Professional May 2021


Technology enhances the role of payroll professionals

Technology is evolving at an extraordinary pace, changing payroll processes. Jerome Smail, business journalist, presents the views of industry luminaries on what this portends

T he payroll landscape has changed almost beyond recognition over the last decade, with numerous legislative changes including real time information (RTI), auto-enrolment and, more recently, the coronavirus job retention scheme. “Organisations are having to proactively search for ways to streamline their payroll,” says Louise Gray ChMCIPPdip, head of transitions and operations for EY. The result is the constant and rapid evolution of technology used by the profession. To find out more about how technology has enhanced the role of the payroll professional, I spoke to some of the leading lights in the field: ● Ant Brassington , director of product strategy and engineering, for Moorepay ● Kirsty Fowler , managing director, HR &

Payroll, at Civica ● Rob Gimes , senior product manager, The Access Group ● Brian Sparling ChMCIPPdip , senior manager, global payroll operations, at Ceridian ● Fran Williams, strategic marketing and commercial director, managed services, at IRIS Software Group. How can payroll professionals play a part to help technology continue to evolve in the right direction to ensure relevance to the role? Ant Brassington: Payroll professionals will drive the evolution of technology in the right direction simply by partnering with a great vendor. Of course, there are forums and groups such as the CIPP that feed

valuable insight to the vendors who build the technology. But payroll professionals themselves must be at the very heart of the procurement and implementation of any new technology. Kirsty Fowler: Payroll professionals are in a much better position than they have ever been to give real feedback on payroll technology. It’s a traditionally conservative area. But advances in technology have moved us forward in the last decade, to the point where data is shared securely between HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and payroll software in real time. HMRC has taken the lead on this but there are so many other areas of payroll that are lagging behind, such as the submission of pension files to the various public and private sector providers, which is still predominantly a manual upload to a web portal. The more that payroll professionals speak up and lobby providers for a more modern approach to processing payroll, the more they will listen. From Civica’s unique perspective, we run customer payrolls as a bureau using our own payroll software. This means payroll professionals we need to start evolving our roles to become more proactive in how we gather and distribute information...

| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward | May 2021 | Issue 70 38

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