Alison Sellar launched activpayroll in 2001 in Aberdeen, North East Scotland. The company is now in its 15th year of successful business, servicing more than 1000 customers and operating in over 120 countries around the globe.

From a young age, Alison worked in her parents’ firm, Grampian Business Bureau, and had several part-time jobs. She then became a partner in the firm in 1999 and asked her father if she could grow the payroll department which she was running. It was agreed that Alison would launch a separate company: activpayroll.

activpayroll was set up as a local firm specialising in payroll for the oil and gas market in Aberdeen. Now operating in 120 countries, activpayroll started off with just one Aberdeen-based client and has expanded from there. The first overseas office was opened in 2005 in Perth, Australia and it was during this experience that the challenges to be faced in becoming an international business became clear. Despite the difficulties, Alison overcame all obstacles; breaking through cultural, distance and language barriers. Not to be underestimated are the differences in payroll and tax processes around the globe which have been surmounted whilst establishing a network of international offices and managing diverse payroll teams.

Alison has built one of the strongest global teams of specialists in payroll, expatriate tax and human resources and attributes the spectacular global success of activpayroll to filling a distinct gap in the market for fully integrated payroll services. Anytime Alison is praised for her tremendous efforts and success, she states that it is all about her team and the people that have got het to where she stands today. 

My vision for activpayroll

activpayroll’s growth strategy has been carefully planned to establish us as the leading global provider of payroll, expatriate taxation services and online people management tools.

We are achieving this in two ways:

In the first place, activpayroll is building its customer base by developing core technical expertise in several key industry sectors including: Investment, Oil and Gas, Construction, Aviation and Technology.

We are also targeting international businesses that require a complete global payroll service. This has led activpayroll to take on local offices in other countries and allows us to compete with the major players in this industry.

My ultimate vision is to build on our payroll expertise to offer full-scope tax advisory and compliance services on a global basis. The biggest challenge, I believe, in achieving this is to develop products and services that help organisations understand and control the cost of managing their most important asset: their people.

Alison has won a number of business awards.

2016

Tremendous Training & Development

The CHeRries Awards

Payroll Top 50

Payroll World

Highly Commended Best Payroll Support Team

Payroll World Awards

2015

Female Business Leader of the Year

Scottish Business Awards

Best Company to Work for in Payroll

Payroll World Awards

CIPP International Payroll Provider of the Year

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals

Payroll Top 50
Payroll World 

Private Business Woman of the Year

UK Private Business Awards

2014

Most influential in Global Payroll
Payroll Top 50

International Payroll Award 

Payroll World Awards 

2013

Global Payroll Team Award
Payroll World Awards

Outstanding achievement Award
Payroll World Awards

Achievement in International Business Award
Northern Star Awards

Payroll Top 50

Payroll World

2011

Multi-Country Payroll Team Award 

Payroll World Awards 

2008

Business Success Over Three Years 

The Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 

2006

Entrepreneur of the Year 

The Chambers Awards

Smaller Business Category Award

The Northern Star Business Awards, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce 

2005

Business Growth Award

The Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Ernst & Young Awards

 

2004

Female Director of the Year 

The Institute of Directors Award 

 

About Alison Sellar

Additional Roles

I’m a great believer that if you’re in a position to help other businesses, you should make the effort to do so - and I’m happy to share my experiences with other business people.