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Technology is revolutionising the way we do business.

Technological advances and changing workforce expectations are upending traditional business models and impacting operations across every facet of the organisation — including payroll processes. In fact, payroll is already evolving with the development and availability of sophisticated solutions that will support a future of work where flexibility and immediacy are front and centre.

Payroll is changing in a big way, and organisations can prepare for the future of payroll by understanding the trends likely to make waves in the next couple of years.

1. AI and automation will drive the future of payroll operations

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in payroll is rising steadily and is set to shape the future of payroll operations. Manual processes have become onerous for HR departments and finance teams due to their cumbersome nature and potential for human error. The tide has turned, and businesses are now looking to deploy AI technology to automate their payroll processes, making them faster and more efficient than ever.

AI, along with event-driven payroll tech, delivers information and notifies in real time. This meets decision-makers where they are, raises alerts before things go wrong, and helps managers stay on top of compliance tasks.

2. The gig economy is on the rise (and payroll must adapt)

People who want greater control over their working lives continue to embrace the gig economy, which can provide them with more flexibility than traditional employment. At the same time, businesses are increasingly turning to the gig economy to access a diverse pool of workers that can be scaled up and down in response to changing requirements.

However, the mix of temporary and traditional full-time employment means complicated payroll. Legacy systems aren’t equipped to handle a diverse and dynamic workforce, forcing businesses to consider alternative solutions.

Businesses will need an all-in-one payroll solution to manage all kinds of employees in various parts of the world.

3. On-demand pay will become the future payroll model

Interest in on-demand pay is becoming a key differentiator when it comes to competing for talent. Instead of waiting every two weeks (or month) to receive their pay, employees can choose their pay day and get access to their earned pay when they need it.

With greater control over their finances, employees are more likely to stay with an organisation, and are also likely to experience greater engagement and satisfaction.

By providing access to pay on demand, businesses can become an employer of choice, help employees with cashflow, and avoid pay day loans without interest, credit contracts, or admin fees. It’s also fast and secure with robust security and authentication, making it impossible for employees to access funds they haven’t earned.

4. Analytics will play an integral part in the payroll process

Many business departments use analytics to gain vital insights to make better and faster decisions, and to anticipate and understand customer and employee needs. However, while some companies have started to scratch the surface, the benefits that data analytics brings to the table are yet to be fully explored within payroll.

In the future, analytics will become a critical part of payroll and its ability to be more agile and responsive. Analytics can eliminate errors, provide real-time information, and when combined with HR, can streamline updates, ensure better compliance, and enhance the employee experience.

Start the transformation journey now

The changing world of work and continued need for flexible processes and technologies will spur a payroll revolution. However, an innovative approach to payments and payroll processing will still require innovative solutions. Faster payroll processing will be necessary to support real-time or on-demand payments. Payroll processing will need to be flexible enough to handle the complexities of a diverse and dynamic workforce.

Making payroll faster, easier, and more accurate with the help of technology is key to addressing modern business needs, from boosting employee efficiency and output to processing on-demand payments that support the rising gig economy.

Having the right technology-forward payroll strategy in place will increase efficiency, lower costs, and reduce business risks while driving engagement and enhancing the employee experience, which is critical in today’s evolving job market. Fully managed payroll services can design processes that greatly reduce effort and costs, while ensuring that compliance is achieved and maintained in order to create long-term advantages for businesses and their employees.

Affinity’s managed payroll service delivers a cost-effective solution that takes care of your entire payroll operation to help you cope with the complex demands of today’s digital world. We analyse your organisation’s current state, provide a best-practice design, and collaborate on a solution that’s tailored to your needs.

To transform your entire payroll operation and leverage the benefits of a managed payroll service underpinned by the latest technologies, contact the Affinity Payroll team today.

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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.