Professional May 2021

Feature topic - Technology enhances the role of payroll professionals

...The more payroll is automated the more the payroll professional can add value to improve both employee and business satisfaction.

we have continuous input into software development which, in turn, directly benefits our customers. Rob Gimes: Challenge the status quo. As payroll professionals we are focused on providing an on-time and accurate service to our colleagues (customers). When our processes are proven we are understandably reluctant to change these. This can result in us getting a reputation for being reluctant to embrace and evolve new technologies. I challenge this. We know we are good at adapting and implementing new processes, so as payroll professionals we need to start evolving our roles to become more proactive in how we gather and distribute information related to our payrolls. We should not just accept the email and manual timesheets; we should be pushing for improved technology and self- service for our employees and managers. We should not accept bad devolved payroll input but look for solutions and processes that inform and educate inputters of the consequences of bad data. Equally, we should be looking for technologies that help our managers and employees self-serve the information they need in a secure and compliant way, be that copies of payslips or financial summaries. Brian Sparling: Payroll professionals are essential to providing accurate, timely payment to workers. Pay is a critical employee touchpoint and payroll professionals help foster employee satisfaction across an organisation. Technology has the ability to tackle the administrative burden inherent with complex payroll functions, such as compliance, so that payroll professionals can focus on strategic priorities. Fran Williams: I would encourage payroll professionals to engage as much as possible with their payroll software or service supplier to help shape the future of payroll technology and innovation. This could be as simple as providing feedback via an account manager or annual customer satisfaction survey or, for professionals looking to make a more substantial contribution, getting involved in a customer user group.

professionals to ensure compliance is easier to achieve? AB: The more payroll is automated the more the payroll professionals can add value to improve both employee and business satisfaction. Compliance is critical and payroll technology should be taking the transactional workload away from users, allowing them to focus on the output of the payroll. Automation isn’t just about back- office processes though. With the use of chatbots, the payroll professional can also improve the employee experience by reducing the number of basic inbound queries to payroll. KF: Integration with human resources (HR), time and attendance and timesheets have automated once manual processes, giving payroll professionals the confidence that there are fewer human errors. This gives them time to check the core data more thoroughly, reducing errors further. Our experience has highlighted the areas where automation can reduce processing time by hours, sometimes even days. For example, for customer Cottage Delight, automation has cut payroll admin from five days to ten hours a month, while Thurlow Nunn has cut its monthly payroll processing time from a week to 1.5 days. The more time we can save and errors we reduce, the more payroll teams can look at their internal processes and items such as testing, which too often are pushed down the priority list. RG: As payroll professionals we sometimes take for granted all of the automation that our payroll solutions now provide us with, including back pay, gross to net pay elements, payslip reversals, automated HMRC notifications and RTI submissions, to name but a few. All of these processes were at some point manual. We now see them as minimum requirements for our solutions. By freeing us from these complex calculations payroll automation has enabled us to look for the next

improvement in process and ultimately allow us to realise our goal of on-time and 100% accurate payroll. BS: The automation of payroll system processes has enabled HR teams to achieve best-in-class compliance. Using a unified solution for pay and time, payroll professionals can work on payroll throughout the pay period seamlessly on one platform, decreasing manual processes and human error. Modern payroll applications update payroll whenever a change is made, ensuring accurate, real-time data and enabling organisations to pay their people correctly and on time. To reduce the burden of keeping up with complex legislative changes, it’s important to leverage a solution that monitors and enforces applicable requirements to help facilitate compliance and reduce organisational risk. At Ceridian, we designed Dayforce with a single database and single rules engine across all experiences of HCM (human capital management). We knew if we did this right it would lead to cost savings, higher quality, more compliant pay, and valuable real-time data business leaders could use to make better strategic decisions. FW: Payroll solution providers have really stepped up over the last few years to deliver against multiple pieces of legislation such as gender pay gap and national living wage schemes. Initially the solutions gave payroll professionals the ability to calculate or report it, but increasingly more analytical functionality is being deployed to address it within the reporting periods, when employers look to hire new employees or conduct salary reviews. What technologies have changed in the last several years, and where do you see it going in the near future? AB: ‘Early pay’ apps show financial technology is getting closer to payroll. We’re seeing vendors such as Moorepay starting to use faster payments as the default payment method instead of Bacs.

How have payroll systems’ automated processes empowered payroll


| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward |

Issue 70 | May 2021

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