The biggest trend in the world of payroll is the introduction of automation and the use of software solutions to make the whole process more productive.
Long gone are the days of handwritten payslips as now special software is used to calculate and produce payslips – often sending them via email directly to workers. Electronic payslips have a number of benefits such as reducing the time companies spend producing them and putting them in envelopes. It also helps to save on money with no need to buy specialist printing materials and ink etc, as well as being the more environmentally-friendly option.
There are also benefits for staff as they are able to get their payslip quickly and efficiently, plus the e-versions are probably easier to file then paper versions and less likely to get lost. Many employers have recognised the need to offer additional benefits to staff to attract the most suitable staff and this has impacted on payroll operations. There has been a whole host of new salary sacrifice options introduced in recent years including childcare vouchers, which offer working parents a tax-free way of paying for childcare, as well as cycle to work schemes that allow employees to purchase a bike and equipment for their regular commute.
The move towards computerised systems has also helped with the need to report information in real time to HMRC. In 2013 new rules were introduced which require information to be sent at the time of payment rather than at the end of the year. Future trends in payroll are expected to continue to look at making the whole process simpler for employers despite the introduction of new initiatives such as auto-enrolment pensions.