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Andrew Barnes Appointed to Chair of Simply Payroll

Kōwhiri is deepening his investment in local innovation by taking the role of chair of the board of Simply Payroll.

Tue, 05 Apr 2016

The founder of New Zealand’s foremost provider of online Will services, Kōwhiri, is deepening his investment in local innovation by taking the role of chair of the board of Simply Payroll, the new mobile application for payroll.

Andrew Barnes, founder of the leading trust company Perpetual Guardian and its parent company Complectus (which also owns several corporate trustees) has invested in the upstart app, which launched last year. He will provide essential strategic direction to the board and executive, as Simply Payroll’s founder and CEO Asantha Wijeyeratne focuses on realizing his vision of helping small businesses to pay staff quickly, efficiently and cheaply.

Mr Wijeyeratne developed and launched Simply Payroll based on long experience in the sector, during which he built another payroll company from a single idea to over 10,000 customers. On completing that project, he turned to the task of making payroll better. 

He says, “At best, payroll is boring for businesses, and often it’s a real sore point and a bit of a nightmare. We have a great technological solution for businesses that is reliable, intuitive and simple – qualities that many business owners will tell you have not been hallmarks of other payroll systems.

“Andrew’s investment and appointment are timely. We have secured a number of partnerships and licensing models this year and quickly found a lot of success in the hospitality industry. Andrew’s voice, experience and guidance will be critical as we scale the business.”

Mr Barnes says, “My interest in innovation that serves individuals and businesses is in large part the driver of my role with Simply Payroll. There are now apps that allow people to apply for tax refunds or even record a video for their Will – the latter, Kinly, is a bold new service from Kōwhiri – and I am pleased to help guide a company that is already making a real difference to how small businesses run payroll. To so many questions, intelligent and efficient technology is the answer.”

Mr Barnes’s involvement in Simply Payroll builds on his record of investing in and leading innovation in business. When he founded Perpetual Guardian he set out to create and deliver global online fiduciary services from a New Zealand base of technology and development, much as Rod Drury has done for accounting with Xero. Mr Barnes now estimates Perpetual Guardian and Kōwhiri are positioned to write 3.5 million Wills globally by the end of 2017 because of the capability provided by:

  • DPL Professional, whose world-leading, innovative Will-writing and document creation systems serve customers in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia (all states), New Zealand and South Africa;
  • Kinly, a new Kōwhiri brand serving New Zealanders 35 and under, allows these clients make their last Will and testament via the mobile app, which allows them to also record a video message to their loved ones.
  • TrustUs, an online Trust service helps users to quickly and easily set up their own family Trust to protect their home at a fraction of the price charged by other providers. 
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Andrew Barnes Appointed to Chair of Simply Payroll