RPA in Global Payroll - Part 2: The Benefits of Automation in Payroll
Apr 4, 2018
The first blog in this series related to our latest CloudPaper, RPA in Global Payroll, outlined the opportunity for global payroll teams to use Robotic Process Automation or RPA to improve payroll performance. This follow-up explores the key benefits of incorporating automation into your payroll process, including significant time and cost savings, data standardization, increased agility, and easier compliance.
The obvious advantages of incorporating automation into your payroll process can be summarized as time, labor, and cost savings—but the tangible benefits go well beyond bottom line figures.
Rather than focusing their efforts on data collection, validation, and processing, payroll professionals can invest their time in areas of the payroll function and wider business that can benefit from their expertise. Standardization can improve processes up and downstream, and increase a company’s ability to adapt to changes or requirements. In short: applying RPA to the payroll function creates new opportunities for gains across the enterprise.
Our latest CloudPaper examines the potential of RPA to improve global payroll and benefit companies and employees alike. Download the full paper to learn more.
In 2016, McKinsey & Company published a framework for evaluating the technical feasibility of automation across professions, based on the idea that organizations need to seek to automate tasks rather than entire occupations. According to that framework, 40% of the time spent on payroll activities has the potential to be automated.
That means as much as 40% of payroll professionals’ time can be reclaimed and reinvested in higher-value activities or more strategic areas of the business. Professionals with unique experience and understanding of inter-country discrepancies, regulatory challenges, payment preferences, and more can be tapped to apply their insights to broader company initiatives such as workforce planning, process optimization, or compliance.
This opportunity of 40% more time benefits payroll professionals as well as the company. Depending on their interest and expertise, those employees may take on more rewarding responsibilities or develop their skills in a complimentary area. Eliminating the mundane, repetitive work can go a long way toward improving the employee experience for payroll teams and even spark loyalty in some professionals. These side benefits are especially important considering as much as 35% of employees feel that their job does not make the best use of their skills, and 87% of millennials report that career development is important in a job.
Standardization & Performance
In recent years, organizations across sectors and industries have placed an unprecedented level of energy and resources into data. Entire occupations, budgets, and companies have been developed to focus on the quality, movement, management, and protection of data—and rightly so. Now viewed as one of the most valuable assets of any organization, data deserves the investment.
Any future-looking data strategy must begin with standardization, something robotic process automation both requires and ensures. To be processed through an automated workflow, data must be in a standard format regardless of source or collection method. On the far side, RPA processes deliver more accurate, consistent results.
The standardization and quality of those results is key to an organization’s ability to use analytics and benchmarking to track and improve performance. Consistently reliable results enable companies to correctly evaluate and forecast productivity—and playing a part in delivering that benefit will elevate the value of your global payroll data.
Agility & Compliance
The ability to adapt to evolving requirements and emerging opportunities is seen as a hallmark of successful companies. At perhaps the most basic, day-to-day level, this ability is characterized by smooth, integrated, optimized operations, particularly in essential business functions like global payroll.
The level of speed, accuracy, and standardization possible with robotic process automation empowers companies with the flexibility needed to compete on a global scale—and excel in critical areas like compliance. Better data and consistent results mean better reporting. Optimized, trackable processes enable faster, easier audits. All of it helps minimize errors and fees, and keep organizations well positioned to respond to changes.
Continue reading about how RPA is improving global payroll: