Unified pay solutions: how to streamline payroll & drive business strategy

In the previous blog in this series, we highlighted some of the biggest challenges that payroll teams are facing in the modern business landscape; the common solution to all of them was the use of integrated technology.

Bringing data, applications and users together into a united ecosystem — ideally one that integrates payroll, payments and HR — can drive new levels of efficiency, accuracy and employee experiences. Furthermore, it can enable insights and reporting that can make payroll a strategic force for good throughout an organization. One of the core elements that is instrumental in enabling that transformation is a unified pay solution.

What are unified pay solutions? 

A unified pay solution brings all the elements of global payroll and payments together in one place. Ideally, this will integrate employee payments, third-party and statutory payments, payroll processes, and even new innovations such as Earned Wage Access. Implemented correctly, a unified pay solution can greatly enhance both visibility and control of pay and employee data, and enable automation which can reduce errors in payroll processes and speed up overall processing times.

Why is now the time to adopt a unified pay solution?

All around the world, businesses are waking up to the strategic value that payroll can deliver to their organization. The levels of information and insight that lie within payroll data can be incredibly valuable, informing better business decisions at every level.

But to uncover those insights quickly and effectively, a unified pay solution is a must, because these solutions speed up and simplify the experience for all stakeholders. This applies whether it’s the payroll team putting reports together and needing the full visibility of the payroll processes end-to-end, or the C-suite digesting reliable and detailed information and making important decisions based upon it. 

There is also an element of competitive advantage that can be unlocked by adopting a unified payroll solution at this stage. Recent research by Everest Group, supported by CloudPay, has found that only one-third of organizations have adopted a unified pay solution so far. These organizations are already enjoying the benefits of greater insights, improved employee experiences[NJ1] , and a lower admin burden on the payroll team.

Reaping the Benefits of Unified Payroll Solutions A Unified Pay Solution Ecosystem

Changing the perception of unified pay solutions

The fact that adoption of unified pay solutions has been relatively slow thus far is interesting, and something that we were keen to explore in the Everest Group research

In particular, we wanted to assess the differences in the perceived benefits of unified solutions by businesses who have not adopted them so far, and the actual benefits experienced by those who have already adopted a unified pay solution. This measured whether existing users and non-users agreed with the following six benefits:

  • Lower administration and maintenance costs
  • Availability of real-time payroll and payment analytics
  • Better overall experience for payroll teams
  • Ability to implement instant payments
  • Better employee pay experience
  • Streamlined process and fewer payroll inquiries

In most metrics, the perception was only a few percentage points lower than the reality, which means that non-adopters understand the potential benefits well — and have most likely shied away from adoption so far for other business reasons. The one metric where opinions diverged was in a better overall experience for payroll teams, where 80% of users felt this was the case, but only 54% of non-users felt a unified pay solution could deliver in this area. This suggests that payroll teams are really coming to appreciate the positive impact and functionality of integration, efficiency, and improved reporting as they become familiar with the unified payroll system.

In summary

While employee satisfaction for the wider workforce is always front of mind when adapting to the modern pay experience, the wellbeing of the payroll team themselves can’t be overlooked. The results of Everest Group’s research make it clear that unified pay solutions have been transformative for payroll management in lightening the payroll team’s administrative workload. Not only does that make them better able to contribute to strategic efforts, and avoid errors caused by stress and fatigue, it also makes them more likely to stay with the organization long-term. At a time when experienced, quality payroll practitioners are hard to come by and keep hold of, this can be of immense value to any organization.

Learn more about the benefits of unified pay solutions by reading the full Everest Group report, then explore CloudPay’s global payroll services in more detail.

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