The Payroll Game Changer

Articles following on from the conference

Payroll systems – we’ve come a long way baby!

At the Payroll Game Changer conference last week, Anna Sefuiva took us back in time!

Anna talked about when she started on payroll in the late 70’s at Rendells the old department store on K Road.


Back then payroll was a ‘bureau’ and was locked away on payroll day in a secret office! She explained that timesheets were pushed through a hole in the wall and the bureau women entered them and then tossed them over the shoulder and someone would come and pick them up. The data then went on to a tape and was taken to another secret room with a computer Ops team, who read the tape and created line flow payslips which had to be sorted and couriered out. It all took several days and everybody was paid in cash so you were busy counting money and putting in secret envelopes!! Anna also talked about everybody was called Mr or Mrs, no first names. I actually worked for Rendells in 2003 and the buyers still weren’t called by their first names!!

But back to payroll. The one thing that changed all of that was payroll systems and technology – so the skills needed in the seventies to work on payroll are completely different to today due to the technology systems that we have.

Anna then talked through what’s happening with payroll systems out there.

If you want to get up to speed on payroll systems here’s a quick overview.

  • MYOB are on the move. Over the last few years they purchased a number of other providers including Comacc, PayGlobal, IMS an Ace.
  • Affinity used to be ManTrack.
  • Jade Star have Fusion 5 are in development of a new payroll system at the moment.
  • Frontier and Chris 21 are very popular has lots of features and integrated time and attendance.
  • Datacom used to be a bureau but now have a lot of different products online.
  • The large systems need thousands of employees to make them viable and include PeopleSoft and SAP.
  • Platinum payroll is a mover and shaker at the moment designed by a payroll person. In fact we had Paul present at the Payroll Game Changer last year and he has more enthusiasm about payroll than anybody I’ve ever met!
  • Thank you payroll is subsidised by the Government if is free if you meet certain criteria for not-for-profit’s.
  • Xero have now launched their payroll.
  • ADP is one the biggest outsources in the world although there is some debate happening around compliance.
  • i-payroll deals mainly with SMEs
  • Zambian is the new entry to market with a couple of New Zealand companies now using this.

Anna talked about the things that companies look for in a payroll system:

  • For small business (less than 20 employees) it’s about being compliant, easy to use, to have some basic reporting and be cost effective.
  • For medium sized business (up to 1000) then it’s about having ways to reduce manual data entry, bringing in employee or manager self service and some advanced reporting.
  • For large companies (1000+) then it’s about full integration with your HR, Recruitment, Learning, Rem, finance and Time & Attendance systems as well as smart tools to create dashboards and to the minute reporting.

The biggest issue that came through about systems, was that payroll need to be more vocal with vendors! Talk to your vendor often and ask them for information about issues or ideas to overcome challenges. If you hear about legislation changes then check with them on what’s happening with their system. As systems become more sophisticated, software developers need to partner with businesses to create more of a business and employee centric tool. It’s also useful to know other payroll people who use the same payroll system.

Anna talked about the opportunities for the future of payroll. NZ is a safe country to work from, so imagine if companies started outsourcing their payroll to NZ, what great job and career opportunities this would create. But would we have the capability to deliver? Do we need to focus on different ways to grow the capability of payroll people, broaden our skills and bring new people into the industry as a varied career that really understands what’s happening in a business and can make a real impact with employees?

We started to workshop and discuss how we might do this going forward, so watch out for more information soon. Would love to hear your thoughts out there on systems you use, and any tips on working well with your vendors and what you look for in a system!

And here’s a pic of Anna in action!Anna presenting 2 2016

Written by Angela Atkins, Payroll Game Changer conference MC and convert to Payroll being a game changer too!

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2016 by in Careers, Payroll and tagged , , , , .
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