Since their foundation in 2010 on the outskirts of Chester, ADVANCE have supported thousands of independent professionals nationwide, helping them to enjoy the benefits of contracting whilst ensuring compliance with HMRC rules.
ADVANCE are hugely focused on compliance and pride themselves on acting quickly to changes in legislation. They are fully-accredited members of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA)and regularly engage with HMRC, the Treasury and other government bodies.
Over the last 9 years, ADVANCE have helped more than 40,000 contractors and freelancers, with new contractors choosing to use their services every week, either directly, through word-of-mouth, or via a network of over 300 recruitment agencies. In a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment, the team at ADVANCE are focused on delivering world class service to employees, sub-contractors and recruitment agencies, with compliance at the core of their business.
In early 2017, as part of an ongoing internal quality audit, the team at ADVANCE identified pre-employment checks as an area in which they could potentially save time and introduce a more efficient, reliable and compliant process.
“Lots of businesses talk about compliance but for ADVANCE, it’s not just a ‘buzz-word’. We take compliance 100% seriously and pride ourselves on exemplary standards – whether we’re working with an agency or directly with an employee or contractor. Those compliance standards extend to every area of our business, from the very moment we engage with a new agency or worker” explains Anna Sills, Director at ADVANCE.
In mid-2017, after researching several identity validation solutions, ADVANCE chose TrustID Cloud, an online identity document checking service which they introduced for checks on all new and existing employees and sub-contractors.
The service is offered on a pay-per-check model so ADVANCE were able to test the service with a few hundred checks in the first few months before scaling up validations to include everyone on their payroll.
An efficient and reliable check
Before introducing TrustID, the compliance team at ADVANCE were inspecting documents manually, comparing them with example images online and following published Home Office guidance.
“Our compliance team were really experienced with identity documents – they had picked up a lot of knowledge and were really good at spotting something that ‘didn’t look right’,” says Anna “But it wasn’t efficient and we had to rely on double checking things through the Home Office– it didn’t provide the belt and braces approach we were looking for.”
Today, before any employee or contractor is taken on to the ADVANCE payroll, the compliance team upload an image of the irrelevant identity document to the secure online validation service. The upload takes a few seconds and in just a few minutes, they receive a report assessing its authenticity which they can store in the employee’s file to demonstrate compliance. Should any document fail the validation check, ADVANCE can rely on advice and guidance from the TrustID team. No-one can be paid by ADVANCE unless their documents have successfully passed the TrustID Cloud check, meaning that no-one can ‘slip through the net’.
Protecting themselves and their customers
Since introducing TrustID Cloud, ADVANCE have identified several suspicious and fraudulent documents and they have been able to confidently stop the candidate registration or get in touch with the recruitment agency to prevent the candidate from working.
The identity validation check also means that ADVANCE can offer a value-add to their recruitment partners which protects them from fraudulent documents also.
“We run every single person through the validation service regardless of whether they are an employee or self-employed. This is to ensure we have a belt and braces approach and provide both ADVANCE and our partner agencies with this level of compliance right across the supply chain.” Anna explains “We really like being able to offer this additional service to our partners, so they can benefit from the protection that we’re getting.”
TrustID Cloud helps ADVANCE to adhere to high levels of compliance both internally and throughout their supply chain. The validation service gives them an affordable way of ensuring that employees and contractors are presenting authentic identity documents and is a value-add service to the recruitment agencies that they work with.
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