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Untapped potential in payroll improves business resilience
Fri, 15th Mar 2024

Comprehensive research by The Access Group (TAG) highlights untapped potential in payroll and workforce management capabilities to bolster business confidence during challenging times. The paper serves as an open letter to the industry, focusing on the strategic insights that can be derived from well-utilised payroll systems.

This comes at a time when Australian businesses are wrestling with daunting challenges. Drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the paper cites that 15% of businesses experienced no profitability in the last year, a downturn exacerbated by a significant 57% hike in business-related costs. Amid these substantial trials, businesses are attempting to maintain compliance with workplace legislation, which has seen multiple adjustments within the past 14 months.

The paper brings forward the strategic potential in payroll data, which could offer advantages in crucial areas such as workforce planning, compliance and overall business performance amidst tough economic conditions. It underscores the opportunity in what Kerry Agiasotis, President APAC at The Access Group, refers to as the "often-overlooked goldmine of data" that could enable businesses to make informed decisions to enhance efficiencies, and hence competitiveness.

Tracy Agwin, Director of the Australian Payroll Association, adds weight to this notion. She asserts that any organisation without a clear-cut payroll strategy that mitigates the risks involved in paying employees, while also looking to add value through technology, data and insights, may be forego a crucial competitive advantage.

Interestingly, a mere 28% of business leaders identify their payroll system as extending beyond its traditional role of simply paying employees. While 62% of leaders express eagerness to harness their payroll system for strategic purposes, there is a clear sense of untapped potential within payroll systems. This, the research indicates, underscores the invaluable insights that the paper's findings can offer.

The Access Group's research report delves into a detailed examination of the current state of Australian organisations' use of payroll within their functions. Scrutinating these findings uncovers the untapped potential for payroll to be a strategic driver, as broken down into business outcomes and organisational specifics. Moreover, the paper provides insights into the broad spectrum of operations and business practices that can be uplifted through strategic payroll and improved efficiencies. Yet another significant aspect discussed is the role strategic payroll implementation plays in driving sustainable growth as data accumulates over time. Furthermore, the report provides methodologies to guide the adoption, implementation, and maintenance of these systems, helping businesses to customise robust, sustainable practices that align with their unique needs.

In summary, the paper conveys the crucial role payroll systems can play in equipping organisations with strategic insights to navigate challenging business environments. It indeed emphasises the wisdom in tapping into the goldmine of data residing right in front of us.