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The 3 phases of payroll transformation and why you should start now

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world is unpredictable and agility is no longer a buzzword but a fundamental requirement for businesses. What’s more, agility is not just about being able to make quick decisions or pivot the direction of your products and services; it’s about making sure every part of your business is able to adapt to change and that includes payroll.

We have highlighted before why payroll is an essential part of business transformation, but we also know that in the current climate it can be hard to prioritise or know where to get started. For this reason, we’ve identified three phases of payroll transformation that can help you and your clients move from a state of complexity to simplicity and increase business agility.

Here are the three phases of transformation and the benefits you can expect from each:

1. Optimisation

Optimisation is not just about cost savings. It’s about having the best solution for your business needs, delivered with as much simplicity as possible. Automation is key and will help you get more employees paid on time by reducing repetitive and time-consuming tasks. For example, robotic process automation (RPA) can be used to handle some of the more routine aspects of payroll and free up employees to focus on value-added tasks.

Payroll optimisation also involves digitisation and replacing manual, paper-based tasks with electronic workflows and smart automation. Also, if you’re still relying on manual input for timesheets, now is a good time to consider more modern tools for workforce management.

There’s lots to be gained from optimising your payroll process with some of the biggest benefits including increased productivity, reduced risk, and greater accuracy. You can also leverage digitisation to empower your employees and enable them to access their payroll information on demand.

2. Visibility

Today’s finance and HR teams need access to fully transparent, accurate payroll data on demand and that’s why the second phase of transformation is focused on visibility. It’s about enabling teams to extract and integrate data for more accurate modelling, forecasting, and reporting. In addition, the integration of payroll data with HR systems supports more advanced HR benchmarking and reporting.

3. Agility

Being able to flex your business isn’t just smart; it’s strategically imperative at a time characterised by rapid change. This final phase of transformation is focused on deploying more agile processes and systems so you can deliver pay seamlessly while responding effortlessly to changes in regulation and business size and scope. Agile payroll also means being able to adapt to the demands of employees, whether by providing flexible payroll schedules, modern payment methods or flexible working benefits like the option to buy more annual leave.

One way to increase agility is by migrating your payroll systems to the cloud. This will allow you to scale as your workforce requirements change and can also help you to achieve a 15-35% savings in payroll costs. It is also important to continually refresh your payroll expertise. Create a plan for upskilling and building talent with a focus on analytics and extracting more insight from your payroll data.

Start small for early wins and a larger pay-off

It is often said that digital transformation is a marathon and not a sprint, and the same applies to transforming your payroll. However, by breaking it down into these three phases, you can deliver early wins before progressing to more strategic initiatives that will pay-off in the long term. To learn more about the three phases of payroll transformation, download our eBook Fear or Confidence: Take a New Look at Pay. You can also learn how ADP can support your transformation by contacting us today.
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