By Ananth Balaraju

Payroll processing is a critical process for organizations irrespective of their size or scale. While large organizations have large budgets and will invest in big ERP systems which also contain payroll modules, SME’s will have to keep in mind the overall costs which includes initial investment on technology and ongoing costs of upgrading due to regulatory and business related drivers. But cost cannot be a justification any longer for manual payroll processing since it comes with several challenges.  

Manual payroll processing is time consuming, resource intensive and error prone. It is tedious and needs inputs from data sources like attendance, leave, new employee additions & exits, incentives, investment proofs, loans & advances to name a few. Post processing, it also needs to generate various statutory reports, payslips, tax calculations and bank authorizations. It gets further complicated if the workforce is geographically dispersed in multiple cities. On top of it, if all this is manual it is prone to errors leading to faulty payroll and extensive and expensive reworks.

There are additional challenges in terms of managing employee experience in terms of anytime anywhere employee self-service: The ability for employees to digitally access their payslips, tax calculations and provide their investment proofs.

Considering all this, it becomes clear that:

  • Manual processing is not an option anymore in this digital era and SME’s need to adopt payroll automation technologies.
  • An independent payroll without an integrated approach to other HR process like leave & attendance, employee self-service, single centralized employee database will fall short and eventually hamper growth.
  • SME’s should consider improving employee experience by digitizing payroll.

Bearing the above in mind, SME’s should look for affordable and integrated payroll technology providers. It is here that cloud/SaaS based technology vendors come into the picture. They offer, robust technology along with flexibility & affordability. Again, there could be multiple SaaS/cloud vendors, but companies need to keep in mind the integrated approach while selecting a suitable vendor.

The vendor should provide a comprehensive payroll platform that enables organizations to efficiently handle critical personnel data and processes. With the platform, SME’s HR and Finance teams should be able to efficiently collaborate and manage a wide variety of business processes such as payroll, expense reimbursements, statutory compliance maintenance, incentives management, leave and attendance administration, centralized helpdesk, employee self-service portal etc with ease on a single unified platform, thus eliminating the need for discreet point solutions that need extensive integrations and IT management.    


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