Case Studies

Watershed Case study

The Challenge

Watershed is a leading centre for cultural cinema and digital media exhibition, publishing and participation. Watershed Arts Trust (a registered charity) and it’s two wholly owned subsidiaries Watershed Trading Ltd, which operates Watershed’s popular café/bar and conference facilities, and iShed CIC, which supports and promotes collaborations between computing, communications and the creative industries.

Employing over 100 full and part-time staff across the group, its payroll function was outsourced to Cox & Co. as part of an exercise to improve service and efficiency and cut costs.

Jill Stokes, Head of Finance at Watershed, reveals why Cox & Co. continues to form part of Watershed’s long-term payroll strategy:

“Watershed is a unique, trusted and respected organisation that employs a diverse range of staff to deliver an excellent service to the public across its full range of activities. We value all our staff and providing an efficient payroll service is important to us. Our payroll is complex and staff frequently work varying hours across different departments and, in some cases, for more than one company in the Group. Managing the payroll in-house has proved problematic and time consuming in the past.

We outsourced to Cox & Co. in 2007 and they’ve been an integral part of the team ever since. Since joining us, Cox & Co. have streamlined our payroll function to improve efficiency and have worked with us to improve our analysis and reporting systems. This has been of great value enabling us to monitor and control our staff costs and improve our rota systems, particularly in our café bar.

Watershed is people led with a culture of respect and trust and Cox and Co.’s approach has supported this ethos and their weekly on-site presence has ensured that communications run smoothly, maintaining excellent staff relations.

We continue to out-source our payroll to Cox and Co. and are confident that they will always deliver what we require, from developing new systems and reporting mechanisms to meeting our legal and audit requirements.”


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