National Payroll Week 2017: It’s time to put the spotlight on our ‘people pioneers’

Published Monday, September 4, 2017 5:30 PM by Gordon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced

This year, we’ve been focusing our efforts on celebrating the heroes of HCM departments. We have looked at HR practitioners transforming talent, champion L&D teams and super HR strategists. We believe HCM departments are a valuable asset to their organisations and deserve a seat at the top table.

With National Payroll Week on the horizon, we’ve been particularly reflecting on the people pioneers of the payroll department, and the increasing challenges they face.

But what are these challenges and how is the industry evolving in the digital age?

Speaking with a leading payroll industry expert and technical writer, it is clear that the move to digitisation, not just within the payroll industry but the world around us, is a key driver of significant change.

“Taxation is a prime example of this move to an increasingly digital world, with over 7 million tax payers making the move to personal digital tax accounts, but the change does not stop here” comments our industry expert. “The first prototype of the Pensions Dashboard, a tool devised by the government enabling savers to view all their pension pots in one place, is likely to be introduced over the next couple of years, ushering in with it a number of significant changes in the way we use technology to engage employees in proactive retirement planning. Parents will also soon manage their childcare with online accounts, and as such; we are increasingly presented with the expectation that more and more of our lives are going to be technology driven.”

This drive introduces a number of increasing needs and demands. Payroll solutions which balance familiarity with cutting edge technologies, offer ease of use and an intuitive experience. As a knock on effect, companies are beginning to rethink their current payroll services – is it better to outsource or run in-house? Smaller organisations have now realised auto-enrolment is a step too far and with a pensions administration role, they feel they cannot also do their own payroll alongside this, thus resulting in many smaller size companies frantically looking to outsource.

On the other end of the scale, medium and larger employers, who are already outsourcing, are beginning to feel concerned about a number of things – are they getting value for their money? What is an acceptable level of error? Why is there a lack of training? This means they’re beginning to bring it back in house and away from payroll services providers.

So what is next for payroll?

Our payroll expert highlights that “payroll teams are becoming a scarce resource and their skillset is increasingly sought after.” They are not just payroll specialists; they are also pension specialists, tax specialists and most importantly, pioneers for our people.

Employees are beginning to raise more questions and challenges with their payroll departments and this is only set to continue with greater visibility of their data, presented in personal tax accounts. They want to understand more about the tax system - which in turn is adding yet more pressure to our payroll departments.

“The CIPP is delighted that Advanced is participating in National Payroll Week. Payroll is a complex and often misunderstood profession, yet businesses and their workers rely on payroll professionals to perform their job properly ensuring that everyone is paid accurately and on time. National Payroll Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the dedication and commitment of payroll teams everywhere.”
The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals

With such significant changes in the payroll industry, added pressure on payroll teams and greater demands from employees to understand how payroll affects them, it seems only fitting we celebrate and give recognition to these true heroes of our organisations through embracing incentives such as National Payroll Week.


“National payroll week is our annual opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes of UK business. Of course, payroll software plays a key role in the process, however, without the dedication of thousands of payroll professionals, none of us would be paid accurately and on time. Let’s take the opportunity of payroll week to celebrate the talent that we already have and develop the talent that we need for the future,” comments our expert.

Keep an eye out for Advanced on Twitter and LinkedIn over the course of National Payroll Week, 4th to 8th September, where we will be sharing updates on our activities and events.