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If you've ever had any dealings with PayDashboard, you will then certainly know Laura Hughes - aka 'Mrs PayDashboard'. Having been with the company since its inception, there isn't anything Laura hasn't seen, done, or heard. In fact, Laura's knowledge of payslips, payroll and payroll services is pretty darned impressive - she's like a walking payroll encyclopedia!

We sat down with Laura to learn more about the lady who has taken PayDashboard from a small payslip start-up to where it is today.

Q: You've been with PayDashboard for 6 years now. Where were you before that?

L: Before PayDashboard I worked for the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW), looking after their social marketing, CPD and soft skills training for South West England and South Wales.

Q: Why did you leave?

L: I left because I wanted my career to be more marketing-focused and less events-focused. Before PayDashboard I joined a running app start-up, but was made redundant when they ran out of money. I then had a temp job as a Marketing Assistant, but didn't want to go into Finance or work for another start-up. When the interview with PayDashboard came my way, my initial intention was to go just to get interview practice, as I was nervous about start-ups. The CEO at the time interviewed me for 2 hours, taking me through the product in such a way that I could really see the benefits that this solution would have for accountants. I was totally sold on it and started the following week!

Q: What makes you excited about the PayDashboard product?

L: I'll put my marketing hat on to explain this one. I love the fact that our clients can rebrand PayDashboard with their own logo and branding, because it’s such a fantastic opportunity for them to create brand awareness with the people they pay. Especially for accounting firms who may be processing payroll for thousands of employees on behalf of their clients, that’s thousands of people who are logging into your custom branded PayDashboard site each month to get their payslip… thousands of people who didn’t know your firm existed before they used PayDashboard. Marketers pay £1,000s each year to generate that kind of brand exposure and awareness, and our clients are getting that for the cost of a payslip (something that they would be doing anyway!). It's a fantastic way for accounting firms in particular to create rapport with future business owners, who may be searching for an accountant one day and come across your company and think “Hey, that’s the same company my previous employer used – I saw their logo on my payslip portal. They must be good if my company were using them. I’ll check them out.”

Q: What about Laura behind the scenes?

L: Well, I am married and have an 18-week-old Cockerstaff (cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Staffordshire Terrier). Everyone thinks he is a Labrador!

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

L: I love the theatre, especially musicals. I do love a flashy stage show. My ultimate evening out is dinner and drinks, trying new restaurants, or walking the dog. Taking our dog to the beach for the first time was awesome.

Q: What is your favourite food?

L: Probably tapas, as I like to try different flavours rather than committing to one meal.

Q: Where's your next holiday going to be?

L: Our next big holiday is likely to be Cambodia or Vietnam, but we are also planning a long weekend in Rome for our anniversary.

Q: If an alien landed on Earth and gave you the option to travel across the whole Universe, the only caveat being that you'd be away from Earth for 50 years, would you do it?

L: No, because there is still so much more to see on this planet and I want to spend that time with friends and family.

Q: Where do you see PayDashboard in 5 years?

L: I think we will be operating in more international markets - countries that are behind the curve in digital will need our help to move to cloud delivery and provide a transition to more modern payroll technologies. I also firmly believe the PDF payslip will be obsolete. PDFs are totally antiquated – they aren’t mobile responsive, many aren’t accessible for the visually impaired. We wouldn't go back to receiving a PDF bank statement, so why would we continue to put up with emailed PDF payslips?

Q: What's a fun fact about you?

L: I met the Queen at age 7 in South Wales when my father was in the army. She visited his regiment and I was on the bouncy castle display team!

We hope you enjoyed learning more about 'Mrs PayDashboard', aka Laura Hughes. Time will only tell whether her 5-year predictions will indeed materialise. We shall wait and see! Look out for the next 'Meet the Team' instalment, where we will learn more about our Customer Success Manager, Christian Howes. Stay tuned!

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