Keep your company’s head in the cloud
The cloud has transformed payroll management
To stay in the game, you need to have your business in the cloud. Cloud adoption has been accelerated by the pandemic, forcing organisations to make strategic decisions about their use of technology to streamline operations, reduce costs, attract talent and improve security.
The shift to remote or hybrid working environments has necessitated the use of cloud technology. So much so that many executives are now questioning whether a business can even exist if it is not in the cloud, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently told a press conference with Morgan Stanley.
The benefits of “working in the cloud” are legion and well-documented: It enables greater staff cooperation, allows businesses to set up infrastructure that can be accessible from anywhere, improves collaboration, ensures business continuity, improves big data insights, adds to corporate growth, and – which is increasingly crucial – puts security at the centre of a company’s resilience.
For payroll managers, the cloud has transformed the way they work because cloud technology automates mundane tasks, improves reporting and compliance accuracy, supports data security, and frees up time to focus on things that make a real difference in the business.
The state of play
As a global market leader for technology that provides small and medium businesses with the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to manage finances, operations and people, Sage sought to understand how companies are experiencing human resources and payroll challenges brought about by the pandemic by commissioning research into hundreds of small and medium companies in South Africa.
The Sage white paper on payroll and HR, released in 2021, uncovered an increasingly complex environment. Businesses need better reporting analytics to help inform their strategy and planning, faster reporting to provide timely information, tighter data security to improve compliance, and a streamlined payroll process to reduce errors, cut costs, and increase employee satisfaction.
Specialist cloud payroll and HR systems also ease integration, online support, access from anywhere, automated tax calculations, and direct links to banks and tax authorities.
Six hundred small businesses (with fewer than 99 employees) and 400 medium businesses (100 to 1,999 employees) were surveyed in August 2021 to find out how they’re navigating increasing complexity in payroll, while also dealing with new challenges around remote working and data security – often for the first time.
88% percent of businesses that were already using cloud-based payroll and HR management systems told the researchers they were better able to adapt to remote or hybrid working arrangements. Payroll and HR professionals have accepted that remote and hybrid working is here to stay, the report said. This shift has been the main reason why 64% of medium-sized businesses and 50% of small businesses have increased their use of payroll and HR technology in the past year.
70% of payroll and HR professionals said they planned to switch from manual and offline systems to cloud software in the next year, with 56% of respondents agreeing that digitising payroll and HR data and employee information could save them time and effort.
The most successful businesses will be those that embrace specialist payroll and HR technology to free up time to focus on understanding employee expectations, grasping the cultural benefits that will attract the best talent, and putting in place the necessary systems and processes to engage and retain that talent.
What a difference the cloud can make
Sage 300 People simplifies managing and tracking staff development and identifying opportunities to upskill teams and helps HR and payroll managers take control of their invoicing, cashflow, payments and tax – without … “with” simplifies managing and tracking staff development and identifying opportunities to upskill teams.
Most employees are reliant on their smartphones, so delivering company information and services on their mobile devices makes practical sense. A convenient self-service HR package or mobile app could enable staff to apply for leave, file business expenses, access payslips, update personal information from their devices, and submit invoices.
Cloud-based payroll and HR solutions can also easily integrate with other services, such as enabling bank account validations and ID verifications. This is especially valuable when using electronic services to pay salaries, ensuring that salaries are transferred into the correct accounts.
To meet changing demands, cloud technology can also scale extremely well as less hardware is needed, reducing costs while software is updated and/or upgraded automatically.
Data breaches are becoming increasingly commonplace, with high-profile cases involving credit reporting giants Experian and TransUnion, Dischem and even President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Data stored on-site is at a greater risk of breaches due to gaps in security controls and human error, while physical documents are at risk of destruction or theft. With cloud-based solutions, data is hosted off-site, in data centres with world-class security features.
In today’s environment, not shifting to the cloud puts companies at a distinct disadvantage. A solid cloud strategy can help you develop your organisation and prepare it for the future.
To learn more about Sage 300 People, click here. DM/BM
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