The Payroll Game Changer

Articles following on from the conference

Who’s working in Payroll and what are they using?

As part of the Payroll Game Changer earlier this year, we ran a survey on who was working in payroll and what they were using. Here’s what we found from the 19 organisations and 36 people who participated in the survey.

Where is payroll based?

63% of companies have their payroll team as part of HR. Yet we know from hundreds of discussions with payroll and HR people, that the two don’t often work well together. This is a real shame as payroll have hoardes of data at their fingertips that could help HR with analytics, and often HR teams don’t enjoy the number crunching which payroll do. In larger HR teams we’re seeing that the HRIS function is a bridge between to two, and is creating new career paths!

Payroll HR finance

Who is working in payroll?

We found that 92% of payroll people in the survey are women. We believe this is an even higher ratio than HR. There is a good spread of people across the ages, except very young younger people coming into payroll. Is it being discussed at university as a career choice? Are there other things that Payroll could do to attract people? One organisation advertises for Filing Clerks, then asks the person to have a go at payroll – effectively tricking them into it! Once we’ve changed the game in payroll, then this issue should stop and people will be keener to apply for payroll roles than filing.

Payroll age

How long have you worked in payroll?

This was a fascinating answer, with 59% having worked in payroll more than 10 years, and 19% more than 5 years. No-one completing the survey had worked in payroll for less than 2 years, which reinforces no-one new is coming into the industry.

What qualification do you have?

30% have a university degree, 11% had a diploma and 60% had other qualifications. This was an area discussed at the conference as needing to be addressed so Payroll people have clear qualifications going forward. The good news is that the Association of People Professionals ( is going to be working on a Professional Associate and Chartered standards for HR, Payroll, L&D and Talent.

What payroll system do you use?

Payroll system

While cloud HR systems are on the increase, payroll people  had concerns about security issues for having pay information in the cloud. 76% of the organisations completing the survey use an in house system, with only 8% using cloud systems. Of the system used they were: 11 used Chris21, 8 used Payglobal, 5 SAP, 5 JDE, 3 Preceda, 2 used PeopleSoft and 2 used Datacom.

So what next?

The key issues from this is that payroll is not attracting newer or younger people and this needs to change. This may be linked to having some different qualifications and training available. So at the 2016 conference we’re going to be looking at:

  • What the different career paths are into and around payroll – and how can we expand these?
  • Who are the new providers who are changing the payroll training and qualification space?
  • What are the legislation changes you need to know to deliver accurately?
  • What answers you need for those curly payroll issues that no-one seems to agree on?
  • What can the profession do to create change and partner with their business to make payroll respected in it’s own right, not just part of finance or HR?
  • How can you further develop yourself or your team?

At Elephant we’re looking forward to being able to help answer some of these questions and if you’re keen to find answers to them too, we’ll see you at the Payroll Game Changer in Jan & Feb 2016!


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This entry was posted on September 12, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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