Automation is all around us in all walks of life, from keeping homes and business premises secure, to ensuring that we don’t forget about meetings and appointments. Its capabilities of dealing with mundane, time-consuming tasks faster and more consistently than humans are also proving extremely beneficial to payroll teams.
At a time when payroll departments are being expected to do more with less, and to become a valuable asset for businesses rather than just a back-office process, payroll automation is vital in helping payroll transform in the new world of work. This blog explores just how useful automation can be from a payroll perspective.
What is payroll automation?
Payroll automation is software that can take care of certain processes by itself. For example, wage calculations and tax withholdings can be completed entirely autonomously, taking into account various factors like employee timesheets, tax rates in particular countries, methods of payment, and so on. Additionally, payroll automation also enables easy, secure and up-to-date record-keeping across an entire organization, so that everyone is working from accurate, consistent payroll information.
What are the five main benefits of payroll automation?
With the right automated payroll system in place, the difference that it can make to payroll – and to the business as a whole – can be truly transformative:
Reduce payroll errors: the smallest errors in payroll processing can cause considerable stress and even financial hardship to employees, even if they’re the fault of simple human error. And even the most skilled and experienced payroll practitioners can make mistakes, especially if repetitive processing makes them tired or unfocused over time. Automation virtually eliminates the risk of this happening, by consistently ensuring that employees get paid the right amount of salary at the right time, without any chance of humans making miscalculations.
Save time: automation can streamline all payroll calculations and processes, making it far faster than skilled human payroll teams. This means that payroll cycles can be sped up, and other payments (like expense reimbursements, for example) can be distributed to employees with much shorter turnaround times. Payroll teams only have to worry about doing the data entry required for the calculations, and automation takes care of the rest. What’s more, having automation take care of all the ins and outs of payroll in different countries can ensure you always stay compliant with various territory-specific regulations.
Improve record-keeping and analytics: effective reporting and detailed insights from data are important for many reasons. In particular, they help prove compliance and demonstrate that everything is above board, but they also help uncover areas where improvements can be made to processes and performance. Automation can deliver this information in real time, through dashboarding that enables the tracking of key metrics and user-friendly reporting functions that can quickly generate reports in digestible formats.
Bolster security: payroll involves highly sensitive employee data, such as their bank account details. As a result, keeping it safe and secure is a top priority in order to stay compliant with regulations like GDPR and protect it from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime. Automation can help encrypt data to add an extra layer of protection, as well as enabling other security features such as multi-factor authentication, so that payroll data can never be accessed by anyone who isn’t authorized to do so.
Enhance employee experience: automation can underpin self-service payroll solutions that allow employees to resolve issues and access functions without needing to go through the payroll team. Employees can update their personal details through an online portal, from which automation ensures that all relevant records within the payroll database are updated. This can play a major part in improving employee experiences, as they feel that they can get quicker resolutions and better service, as well as feeling more valued by the employer as they’re more trusted to use systems themselves.
It’s clear that there are lots of benefits businesses can enjoy from replacing manual payroll and spreadsheets with payroll automation. The next step, however, is to decide how to proceed in adopting the technology.
There are two standout options, the first of which is integrating with an existing HR or HCM system, so that a payroll platform leverages existing HR data and applies it to payroll processes. The second is Robotic Data Validation, where automation can flag up any missing or inaccurate data, so that payroll teams can rectify problems before they can have an effect.
Both routes can play a major part in helping you develop more efficient, insightful, and accurate payroll operations.
CloudPay is a global leader in providing payroll automation technology to businesses just like yours. Take a closer look at our innovation, and how it can transform your payroll operations, here.