MD Sandra Crous explains the magic of Africa’s fastest-growing payroll solution


Sandra Crous is the managing director of PaySpace. With thousands of customers across 40 countries and more than 65 industries, Sandra’s task is taking PaySpace to the next level to become a household name.

Digitalisation of payroll and HR processes has been a big part of Sandra’s career and the opportunity to innovate on a cloud-based, tech-first product through PaySpace continues to excite her.

“The essence of our success lies in the clarity of vision, which motivates and aligns every team member with our collective goals. Moreover, our approach to continuous improvement through rigorous measurement is fundamental. We constantly evaluate our performance in various areas, particularly customer satisfaction, to identify our strengths and areas for enhancement,” Sandra says.

“Immediate action on any shortcomings ensures we are always advancing towards excellence. The concept of dedicating 10,000 hours to master a discipline, as highlighted by Malcolm Gladwell, also resonates with our philosophy. This commitment to deep, sustained learning and experience forms a solid foundation for innovation and foresight, enabling us to anticipate future challenges and opportunities more effectively,” she adds.

Flexible work culture

The high level of expertise across the PaySpace team is not only a point of pride but also a significant asset that enhances the quality of their work and their competitive edge. In maintaining an innovative and flexible work culture, they have implemented policies like remote working and limitless leave.

“These initiatives are grounded in trust and a focus on output rather than mere presence, allowing our employees the freedom to manage their work-life balance effectively. This approach not only boosts morale but also encourages creativity, as employees often find that their best ideas come during times of rest. The limitless leave policy, in particular, has proven effective, with employees taking regular breaks without extended absences, which rejuvenates them and enhances productivity,” Sandra reveals.

The company's culture extends to team-building activities such as outreach programmes and social gatherings to strengthen interpersonal relationships and foster a community spirit within the workplace. Prioritising the happiness and well-being of employees ensures they treat customers with exceptional care and dedication. A people-first approach has been instrumental in creating a supportive and dynamic work environment that attracts and retains top talent.

Asked about the reason for PaySpace’s phenomenal growth, Sandra explains that the technology platform utilises a single-instance, multi-tenant architecture, which means all customers operate on the same version of the application, streamlining updates and changes across the board.

“For example, updating tax tables or medical information in the system instantly benefits all users. This model eliminates the need for individual customer updates, simplifying maintenance, and increasing efficiency. The ability to scale business operations by simply adjusting workforce numbers showcases the flexibility and innovative approach of our system, making it a transformative tool in industries traditionally bound by manual updates and intensive maintenance,” Sandra states.

“In addition to our technological advancements, our focus on customer empowerment through local support and responsiveness has been key. Our support system is bolstered by a robust backend that manages queries effectively, ensuring prompt resolutions. We also measure customer satisfaction rigorously through net promoter scores, achieving exceptional results that reflect our commitment to quality support. Engaging support staff in creative and enjoyable ways enhances their job satisfaction and effectiveness, contributing to a positive work environment and superior customer service,” she adds.

Driving economic growth

Expanding the PaySpace footprint, particularly in Africa, has been a significant part of the company strategy. They are not only reaching businesses in multiple countries but also tailoring services to meet diverse needs, from multinational corporations to local enterprises across the continent.

Their recent initiatives in East Africa, for example, have been met with enthusiasm from local businesses eager to embrace cloud technology, which simplifies operations and enhances agility. By empowering businesses with innovative solutions, they are playing a crucial role in driving economic growth and efficiency in the region, underscoring their commitment to advancing technology and support within the African business community.

“We've streamlined our technology to all size businesses, including small businesses, removing unnecessary complexities and providing straightforward, minute-long tutorial videos to aid implementation. This approach not only empowers small business owners by making it possible for them to set up and manage their systems independently but also ensures they can comply with regulations effortlessly. Importantly, our pricing model is flexible, adjusting according to the number of employees, which aligns perfectly with the needs of growing or downsizing businesses, especially notable during fluctuations like those seen during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sandra notes.

PaySpace development is heavily influenced by real-world usage and customer suggestions, which often lead to the best enhancements. This customer-focused innovation is supported by a large, dedicated development team that utilises the latest tools and methodologies to keep the software cutting-edge. They release updates in incremental phases, allowing them to refine features based on user feedback without disrupting their business operations.

Seamless legal integration

“As we expand our focus on diverse markets like Kenya and other parts of Africa, we face unique regulatory challenges that require us to be adaptive and responsive. Our technology is designed to handle these dynamic regulatory environments efficiently, ensuring compliance and shielding our customers from potential penalties. This adaptability is crucial for small businesses where such penalties could significantly impact their financial health,” Sandra explains.

“Our team dedicated to East Africa stays on top of legislative changes with the help of local advisors and in-country research. This allows us to update our system promptly, ensuring that our customers always operate under the latest legal requirements. Our methodology involves working closely with customers and consulting with auditors and large businesses to interpret new laws correctly and integrate them seamlessly into our product, ensuring our platform remains compliant and efficient,” she says.

As African countries move towards electronic submissions to tax authorities, PaySpace has adapted to facilitate these changes effectively, leading to faster processing times and more accurate data for government authorities. This shift not only enhances operational efficiency for clients but also reduces the likelihood of audits and financial discrepancies.

Their integrated systems provide a robust framework for businesses to manage their payroll operations confidently, knowing that compliance is continuously monitored and maintained within the platform.

To further support customers, they provide a rich knowledge base within the product that includes easy-to-understand infographics and articles on tax and legislation. These resources empower businesses to handle their compliance needs independently, reducing dependency on external support and fostering a deeper understanding of the regulatory environment.

This empowerment is critical as PaySpace expands services across different countries, adapting to each region's unique legislative landscape while ensuring customers can operate seamlessly and confidently, no matter where they are located.

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