The Great Evolution of UK Payroll

Payroll services expert, Emma Saxton, from business software specialist, The Access Group, discusses how technology could be the key to increased efficiencies across the board for payroll teams.

Technology is increasingly playing a leading role in strategies across a range of sectors, driving efficiencies and streamlining processes across the board. However, for many years, the payroll sector has been perceived as a slow adopter to change – especially when it comes to technology – lagging behind many of its counterparts.

And, it’s easy to see why. From the pressures of juggling everyday tasks with the ongoing stream of daily requests, payroll professionals are often stretched too thinly to be able to spend time on improving strategies. As a result, many teams can often seem stuck in a rut of reliance on archaic practices such as clunky spreadsheets and outdated processes.

But, the time has never been more pertinent for payroll managers to put the time in to assess their current operations to see if software or outsourced payroll services could provide much-needed support. If not, payroll teams will run the risk of clocking up thousands of pounds of costly inefficiencies and ultimately, get left behind in what is becoming an increasingly digital world.

To help you get the most out of your payroll teams over the coming year, here are the top three payroll trends to have on your radar.

Consumer design lending a helping hand

Just as consumers around the world have become accustomed to having access to a world of possibilities at their fingertips, from online shopping to internet banking, new payroll software and payroll services is increasingly making it easier than ever for payroll teams to access the information they need quickly and easily.

Giving payroll professionals the ability to manage payslips, tax returns and financial records faster, many platforms are easy to navigate and offer greater personalisation with the option for employees to interact with each other and self-serve.

And it’s not just payroll tasks that consumerisation makes easier. It also helps educate and engage staff too. Given that 89 per cent[1] of payroll managers say consumerisation will have a huge impact over the next two years, isn’t it time they started incorporating it into their strategies?

Automation of simple tasks

Automation is something that is already widely being adopted into the strategies of teams across a range of sectors from warehouse operators using automation to schedule orders to automated appointment scheduling systems, the practice is certainly nothing new.

However, automation can play a key part in speeding up time-consuming repetitive tasks in payroll departments too, while also minimising the chance of human error. Tasks such as generating payslips, compiling reports and submitting returns all lend themselves well to automation, leaving payroll teams free to focus on the tasks that will benefit the business most.

Giving employees greater controls over their pay

The modern working world is now such that many employees are often on different payment schedules. Some might receive a monthly salary, while others might receive pay on a week-by-week basis. As a result, giving employees greater autonomy as to how and when they receive their salary is a trend many forward-thinking businesses are increasingly starting to adopt.

Using a digital payroll platform, employees can access their earned wages with ease putting them firmly in charge of their own finances.

The payroll sector might have historically been slow to adapt to change but it’ll be those payroll teams who take the time to put in place new strategies that drive real change that will reap the benefits of increased efficiencies throughout the coming year and beyond.

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