2021 Payroll Trends: Agility, Security, and an Improved Employee Experience

2021 Payroll Trends: Agility, Security, and an Improved Employee Experience featured image

The last year proved that companies with agile payroll processes and systems are set up to succeed in the most challenging times. It also proved that those challenging times could come to a company through no fault of its own – at any time, unanticipated. For 2021, payroll trends are likely to focus on adapting to the global pandemic and future-proofing systems.

Let’s dig into the 2021 payroll trends that are likely to be necessary to large and small companies.

2021 Payroll Trends

Remote work moves forward

2021 payroll trends remote work work from home

Organizations set up for remote work had a much easier time navigating lockdowns and providing safe work environments for employees. Others had to scramble to adapt. Digitizing processes across all lines of business mattered, and payroll was no exception.

Payroll teams are likely still working in disparate places and they’ll need access to payroll information at their home offices. Cloud payroll offerings such as Synchrony Payroll provide the ability to access information remotely, often with single-sign-on security.

Local regulations and COVID-19 legislative impacts remain pivotal in 2021

As vaccinations roll out, it’s still likely to be closer to the end of 2021 or beyond before things are fully back to normal—and governments are sure to provide more economic stimulus that will impact payroll processes. These may also come with new regulatory statutes with which companies need to comply.

Companies will need the agility to address these changes. They need systems that will adapt to changes in pay, taxes, and compliance. They also need staff to do this—which may be hard to find on short notice. That’s where Synchrony Payroll comes into play—it is built on SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, which provides built-in compliance across many countries that updates regularly and automatically.

HR and Payroll integration

A single interface for HR and payroll is the dream for HR and payroll professionals. This saves time and paperwork. It enables a master data record and can link employee HR profiles directly to payroll data. It also provides better data quality and data security by providing an integrated system that captures all employee data sources.

Synchrony Payroll combines with Synchrony People to create a fully integrated HR and Payroll suite that can be scaled to any level necessary. Modules can be turned on to cover different HR and payroll tasks. Most importantly, the same set of employee data is weaved throughout—from hire to retire.

Real-time analytics and actionable insights

Closing each month’s payroll may have taken well beyond the next month in the past, but in the era of data-driven decision making, that’s not going to cut it for executives anymore.

The impetus for faster close and more up-to-date data for analysis is more important than ever. Payrolls may be changing more frequently, with the rise of furloughs, contract work, temporary labor, and more. If leadership is getting January’s payroll data in the middle of March, it won’t be easy to make the right decisions for the current workforce. The latest cloud payroll offerings aim to provide the best data and faster payroll closing for quicker reporting and analytics.

Employee data security and compliance

Your employees expect you to keep their payroll data secure. If you suffer a breach, you’ve lost their trust. Not only that, but there are regulatory requirements around employee data in many countries and penalties if those requirements are not met.

Keeping your payroll system secure with an on-premise system utilizing an in-house team can be a daunting task. It requires manual software updates, which can be months-long projects, among other security safeguards. With a cloud payroll system, the vendor takes care of security by fortifying their data security and releasing frequent, automatic updates that keep up with the latest potential attacks.

Related: Read the SAPinsider Report “State of the Market: Payroll and Its Impact on Cloud HR”

Expanding your talent pool with a global workforce

Many companies that have adopted remote work for safety have also decided to make it a more permanent fixture. With location no longer a restriction, talent pools are expanded to include a potentially global search for the best candidates.

Bringing on a global workforce with employees in various countries adds complexity to payroll. Each country has its own payroll requirements, and your company will have to remain compliant.

That sounds daunting, but Synchrony Payroll partners with services that help with compliance in countries where your employee headcount is low—and investment in a full-time payroll professional might not be warranted. This stretches your payroll system to any country necessary—even where you have as little as one employee.

Employee engagement and experience

Creating a payroll environment that is remotely accessible and has intuitive features is vital. That makes it easy for payroll staff to do their jobs and easy for the rest of the employees to access their payroll information. For example, with Synchrony Payroll, a payroll manager can find all their active processes and tasks in an easy to navigate interface:

cloud payroll employee experience

Synchrony Payroll also offers tools such as Rizing Payee Relationship Management to make it easier for your workers to do their jobs and keep track of how much they are getting paid to do those jobs. In the past, employees might not know until a mistake happens—with self-service, they can be proactive about their pay information.

Pay transparency and equality

If your company wants to make sure it is paying all employees fairly and giving equal pay for equal work, you need to know how much people are getting paid.

Having employee data in a cloud payroll system allows you to do this. With Synchrony Payroll and the Rizing Lyra analytics tool, you can analyze pay trends broadly and drill down to roles, demographics, and employees. That enables you to identify gaps, which will allow you to rectify those and help your company become a better place to work for everyone.

Adapting to 2021 payroll trends

Large companies that have adopted cloud payroll systems likely enjoy the flexibility and capability to handle the payroll challenges of 2021. However, companies that need to move to the cloud do have options for doing so quickly.

Synchrony Payroll, an SAP-qualified partner packaged solution built on SAP SuccessFactors and Employee Central Payroll and enhanced through Rizing innovation and partnerships, enables companies of all sizes quicker time to value to meet all the latest payroll trends that 2021 will offer.


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