Orca Pay Group Limited has appointed tax and compliance experts WTT to independently audit and verify all of its payroll activities. The move is intended to give contractors, recruiters and end clients full transparency and confidence that contractors are paid exactly what they are legally entitled to. In an unprecedented move for the industry, WTT will have full access to Orca’s bank accounts, their HMRC portal and Orca’s real-time compliance platform ‘The Apex’.


In addition the monthly audits will ensure that all HMRC liabilities are being paid correctly and compliantly, ensuring that no liabilities that could be passed on to contractors are being accrued. This provides the whole supply chain with fully certified confirmation that these responsibilities are being met and allows our partners to meet their obligations under the Criminal Finance Act 2017. This will be done via The Apex, Orca’s real-time compliance platform.


Launched in January, the Apex platform gives agencies and businesses using its payroll services the confidence to demonstrate they have taken reasonable care when being paid by Orca.


The Apex, which is a first for the industry, provides agencies and businesses time stamped records from HMRC as well as providing a full transparent audit trail each time a payroll is processed. As part of this, agencies and businesses are shown that all HMRC liabilities are correctly deducted, processed, and submitted and ensure every contractor is paid what they are legally entitled to throughout the duration of their employment.


The Apex provides a complete forensic breakdown on every payroll run and WTT will therefore conduct full audits on:

  • National Insurance contributions
  • PAYE tax
  • VAT (quarter by quarter)
  • Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Tax
  • holiday pay – accrued, paid and the remaining balance
  • pension contributions if the provision is being made
  • and any other legal deductions.

Rob Sharp, CEO of Orca Pay Group said: “We are proud to be the first umbrella company to actively raise the bar when it comes to compliance and transparency and hope others will follow.


“For many years the recruitment industry has become over reliant on badges and annual audits, which has blindsided the due diligence responsibilities that every business is accountable for in the eyes of HMRC. The landscape is changing due to the off-payroll reform impacting the whole supply chain.


“Therefore, real time, transparent and a truly independent audits on a payroll by payroll basis is the most compliant way for us to assure all businesses that we do all we can to protect them, the supply chain, and the rights of workers.”

Tom Wallace, director of tax investigations at WTT, adds the move will set a precedent in the industry: “With the forthcoming changes to IR35 meaning more agencies than ever will be using umbrella companies to make payments to contractors, it has never been more important to bring the highest compliance standards to the industry. We see this as a massive step in transparency at a time when it is needed the most, and we hope that such transparency gives confidence to contractors, agencies, and end clients, becoming the norm for umbrellas of all sizes.”


For further information about The Apex platform go to: www.orcapaygroup.co.uk/theapex For more information about WTT’s umbrella auditing services go to:   https://wttconsulting.co.uk/ir35/umbrella-audit/.

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.