Skip to content

UKG Inc., a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions announces entering into a definitive agreement to acquire Immedis. Read More

Transforming Payroll from Back Office to Strategic Business Function

Tara O'Sullivan
Tara O'Sullivan

Chief Marketing Officer, Immedis

Oct 11, 2021 3 mins

Recently I was invited to speak on an Unleash webinar, The State of Play in the World of Pay, with George LaRocque , a leading work tech analyst and advisor and founder of WorkTech. It was a great opportunity for me to address an issue that is very close to my heart: the elevation of payroll from a back-office function to a front of house and integral to the continued success of any organization. In many ways, while this journey had already begun, the global pandemic accelerated the speed of transformation as so many companies realized that despite all the change, the one constant was the need to keep paying employees. Plus, knowing critical data about your workforce and costs became key to your response to the crisis and, in many cases, was a key enabler to ensuring that you rode out the storm.

How getting people paid ties to employer brand and employee experience

As George quipped, payroll is cool again. Why? Because let’s face it if you are not paying your employees correctly or on time, then all the other areas of employee experience are almost irrelevant. Employees are unlikely to invest their time in learning and upskilling or feel any trust or brand commitment if they are not paid correctly. We talk a lot about financial wellbeing in Immedis, and we know that employers feel responsible for their employees’ financial wellness. Again, if you are making mistakes or paying people late, then any efforts towards the financial wellbeing of your workforce become null and void. People rely on their pay to keep a roof over their heads and meet all their financial obligations. Errors can lead to penalties or missed payments with severe consequences.

Payroll today is also about meeting employee needs. Whether through pay advances or pay on demand, employers now recognize that employees do not want to, or cannot, wait until the specified payday to receive their pay. Giving employees money as required means that people no longer need to turn to high-interest rate payday loans, a financial cycle that sees people forever locked in debt and unable to break free.

Data is payroll’s hidden treasure

Here’s another point that we discussed in detail. One of the driving forces of payroll is that it has at its fingertips volumes of data, from workforce analytics to insights into your company’s approach to pay equity- information that impacts almost every function within an organization, especially finance and HR. The data is there; what payroll teams need to ensure is that the story it tells resonates and is heard by everyone, especially the leadership team.

Payroll can facilitate the new working from anywhere trend

While Covid brought this to the forefront, many people were already involved in this thanks to technology and how it opened up the work office to almost anywhere. However, people often forget that regardless of whom you work for, local legislation will dictate the person’s tax liability. It is not as simple as saying someone is now working remotely, but you can continue to prepare their payslip as though nothing has changed. It will depend on where they are currently located, and when people move into a new jurisdiction or country, things can get complicated pretty fast.

To help offset these issues, Immedis offers Country specific information functionality. With it, all data points required are fully managed within the system. Payroll teams no longer need to track and update their systems and processes when employment or taxation legislation changes.


Technology’s role in pushing payroll up the ladder

My college Alan Jue Liu, Immedis CTO, explores this topic in greater detail in Using Technology to Increase the Power of Payroll. In a nutshell, it’s about using automation to eliminate much of the manual inputting, validating this data too so that you are saving time and costs and significantly improving accuracy. Also, artificial intelligence (AI) can predict your growth rate in specific countries and determine when you will reach talent saturation in these areas and need to look elsewhere for new hires. Again, this further demonstrates that payroll’s role and reach is extensive.

Is the fear of change holding up your payroll transformation?

We all know that change is hard, but when it involves paying your employees, we are talking to a whole new level. To quash some of these worries, I highly recommend listening to George. He offers some great tips on building the business case for payroll transformation and the key considerations for choosing a payroll provider.

The main point is to remember that payroll is a strategic business function. The time is ripe for organizations to take advantage of technology’s power and improved global payroll solutions to grab it with both hands and begin to experience its true potential.MicrosoftTeams-image-16