Historically, the words ‘payroll’ and ‘innovation’ haven’t always been synonymous. In fact, some some circles would consider the two concepts to be an oxymoron. After all, payroll is all about the day-to-day, people management aspects of a business: managing your client's annual leave requests, recording leave, sending payslips and payroll reports, updating contact details and accurately recording employee hours. This is bread-and-butter stuff. It’s important, no doubt, and it must be done. But it’s also time-consuming and repetitive.
At the same time, progress in how these functions are carried out remained elusive. How tech has transformed accounting is well documented. Cloud accounting has swept through the profession, and now AI and machine learning are automating the many procedural tasks of an accountant. By industry standards, payroll has lagged behind. While other core accounting functions have leapt ahead, the payroll field seemed stuck by comparison.
Things have changed, though. In the six years since BrightPay was launched, a new wave of payroll innovation has completely remoulded the sector, from onerous, manual input into a low effort, dynamic and automated service offering. The potential implications are big, not just for your client service offering - but the very DNA of your firm. Payroll is now more than an administrative task, it can be a profit and innovation centre for your firm.
Into the clouds: Payroll as a cloud service
Payroll services have long inhabited a strange dual state of unpopularity. Businesses dislike it because it’s onerous, while accountants loathe it because payroll has proven difficult to monetise. Not to mention, the work is complex and there are bountiful opportunities to mess it up.
Cloud computing has altered this dynamic for the better, making payroll services easier and more convenient to offer. Just consider how much more powerful accounting software has become in the era of cloud. Moving beyond the confines of the desktop and connecting payroll software to the cloud opens all sorts of new, exciting prospects. Cloud allows constant and iterative improvements because software companies can offer their products via the web, rather than through more traditional, tangible methods like a disc or a flash drive.
This formula for progress holds true for cloud payroll technologies. Synching your payroll data to the cloud to enable new features, fully supported by a remote infrastructure that’s always improving the product. For you and your employees, access to payroll information is no longer tied to a specific location or computer. It migrates along with you, easily accessible at any time, usable via any device with internet access. Whether it’s just checking something after hours, or enabling flexible working, cloud payroll creates freedom.
Cloud payroll platforms make it easier and cheaper to provide service at scale for all of your clients. Drudge work is automated, it’s more collaborative, and a simple, intuitive interface speeds up your work. But the potential profits from cloud payroll aren’t just about payroll itself. Time is money, as the old saying goes. Less work filling in boxes means more time spent on lucrative work such as advisory services, consulting and new business development.
All throughout the accounting profession, we’ve seen that when firms cut the time spent on traditional services like bookkeeping, tax preparation, and now payroll, they can then take on additional clients and projects, using the same number of staff.
More capacity, more time, more flexibility, more collaboration: Cloud payroll’s benefits will seep into every corner of your practice. Payroll as a cloud service is just one of the areas where payroll innovation has already had an impact. Download our free guide now to discover more areas of payroll innovation.