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Technology and Payroll – What Can Be So Hard?

1970's Computer Room

Technology and Payroll – What Can Be So Hard?

Payroll was one of the first and most obvious areas for computer programmer’s attention in the 1970’s as it automated many repetitive tasks that needed to be completed in a short timeframe. Fifty years later you would expect a mature, surprise-free payroll technology environment for recruitment agencies. We are nowhere near that.

The first reason is technology itself. While the high-level principal of payroll may not have changed, the expectations from technology are very different.  Batch processing systems controlled from an off-limits secure environment will not suffice. Paperless onboarding, processing, distributed processes and authorisations, available across device types, cloud-software and secure interfaces to other systems are just some of the expectations from modern software. There are likely to be more payroll processing systems launched in this decade than at any time in the past. Technology opportunities abound.

Today we are also in an employment environment with a level of complexity not imagined in previous years. As the mainstream media delights in highlighting, there are issues and mistakes being made by organisations on a regular basis.  Award interpretation and the huge volume of regulations and compliance requirements has made the payroll process a nightmare for technology providers. Maybe an impossibility.

Payroll technology is at its best when it obtains data directly from the source (eg electronic timesheets), human intervention is definitive and timely (eg agreement on awards and conditions), and there are as few manual interventions as possible (eg automated and secure interfaces between front, middle and back office systems).

This is a tough environment for recruitment agency owners to get right. It is a specialised professional skill to define requirements, select software, and project manage a technology implementation and setup.

In addition, as is being proven time and again, great technology in the payroll environment needs to be matched with professional and experienced resources that can interpret, question and judge the path that is required for a successful outcome.

HHMC Global has recently published a series of three blogs discussing Staffing Industry Analysts recent publication “The Staffing Company Tech Stack”. The articles introduce the benefit of the Tech Stack as a guide to set company strategy, define a technology solution, and improve compliance for temp and contractor services.

SIA Tech Stack

These articles, with SIA’s Tech Stack, will provide a framework for recruitment agencies to plan their structure, processes and systems. The three articles are available here:

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