The Payroll changes HR can expect in 2019

The Payroll changes HR can expect in 2019

Technology is forever evolving and influencing the role of HR professionals globally. Between artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT) and data security – there seems to be new advancements appearing every day. Honestly, it’s hard to keep up.

To help alleviate some of the confusion here’s some of the top technology trends forecasted to shake up payroll in 2019. We’ll paint a picture of what the immediate future looks like and what HR professionals can expect later down the road.

So, let’s begin.

          Turning Robotic with A.I. and Chatbots

When it comes to groundbreaking technology artificial intelligence (AI) speaks for itself (quite literally). It learns and ultimately thinks much like a human. This tech is expected to drive payroll into a new era, automating time consuming/manual tasks. For example, AI software could read payroll data and determine that, on the basis of multiple staff working excessive overtime, the business would benefit from hiring new employees.

This decision-making ability means AI is likely to merge many payroll and HR functions. However, this is unlikely to happen in 2019, or any time soon. Instead, expect to see AI baby steps this year.  

AI-powered chatbots are a great example, they are able to converse with an employee and either answer basic questions or refer the employee to the right person to manage their query. These chatbots are likely to grow in sophistication in 2019, becoming more competent at answering a wider variety of questions, and ultimately become a standard HR service in large companies.

In 2019, payroll professionals can expect to see many of the manual tasks they carry out on a daily basis become automated or influenced by intelligent software. This will elevate payroll professionals to have a more strategic influence on the business, particularly as wages are one of the biggest cost centres for all businesses.

          Introducing ‘Same-Day Pay’

With the rise of the gig economy and more flexible working conditions, we can expect
pay cycles to see significant disruption. Traditional pay cycles are becoming restrictive and in some cases, a deal-breaker for employees or contractors who are demanding greater flexibility. As work is increasingly completed on-demand, workers are calling for same-day pay, where they are paid immediately upon the execution of their output, service or work hours.

This concept has the potential to change the notion of pay frequencies altogether.
In fact, if a business can process same-day pay, what is to stop them from being able to run a pay-cycle on-demand, letting employees draw a salary when required?

Improvements in processing speeds and the collection of employee data, such as smart devices to determine when they are on-site, will open the door for same-day pay. This will give employees the flexibility to draw down on their wages whenever they
need to - whether it be the complete sum or a portion needed to cover a bill.

From an HR perspective, pay cycles will become more of an administrative task, including submitting payroll data into an end of month report as well as the general ledger.

          Breaking Walls with Open Banking  

Open banking is set to shake up the way we bank, creating new opportunities for
businesses. It is based on an open API ecosystem that will help create next-generation value propositions.

Open banking has already taken hold in the UK and we are starting to see adoption in

Open banking will enable payments to be made outside of traditional banking platforms, allowing companies to make payments directly through its payroll software provider. This means, HR professionals will no longer need to import payroll information manually into a banking platform. Essentially open banking will streamline the entire payment process.

It also brings with it a whole host of other benefits, such as reducing international payments fees, increasing control over payroll workflows and holding balances in multiple currencies.

In 2019, expect open banking to become not only prevalent in the consumer space
but also be adopted by businesses.

          What does this all mean for HR professionals?

Technology will always advance and will continue to shake up every industry globally.

Whilst impossible to predict the impact these trends will have across Australia, it is clear payroll will become an increasingly important strategic function of the business.

We are entering a new world of digital payroll, with increased flexibility and efficiency. As HR professionals, it’s important to be aware of these changes. Those that respond rapidly and leverage this digital transformation will gain a significant advantage over the competition.

This article was written by Brad Stockman, Head of Product Management – at Ascender.

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