When Should you Automate Your Payroll
Updated: Mar 8
The advent of the cloud has brought about dramatic changes in so many industries including finance. It has given rise to the increasing adoption of robotic process automation (RPA) in global technology and solutions.
The benefits of payroll automation in businesses have been discussed in depth. From data protection, greater data and report accuracy, cost savings, and time, payroll automation has a lot of potential to improve the dynamics of how payroll teams perform their jobs.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER PAYROLL AUTOMATION?
When you need to simplify your data collection
One of the most time-intensive parts of the job is gathering all the data required to process payroll and getting it into the required format. These data and changes can come from multiple departments in multiple formats which require payroll professionals to update a typical Excel sheet multiple times making for a greater margin of error.
With an automated system, however, data collection becomes a fast and effortless task. Payroll automation allows for data to be input or edited once and the system automatically updates so that all calculations and functions are ensured that it is using the most up-to-date information. With this, data security is improved and file versions become obsolete since it eliminates the need to have file copies of potentially outdated sensitive data.
When you need to save time on data transfer
In addition to automatic data collection, payroll automation also allows for seamless data transfer between linked systems within your business organization. A global payroll solution integrated with an organization’s HRIS will ensure that data used by these systems will be maintained in one place and accessed by linked operations as necessary.
In a way, this will eliminate the transfer of data because the system will simply access the master data directly. Imagine not having to send separate files to Finance or HR or wait for them to send information to you. Also, data doesn’t need to be exported to different formats and uploaded or backed up to different systems or storage devices. By automation, the time you would’ve spent doing these tedious tasks will be freed up to accomplish other higher-priority payroll activities.
When you value accurate data validation
Payroll professionals used to spend hours and days manually checking spreadsheets against each other, verifying that the information is up-to-date and correct, and then checking again to see if the payroll result is accurate.
If you choose to automate your payroll, users can set up the payroll system according to a business’ specification including setting tolerances for factors such as net costs and salary increases. There’s no need to manually check data against data as the system algorithms automatically perform validation checks according to your settings. So, rather than spending hours looking for errors, time can be spent working to standardize or improve your business processes to prevent issues in the future.
If you want effortless task management
Automated systems also allow for repetitive tasks to be scheduled or completed automatically freeing up time you would’ve spent assigning or doing the task eliminating another to-do on a payroll professional’s list.
One key example of this are payslips. Rather than following the process of finishing the payroll, releasing payments, getting a PDF copy of all payslips, and sending those documents to HR, automated payroll systems can auto-populate payslips in your HRIS as soon as they are ready. Some systems even take it one step further by allowing employees to log in to the system and access their payslips as necessary.
If you want shorter processing windows
All of these benefits compounded result in time saved by the payroll team. Switching to automated payroll, you could save at least two days’ worth of time per payroll cycle which translates to shorter processing windows. Because each step is automated, data are sure to be more accurate and complete. It would also require fewer supplemental runs which nets your team savings in time, cost and effort.
While it is easy to understand why payroll automation may seem imposing, it’s also clear that its benefits outweigh its initial cost and learning curve. Hours or even days can be saved from repetitive tasks and effort spent on high-volume but low-value activities resulting in a better functioning payroll system and more time for you team to focus on addressing errors, improving processes, and overall deliver a better payroll result.