Skip to main content

More and more, companies are choosing to implement automation in their payroll systems. Applying automation to payroll isn’t about removing the human element. Automation is about augmenting, not replacing, a company’s most valuable assets: its employees.Indeed, McKinsey estimated that automation could boost productivity growth worldwide by between 0.8% to 1.4% annually. Automation helps increase everyone’s productivity when staff no longer need to perform repetitive tasks.  

Automation connected with data can also help build deeply insightful reports that give businesses a better understanding of their weak points, assist in correcting those gaps, and minimise mistakes. 

Reducing time spent on manual data tasks

Automation can drastically reduce the time it takes for payroll teams to finish the job, as well as the number of workers needed to do the task. 

Payroll managers can spend hours each week performing manual tasks relating to data. That’s time doing things that a machine could easily do. 

Another exciting aspect of automation is how it can free people from mundane tasks and allow them to focus on higher-value work that brings more money into the business. 

Automating financial processes in general can also reduce costs. Processing invoices can be simplified by switching to electronic payments. Using these systems, payroll and invoicing can be completed much faster than if they were performed manually. 

Automation also solves the ‘productivity paradox’. This is where technology actually slows down productivity because people need to spend time switching between apps and learning how to use them. Automation plays an important role here, because multiple systems are often integrated as a result. 

Better business decisions 

The idea of ‘Big Data’ worries some people. What do they know about me? Will this information be used to manipulate my life? But Big Data isn’t all bad. 

For many companies, automation and high-quality data makes it much easier to locate the right information so leaders don’t have to rely on gut instinct. 

By automatically generating analytics and reports, managers get a deep understanding of their company processes and a clear view of the path forward. It’s hard to capture good data solely through manual processes, and in a fast-moving world, the speed at which decisions are made often makes all the difference. 

The benefits of automation are also demonstrated by what it can do for labour costing. Automated timesheets and work schedules allow for more precise information about the true cost of labour. 

Leveraging Big Data and automation 

While data analysis is now commonplace in many global organisations, using machines to look for patterns in payroll isn’t as common. According to Baseline, about 90% of an organisation’s data was generated within the last two years. That’s a lot of unused data. 

Payroll data is a vital part of this haystack because it contains a lot of detailed, varied information about every employee in your organisation. The value of this data extends far beyond the payroll team, but insights only emerge when automation is linked to robust analytics. 

Analytics is the study and communication of patterns in data.Analytics tools can help businesses optimise key functions, processes and roles while finding hidden patterns, correlations and insights. Payroll processing can harness Big Data analytics to find new opportunities for efficiency and productivity. 

Payroll data can also show the correlation between performance and compensation to provide insight into how to attract and keep top talent. Management can quickly make fact-based decisions about people using real-time data.  

Data analytics provides a unique view of a company and extends traditional payroll service capabilities. Through the use of high-quality payroll data, businesses can deploy analytics to get a perspective on the entire market and discover patterns. 

Combine this with a robust system of process automation and companies can access a rich store of useful, actionable, and insightful reports. Predictive analytics applied to payroll data can give accurate yearly forecasts that can be used to manage cash flow and budgets. In other words, by capturing and analysing data, the payroll team can be transformed into a net profit centre, rather than a net drain on resources. 

That’s got to be good for everyone. 



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.