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Organizations Should be Primed for Payroll Overhaul

When considering all the possibilities the future of work holds, a process that might go overlooked is how people are paid in the future. Organizations are already in the process of adapting their pay practices to provide employees with more choice.  

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The ADP Research Institute’s “Evolution of Pay” study found that 43% of the 2,900 employers surveyed are already offering nontraditional payments such as paycards, mobile wallets, digital platform and cryptocurrency.

Alight recently identified a few trending topics in the payroll management space that organizations should be aware of moving forward. The first trend is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in payroll management. Similar to other tasks across the business, Alight notes that minor transactional tasks can now be automated, replacing manual data entry processing.

“Robotic process automation (RPA) will become the new norm and provide a more efficient and high-quality method for entering high volumes of data,” said Wilson Silva, senior vice president, delivery outsourcing at Alight. “For example, RPA will automate reconciliations and help create a consistent process to handle them in the future. To more effectively manage quality assurance, artificial intelligence, through the use of machine learning, will use historic pay information to identify and correct anomalies in the current pay run.”

Another trend Alight highlighted involves payment distribution being done in real time. This would fundamentally change the standard payment system of direct deposit on a biweekly basis that is deployed by most companies today.  Silva said that providing more choice to employees when it comes to pay, which includes quick access to compensation, will be mutually beneficial.

“I believe that providing workers with quicker access to their compensation is a part of creating an agile work environment that provides employees flexibility in how they work, where they work, when they work and ultimately, how and when they are paid,” Silva said. “Accelerating pay for employees who live check to check will help improve their financial well-being by helping them to avoid high interest pay day loans or expensive late fees on bills due to poor budgeting between pay cycles.” 

Cryptocurrency is also a potential avenue of future payment, especially as the popularity of digital wallets continues to grow. While it might not ever serve as the main means of compensation, it certainly could prove to be a worthwhile option for employers who are hoping to attract a wide variety of talent.

The final trend that Alight touched on is one that has been creeping into the minds of businesses for several years. The rise of the gig economy and its popularity among the workforce, particularly the younger generations of workers, could force organizations to develop pay structures that align with those of companies like Uber or Rover.

“I believe that while the gig economy plays a role in the onset of immediate pay options, we are also seeing the growing popularity of these resources because workers are increasing using their mobile devices to manage their personal finances. As more workers rely on their digital wallet, employers will need to offer distribution options that meet them in their channel of preference,” Silva said. “While today gig workers are considered contractors and not employees, employers will have to adapt to the same immediate pay options for their employees in order to attract and retain the best talent.”

Silva said that while there will be many tweaks to payroll systems in the future, the fundamentals of the payroll process will not change in the next five years.

“Payroll will continue to consist of checklists in which the same tasks that exist today will exist tomorrow,” he said. “However, managing inbound processes and the related reconciliation of control totals will be automated and only involve a payroll analyst when errors cannot be resolved. Post-pay reconciliations including payroll net pay funding and other outbound processes will also be automated.”  

 

FUTURE OF PAYROLL ROUNDUP

Four Future Trends in Payroll

Human Resources Online identified four trends to look out for in the future of payroll. Gleaning the expertise from professionals in the field, the article points to artificial intelligence, cloud services, integration of payroll and human capital management systems and changes in data security and compliance as the trends that could emerge in payroll. 

Today’s Workforce Reshaping Payroll

It’s been 40 years since direct deposit was introduced to payroll and Jason Lee explores why there hasn’t been more innovation since and what might be on the horizon in this article for Forbes. Lee taps paycards as a recent inclusion in organizations’ payroll services that could continue to gain traction as the younger generation, which contains many underbanked people, further populates the workforce.

Digital Payments Improving Logistics Efficiency

The logistics industry is about speed, efficiency and accuracy, yet the industry is overly reliant on paper for payments, which is incredibly inefficient, writes Robin Gregg of SupplyChainBrain. Gregg’s article explains how digitizing the payment process improves the experience for both sides of the transaction.   

Seven Trends

Whether you have five employees or 500, payroll is an integral part of your business and ensuring that people are paid on time and in full isn’t optional, writes Stuart Gentle of Onrec. Gentle puts forth seven payroll management trends that businesses should be aware of when preparing for their future payroll systems.

About the Author

Brett Christie Bio Image

Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.