UK Payroll and HR Glossary

Don’t know your HRIS from your HRMS? Discover the meaning of the latest UK payroll and HR terms and abbreviations with this free glossary.


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ADP Celergo ADP Celergo is a managed service payroll product which collects employee data for processing payroll across 140 countries into one system of record. It makes the challenges of running global payroll across multiple territories easier. It uses APIs to integrate with existing human capital management (HCM) software.

Centralised payroll Centralised payroll is when all payroll data is held in one cloud-based system of record, allowing managers and employees in any location to access it. This makes it easier for teams to collaborate across the business, for managers to approve leave or manage staff attendance, and for staff to edit their payroll information.

CFO CFO stands for chief financial officer, a senior member of staff responsible for the financial affairs of an organisation. He or she will take charge of accounting functions such as financial planning, assessing and managing financial risk, record-keeping and financial reporting.

Calendar Quarter Also known as Clearing House Automated Payment System, CHAPS is a high-value, same-day payment system used between banks for urgent transactions. As long as instructions are received by a time in the working day specified by your bank, CHAPS payments are guaranteed same day.

CHRO A chief HR officer (or CHRO) develops and carries out a human resource strategy to meet the overall objectives of the business. Areas they will focus on include talent management, executive compensation, succession planning, and board member selection.

CIO The chief information officer (CIO) is the most senior technology (IT) executive in a medium-sized business or large enterprise. CIOs increasingly set and lead the technology strategy of the business, providing a senior liaison between the IT department and the rest of the business.

CIPP CIPP stands for the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals. As the chartered institution for payroll and pension professionals in the UK, it is dedicated to raising the profile of payroll within businesses.

Cloud-based payroll Cloud-based payroll is payroll delivered over the internet. It has many benefits, including eradicating manual input errors, automatic software updates for regulatory compliance, easy integration with HR systems, and allowing employees to access and update their payroll details using self-service.

Compensation management system A compensation management system assesses whether employee salaries, bonuses and benefits are fair, competitive, effective and properly administered. Good compensation management maintains workforce loyalty and satisfaction while poor compensation management can lead to high staff turnover.

Competency assessment A competency assessment is an evaluation of a person’s skills and abilities against the requirements of a job. Recruiters also use competency assessments to assess whether a jobseeker has the right skills.

Compliance Compliance is when a business complies with any government or local regulations or policies that govern managing employees and how they are paid.

Compliance management Compliance management is the process of monitoring and assessing systems to ensure regulatory compliance. Not adhering to new rules and regulations risks heavy fines for businesses.

Comprehensive payroll Comprehensive payroll is an outsourced solution that helps businesses manage activities including payroll, staff retention and engagement. As a cloud-based solution, it is more transparent, and saves both time and money for businesses who want to reduce costs and boost their efficiency.

Corporation tax Corporation tax is when business profits and capital gains are taxed. Since April 2016, corporation tax in the UK has been 19% for all limited companies. The corporation tax return is due 12 months after the end of the accounting period.

Credit note A credit note is sent to a buyer to correct a mistake, if goods are returned or if items fail while under guarantee.

Creditor A creditor is somebody (or an entity like a company, individual or government body) whom a debtor owes money to. They may charge interest on top of the sum owed.


The chief technology officer (CTO) manages an organisation’s technology research and development. They may develop policies and procedures, using technology to improve products and services for external customers.

Customer experience This term describes how customers perceive their interactions with a business throughout their buying journey. As a result, businesses need to meet and exceed customer expectations to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and word-of-mouth advocacy.