For HR, 2023 has been non-stop.

The business landscape is in a constant state of flux — interest rate rises, digital evolutions, arguments about where the best place for work should be… and yet, the function is often being asked to do more with less.

Over the past few months, people practitioners have regularly been tasked with hugely important strategic tasks. Acquiring the skills businesses sorely need (but likely with less budget or latitude to hire), helping out as employees grapple with an ongoing cost of living crisis (often having to turn to creative solutions with businesses also hit by financial pressures), and figuring out where on earth AI fits into all of this (and how to use it effectively and ethically).

The stress-relieving benefits of managed payroll Cezanne HR blog

Coming right after a global pandemic and a wholesale shift to how the world of work operates, it’s no surprise that HR leaders are the most burnt out in the business, by quite some margin, too. As such, there’s a lot of noise around HR turning to tech to lessen their burden — using AI to write job descriptions or trying to automate administrative tasks.

Yet, many might be surprised to find out that a managed payroll service can also deliver time-saving and stress-relieving benefits in multiple areas.

Here, solutions such as Cezanne HR’s smart managed payroll service can reduce the resources needed for laborious admin tasks, help HR operate under constrained budgets, deliver expertise and peace of mind around pay regulations, and backstop a seamless experience of work for employees and practitioners alike.

Read on to find out more…

1. Cutting the time for payroll

That many in HR are burnt out likely isn’t a revelation to people practitioners. The HR remit has expanded like never before to include business strategic input, the need to transform people operations, as well as continuing with traditional administration tasks.

These admin tasks can add up. One estimate puts time spent on payroll admin per pay run at five hours, with a 2020 Forrester Consulting study finding that for companies that still do their payroll in-house, it accounts for anywhere between 30% to 75% more effort.

So, how can managed payroll help? Well, a modular managed payroll service such as Cezanne HR’s allow data, at set-up and throughout the process, to be shared between other HRIS modules, as well as other HR systems, freeing up time spent on slow, manual data-entry tasks.

Similarly, simply taking processes out of house — from processing, electronic returns and error-checking reports as well as having to give HR practitioners responsibilities for communication around payroll and ensuring the payroll legislation and regulations are adhered to — is a massive time saver.

However, the only way to truly relieve the payroll admin burden, is to turn to a trusted provider who delivers a complete service. Here, HR needs to look for a provider that does all statutory reports, all HMRC liaison, is certified for security (ideally to ISO27001 certification), has a track record of GDPR compliance and does automatic data provisioning, meaning that in-house HR teams can rest easy that their service adheres to regulations and is up-to-date with changing payroll legislation.

2. Cost: another load off HR’s mind

Despite more expected of HR in 2023 many functions are having their budgets slashed.

In 2022, Gartner found that only 12% of HR budgets were decreasing; in 2023 that number has risen to 25%. For many practitioners, they’ll be left scratching their heads about how to square this budgetary circle.

However, a flexible managed payroll can help reduce costs. For starters, outsourcing payroll can help save on estimated in-house payroll processing costs of £1.7bn per pay run for small businesses. Separately, PwC data shows businesses that outsource payroll save almost 20% in costs, rising to 32% if they outsource multiple processes through one supplier.

And, the more flexible the better. With Cezanne HR’s Smart Managed Payroll, the service flexes to exactly what the business needs. Although the payroll is a modular part of the wider HRIS, it doesn’t mean you have to agree to other HR services and you only pay for what you use e.g. Cezanne will only bill you for the exact number of employees on your payroll and there’s no extra charge for data or document storage and software updates are rolled out for free.

With HR liberated from payroll admin, the function can then spend time on tasks that deliver commercial value.

3. Expert reassurance

Last year, research found that over nine in 10 businesses make payroll errors each month — something which can give HR a massive headache as it can result in everything from a breakdown in trust to employees’ financial wellbeing bit hit.

Here, the best-managed payroll providers can help as they give businesses access to reactive, problem-solving experts at any part of the payroll process. It means in-house practitioners can do fairly complex things — such as add another pay run to give staff access to earned money earlier or deliver cost-of-living bonuses or even find out how better to integrate payroll data with an integrated data insights module in the HRIS to really understand how take-home pay impacts workforce trends — safe in the knowledge that experts are on hand to guide them if they have any queries or want to raise an issue.

In addition, if the payroll provider takes a rigorous approach to security, service provision and data then they can rest assured that tasks that would otherwise require in-house time and expertise are looked after by their provider.

These include getting ISO27001 certification — an exceptionally tough-to-acquire security standard which can take up to 12 months to achieve and needs constant review — GDPR compliance, ensuring secure sign-on to payroll systems and regular testing of the security of payroll data. All things that employees increasingly demand.

4. Ensuring a great digital EX so HR doesn’t have to worry

Currently, only 30% of employees say their experience of technology at work exceeds their expectations. This can mean HR is often found rooting around to try and find out how they can improve this. Something that is especially difficult to do on a budget.

This is where a managed payroll comes in. Not only are quality providers affordable but by digitising the process of payroll, managed payroll can reduce the need for human input and thus errors, keeping employees happy with the role tech plays in their experience of work.

In addition, if digital payroll provision is a modular part of a wider HRIS, those same employees can access, via a secure single sign-on they trust to keep their data safe, all their pay information as well as basic employee data and performance data, too.

The Cezanne HR-managed payroll option also ensures that employees can access digital payslips whenever they need, and wherever they are, giving them control over their pay data at the time they need it most.

Furthermore, with a system up-time of more than 99% and the ability to integrate with other systems via a great API and webhooks, employees can enjoy a seamless experience of work with pay at the centre. Something else that HR won’t have to worry about.

Author bio: Dan Cave is an award-winning HR journalist and editor. He has been reporting in the HR space for over five years and works across the business press.

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