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Since much of the work payroll managers perform is highly stressful and demands superhuman attention to detail, it’s no wonder that they often feel like they are treading water just to stay afloat. With so much going on, understanding the daily challenges faced by your payroll team — and knowing the full impact on your business — is something that should not be ignored.

Having insight into what it takes to get payroll over the line shows decision makers where the weak points are, and how it all might unravel at any moment. In this article we get up close and personal with some of the greatest fears faced by payroll managers, and offer some solutions so we can all rest easy.

1. Keeping up with legislative changes

If government legislators are the proverbial ‘monster under the bed’, then Affinity is the fairy godmother who waves her magic wand to tame them.

Staying on top of changes to employment, industrial relations and other legislation is a huge overhead faced by payroll departments. Having a person dedicated to this is usually unworkable, so payroll professionals must do their best to stay informed.

Knowing where to source reliable information and fully understand the impact of changes means tapping into the right networks. And while government websites and industry publications may provide great insights, translating that information into real-world changes to systems, policies and processes requires a great deal more discernment and effort.

At Affinity, we live and breathe compliance. We know that compliant payroll is accurate payroll. We also know that this is an area where many organisations struggle.

2. Ensuring that employee agreements are compliant

If you feel like you are standing in a minefield when it comes to employee agreements, carefully negotiating a pathway through, you are not alone.

Negotiating agreements is one thing, enforcing and maintaining them is quite another. Despite myriad agreements ranging from individual contracts to modern awards, ensuring that employees are paid correctly is all that matters in the end.

When conditions and rules are not enforced, or managers make their own deals direct with employees, the risk of getting it wrong skyrockets. Add to that the complexities of leave, worked hours and accident compensation, and very quickly organisations expose themselves to overpayments and underpayments which can remain undiscovered for years.

Opting to have your payroll fully managed by a payroll provider could make all the difference. Not only will this reduce human error, increase accuracy and mitigate risk, it will also guarantee compliance now and in the future.

3. Workforce management

One of the greatest challenges employers face is managing their workforce effectively. From daily rostering to ensuring adequate leave coverage, knowing where the gaps and overlaps exist can be nightmarish.

Great service relies on service continuity. Having the right staff on at the right time is key to the success of any organisation that wants to delight its customers. It doesn’t take much to tip the balance. Staff can call in sick (or not show up at all). Certain skills may be required in one area of the business, and even planned events like your big annual sale require a sophisticated level of advanced planning.

Affinity can help. Our flexible schedules give managers the ability to quickly pivot and respond to daily workforce disruptions in real time. Leave calendars provide a bird’s eye view of upcoming leave and potential overlap that might result in a drop in service or expertise at a critical time.

4. Getting information out to the business

By its very nature, payroll generates a lot of data. This data can provide valuable insight into your organisation, support decision-making, and drive the business forward. The question is, how do you share all that information in a meaningful way?

In addition to regular scheduled reporting, payroll teams need to quickly respond to ad-hoc requests for information. If your data is spread across multiple disparate systems, it can be both tricky and time-consuming to work out what has been requested, find the right information, and package it up — all on deadline.

Affinity provides tools that automate all of this. Teams can create queries that extract data and present it in a variety of formats, including PDF reports and CSV files, depending on who (or what) needs to consume it. Data can be sent according to a predefined schedule, or on demand.

Data instantly becomes more portable, more contextual and more valuable.

5. Forgetting stuff

There are few things worse than being jolted back to reality by the thought (true or false) that you have forgotten something important.

Payroll professionals who operate in either Australia or New Zealand will tell you that one of the most demanding aspects of their job is ensuring all the loose ends are tied up. Often, these tasks are managed by a single person running manual processes or using workarounds that are shrouded in mystery — simply to get the job done. These individuals are relied upon not only to get tasks right, but to remember to do them in the first place.

Automation is key, and organisations with a single point of failure are exposed to greater risk. The more manual the task, the more likely it will be forgotten or performed badly.

Affinity offers a range of solutions and services that automate payroll tasks. From alerts and reminders that warn about upcoming compliance due dates, to online forms that streamline payroll and HR operations and workflow, nothing will slip through the cracks.

Or you could talk to us about outsourcing your entire payroll function, so you truly can rest easy.



For over thirty years, Affinity has been a trusted partner for mid-market and enterprise businesses in Australia and New Zealand, empowering them to transform their payroll operations. With a focus on turning payroll from a cost into an asset, we have established ourselves as industry leaders in delivering innovative cloud-based payroll software and exceptional payroll services.