Trends 2018: The year of payroll data Trends 2018: The year of payroll data

Trends 2018: The year of payroll data
05 Feb 2018

Technology is enabling the payroll function to play a greater role in the organisation’s success than ever before. Here are four key trends that are likely to have a particular impact over the year ahead:

1. Clean data

Data quality and consistency will remain an important focus over the coming year. Activities will centre on improving and automating how data is gathered and transferred as these traditionally manual steps present the greatest opportunity for error and the biggest challenge to resolving those errors.

Some large, multinational organisations will also start the groundwork necessary to help them either consolidate their data from a multitude of local systems into a single, centralised one or introduce middleware to enable their existing applications to communicate with each other. The aim here is to ensure their data benefits from greater consistency, visibility and traceability.

2. Systems integration

Due to the focus on data integrity and a wider need for compliance with new legislation such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, companies are likely step up their application integration plans over the coming year. The idea is that integrating payroll systems with related software such as HR, accounting and benefits will give payroll professionals more control over both their data and processes, reducing complexity and helping to boost efficiency.

Bringing data together from a range of sources also makes it easier to undertake more accurate analysis and forecasting, and gives more effective insights into the workforce.

3. Predictive analytics

While it is only very early days, some companies are beginning to realise the potential value of their (cleaned up) HR and payroll data. As a result, they are starting to analyse this information in a bid to improve their processes and wider operations.

But employing predictive analytics tools also enables payroll professionals to do more than create exception reports and undertake monthly reviews. Instead they are able to focus on what is happening in real time in order to spot trends, foresee potential issues and proactively resolve problems. Such insights can guide decision-making, inform internal investment options and make it possible to enhance processes or schedules.

4. Automation and robotics

Payroll is currently only in the early stages of adopting robotic process automation software to improve both processes and outcomes, but the technology’s benefits include the fact it is able to perform repetitive, high-volume, low-value tasks with great speed and accuracy.

As we move through 2018, more organisations are expected to start evaluating their processes in order to assess if there are any opportunities for automation in areas such as uploading files to enterprise resource planning systems, reviewing payroll calculations or validating data. Although the driver is usually cost-cutting, increased automation also has the potential to free up payroll professionals’ time to focus on higher value work.

Conclusion

There is currently a heightened interest in the potential that payroll data offers to improve organisational performance and compliance - and technology will be one tool to help companies achieve their efficiency and cost-saving goals in this area.

Paul Bartlett is CEO of payroll services provicer, CloudPay.  A global business expert, Paul has much experience of helping companies improve the efficiency and scalability of their operations using technology and services. Prior to CloudPay, he served as a partner of Rho Ventures, focusing on investments in Software-as-a-Service, software-related services and new media companies.

Technology is enabling the payroll function to play a greater role in the organisation’s success than ever before. Here are four key trends that are likely to have a particular impact over the year ahead:

1. Clean data

Data quality and consistency will remain an important focus over the coming year. Activities will centre on improving and automating how data is gathered and transferred as these traditionally manual steps present the greatest opportunity for error and the biggest challenge to resolving those errors.

Some large, multinational organisations will also start the groundwork necessary to help them either consolidate their data from a multitude of local systems into a single, centralised one or introduce middleware to enable their existing applications to communicate with each other. The aim here is to ensure their data benefits from greater consistency, visibility and traceability.

2. Systems integration

Due to the focus on data integrity and a wider need for compliance with new legislation such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, companies are likely step up their application integration plans over the coming year. The idea is that integrating payroll systems with related software such as HR, accounting and benefits will give payroll professionals more control over both their data and processes, reducing complexity and helping to boost efficiency.

Bringing data together from a range of sources also makes it easier to undertake more accurate analysis and forecasting, and gives more effective insights into the workforce.

3. Predictive analytics

While it is only very early days, some companies are beginning to realise the potential value of their (cleaned up) HR and payroll data. As a result, they are starting to analyse this information in a bid to improve their processes and wider operations.

But employing predictive analytics tools also enables payroll professionals to do more than create exception reports and undertake monthly reviews. Instead they are able to focus on what is happening in real time in order to spot trends, foresee potential issues and proactively resolve problems. Such insights can guide decision-making, inform internal investment options and make it possible to enhance processes or schedules.

4. Automation and robotics

Payroll is currently only in the early stages of adopting robotic process automation software to improve both processes and outcomes, but the technology’s benefits include the fact it is able to perform repetitive, high-volume, low-value tasks with great speed and accuracy.

As we move through 2018, more organisations are expected to start evaluating their processes in order to assess if there are any opportunities for automation in areas such as uploading files to enterprise resource planning systems, reviewing payroll calculations or validating data. Although the driver is usually cost-cutting, increased automation also has the potential to free up payroll professionals’ time to focus on higher value work.

Conclusion

There is currently a heightened interest in the potential that payroll data offers to improve organisational performance and compliance - and technology will be one tool to help companies achieve their efficiency and cost-saving goals in this area.

Paul Bartlett is CEO of payroll services provicer, CloudPay.  A global business expert, Paul has much experience of helping companies improve the efficiency and scalability of their operations using technology and services. Prior to CloudPay, he served as a partner of Rho Ventures, focusing on investments in Software-as-a-Service, software-related services and new media companies.