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The 4 Key Questions every Payroll Manager should be asking right now

“It has been crazy to say the very least, our profession is under a lot of strain at the moment.”

“Definitely not fun, a lot of midnight finishes going on right now!"

“Full on is a nice way to describe it! But you need to add absolute, just full on is not enough.”

What happens when you take a payroll team, send them to work from home on small screened laptops and unstable internet, add in constantly changing legislation, tax year end and a long weekend?

While it may sound like the start of a cruel joke, unfortunately the reality is pressure on payroll has never been higher.

I have spoken to many leaders in payroll this week, all with a similar note to the conversation. While the workload is growing, can we say the same for the support being received from the business?

Long term business continuity planning for payroll is more crucial now than ever but with BAU growing, it is easy to put this on the back burner.

Below are some questions that I believe leaders in payroll should be asking during this time:

1.      Is your payroll system strong enough?

No payroll system is perfect that’s for sure but when your system is hindering your job more than helping, is it time to consider an upgrade?

2.      Is your payroll team strong enough?

You are only as strong as your weakest link. When 16-hour days start to become the norm, it is necessary to look inwards and see where the struggles are coming from. Could your team benefit from further training or support in a particular area? Do you need to consider bringing in a temporary additional resource to help during this time?

3.      What changes can you see over the next 18 months in your business?

During a time like this it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. Yes of course it is important to tackle the here and now, but I would argue that it is equally as important to assess the long term and the impact that may have on the payroll team and function. Some of the best payroll leaders I have met are constantly looking at how they can future-proof the payroll. This has never been more pertinent.

4.      What support are you receiving from the wider business?

Is payroll valued and supported for the work you are providing or is there still a misconception of what payroll does? As much as we like to talk about payroll being ‘more than just pressing a button’, are we explaining what this really means to the right people? Do the decision makers in your business truly understand how and why payroll is critical to a business?

I have never been prouder to represent the payroll industry through this time and I have no doubt that payroll will come through this stronger than before, with a renewed sense of community and support across the industry.

If you are finding you are lacking the support of a wider payroll community, please feel free to join our Oakleaf Payroll Professionals group where we will be networking, exchanging ideas, sharing articles and gaining knowledge.

Is there anything you feel I have missed? Do comment below or reach out to me directly, I would love to book in a virtual coffee to discuss and hear how you are finding it during this time.


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