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Payroll 101: Things You Must Know - 4

This is a series of blog posts that will address the most important points related to managing payroll. The third in this series will focus on “Understanding technology trends vis-à-vis Payroll”

Understanding Technology trends vis-à-vis Payroll

76. More than ever, it’s important for payroll professionals to stay current and understand trends in technology that can impact payroll and the business overall.

77. The evolution of systems will make the execution of day-to-day payroll tasks easier while raising expectations on the amount of business analysis payroll professionals can provide. For those who are currently bogged down with administrative tasks, this will provide an opportunity to expand their skill sets and provide greater value.

78. As technology expands in the domain Payroll technologies must integrate and unify with those used in HR and other business functions.

79. Two important trends are self-service functions and reporting tools that drive business insight. Expanded use of technology in these areas will lead to better business decision-making and greater employee engagement.

80. Payroll technology will continue to become more integrated with other areas of the business, and new efficiencies will be realized. Today, for example, employees, managers, recruiters, HR and payroll administrators, and even those in IT participate in bringing a new hire on board, but multiple systems and processes are often involved. In the future, the process will be much more streamlined, saving time for employees and money for the organization.

81. The next big thing is increased mobility and ease of use for users, enabling managers and employees to make smarter decisions at all times. Payroll, HR and accounting systems have to be linked to provide real time data about overtime, budgets and resource levels so that managers have the information they need to make the appropriate decisions.

82. Because of their ability to reduce cost and increase productivity, we see time and attendance, and labor scheduling systems as another big wave. New systems will be enabled to provide the right information to the right person at the right time.

83. The next one is business-class “enterprise resource planning” systems—these can make payroll systems more efficient and cost-effective; they are complex and can sometimes be difficult to implement. Talking to outsourced payroll vendors o got us some interesting points to consider:

84. Consider hiring a HR consulting firm like TalentPro which understands the entire spectrum of talent management space – right from recruitments, staffing, training, payroll management, compliance management and HR business consulting. They can help define a client’s goals for the system, develop its request for proposals, and help in implementation, training, and follow-up evaluations.

85. Put this consultant in charge of the entire implementation process, with the goal of 9aking them experts in managing the new system.

86. Evaluate the payroll software’s flexibility to make sure it is tailored to your business practices. To succeed, a new payroll and the larger ERP system inevitably demand procedural changes, and the flexibility of the payroll software will influence the degree and direction of those procedural changes.

87. Plan a rollout strategy for the major portions of the system. Options include part-implementation, extensive pilot testing, and operating the previous system side by side with the new one. Be aware that each option comes with its own costs and risks.

88. Payroll technology will see a continued movement from traditional software to “cloud computing” technology, which makes it easier for service providers to deliver their best products to end users as cost-effectively as possible.

89. This is because cloud computing allows all of the functionality of a server-based system with none of the maintenance and cost, it has also opened doors to new mobile technology methods, such as payroll applications for smart phones, and innovative payment methods, such as pay cards.

90. This new technology creates some of the biggest opportunities for savings and increased efficiency is integrating processes such as payroll and benefits, compensation and performance management, and recruitment. This delivers tremendous value by creating one central source for reliable employee data, and it saves time by eliminating duplicate data entry and reconciliation, and consolidating employee data for reporting and trend analysis.

91. Another trend is a major increase in demand for the Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model. SaaS offers sophisticated, comprehensive payroll, HR, benefits and talent management functionality without the pain of software installation or ongoing maintenance.

92. In keeping with the demands to simplify process, be more efficient, and do more with less, many organizations have moved to SaaS models to eliminate the cycle of upgrades and server replacements, and switched to self service to reduce the staff who previously handled inquires.

93. What does this mean to the payroll professional? Payroll professionals are a hardy, adaptive breed acclimatized to handling tight deadlines and last-minute changes while meeting high expectations. Although finding the best way to navigate around technological changes may seem challenging at first, it will be beneficial because employees will take more ownership for accurate and timely data submissions, making the payroll job easier. Embracing the use of new technology like iPads and mobile applications now will prepare the payroll professional for the future.

94. It also means that Payroll professionals are going to take on roles that are more strategic than tactical. As systems evolve, better information will be available to make smarter business decisions, and payroll will play a big part.

95. The biggest challenge will be the payroll professional’s ability to comply with all of the changes by State and Central governments. We are noticing a significant number of amendments and exceptions to the rules and regulations covering source deductions, and increased divergences between federal and provincial levels.

96. A service provider like TalentPro can also let you know how legislative changes will impact your systems and processes. Providers are always looking for ways to improve their products and processes, so send them your feedback.

97. The use of professional employee organizations like TalentPro and hybrid models of outsourcing continues to grow, combining various mixes of technology, payroll, tax compliance, HR, training and other employee services.

98. As more and more companies are handling remote workers, the payroll software and its associated technology’s capabilities to rise up to this situation, becomes more challenging.

99. With remote workers the employers need to consider making accurate performance assessments. This new decentralized workplace has many benefits but can also negatively impact accountability and collaboration.

100. Workflow technology can help fill this gap: accountability is maintained because there is a clear, auditable record of who was assigned what task and when, and collaboration is supported because roles and activities are embedded within the system configuration

101. Second, employers need to consider security. Enhancing web and mobile functionality is excellent, but you must also consider what information is available to whom.

And the final word from a service provider like TalentPro is that technology and legislation will continue to change but the fundamental requirements of payroll will remain the same.

Every enterprise is on the front line for employee satisfaction—everyone wants a pay cheque! TalentPro believes that it is good to remember to look at the big picture and keep the core business needs in mind. If technology practices can help organizations by providing valuable information or eliminating expenses or complex processes, it will obviously result in increasing the profile and profits associated with payroll.

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