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  • Posted by: Dante Odoni, CPA

How Technology is Transforming Payroll

Gone are the days in which a team of trained professionals was needed to mercilessly hammer payroll data into a spreadsheet after spreadsheet, making mistake after mistake late into the proverbial night, or at least they should be.  As technology changes and automates every other mundane task it can take on. Why do some sectors seem to be the last in line to get these benefits of technology? Why are some of us even now using spreadsheets to manage our payroll, in the 21st century?

Human Error is of the Past

Research conducted at one of the largest HR outsourcing corporations in the world(MHR) found that 50% of large, private organizations are still using spreadsheets leading to mistakes in at least 1 in every 4 payroll runs. That’s a lot of mistakes surrounding how people get paid, that many mistakes can paint a target on your back for fraud from within, or at the least, lead to a lot of frustrated employees. Modern payroll systems use Artificial Intelligence and modern network capabilities to facilitate employees’ own input or editing of payroll data, and allow supervisors to edit that data from home, work, or the coffee shop down the street. A point which leads me to. . .

Cloud Storage & Computing

The Cloud changes everything for payroll. Whereas a growing small business only a few years ago might have had to keep secure payroll documents on a PC in the back office, cloud technology now allows accountants and managers alike to securely access what they need, from wherever they may be. This has ended up saving millions of dollars for large corporations in technology costs alone. Not only that, but due to the increased flexibility and support offered by cloud services, it takes fewer people, less time, to complete payroll for the same number of people. Not only that, they have professional support all along the way from their cloud service provider. Cloud storage has taken the IT and data management task off of HR and placed it on the computers, where it belongs.

Big Data is the Next Big Thing

We can learn a lot if we watch a lot, and Payroll companies have been doing just that for years longer than most of us would want to, watching payroll data. Data that can tell a team a lot that they may not know. From talent acquisition and employee management to tracking which projects consume overtime dollars so executives can make hiring or outsourcing decisions from an informed perspective. More and more tools keep falling into the payroll and HR toolbox as technology finally reaches them. Payroll data can even be aggregated to help executives form strategies for reducing employee turnover, and implementing training plans.

Whatever the future holds for you or me, we will likely all be getting paid again soon. When that happens, as it likely will, in the dead of night via direct deposit, you can thank the innovators that made it possible.