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Payroll administration, with all its complexity, is an integral part of any business operation. While payroll professionals are no doubt capable, they often face an uphill battle: there simply aren’t enough opportunities to sharpen their skills and keep up with constant changes in payroll practices, compliance, and technology.

A recent survey by the Australian Payroll Association (APA) revealed that only 17% of payroll professionals hold a nationally-recognised payroll qualification, such as a certificate or diploma. Additionally, most professionals in the field have only received approximately 1.6 days of specific payroll training or professional development within the past year. Consequently, they might not have the knowledge necessary to run an efficient and compliant payroll operation.

Further, many organisations — particularly smaller ones — find it difficult to ensure that their payroll systems are up to par. Research from the APA also reveals that there is a noticeable difference in the way that large and small businesses manage their payroll functions.

Smaller organisations with fewer than 50 employees often don’t audit their payroll as frequently as larger companies with more than 500 employees. As a result, smaller businesses risk falling into a ‘set and forget’ approach, missing crucial regular audits, and potentially causing compliance headaches, financial complications, and decreased employee morale.

In addition, underinvestment in payroll training can lead to knowledge gaps and payroll calculation mistakes. These errors can accumulate over time, creating substantial debt. Estimates suggest that Australian workers lose over $1 billion annually due to wage theft, a stark reminder of just how important it is to get payroll right.

The cost of making payroll errors

Unfortunately, many payroll mistakes come down to human error, which can be difficult to prevent. If your organisation isn’t prepared to juggle the necessary administration that tasks such as payroll tax compliance, overtime calculations, and record-keeping demand, you might experience one or more of the following:

  1. Hours wasted correcting errors: Human error is inevitable, but it also wastes time. Payroll managers often dedicate hours and even days to identify and correct errors. What’s worse, continual errors can attract the scrutiny of fraud investigators. If inconsistencies appear, they may suspect either negligence or deliberate manipulation of the system.
  2. Compliance-error penalties: Failure to comply with payroll and employment regulations can lead to serious repercussions. These include financial penalties, potential interest on overdue taxes, and civil and criminal punishment. In extreme cases, it may even result in imprisonment.
  3. Lost employee trust: Payroll errors can result in employees feeling underappreciated and can disrupt their personal finances. Professionally, these mistakes can adversely impact work performance, lower productivity, and could potentially force employees to seek new opportunities elsewhere.

The easiest way to bridge the training gap

With the increasing demand for skilled payroll professionals, there’s an urgent need for more professional development in the field. Whether you’re a professional working within the industry or a business owner, it’s important to take the initiative to fill this training gap. One solution is to use a supported payroll service.

Affinity Payroll has designed a supported payroll solution that helps organisations to effectively bridge the training gap while staying in control of their payroll operation. It lets businesses tap into a team of seasoned professionals for guidance and support, while providing avenues for ongoing professional growth. This is especially important in a sector as dynamic and indispensable as payroll management.

With Affinity Payroll, organisations can enjoy a collaborative approach, blending the know-how of our dedicated team with yours.

It’s time to fill the training gap in your payroll management. To find out how Affinity Payroll’s supported service fits with your business model and solves your payroll challenges, contact the team today at




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.