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COVID-19 exposes weak payroll operations

Despite weaknesses exposed by COVID-19, more than a third of companies do not have a payroll strategy.

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Only 26% of businesses rate the performance of their payroll provider as “good”
Only 26% of businesses rate the performance of their payroll provider as “good”

Last year, professional services network EY published its 2019 EY Global Payroll Survey Report. This found that 35 percent of companies do not have a payroll strategy and only 26 percent of businesses rate the performance of their current payroll provider as “good”.

 

The report also found that 43 percent of payroll professionals said they had a “very low” or “limited level” of standardisation globally, and this made communication between payroll teams difficult in a time of crisis.

 

Further business weaknesses exposed by COVID-19, revealed by research from payroll and HR software provider ADP, include:

  • Poor data quality: Low-quality, unharmonised data prevented timely reporting and slowed business decision-making at a pressing time.
  • Slow response to regulation changes: Organisations without a standard process for receiving and implementing regulation changes were at greater risk of violations.
  • Lack of digitisation and automation: Payroll employees processing high volumes of manual paper documentation found it difficult, or in some instances impossible to carry out their jobs remotely.

Jeff Phipps, managing director of ADP UK, said: “The rapid move to remote working combined with global economic challenges means there are many reasons why payroll needs to adapt.

 

“To be successful in today’s challenging landscape, all parts of your business need to be agile. Customising payment options to remain competitive in the war for talent, supporting flexible working options, and securing employee data remotely are all key reasons why payroll needs to adapt.

 

“HR and payroll professionals hold some of the most valuable organisation and employee data, and insight from said payroll data must be used to support business decisions. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that a cross-functional team of finance, payroll, and HR, able to make a strategic impact quickly and efficiently, is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but is a necessity.”

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