Although most organisations view payroll primarily as a way to remain compliant, calculate accurate net pay and pay employees in time, in reality, it goes way beyond these functions.

The pace of change today, particularly when it comes to technology, is enabling businesses to become much more agile, it allows us to redesign the way they work, streamline processes, increase efficiency, and save in terms of both time and resources.

 “Ultimately, that leads to saving the business revenue and improve the employee experience at the same time,” says Sandra Crous, Managing Director of PaySpace, a leader in payroll and human capital management software.

This, she explains, is why the digitisation of the payroll office has become so important. “With the COVID-19 pandemic employees around the world started worked remotely, and in many cases, colleagues becoming more productive, as travel time to and from work is taken out of the equation. It has also improved flexibility, as payroll and HR colleagues can work at any time and from anywhere.”

“One of the most compelling reasons for adopting a cloud payroll and HR solution, is the increased productivity across the entire company,” Crous explains. “Using cloud-based solutions, which are available on demand and accessible from anywhere, facilitates employee self service, which, in turn, means organisations can leverage their colleagues to be more independent.”

According to her, the younger generation does not necessarily favour structured work hours, in fact, quite the opposite. “Many companies find that should they attempt to micromanage Gen X colleagues; they are potentially preventing their greatest assets – their employees’ ability to work autonomously and adopt a DIY mindset.”

Irrespective of the size of the business, from the smaller SME’s to their enterprise counterparts, business disruption, even for just an hour, can cost tens of thousands of rands. “Should a company be unable to process its payroll or have to spend hours conducting comprehensive data backups, the business can grind to a halt,” she adds.

“With true cloud software, organisations have built-in protection ransomware attacks so that they are greatly reducing any chance of a disruption occurring.”

Moreover, Crous says by harnessing the power of a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), businesses can reap the benefits of true agility.  It allows for a single payroll and HR application for all employees across the business, and one that has a single instance installation, with a single set of data for all employee records.

“This should be irrespective of whether staff are paid monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly, and regardless of the tax system in any particular country, or the currency that employees are paid in. On the other hand, having different databases on different platforms can make consolidation a headache, with too much time wasted merging data.”

Once the business has a SaaS payroll and HR solution in place, adding a good analytics tool to the data and then measuring the greatest cost in the business, will give your payroll legs. “It will enable the business to use a single data set to measure productivity, measuring the true cost of resources over multiple data points, and giving the business actionable insights into pain points that would normally hide behind data that is difficult to interpret.”

Finally, she says to remember, that even once the pandemic is over, businesses need to adapt to whatever the ‘new normal’ will look like. “With every employee having a smartphone, tablet or laptop, HR teams will have the ability to automate, streamline, and adopt more real-time and digital-first operations, instead of having to process forms and manual transactions. Now, more than ever, organisations need to look for ways to save money, increase efficiency and streamline processes, ultimately to become more agile and adaptable in the future.”

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