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New Research Shows How Payroll Leaders Should Prepare for Future of Pay

BY: Lisa Weckman | 10/17/22

As people, we spend a lot of time thinking about, planning for, and anticipating the future. And yet, despite our best intentions and attempts at foresight, we often aren’t ready for what lies ahead.

Is payroll any different? Are the payroll systems, methods, and professionals of today truly prepared for tomorrow? We aimed to find out with Ceridian’s “Future of Payroll Survey,” conducted in partnership with the APA and the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI).

From the survey’s 882 respondents, we learned that many organizations aren’t ready for what’s next. The data revealed that despite recent technological advancements, payroll practitioners still face conventional challenges and rely on legacy solutions.

When we asked survey respondents about their biggest payroll pain points, the top three responses were compliance challenges (42%), managing the complexities of multijurisdictional payroll (34%), and inefficient processes (27%).

Technology can help resolve those challenges so organizations can focus on the future. But 85% of respondents reported having problems with their payroll technologies and 69% have issues with their payroll data.

These survey results indicate that organizations must prepare their payroll functions for the future. Being unprepared is always cause for concern, but here’s why payroll leaders should pay particular attention now:

1. The future of payroll may look very different. Organizations today are under increasing pressure to work strategically and more efficiently. But payroll has been largely overlooked as a driver of value. As businesses realize the advantages of modernizing payroll and shedding their traditional approaches, payroll will become more of a strategic business partner than a back-office function. It’s a sizable change that requires preparation from payroll leaders.

2. Payroll has a new role in the employee experience. Payroll’s contribution to the employee experience is evolving beyond paying employees on time and accurately. Our “Future of Payroll Survey” data shows organizations are making strides in this area. But it also reveals a divide between the pay practices employees want and what employers are planning to provide, which could hinder talent retention and acquisition. Without a mindset shift, organizations won’t be ready for an increased focus on employee experience.

3. New skills will be needed. Seventy-eight percent of our survey respondents said if their job duties were to change as payroll technology becomes more sophisticated, they would want to adapt to their new job duties and stay in their current role. But the data also reveals that employers must do more to prepare payroll professionals for the future. Upskilling and reskilling take time, making now the perfect time for payroll leaders to initiate skill development within their teams.

Download your copy of the “Future of Payroll Survey” report for the full research findings and tips for how payroll leaders can fill the gaps in payroll’s future readiness.


Lisa Weckman is VP of Product Management for Dayforce Global Payroll, Tax and Payments, and Workforce Management at Ceridian.