any level via our Open API and backing that up with an intuitive user interface and fantastic customer support. We’re immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last five years. We are both extremely excited about Shape becoming part of the Ciphr Group and taking the next step in this journey.”

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