The use of mobile payroll payment gateways and self-service portals are growing in the payroll industry.
Despite this growth, many businesses are yet to embrace the opportunities that these types of systems provide. Payroll Lab argues that this can be down to data confidentiality concerns, in addition to the tremendously large processing requirements that payroll data brings. However, in some cases, it is likely that payroll teams are not even aware of their existence, particularly in smaller companies, where payroll is not the primary activity of the business. Regardless, the availability and variety of these solutions continue to increase in the marketplace, so I thought it might be helpful to discuss what they are and how/why they add value.
Looking at mobile payroll software solutions first, the great attraction of these is that they can be accessed anywhere at any time. Therefore, real-time information (RTI) can quickly be gleaned by anyone, anywhere and analytics can be right up to date across multiple locations too. Companies that offer mobile payroll payment apps may provide both an employer app and an employee app. The employer app will allow updates to be made anywhere, to any figure. Payroll can be stopped or started, or an extra payment can be added, just by swiping on a smartphone or other mobile device. Meanwhile, for employees, being able to access payroll information via an app offers opportunities for them to check on their earnings, view payslips and double-check how much holiday they have left.
This real-time approach to payroll can have some exciting and beneficial advantages for employees. It can also help improve the efficiency of a payroll department because when employees have access to payroll details themselves (via mobile devices), it can cut out the need for payroll professionals losing time repeatedly answering simple payroll questions. Essentially, employees can look up the answers directly by logging into their mobile payroll apps. There can also be advantages in cost savings too. According to Core HR, in 2014, the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals found that 33% of companies were using electronic payslips and this was bringing about considerable savings compared with posting them. Allowing employees to access them via their phones makes this process even more efficient, allowing employees to access the data as and when they need it.
Payroll self-service portals bring similar sorts of benefits. An employee payroll self-service portal is essentially software that provides the employee with the potential to either view or manage their own payroll and/or HR information. The employee is given a login and can access the system as and when he or she likes. The benefits of this for a payroll function are two-fold because it means employees take responsibility for tasks that often the payroll department would usually be responsible for handling. Secondly, employee self-service payroll portals typically allow employees to view and update a wide range of different information. Some such changes include contact details, address details and banking information, among others – again this can save both payroll & HR departments time and resources. To prevent mistakes some self-service payroll portals, include approval processes – so while costs reduce (thanks to saving payroll departments time in having to interact with the employee in entering all the relevant details), there is still some outlay associated with checking and approvals. Generally speaking, almost all self-service payroll portals provide the potential for employees to request annual leave. Requests such as this are usually only approved once they have been passed to the relevant line manager for approval.
Many mobile payroll payments and self-service portals are available; however, before deciding to implement these types of systems, it is essential that the company understands the pros and cons of doing so. Regarding benefits, the likelihood is that productivity will increase, as will efficiency in the payroll team as the number of questions directed to payroll employees will likely reduce – as employees can look these up in the system. It is also thought that errors and mistakes can be reduced as employees will want to be paid so will make sure they enter their own data correctly. In theory, this should cut back costs associated with errors. In addition, there is a line of argument that employees are more empowered by being able to take care of these sorts of tasks for themselves.
On the other hand, these types of systems are not necessarily suited to everyone. One of the most significant challenges can be getting employees to understand how to interact with the system, and a lot of effort will need to be invested up front in training and understanding what is required. Where employees do not understand, they may try to muddle through without asking for help, and this could create more problems than it solves.
Nevertheless, if organisations can get past this initial stage, the potential for cost saving and improved quality with these types of systems is considerable and therefore implementing mobile payroll payment solutions or self-service offerings may well be worth the investment.
As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it!
This article was submitted by Nick Day, CEO of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.
JGA Recruitment Group
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377