Payrolls need to be more flexible, more agile and more secure than ever before. Is yours?
It might seem like an odd question. After all, if your payroll managed to take you through a trouble-free 2017, why should anything be different for the year ahead? Yet if 2017 showed us anything, it is that the rules of the workforce are changing fast, and that fluidity seems only set to continue in the year ahead.
Here’s why now really is the time to look again at your payroll…
Reflecting the new reality
Freelancing resource site People Per Hour suggests that half the UK’s working population will be freelancing by 2020. That might be a slight over-exaggeration, but there’s no denying 2017 has seen the gig economy simultaneously expand whilst being picked apart and probed like never before.
So businesses are faced with multiple challenges for their payroll. First, payroll must be flexible enough to adapt to new ways of working, so you can plug staffing gaps quickly. You don’t want to lose capable people because outdated enrolment procedures leave your competitors looking like more attractive options.
Second, payroll needs to reflect the new reality of the gig economy and be able to cope with the freedom and flexibility gig workers expect.
With unemployment rates at 4.3% and close to record lows, the fight for skills is creating a worker- rather than employer-powered market. Your payroll, therefore, needs to support recruitment plans, rather than operate as a barrier to them.
Finally, as the nuances of the gig economy feed through UK courts, payroll systems need to be responsive enough to deal with a constantly changing landscape, where worker status (and therefor the payroll rules affecting them) can shift again and again.
Swift and responsive
Payroll should actively support your business and the way your people work. That means being accessible from anywhere, on any device. It means tailoring the service to your people, whether they are full-time staff or contractors. And it means ensuring that the system is robust, so when your people attempt to access the system, they spend as little time as possible logging hours and expenses, so they spend more time being productive.
Your payroll is no different to any other element of your business. It should always have been in a perpetual state of refinement and improvement, but given the issues above, that continual improvement has become even more vital.
So in addition to the factors already mentioned, explore ways of reducing payroll reconciliation cycles (saving time and resource) or of removing the in-house payroll function entirely by outsourcing payroll processing. It could be the simplest way of freeing resource, cutting costs and improving payroll processing accuracy.
Security and business continuity
Most organisations now use payroll systems that place their data in the cloud. A more mobile workforce uses more devices to log information. Digital transformation is removing the rigidity of traditional payroll processing, but the advantages of new systems also present risks.
So look again at the measures you have in place. Ask how secure is your information, and ensure you have contingency plans in place for breaches, hacks and simple power outages that can render the cloud inaccessible.
Want to ensure your payroll is fit for 2018? Talk to our payroll experts now.