What is innovative payroll and why do you need it?

1 October 2019

Until recently, payroll has not been given high strategic importance and so has never needed to be particularly innovative. The modern, fast-evolving workforce is now driving significant changes to this status quo however, with both managers and employees looking to embrace disruptive technology that helps the business to innovate and transform. Our recent research into The Workforce of the Future has revealed that senior industry professionals predict payroll will become much more influential in attracting and retaining employees who will be looking for personalised packages, overtime rewards and financial well-being services. 71% of CEOs and business owners expect management-led demand to change the frequency of paying employees over the next five years, with the introduction of radical alternatives to the traditional pay cycle. As CEOs and owners have the final say on these matters, perhaps organisations do not yet realise how critical it will be to overhaul their payroll system and push for innovation.

Whilst innovation suggests an element of risk taking that many professionals would feel cautious about, a proactive approach to evolving payroll is essential to keep up with the workforce demands on the horizon. In doing so, you can become a payroll pioneer that uses proven methods, features and best practices to improve business performance, help attract and retain talent while future-proofing your organisation for the changes yet to come.

Actionable business insight

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic notion. Most of us are encountering AI everyday – for example when Google predicts your search terms – saving time and providing answers quickly. Within innovative payroll solutions, AI is used to collate volumes of data and make predictions based on patterns to provide actionable insight – game-changing information for the Payroll & HR function as well as the wider business, such as identifying high-risk leavers or critical data gaps impacting productivity. Would a human be able to amass and drill down to this level of analysis? Certainly not at speed, if at all.

Improved employee experience

Interactive payslips were first introduced before the Millennium but have continued to evolve and are now the norm for most businesses. Going paperless and reducing employee payroll enquiries by up to 75% is a simple innovation that organisations and their employees truly benefit from. Individuals can securely access their cloud-hosted Payroll & HR data anytime from a connected device, self-serving their enquiries and requesting leave, for example. Our research shows that in recent years employees prioritise simplicity of viewing and interacting with payroll systems more than perks like gym membership.


Whilst it’s unlikely that robots will come marching in to take over the payroll function, robotics (or automation) is a key innovation for payroll systems and is already built into today’s best-of-breed solutions. With the predicted closer alignment of Payroll & HR, teams will need time to focus on strategic thinking and planning to accommodate the demands of the emerging workforce such as financial well-being and personalised packages. Automation brings accuracy and agility, taking care of repetitive or manual tasks to free up payroll teams.

Compliance and accuracy

A poor approach to payroll affects the number of job applicants to a company and 71% of C-Level employees feel that the visibility of payroll has increased in recent years. As the workforce will seek more of a cultural fit with potential employers, websites like Glassdoor are providing jobseekers with independent reviews of payroll and salaries so transparency and 100% compliance are essential. Innovative payroll solutions are always one step ahead of changing legislation to ensure people are paid correctly on time, every time. This will become even more important with changing work patterns and the accountability of Payroll & HR in creating a thriving workplace.


A solution that can deal with the complexities of payroll should put you firmly in control and provide proven ROI and real-time calculations. It should also be scalable, not static, to meet your precise business needs today and tomorrow across the globe. Innovation also extends to the usability of your system, including straightforward set-up and running, plus 24/7 secure access to data with mobile apps for employees.

In a nutshell, the workforce is changing and now is the time to consider your organisation’s future payroll strategy. To meet the demands of personalised payroll and continue to attract talent, 78% of professionals say that payroll needs to evolve and innovate – so what are you waiting for?

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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