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Digitisation and payroll? Nothing to be feared!

Repetitive tasks involved in monthly payroll processing are among the areas where digitisation is critical as it reduces errors and makes it easier to ensure legal compliance and precise timing. Both smaller and larger companies face ever-increasing requirements, and outsourced payroll can boost technology adoption or remotely perform the tasks associated with being a social security disbursement agency.

We strive for a paperless environment in the case of outsourced payroll as well, and processing the data received and converting them into "results" at the lowest possible rate of error without human contact saves time and creates value for everyone involved. Nowadays we are able to keep the stream of data required for payroll entirely digital and, when necessary, we import data, use online time trackers or implement online time trackers for our partners. Although manual data processing is reduced to a minimum, human intervention still plays a role, primarily when it comes to reviews. No matter what solution we employ, the payroll process cannot be entirely automated, and the combination of useful digital tools and human review offers the most effective solution that minimises the occurrence of errors.

Are payroll source data automatically loaded into the system?

It is preferable that payroll service providers are familiar with a multitude of payroll systems and use several software applications. This allows them to decide which ones are the most suitable for a given organisation and its processes based on the specific requirements at hand. Although payroll systems are similar, their strengths and levels of complexity can be different. There are continuous improvements in this regard as well, which is why payroll staff also need ongoing training.

Nowadays, the manual entry of source data in systems is becoming increasingly rare, and companies have become used to working with data in all areas, or if not, then this is the time to draw attention to the benefits of digital payroll management and data processing. Of course, a sufficient level of security is a prerequisite. Companies appreciate a more efficient and accurate service, which can only be guaranteed if payroll staff are not required to do manual processing when it comes to collecting data.

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Aren't their issues with aligning different systems in payroll?

Of course, there are differences between applications, and the reason why a good service provider uses multiple software applications is to offer the most efficient solution to its clients.

Essentially, connecting multiple systems is not an issue as, for example, a separate time tracker is able to communicate with more comprehensive payroll applications. Data can be extracted from any payroll application in a format that allows them to be used as inputs later on. In addition, the ongoing development of staff is also critical, which allows them to perform payroll tasks as efficiently as possible.

Is there a company size above which the digitisation of the payroll process is mandatory or recommended?

Digital payroll can make things easier everywhere, and the company's features should be taken into account when selecting the most suitable tools and modules available in the market. Ideally, all companies should use some sort of a time tracker system. However, there are no minimum headcounts and no legal requirements in this regard, but adopting such a system has practical merit, and progress is being made. Keeping timesheets remains to be a hassle for employers to this day, and solutions that offer an online application to replace hard copies make their lives so much easier.

This increases the transparency of payroll data, since data are easier to extract, checks are quicker and incorrect work schedules can be identified more consistently, amongst others. Both smaller and larger companies face increasing requirements in terms of timesheets and ensuring legal compliance.

What are the benefits of implementing a digital time-tracking application?

A digital time-tracking application is, essentially, a digital timesheet. It offers a number of benefits: for instance, it can automate several functions, including vacation approvals and recording time off. These systems feature automatic compliance tools that alert the user when they try to enter data that doesn't comply with a regulation, such as a 15-hour workday or a rest period that's too short. If the personal data recorded in the system are correct and vacation days, actual time data, shift bonuses etc. are accurate, then wage calculations will be more accurate as well, which is an important output for both employers and employees.

Can data for non-wage employee benefits (sick pay, childcare allowance and childcare benefit) be digitised?

Monthly reporting for sick pay, childcare allowance and childcare benefits is digital (with the added option of reporting by mail),but there are still a number of manual tasks in social security. Data on other benefits can already be collected from clients in digital form. In the latter case, data imports work flawlessly and no manual data editing is necessary, which means that it's exactly the data provided by the relevant partner that are entered in the system.

How can social security disbursement agencies comply with the requirements in the midst of fast-paced digital changes?

Employers that employ more than 100 people on a permanent basis are required by law to act as social security disbursement agencies.

Among our partners, the demand for support in complying with the obligations of social security disbursement agencies has tripled over the past two years.

Since social security compliance is a separate area that requires a qualification, our experience suggests that if the required expertise is not available in-house, outsourcing is an efficient way to go. If necessary, our social security experts are able to use remote access to process these workplace payments, i.e. we perform all tasks associated with being a social security disbursement agency alongside the internal payroll staff, and the employer can feel safe, knowing that it complies with all legal requirements.

The tasks of a social security disbursement agency can be managed separately, and our advisors are familiar with and use a number of applications in line with the legal requirements. Keeping up-to-date with systems is crucial as we are working with the social security disbursement agency modules of multiple payroll applications and are closely monitoring several software systems. It is important to identify and/or develop more and more areas (including in-house) where digitisation can help our efforts.

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