Few things can beat pulling off the monthly payroll for sheer anxiety. Most employees are blissfully unaware that the paycheck regularly deposited into their accounts is the product of frantic plate-spinning as every deduction, tax calculation and correct is finalized right up to the last minute. It’s something that’s far too easy to mess up.
The good news is that payroll, just like every other aspect of business, is changing in fundamental ways. In the last few years we’ve seen new digital technology penetrate HR systems dramatically and several major trends that already made themselves felt will keep rolling on in 2017.
Cloudy with a Chance of PayrollThe cloud is without a doubt the biggest driver of payroll technology trends and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Moving our computing into massive global data centers not only speeds things up, but also frees us from our desk and even work locations.
It also means a reduction in capital expenditure, better data security, better reliability and much faster system performance. Really, moving to the cloud is a no-brainer.
Total Workforce SolutionsIntegration seems to be the name of the game when it comes to workforce management these days. Several companies, such as Advance Systems, are trying their level best to convince companies that their workforce management tools need to speak to one another and work as a single cohesive information system. That shouldn’t be too much of a hard sell, since it’s hard to argue that they aren’t right.
The Smart Device RevolutionWe’re at the point where just about every person who works at a company will have a smartphone of some sort on their person. That device is proving a boon to HR in general and payroll in particular.
It means that HR staff can log into their systems from anywhere and at any time. It also means that employees can more easily access payroll self-services, so that there’s less workload on human staff with constant requests for information.
The Gig Economy and Blended WorkforcePayroll practitioners better become familiar with the rising freelance gig economy. Companies are opting more and more to use online professionals for short term work. This means that payment has to happen through a variety of commercial platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr.
If payment interfaces and financial policies are not adjusted quickly to take account of this emerging trend you may quickly find yourself in a pickle when it becomes time to pay.
It also means having to work our payment for a much larger and diverse workforce than before, who may all have different billing methods to boot. The gig economy may be great for many reasons, but payroll practitioners could be overwhelmed unless they adapt.
Online Recruitment Keeps ExpandingThe pace at which new employees are sourced, interviewed and inducted is picking up steam thanks to online recruitment systems. Just as with the gig economy and freelance trends, this means more load and more capacity needs for payroll professionals.
The only real way to deal with this economically is to rely on that very same technology to capacitate your business. Which is partly why integrated workforce management solutions are becoming so popular.
Let the Pay RollPayroll is not yet ready for full automation and it will be a while yet before payroll pros are looking for new work themselves. The effects of new technologies are however becoming dramatic and you ignore them at your own peril.
In fact, some companies may seriously consider outsourcing their payroll operation, so really the future of payroll practices are more dynamic than ever.