Payroll and workforce management – optimising your most valuable asset – your people

The Access Group Australia shares how payroll lays a good foundation for businesses

Payroll and workforce management – optimising your most valuable asset – your people

This article was produced in partnership with The Access Group Australia

Melanie Hearse of HRD Australia caught up with Stephen Duncan of The Access Group Australia on how payroll and workforce management done right can optimise your most valuable asset - your people.

Workforce management systems can offer ‘work smarter, not harder’ capabilities which benefit companies and employees alike, automating and simplifying key payroll and workforce management functions.

“Workforce management systems have come a long way from simply processing routine tasks. A good workforce management system can now identify inefficiencies, optimise rosters and scheduling, avoid health and safety breaches, reduce absenteeism and even enable seamless onboarding,” Stephen Duncan, Head of Marketing, People & Payroll of The Access Group Australia says.

As the world embraces hybrid working, they can also be invaluable with supporting flexible work arrangements and streamlining the management of remote teams.

Getting the basics right

There’s a rise in the numbers of underpaid employees across Australia and over 20% of employees are estimated to be underpaid in high-risk industries such as healthcare, resources, and construction.

Underpaying their employees can hit the business across their brand reputation, the cost of legal penalties and backpay obligations, and of course unhappy team members.

Likewise, Duncan notes late or incorrect pays or oversized end of year tax debts can certainly mar employee satisfaction.  Considering replacing an employee can cost a business up to 150% of their salary according to Deloitte, any strategy – like getting the basics right, which assist with staff retention and wellbeing is a financial consideration as well.

“An automated system means Is designed to ensure a company's payroll is accurate, complaint and employee pay slips are delivered on time every pay run. Digitising and linking rosters, time sheets, and Award interpretation, a business can cut back on human error.”

A clearer picture of staffing means optimising rosters.

Coordinating hundreds of employees’ schedules - across part-time, freelance, contract, and full-time can be akin to playing Jenga with a blindfold on.

“Workforce management tools puts all the information in one place and serves you the pieces you need at the right time and gives management the flexibility to make instant decisions and manage rosters across departments, locations, and pay rules,” Duncan says.

The rich data this can provide also gives insights to how they are working, giving managers the ability to analyse rosters and determine who is being under and over-resourced - or even be utilised to alert managers if workers are exceeding their maximum weekly hours, for example.

It can also give invaluable insights into the future. “An exciting thing about automated payroll and rostering is the planning abilities it opens, providing data that can be used for budget projections, to cost out projects or better plan rosters before committing, avoiding the risk of reactive reconciliation at the end of the month,” says Duncan.

Work from home – or anywhere

Flexibility is arguably one of the most valuable perks a company can offer staff and one that’s become commonplace since we learned working from home is more manageable than we realised, making hybrid working agreements commonplace, says Duncan.

“Cloud-based systems allow staff to enter their hours from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. But it’s more than getting your timesheet in and getting paid accurately and on time. It’s also about giving staff autonomy to manage their schedules, checking their entitlements, applying for leave, and uploading any required documents – for example, compliance certificates or proof of Covid-19 vaccination.”

Taking the complexity out of compliance

When compliance is complicated and the alternative is reading through the digital equivalent of several research books, then having a system that knows everything for you - and even reminds you about upcoming compliance updates, is a life saver.

Compliance is also constantly evolving, with new rules and regulations being introduced and others updated. Intuitive workforce management software can manage each employee and send automatic notifications about any workforce-related risks and compliance requirements as they arise, specific to their employee record.

Applying awards and interpretation with confidence

Payroll and awards can be equally complex and ever evolving. By continually capturing the actual time worked by employees and comparing it against the relevant awards and salary, a single payroll and workforce management system can automatically notify relevant managers and HR of underpayments or other issues.

“Whether you’ve got employees on multiple awards, complex rules and rates, or salaried employees covered under a Modern Award, streamlining the process is essential. Relevant mangers and HR management software is designed to interpret awards, and ensure calculations are accurate across the board, monitoring your organisation’s compliance with the strict regulations in place today,” Duncan says.

Neither last nor least, software which provides one platform for all the steps, from rostering to scheduling, through to payroll processing and lodgement as well as enabling staff and management to input and approve timesheets, leave and access payslips frees up payroll and HR departments to focus on more strategic business activities.

“Bringing all your people and payroll data into one central system enables greater workforce optimisation and cost control, supports flexible work arrangements, promotes autonomy, ensures compliance and ultimately provides the visibility you need to make better business decisions with confidence,” Duncan says.

As Head of Marketing, People & Payroll for Access People & Payroll, Stephen draws on over 25 years in the software industry specifically in HRIS & ERP to help Australian businesses simplify their HR, payroll & operations with innovative technology.

Stephen has a proven track record in demystifying technology as an enabler to break down organisational barriers.

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