Payroll Management rolls in 2017. (Photo Courtesy: ERP FM)
Payroll Management rolls in 2017. (Photo Courtesy: ERP FM)
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Payroll management refers to the handling of employee salaries, wages and bonuses. It includes handling deductions from tax withholding to 401K contributions to salary garnishments. Payroll management has already shifted from the classic written time sheet and stamped time card to online labor charging.

Here are six technology trends that will transform payroll management in 2017.

Cloud Based Payroll

Just as many businesses have been outsourcing their payroll and Human Resources functions to third party service providers, payroll management is increasingly being moved to cloud based services whether or not they use a third party group to administer it. Benefits of cloud based payroll include immediate data backups, nearly 100% uptime and simplification of data entry.

This model also allows access from almost anywhere for those who want to access their payroll data without giving someone accessing his or her pension information or pretending to be them access to any other company data.

A side benefit of this model is making it easy to give auditors access to copies of your database for fraud investigations or tax reporting without impacting the live system. Cloud based payroll may be accessed through apps, self-service portals or software applications on a user’s work computer.

Self Service Portals

Self-service portals that let employees manage specific information with the payroll system can save time and money on the part of payroll. Employees who can alter retirement accounts or tax withholding through the self-service portal no longer have to take up time with someone in payroll or HR to do so. Fields like pay rates and tax rates remain under the control of Human Resources, but employees can read these settings themselves and let HR know when something isn’t right. For example, your payroll department wants to know as soon as possible if the promised pay raise hasn’t gone into effect.

The ability to print off their last few pay stubs or verification of salary letter gives them information they need to apply for a loan or handle legal matters without taking up time of financial employees. Permitting employees to view pay slips online and only print them as necessary saves both money and paper.

Self-service portals may affect both payroll and human resources. Letting employees add skills to their Human Resources record, alter family information and maintain non-critical information can keep HR abreast of what they are doing.

Some payroll management systems allow employees to view their schedules or even alter them. This can save major headaches if employees trade shifts but management doesn’t know about it. These systems can be set to prevent someone opting out of a scheduled shift without permission or communicating with payroll or management if they need to change their schedule.

Payroll Management? There’s an App for That

Payroll management apps allow employees in the field to log time worked and submit images of receipts for reimbursement without having to lug around a company laptop and find both the time and secure connection to enter payroll information. Company approved payroll management apps allow people to work on their own devices, if your company has a “bring your own device” policy. And the ability of employees to immediately log the hours they spent on the phone for a consultation over the weekend may make them more willing to respond to after-hours service requests.

If you want to roll out a payroll management app to your workforce, companies like IBuildApp offer over 1000+ ADP portal mobile solutions for enterprise.

Big Data

Big Data refers to the masses of data collected across many different channels and stored in as many databases. One of the advantages of Big Data analysis tools is the ability to automate identifications of trends and flagging of unusual situations. This frees up auditors to review and address anomalies in overtime pay or irregular labor charging instead of wading through the data themselves looking for the oddities. Data analysis tools analyzing payroll data can flag employees incorrectly charging their time, like inputting 80 hours instead of 8.0, or charging the wrong charge numbers, so that they can be retrained as quickly as possible.

If serious errors are found, database tools exist to make corrections to the payroll information. Companies benefit from being able to analyze trends in hours worked, letting them make decisions as overtime demands become routine or excessive before it costs you employees. They are able to analyze labor trends to identify where more help is needed, which departments don’t have enough to do and who is over-utilized. Human Resources that “datify” themselves and analyze the data see two to three times better results regarding employee turnover. Analyzing the data also allows HR to see when employees are not yet productive or the impact on productivity when departments are sent for training. In all of these cases, knowledge based decision making results in better decisions being made.

Governance and Compliance

Technology that allows your company to store payroll data in easily mined databases and tools to automate it can ensure that your organization is in compliance with a whole host of regulations and laws. For example, if facility access records show people on site hours longer than their time cards register, you likely have a case of organized, unpaid overtime or misuse of company facilities by those employees. Data analysis using “Big Data” tools could reveal issues you need to work on before they become a legal issue, such as lower than average pay rates for certain demographic groups.

System integration tools that control access to the payroll management systems allow you to demonstrate that you have adequate controls in place for such sensitive information and the ability to quickly generate logs to show who has access. You can prove you respect the privacy of employees and have implemented the appropriate checks and balances.

End to End Human Resources

Adopting a payroll management system now gives you the option to adopt “end to end” human resources tools. End to end Human Resources starts with the applicant tracking system, moves to the formal onboarding process and transitions employees to the payroll management system. The interlinking systems eliminate significant data entry and speed up the process for everyone involved. For example, you could copy the job description and pay rate of someone who just left to create a job listing for their replacement.

Conclusion
Cloud based payroll allows companies to ensure reliability and accessibility of their payroll systems. Self-service portals shift much of the work to employees to maintain and verify their payroll information while freeing up HR professionals to handle onboarding and audits. Apps may act as self-service portals, timecard systems or provide greater functionality.

The application of big data tools to payroll data allows companies to ensure their regulatory compliance and make knowledge based decisions on resource allocation, hiring and firing. And, payroll management systems can be the first step to implementing end to end Human Resources automation.