Top 10 Trends for Payroll Operations

By Aileen Padua - Published on February 26, 2021
payroll operations trends

For anyone working in HR, you are familiar with how payroll plays a significant part in your company. Payroll is the total amount of compensation a business gives to its employees for a specific period of time. It’s what keeps employees paid on time and the use of payroll software is cost effective and less time consuming. Before we tell you 10 trends that can benefit your payroll operations, check our list of beneficial facts that can explain how payroll automation affects organizations and employees nationwide.

4 Facts & Figures about Payroll Automation 

  • 7% of organizations responsible for integrating and automating payroll, benefits, paid absence and leave as well as compliance report to less likely experience any errors with payroll and more likely to have improved productivity among their employees by 36%. (Zenefits)
  • 30% of organizations claimed in a survey that they would switch to a better provider for payroll operations for the sake of its UX. (Zenefits)
  • Organizations that used timekeeping and payroll capabilities as solutions to executing new projects have reported that they were 44% more likely to have payroll error rates at 2% or less. (American Payroll Association)
  • 66% of Americans often experience financial troubles if paychecks were delayed by one week. (National Payroll Week)

(Also Read: Payroll Processing: A Definitive Guide)

10 New Technologies for Payroll Operations

  1. Web-Based Time Collection

    It’s been said that the use of web-based timekeeping for payroll operations creates less investment in physical equipment that can be used to manually process payroll. The use of time clocks allows more production for employees as well an increase with flexibility to doing other tasks involving payroll automation. Because it’s on the web, time collecting can be accessed anywhere through any type of mobile device. This tends to cause less errors from happening and allowing off site recording for employees who work remotely. 

  1. Mobile Manager Approvals

    The correlation between web based time collection and mobile manager approvals create a functional experience in payroll operations. Allowing managers to approve timekeeping reports through mobile devices can increase the cost effectiveness to a payroll operations system. What this means is that HR departments should have the ability to approve received timesheets through a faster process, which in this case would be through mobile management.

    Payroll Operations Banner

  1. Application Integration

    A method to application integration would be a known concept called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). This is a formatted option that’s largely accepted by hubs and retailers. The reason that application integration is considered to be a common technique for payroll operations is because it mainly works with the CRM system software typically used to communicate with vendors.

  1. Self Service

    Self-service is the key to reducing payroll operation costs, especially direct labor costs. A perfect example of self-service payroll would be the creation of employee portals, which provides employees and supervisors access to their HR and payroll information that can be managed. For more strategies on how to lower direct labor costs, check out this article from Moreover, self-service for the payroll department gives employees the opportunity to perform better on tasks, especially if you are strictly working in an environment that is entirely online.

  1. Online Benefits Enrollment

    The significance of online benefits enrollment is to allow employees to self-enroll in benefits programs. Not only that, but this payroll operations concept features data overviews of employee benefits as well as reporting life event changes. It creates an integrated solution for employees looking to submit and find the right benefit plans for them.

  1. Central Data Repository

    Central Repositories are a perfect way to store away payroll data. This can be accessed by managers directly online and answer any types of questions or concerns that employees have about their payroll. HR can look at this type of payroll operations strategy lightly since it can make task handling of payroll adaptable for both parties.

  1. Compliance Auditing

    According to, the average audit to determine a company’s payroll compliance with PCI DSS, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard costs from $15,000 – $40,000. Of course, this can all depend on the size of your organization, but let’s just say that compliance auditing can truly improve your cybersecurity and especially the entire payroll operating system. With compliance auditing, audit reports can review and understand a company’s security policies, user access controls, procedures to risk management and preparations to organization compliance.

  1. Payroll Preview

    Let’s just say that payroll previews are just another significant add-on to payroll operations. We’re not claiming that it’s a bad feature to have, but rather another benefit to look forward to when considering a payroll operations trend. The idea of payroll preview reduces the occurrences of errors because it allows the option for HR members to look over what should and shouldn’t be on the payroll prior to submission. To simply put it, think of it as a proofreader for payroll. 

  1. Online Processing

    Online processing may be the most satisfying part of payroll operations. This is where timesheets and actual submissions of payroll can be submitted through the payroll operation software. Both parties–employees and the HR department–can both benefit from online processing perfectly due to its flexible access on any type of device as well as the improvement of both workflows within the workplace.

  1. AI Driven Payroll

    One last payroll operations strategy is through A.I. Driven Payroll. This type of payroll automation focuses on the management of data sets that align with an organization’s regulations. With A.I. driven payroll, employees and HR members don’t have to suffer with receiving delayed payment processing and the continuous risk of human payroll errors.

Final Thoughts

It can be a pain for HR members of an organization if payroll automation becomes too complicated. However, this doesn’t apply for every employee that works in HR. In fact, there are departments that have payroll automation down to a tee and often encounter a reduction of errors with reporting. Furthermore, as we reach a new normal during this pandemic, we can assure you that the state of payroll operations continues to flourish within the digitization of HR.

As workplaces follow COVID-19 procedures and encourage stay at home orders for employees, adjusting to this new way of life will certainly be a challenge for not only HR departments of different organizations, but for other types of industries. Overall, the trends of payroll operations continue to move forward into the tech industry and have currently increased for high demands in data analytics and reporting.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding about the power of social media, Aileen is passionate about preserving and enhancing the image of one’s reputation in the public eye.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding a...

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