Payroll Technology Trends

June 23, 2020 | David Daly 5 Mins read

The global payroll landscape is in the process of sweeping change as many multinational companies are considering transforming their global payroll function with a digital transformation to align with other digital upgrades they are making to their HR and finance departments. This has far reaching implications for the way in which global payroll is processed in the future and it is clear that technology is going to play a far more significant role in this business-critical function.

In this article, we are going to examine some of the next generation technology that is likely to be introduced to global payroll in the coming years. This technology has the capacity to radically transform the speed and efficiency with which global payroll is processed and several multinationals have already adopted it or are currently in the process of doing so. We will take a look at what these technologies could look like, how they can be incorporated into the global payroll process and what is the likely impact of their use.

Cloud First

While cloud-based technology could not be described as next generation, given that it is widely in use today, it is also fair to say that it is nowhere near dominant in the global payroll landscape. Many multinationals have been slow to adapt to the cloud environment and recognize the many advantages that come with technology deployed in the cloud. Emails, spreadsheets and manual processes still play a key role at manyy global payroll departments. But that is changing, and business leaders are beginning to recognize how innovative technology allows payroll to move from a critical cost center to a much more meaningful department, capable of contributing to the wider strategic goals of an organization.

The future of global payroll seems to be a shift towards one solution based on one platform. Cloud based solutions form part of a wider digital transformation that is happening as businesses look to streamline and create efficiencies. Global employers are now looking to deploy modern solutions that uniquely fit their requirements and cloud technology helps them integrate a range of disparate systems and vendors into one workable solution, often accompanied by a single dashboard view for ease of use and simplicity. This is the space that payroll professionals want to operate in- modern technology merged into a single view where information can be extracted in seconds at the touch of a button.

The robots are coming

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning already has a role to play in global payroll, but huge strides are about to be made in this next generation technology. Over the coming years we are likely to see a new normal which involves biometrics, robotic process automation (RPA), smart validations and the extended use of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology.

You can expect to see more chat bots helping to answer queries with a more conversational style of answers being supplied as the technology advances. Facial recognition technology may also come in sooner than expected to replace things like employee logins and ID verification processes.

Automated processes will continue to evolve and be adopted on a greater scale as the time savings and error reductions are simply too valuable to ignore- they also have a strong role to play in risk mitigation and delivering on compliance as well as regulatory obligations.  

RPA introduces rule-based automation of repetitive processes and it is likely to continue to advance right up to a level where it can address both rule based and judgment-based activity, in support of process transformation.

AI was always going to be popular with technology focused individuals who have long advocated the use of this game changing technology – AI performs everything in real-time which helps it to provide a certain amount of instant results for business leaders seeking to act rapidly on immediately available business intelligence. The influence of artificial intelligence is only going to grow so it is best for global payroll professionals everywhere to become familiar with the concepts behind it as well as its potential execution in global payroll processes.

Nelson Hall, a leading BPO analyst firm, stated in their key paper that “RPA and Chatbots have become common in payroll solutions, with AI enabling the next wave of innovation and capability”*

*Next Generation Payroll Services, Nelson Hall HR Services, March 2019

Platform Integrations

There is a growing need for key business functions like HR, Finance and Global Payroll to continuously exchange data and business intelligence so that business leaders and other key stakeholders are able to perform analysis and extract key trends to help with informed decision making.

It is becoming increasingly unacceptable for these departments to operate in separate silos with legacy technology that has not kept pace with many of the technology innovations visible in other business units at a multinational.

Technology is shifting away from process centric platforms and towards user experience platforms by design- this means smart and flexible UI with a strong focus on making it easier for the user to self- serve and get what they want.

Integrations that result in a unified platform or a single source of truth around HR information and global payroll data are what professionals want to see with next generation payroll technology. Data insight needs to be easily transferable and accessible at all times so strong integrations are needed to make this a reality, and cloud software applications will be at the center of these crucial platform integrations.

Next Generation Tech Features

The future of payroll will see a rise in the use of digital enablers and technology applications being used as part of a cloud-based platform to enhance the speed and efficiency with which global payroll is delivered. There is likely to be a heavy focus on user experience to accommodate expectations around user engagement and transparency. Fluid, easy to use screens and self-serve functionality is likely to be built into many platform applications.

The platforms of the future will also be capable of building in country specific policy elements and adjusting them, immediately helping the payroll process become more compliant right from the start. There will be payroll simulation screens in which the effects of any adjustments to pay run elements can be seen in advance.

Predictive analytics will be embedded into platforms, paving the way for more accurate business intelligence that will allow the global payroll department to participate actively in the future strategy of the business.

Chatbots and virtual assistant technology will advance and become more intuitive, they will become better able to interpret questions based on previous responses and they will also be able to assist with transactions or data entry. Devices and applications will become more mobile centric and aligned with the needs of skilled workers contributing to global payroll in a remote environment.


The Payslip platform provides innovative cloud-based technology to global employers in order to help them managed the end to end processing of their multi country payroll. Many of the next generation technology features outlined in this article are already being deployed on our platform – robotic process automation helps us securely transfer data from HCM systems directly into payroll data feeds and automated workflows are already in operation on the platform.

The Payslip platform was designed with one eye on the future and came about as a result of several conversations with payroll professionals highlighting gaps in the process and specific requirements that would improve payroll. The platform seamlessly integrates with all major HCM platforms in the market and was designed to help standardize global payroll data and processes.

Real-time analytics and global consolidated reporting can be scheduled and customized, meaning real-time business intelligence and payroll cost reporting is available at the touch of a button. Platform users enjoy visibility and control thanks to the single dashboard view which serves to unify several country payrolls in one user friendly dashboard for easier payroll management. Employees can access their pay and personal data anytime they want via a self-service application.

Talk to our team today to learn more about how our Global Payroll Automation & Integration Platform can help you manage global payroll centrally in a secure, cloud environment.


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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