CIPP future of payroll survey report 2019


The third attribute was ‘aptitude’ ( 26.37% ) i.e. the natural ability to do something. Payroll is a very logical process and only becomes illogical when things disturb the natural order of it i.e. it goes wrong for whatever reason.

Next came being a ‘team player’ with 28.25% . Being able to roll your sleeves up and ‘muck-in’ is a very important element of any payroll team especially, as things get ‘interesting’ toward the relevant payroll closing dates, and critical times in the payroll calendar. This is something that most payroll people just do; there aren’t very many functions that do this organically every single day, week, month etc. Payroll should celebrate this and be very proud of the team bond that they have. The biggest surprise was the last item, ‘qualifications’ coming in at number five ( 25% ). If payroll people are to be taken seriously by business in general, then this must be further up the list and a differentiator. The ability to demonstrate that a payroll person is credible amongst their peers can only be gained by taking qualifications and of course being part of the CIPP. Coming back to the earlier subject in the survey, being influential in the boardroom and being strategic can only be improved if people who are presenting such items are backed with the necessary qualifications e.g. a finance director would have completed their ACA, ACCA or CIMA. There needs to be more of a push on people being qualified in payroll as the percentage is only circa 3.6% . This is something which the CIPP is working hard to address. We are continually working with employers, recruitment agencies and government to raise the profile of payroll and change perceptions, moving away from the ‘payroll just pushes a button’ way of thinking. But, what can you do within your own organisations to support this? Think about your role and how you can add value and raise the profile of payroll with your employer, this will assist the CIPP and the profession in recognising the value of payroll and the importance of having skilled, qualified and experienced payroll professionals.

Whilst the above is a good list of attributes, in our research next year we will be hoping to see such attributes as continuous improvement, customer service and tech savvy.

Before moving on one of the questions asked was “which of the following do you see as important factors when recruiting”, un-surprisingly the first three were ‘salary’ ( 87.23% ), ‘good working environment’ ( 86.97% ) and ‘benefits pension’ ( 58.24% ). However, the last one which is connected to qualifications mentioned above was ‘funding of training’ ( 52.39% ); once again if the profession and payroll is to be taken seriously the CIPP would like to see a greater emphasis placed on this in future years. It doesn’t need to be number one on the list, but it must be given a higher bar to drive payroll’s credibility in the boardroom and in business generally.

Do you have a succession plan within the payroll department? If you had to guess the survey response what would you have said; yes or no

Astonishingly, out of the 376 people who answered the question, only 43.88% said ‘yes’, leaving 56.12% saying ‘no’. This is similar to the 2017 survey which reported that 55% did not have a succession plan in place. Now, this could be because we had a lot of people who responded that are working on their own, however, coming back to one of the main controls that payroll should have in their risk control matrix this should not be the case. If this is correct, those people who answered ‘no’ should be speaking to their line managers today to get this mapped out ASAP. For any audit (non-statutory) into payroll, this would be a fail.

43.88 %

56.12 %


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