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The influence of Payroll- How your payroll people have evolved into a driving factor for your business.


In recognition of the 21st National Payroll Week, we thought it might be a good opportunity to acknowledge not only the hard work of your payroll teams but to also champion the ways in which Pay teams across all sectors are positioning themselves as influential, driving forces within their organisations.

We firmly believe that for this week and beyond, your payroll people fully deserve the acknowledgement for the hard work they do in order to ensure your people are supported and paid on time each and every month. Whilst they may not be the first function that comes to mind when you think about the elements of your business which drive success, the function of payroll is in many ways, the lifeblood of businesses and the ability to ensure an accurate pay cycle is absolutely vital to the ongoing operations of organisations.

How influential is Payroll?

It’s no overstatement to say that payroll sits at the heart of your business. Ensuring that your payroll is ran smoothly and with consistency week after week or month after month is absolutely crucial to the ongoing success of your organisation. For many businesses, their payroll represents a significant logistical challenge each month – one which their pay teams rise to time and time again. It is also one of the few elements within a business which spans across the entire breadth of an organisation, necessitating the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently with various disparate elements.

Most importantly, your payroll serves as a microcosm of your company ethos. Inaccuracies or delays to the pay cycle can lead unneeded stress and anxiety for your people, not to mention painting your organisation in an unfavourable light. The ability to identify and head off errors before they lead to a lasting impact, is one of the most valuable qualities that your payroll people can bring to your organisation.

Over the course of the pandemic, payroll teams across all sectors were faced with the unique challenge of ensuring the same level of speed and accuracy with their pay cycles, all whilst being cut off from their usual supporting framework and having to adapt to furlough calculations. It is a testament to pay professionals nationwide that their willingness to evolve and adapt allowed their organisations to guarantee a much needed sense of financial continuity for their people.

As businesses look towards the future, there are clear indications that Payroll is set to evolve further. It is an area of organisations which is ripe for at least some degree of digital transformation. Furthermore, as businesses reconcile themselves with the lessons learned over the past year, the proven experience and adaptability of their payroll people will be a crucial element in influencing the structure and business strategy of organisations moving forwards.

It seems to go without saying therefore, that moving forward, Payroll is positioned as one of the most vital and influential functions and organisation has at its disposal. With businesses across every sector setting their sights firmly towards the horizon and on the successes that lay ahead, exactly how can the power of Payroll be leveraged to help organisations attain their goals?


It’s an undeniable fact that the course of the pandemic has seen organisations and individuals alike bear the brunt of the financial upheaval caused by global disruption. Studies by the Insitute for Fiscal Studies has found that households who are already in the lower fifth of earners, have experienced a further 15% drop in overall income.

With mass disruptions to the workforce, it is no secret that a lot of people will have been living on a knife edge when it comes to their finances, with many households living paycheque to paycheque with regards to their monthly bills. Any disruptions to these already tightly balanced budgets have the potential to spiral out into long-reaching consequences, especially for lower income households. The mental and emotional strain of managing a precarious financial situation can greatly impact an individual’s wellbeing, not to mention their ability to function at work.

Given the two-fold risk to both and employee’s wellbeing and productivity in the workplace, ensuring that payroll is accurate and on time will be more crucial than ever in order to mitigate long term impacts. Furthermore, as we look at a return to normality, businesses and their pay teams will need to be mindful of how the course of the past year and a half may have affected their people.

It will be crucial to remove the stigma around employees discussing financial difficulties and beyond that, many organisations are now looking at how their framework of pay can be adapted to suit changing needs- certain payroll solutions can offer a pay on demand functionality, allowing employees early action to a portion of their wages, in order to cover unexpected and sudden costs.

Business insights and compliance

The key to any successful business is the ability to forecast shifts in respective markets and remain agile to change. When it comes to your payroll teams, they are perfectly placed in order to be able to offer unique insights into the makeup of your organisation.

One of the most influential areas your payroll teams are involved in are broader insights around your different pay scales and the statutory reporting thereof. With heightened awareness of issues such as the Gender Pay Gap or the Diversity Pay Gap, having a close eye on how compliant and aligned with ongoing cultural shifts your business is can be crucial in positioning your company as an attractive prospect for new talent.

Beyond the logistics of running a pay cycle, your payroll teams are also instrumental in ensuring that your organisation stays on top of any changes in legislation. The most extreme recent example being the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which was introduced extremely rapidly and brought with it a raft of legislative changes for pay teams to contend with.

Even less extreme equivalents can bring with them matters of compliance which must be adhered to if organisations don’t want to run the risk of legal repercussions. In the specific case of the CJRS, it highlighted the importance of organisations leveraging the knowledge and experience of their payroll professionals, in order to help them navigate the maze of legislation.

Company Culture

As businesses look towards the future, one of the most crucial components in enacting their ongoing strategy will be the ability to acquire the talent they need in order to drive productivity and profitability. At first, Payroll may not seem like the most obvious function to discuss when considering recruitment but that would be discounting the importance of an accurate and efficient payroll in positioning a company as reliable and an attractive prospect for new hires.

The expertise of your payroll teams can also be harnessed in order to influence the development and promotion of your company culture. A recent Glassdoor survey found that job seekers tend to prioritise employee benefits that are geared towards financial reward, either in the form of increased salary, bonus schemes or increased pension contributions. Your payroll teams are ideally placed in order to be able to advise how your organisation can reshape your rewards structure in order to reflect these priorities.

At a most basic level, a company with a proven track record of accuracy and efficiency in its payroll will position itself as a more attractive prospect for potential candidates. For your existing employees, the ability to pay them accurately and on time may seem like the base level of requirements but it also demonstrates your commitment to their ongoing wellbeing and engagement. By ensuring that your existing people are content and supported in their roles, this can also serve as a positive introduction to your overall culture and ethos for new hires.

What’s next for Payroll?

As we’ve discussed, the National Payroll Week is the perfect opportunity for organisations to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices made by their payroll people over the course of an extremely difficult period. The adaptability and ingenuity of these professionals has undoubtedly been instrumental in ensuring the ongoing business continuity and viability of organisations across the country.

Business across all sectors will now be focusing their efforts firmly on the future and the successes which lay beyond. As they look towards the horizon, that same adaptability of their payroll teams will form a vital component in their ongoing business strategies.

We predict that the scope and influence of payroll teams Is set to expand, shifting payroll as a function from the outdated perception of it as a ponderous, admin heavy role and positioning pay professionals as individuals whose expertise should be leveraged in order to inform any future plans.

With a heightened awareness on employees and their wellbeing, the question of how to safeguard the financial wellbeing of their people will need to be at the forefront of any organisation’s planning. Ensuring that your payroll teams have the systems and infrastructure in place in order to enable an accurate and efficient pay cycle each and every month will be so vital to the ongoing happiness and engagement of employees. Furthermore, with more and more people placing an emphasis on financially grounded reward schemes, your payroll experts are ideally placed to help you craft a benefits structure which takes this into account.

In order to fully harness the power of their pay people, businesses should ideally take a proactive step in investing in their payroll department. Relying as it does, on a huge degree of data input, payroll is an area ripe for digital transformation and as businesses look towards the future and achieving their goals, they should consider whether their payroll teams have the proper tools available to them.

When looking at how best to utilise the talents of your pay people, businesses should take the time to assess their current payroll solution and ask some tough questions of it: Is it accurate? Easy to run? Do your people lose hours upon hours every month correcting errors? Take a look at your future goals and assess whether or not your current solution can enable you to reach them. As talented as your people are, they deserve to have access to the right tools to make their lives easier.

We truly believe that businesses are on the cusp of an exciting time, with all of us keen to turn our focus towards the horizon and the successes that lay beyond. As we acknowledge the hardships of the past year and half, as well as taking the time to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of payroll teams across the country, we believe that organisations are faced with a unique opportunity to harness the expertise of their pay people like never before and harness their talents in order to reach the heights they deserve.

At Mitrefinch, we think now is the perfect time to say thank you for your payroll people for their hard work and commitment, https://www.mitrefinch.co.uk/national-cipp-payroll-week-2021/ we want to give businesses the opportunity to nominate the heroes in their organisation who make payroll work.

If this article has given you some food for thought about payroll in your organisation, our Flexipay solution is the comprehensive payroll system that you need to support your pay teams and ensure a fast, accurate and compliant pay cycle, each and every time.

If you’d like to find out more about how Flexipay can help your business conquer the future of payroll Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today.

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