GPMI and Immedis recently conducted a survey in June to better understand how GPMI subscribers feel about technology and how it is transforming payroll processing. We also sought to understand how prepared they feel their organizations are to digitally transform their payroll function.
More than 200 respondents completed the survey, the majority of which represented companies operating in two or more countries across a wide range of industries. The employee size of those companies was split almost even below 1,000 employees and above.
In the work that Immedis does with multi-national organizations that are looking to transform their global payroll function, we commonly hear of the desire to increase the ability of payroll teams to do more work and provide more strategic value to the business, all without adding more people. Most commonly, payroll teams across the globe are using varying ways of delivering payroll—in house and outsourced—with multiple disparate systems.
As more organizations have moved to a centralized global human capital management (HCM) platform and are realizing the value of centralized employee data, more are looking at ways to get the same benefits of consolidated data from payroll. In the wake of global inflation and increased attention on employee costs, the attention on payroll data has become even more heightened. These themes are reflected throughout the responses of our survey participants.
Wave of Transformation
One of the most compelling data points revealed in the survey is around the intent to digitally transform the payroll function in those organizations that responded. Over 66% have either undergone transformation within the last six months, are currently undergoing digital transformation, or are planning to begin this process this year. Potential blockers exist, though, when it comes to gaining support and adoption of new technology. Budget is the top concern for respondents, with legacy systems’ integration capability following closely behind. However, respondent organizations are marching ahead, with around 75% having either begun the move toward automation or are already well on their way.
Need to Upskill
The skills required in this new world of payroll are beyond what payroll professionals have been expected of previously. Common required skills our respondents cited needing include data analytics, change management, project management, and IT training. However, there is not an overwhelming sentiment that their organizations are equipping them with the skills they need for success as they move forward with their transformation journey. Only 42% feel confident that they are receiving the training they need.
The benefits to the business are vast and worthy of organizations making the investment of budget and in developing the skills of their payroll teams to ensure a successful transformation. Improving payroll performance and elevating payroll to a more strategic function are the primary drivers of the move toward transformation and, of those who have completed their transformation, almost 63% report they are seeing the benefits of automation in their daily work.
The overall sentiment is that utilization of payroll technology to gain automation is present across all sizes and geographic spread of businesses. Payroll teams intend to harness the power of automation and the data this will provide to drive payroll forward into a more strategic function. This will give them the ability to provide the business with impactful data and insights around their largest cost, their people.