Payroll Data: How You Can Maximize its Potential for Operational Excellence

GPA Webinar: Here's Your Payroll Data... So What?


As the amount of payroll data available increases by the day, so does the potential of what’s possible to achieve with that data. But how can you use technology to unleash that potential, and to drive better operational excellence, both in payroll and in the wider business?

Watch the webinar replay.

To look at the topic in detail, three senior CloudPay experts recently recorded a webinar in which they discussed how payroll data can be applied in the modern business age. David Barak, Chief Marketing Officer; Marlene Felisberto, Global Director of Solution Consulting; and John Pearce, Senior Vice President for Payroll all shared their insights, based on years of expertise. This blog summarizes just some of the points raised in the webinar, including:


Challenges are many

One of the key barriers to success for businesses pursuing global payroll is the consolidation of their reporting and analytics activities. Within that area are a number of challenges businesses are struggling to address due to a lack of integration or suitable technology.

As David said: “What are the challenges businesses say they have in this specific space? It’s compromised data integrity; they’re only able to report at a local level; there’s not enough visibility of payroll costs, and there’s really no plan for continuous process improvement.”


Looking beyond the SLAs

The service level agreements that businesses have with their payroll vendors, and the reporting functions included within them, help organizations understand payroll and vendor performance at a high level. However, they often don’t tell the full story of what’s actually going on, and can easily lead to businesses failing to grasp any issues that emerge.

John explained: “Whilst it’s really great when the vendor sends you the SLA number for the month or the quarter, and you’re at 99.99% or even 100%, it doesn’t always give you the full insight into that process. You may not know how your payroll team is performing, how your vendor is performing, and how you jointly perform providing support. The sentiment I often get from customers is ‘why are my SLAs green if my payroll team is so red?’”

John goes on to recommend that organizations dig deeper to find more insights and identify areas for driving efficiency and improvement.


Driving more first-time approvals

By looking at more detailed KPIs, businesses can understand how efficiently their payroll is running, especially in the area of ‘first-time approvals’, where payroll data is accurate, loaded, processed, and validated on time without any issues.

John highlights that incoming data can be a particular pinch point that can lower first-time approval rates, with so much information coming in from so many different sources. This risk can be heightened if data is inputted and collated manually before being passed to a payroll provider. Tracking first-time approval rates can help identify these issues more quickly so that they can be resolved and the first-time approval rate can be improved.

What a good first-time approval rate looks like will vary from business to business, depending on the size and complexity of its payroll. As John explains: “When customers first move over to us, after implementation you’ll normally see a rate of around 70%. The aim for us with our customers is to work out how we can work with them to improve that rate, and after 12 months we normally find the rate improves to around 75%, and some customers then challenge themselves to get that up to 80%.”


Gaining value from data

John shares his experience of how CloudPay customers learn from payroll data and KPIs, and how they can take steps to improve. CloudPay’s operational teams hold service reviews with customers every month, where processing metrics are assessed using CloudPay’s analytics functionality.

“We track data every month so that we can do a trend analysis. Are we getting better? Are we getting worse? Where do we need to improve? We can then overlay some benchmarks on top of that data. All of these little details that you can typically resolve as they come up but can be very frustrating: we just try to understand what’s driving these problems that we’re juggling on our way through the payroll process to the finishing line. Every month, we try to make that incremental change that allows us to drive continuous improvement.”


Dashboards full of detail

In the final stage of the webinar, Marlene stages a live demonstration of CloudPay’s analytics tool, to show how it can be used to make sense of payroll data and drive improvement based on that data. She explores all the key dashboards in turn, explaining how they help customers make informed decisions on cost management, time and resource management, regional performance benchmarking, and performance improvement.

She also shares an example of one satisfied CloudPay customer that found the depth of reporting available to them was invaluable in helping them make positive changes. She recalled: “They really started to think about what goals they wanted to meet: standardizing global payroll and processing systems; enhancing the employee experience; and reducing compliance and operational risks.

CloudPay’s global payroll solution is already helping businesses like yours get more from payroll data and redefine the modern pay experience. Watch the full webinar, including a live demonstration of our solution, here.