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Payroll compliance for global companies is complex. When looking at the Australian market—even before new COVID-19 pandemic pay guidelines—there were over 120 rules around minimum wage, annualized salary, and the casual workforce all requiring regulatory compliance.

WorkForce Software’s SVP of APJ, Nick Bailey, shared with HRM findings from a recent virtual event bringing together a panel of HR and payroll experts across the market. Unsurprisingly, under-resourcing was a major concern, but an even bigger focus was the role of emerging technologies to deliver efficiencies for the triple burden of payroll— accurately recording time and attendance, complying with regulation, and automating data entry.

For employees, the Australian Payroll Association found workers had been overpaid in almost 70 per cent of businesses it had audited in the previous 18 months. Additionally, understanding Australian awards and enterprise agreements presents unique challenges.

As the regulatory net tightens, providers need robust systems to not only pay employees fairly, but deliver accurate reporting. “For us, it’s around the interpretation of the complex enterprise agreements,” Michelle O’Connor, General Manager of Payroll Service at Downer, says. “That’s the biggest compliance challenge.”

Furthermore, 48% of attendees at the WorkForce Software payroll event agreed that automating manual processes was the biggest factor in ensuring compliance. Another reason beyond mitigating risk is that automation also frees up HR and payroll personnel to use their uniquely human experience and insights to benefit the business.

With repetitive tasks taking up nearly 93% of HR and payroll professionals’ time, automating these processes is a no-brainer. Eliminating manual processing can free up personnel to focus on process controls, reconciliations and data integrity, or higher order strategic thinking around retention and engagement strategies, for example.

Payroll efficiencies pay off for everyone.