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Best Practices—Leveraging Technology to Optimize Payroll Efficiency

By Amber Hassid - VP of Payroll - Alight Solutions (Reprinted with permission from PAYTECH Magazine)

While no two organizations are exactly alike, all payroll teams face similar challenges. Optimizing costs, increasing efficiency, managing data, supporting the business and diverse needs of the workforce, and reducing business risks are among the challenges payroll professionals everywhere frequently encounter. Thus, having the right processes and solutions in place to accomplish these tasks can help make a difference in the employee experience, which is critical in today’s hot job market.

A recent APA webinar, “Best Practices to Leverage Technology to Optimize Payroll Efficiency,” which was sponsored by Alight, shared best practices for how to use technology to transform an organization.

A Great Shift Is Underway

According to The New York Times, “There are five million fewer people on U.S. payrolls than in February 2020 and 2.7 million people have been out of work for six months or more, the standard threshold for long-term unemployment. Yet, job openings are at a record high, and many employers report having a hard time filling positions.” In October, The New York Times also reported that in August alone, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in a shift that many are calling “The Great Resignation.” The employee experience is at the core of this shift, as those leaving the workplace report burnout, poor work/life balance, job dissatisfaction, low wages, not enough paid time off, and an increased focus on personal wellbeing as key reasons for quitting their jobs. The abundance of jobs, as compared to an available workforce, gives those potential employees at all income levels more leverage to make a positive career change.

What Makes an Employee Experience Great?

According to the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, 80% of executives say the employee experience is either important or very important. In fact, companies that invest in their employees are believed to significantly outperform those companies that don’t invest in their workforce. Organizations with a compelling digital workforce experience are also four times more likely to retain talent

Modernizing Payroll to Meet Employee Expectations

Updating your payroll processes and solutions is just the first step to delivering that compelling digital experience. If your payroll solution requires manual processes and data entry and you work with disparate systems that don’t provide mobile access or lack visibility on your organizational needs to make data-based decisions, then it is likely impacting your employee experience. The good news: The employee experience can be improved by taking appropriate action, such as investing in fully automated payroll processes, ensuring timely and accurate payment, enabling a mobile-first experience, or leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics that give your employees more time to focus on strategic tasks.

Small Steps First

If your payroll solution hasn’t kept up with the times, the transformation process can seem daunting. Making small changes can result in big improvements, no matter where your payroll systems and processes stand today.

You can have a digital infrastructure in place by deploying a human resources integrated system (HRIS)—preferably in the cloud—-that supports payroll technology via human capital management (HCM) integration with payroll providers and through financial reporting (GL and business reporting). Later, you can leverage the benefits of AI and robotics, and eventually, integrate your system across the finance, HR, payroll, time tracking, and benefits functions to yield additional benefits.

Amber Hassid is the Vice President of Payroll Solutions at Alight. A 10-year payroll professional, Hassid has dedicated her career to helping companies build efficiencies and transform their payroll. If you’d like to learn more about how Alight can help you, no matter where you are on your payroll transformation journey, visit

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