Next generation technology and global payroll

November 12, 2020 | David Daly 5 Mins read

Last month, we covered some key findings from a recent survey undertaken by Deloitte and sponsored by The American Payroll Association, which focused on key global payroll services benchmarks.

The survey threw up some fascinating findings and we value the views and feedback given by payroll industry leaders who had a lot to say about the current global payroll environment.

Continuing our coverage of the survey results, we switch focus to what these leaders consider to be the specific kind of next generation technology either currently in use at organizations or under consideration for future use.  The statistic below points to robotics and automation as being the key focus of attention among many global payroll professionals.

63% of those surveyed stated that Robotics and Automation are the next generation technologies in use or under consideration at their organization.

Deloitte Payroll Benchmarking Trends, September 2020

In this article, we will look again at what automation technology can bring to global payroll processing and why it is proving so popular at many multinationals today. It seems very likely that robotics and automation will enter the mainstream very soon, and many organizations have already stated that this next generation technology will form a significant part of their digital transformation project in their global payroll and human resource departments.

Why consider next generation technology?

The simple answer is that help is needed -global payroll processing has become complex, detailed and process heavy. A major part of the delivery today remains manual processing – spreadsheets and email data transfers are still common and global payroll professionals still find themselves spending too much time focusing on the manual imputing , checking and validating of various data points in the global payroll process.

This is not a description of a global payroll service you would expect to find at an agile, forward thinking and digital native organization. This sounds more like a decades old process that has failed to keep pace with the technological advancements seen in many other departments such as sales, marketing and procurement.

Is it acceptable that one of the largest expenses in any multinational company is hindered by dated and legacy technology that is no longer fit for purpose?  It is certainly not sustainable, and it is clear that innovative technology is required to manage the ever-increasing workloads and complex multivendor environment that characterizes the global payroll landscape today. Multinational companies should consider the use of automation and hyper automation technology for a variety of reasons- below are just a few.

Global payroll accuracy

Payroll data, HCM inputs, gross to net validations and calculations are likely to be delivered in a more accurate way if automation and machine learning technology is used to deliver them. Global payroll professionals are only human and mistakes are to be expected when processing high volumes of payroll data via manual entry – this is a tiresome, awkward and often uninspiring workload that should no longer sit with qualified global payroll professionals whose skill sets are better deployed elsewhere in the country payroll process.

Robotics and automation significantly reduce or eliminate entirely the risk of human error from the global payroll data inputting and validating process. Just as important, the automation process creates more time in monthly payroll cycles. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA), payroll system errors can be spotted immediately by the automated software and flagged for correction.

 No department wants to be operating at capacity all the time and process improvement along with quality of work always benefits from time and space to focus. Such valuable time can be used by payroll professionals to take a closer look at specific payroll data and perform the kind of detailed analysis that makes global payroll more accurate and controlled.

Automated global payroll validations reduce errors and there is a lesser need for exception investigation requirement as any unusual activity or payroll data anomalies can be spotted and amended before multi-country payroll is authorized and delivered.

Global payroll compliance

Robotic Process Automation is a technology that configures computer software to copy the actions of a person performing a digital task. This software or ‘robot’ then becomes capable of entering and validating tasks as well as analyzing or interpreting data feeds. In global payroll processing, the software is used to perform both the data inputs and the data file checks.

Any next generation technology that introduces greater visibility and accuracy to a previously manual process is by default improving compliance. This is a major plus point of next generation technology as a key concern in global payroll is the inability to confirm that compliance has been adhered to in a specific country.

Automation immediately de-risks a multi country global payroll process by removing the likelihood of human error and removing from the process any reliance on non-secure manual material such as excel spreadsheets. Any payroll technology that increases data security while also restricting the likelihood of human error immediately strengthens the ability to meet compliance obligations.

Streamlined process for greater efficiency

Robotics and automation can help with the entry, validation and comparison of global payroll data across multiple countries, creating a more streamlined process for global payroll professionals who benefit from the knowledge that workflow processes are automated in multiple locations.

Automation ensures that payroll data validation happens in real-time, with immediate feedback from next generation technology designed to process in bulk but also spot errors and anomalies at the same time. This creates more time in the monthly payroll process for measured analysis, reviewing and confirmation. Time normally spent (and arguably wasted) entering and checking manual bulk uploads in a payroll system is now available for priority and high value analysis work.

The payroll cycle is repetitive and features a series of identical tasks that need to be completed for each and every payroll. Data is input , checked , validated and processed in a very similar way each time – automating this process introduces a greater level of efficiency to the global payroll solution and empowers global payroll professionals with self-service next generation technology that helps them do their job in a smarter, faster and better way.

Payslip next generation technology

Payslip has always advocated and pioneered the use of next generation technology and robotics in the delivery of global payroll services at multinational companies. Our global payroll technology platform features and leverages this next generation technology to help global payroll departments move away from emails and spreadsheets, towards the security and productivity gains associated with a cloud platform and next generation technology like robotic process automation.

The automated processes on our platform eliminate repeatable manual payroll data handling and automate these recurring and predictable flows. This creates time in the monthly payroll cycle so that global payroll professionals are then in a position to use their expertise to deliver insights and contribute more to the business growth.

Payslip automates the workflow end to end, captures, automates and protects the data in its original and changing form, delivering single view tracking of data transformation from inputs to outputs and visibility of how it changed, who changed it and what’s driving the costs. The automated production of multi-currency and multi-country General Ledger and bank file reporting also saves considerable finance time and direct fees to local payroll providers.

Our approach is to ensure that payroll data flows are integrated and standardized as a basic first. Then we move to automated validations, RPA and machine learning.  We help progressive and thriving multinational companies who are  looking for new technologies that can provide automation, standardization and robotics, while empowering their payroll professionals to work in smarter, more efficient ways that create opportunities for payroll departments to add strategic value to the wider organization.

 

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Using Payslip, we can manage all our payrolls across nine in-country vendors on one platform. When the global Covid-19 pandemic arose, it was not an issue from a payroll perspective, and critically getting everyone paid. The Payslip platform enabled continuity for our international payroll service including the fast and seamless implementation of the Payslip Employment Self Service during this time.

Colin Smith

Payroll Manager, LogMeIn

With business and employee growth rates of above 50%, we rely on our vendors to deliver on time, every time. Payslip’s workflow automation, enables Phorest to manage our payroll provider process – data driven, real time and transparent. Payslip saves us time so we can focus on our business growth.

Ana Kelly

International Payroll Manager, Phorest