It’s time to review your payroll strategy

2 September 2019

Senior professionals predict major changes to the workforce by 2025. According to our research The Workforce of the Future, working part-time, freelance or being able to choose hours/days will be favoured over traditional working styles. Employees will expect more support and advice on financial matters, and Payroll and HR will align more closely to provide this. Payroll will become much more influential in attracting and retaining employees. As a result, 78% of professionals say that payroll needs to evolve and innovate, and technology will be key. 

If you are already in a contract with a payroll supplier, allowing your contract to ‘tick over’ can be detrimental. Just because people are getting paid accurately on time, it doesn’t mean that you are getting value for money, or that your business is primed for the social and economic shifts predicted for the workforce. As Payroll & HR experts, we recommend you appoint a champion to review your payroll strategy annually, considering the key areas below:

Employer responsibility and cultural changes

Your biggest assets are your people and we are heading towards a culture of more ‘democratic’ payroll where terms are not dictated by management but steered by employees. Over the next five years, employee well-being will become a business priority, eventually leading some employers to provide financial services including loans and debt counselling. We can reveal that payroll professionals want to spend the majority of their time identifying improvements to payroll, with 83% believing it is important for an employer to ensure financial well-being. The best talent will be demanding this and organisations that outsource their payroll to a proactive supplier can free up in-house teams to focus on strategic initiatives. Does your payroll team have enough time to focus on long-term plans or are they restrained by manual work such as checking accuracy and answering queries?


The technological capabilities of your payroll system should extend far beyond calculating accurate pay. In your audit, check the provision and level of cloud security, international compliance, business insights and even how employees can interact with their own data to self-serve queries. 88% of CFOs and CHROs expect their organisation’s investment in payroll technology to increase by 2025, incorporating features like Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobile apps, cloud technology and automation, in the move towards more personalised Payroll & HR packages. Is your supplier incorporating these technologies to help your payroll team thrive rather than simply survive?


Your payroll supplier should have the expert knowledge to tailor your system to your precise needs and the scalability to grow with your organisation and workforce demands. They should also be proactive in interpreting legislation, rules and complex calculations so that payroll teams spend less time checking accuracy and more time on the strategic direction of the HR and payroll functionalities – preparing for the changes that have not previously fallen in payroll’s remit. If your supplier doesn’t dovetail and support your payroll team with expert assistance whenever you need it, then it’s time to find one that does.

Top tips when reviewing your payroll strategy

- Know when your outsourced payroll contract is up for renewal or if there is an early exit option
- Do your audit and research in good time so you are ready to change to an expert supplier
- Look at aspects of your service that relate to employer responsibility, culture, technology and HR/Payroll expertise – these will be crucial over the next five years
- If you’re not currently outsourcing, consider the huge in-house costs of meeting the emerging workforce demands in terms of time, infrastructure and resources, versus outsourcing.

Outsourcing your payroll means gaining more control, accuracy, security and agility. A competent supplier will provide access to Payroll & HR experts and demonstrate a proactive approach to all elements of payroll including compliance, industry insights and data protection. Outsourcing also reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) and a solution from SD Worx is proven to save time and money. We have previously debunked some of the myths of payroll outsourcing which can hold back a business.

Talk to us about how we can provide a robust payroll solution that works for your organisation and people, now and in the future.

The Workforce of the Future is available now to download. The 250 senior professionals surveyed for this research included a mix of business owners, HR and Finance decision-makers as well as heads of department and managers from a range of industries and business sizes.

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