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The Future of Payroll

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The past years have seen the rise of several trends in modernising Human Resource (HR) processes, with payroll management right at the forefront. Trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the transition to cloud-based services, integration of Human Capital Management (HCM) software, and the emphasis on data security and compliance have been seen and mentioned in countless discussions on HR and payroll articles and forums, and Ascender intends to lead the way in innovation and change.

Artificial Intelligence

From ground level to upper management, AI has become more widespread across companies in recent years. Hidekazu Matsubayashi, Regional Sales Manager – Tokyo, Ascender, says AI had the biggest impact on payroll management in the last year, and that will only continue.

“AI will undoubtedly have an effect on how payroll companies educate their staff,” explains Matsubayashi. “Some basic calculation and data tasks can be handled by AI. For example, based on the Japanese law governing payroll, employees have to decide if their spouse will be eligible for tax exemption or social insurance exemption. AI will cover those sort of processes and offer solutions outlining what staff members are eligible to receive.”

“However, while AI will be applied to some tasks, there will always be jobs that need to be performed by people.”

Cloud-based Software

The rapid transition to cloud-based services has key advantages for the industry: payroll software programs will be regularly upgraded, information is archived, and computer data access is made easy and can be readily accessed by smart devices anywhere, anytime.

“There is no doubt the move to a cloud-based platform is in big demand,” says Krishna Ramalingam, Pre-Sales, Asia and Middle East, Ascender.

“But what I believe impacts payroll more and what has been a trend I have seen recently is a transition to a shared services model and demand from companies to want to consolidate payroll into one or two locations around the region. That is the one to watch.”

Human Capital Management (HCM)

The integration of payroll with HCM is also on the cards. While it started with a one-way integration from a HCM to payroll system, the trend is now looking at payroll data being sent back into the HCM systems so they have a better set of data and therefore more accurate information around payroll.

“Everybody is asking for integration between the HCM and the payroll systems,” says Ramalingam.

“It is not just about automation, it is because they need to have compliance and they do not want two different systems having two sets of data and therefore an organisation not really knowing where to go for the most accurate information.”

For more information on integrating your payroll with HCM, Ascender Chief Product Officer Todd McDonough shares some excellent insights on making the move in this article.

Data Security and Compliance

This year will also see growing attention paid to data security and compliance. “There is a huge focus on data about employees and payroll information,” says Ramalingam. “Many changes are happening in this particular area, especially in terms of legislation and regulation. There is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for one. Another example is China, who will be formally releasing a legislation on data security and how data leaves the country. These are huge changes for the industry to witness this year and it is exciting to be a part of it.”

Knowledge in these legislations are especially important for organisations with a presence in multiple countries who are seeking to consolidate their HR and payroll processes to one or two locations, as well as for multi-country payroll providers like Ascender in order to remain compliant. “Ascender has been conducting webinars and events for our customers to answer their questions about where our data centre is, how secure it is, and what we are doing to keep our system and employees up to date.”

In addition to sharing more insights and knowledge with our customers and markets, Ascender is ensuring global compliance and management of our own data on top of providing Software-as-a-Service based payroll solutions that integrate with our customers’ existing IT infrastructure to ensure seamless process management and helping them to meet the demands of local governance standards.

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