Employment obligations continually evolve, and those surrounding payroll and how staff are paid are no different. Payroll can be a complex process that is under continual review by both government agencies and companies themselves. In Australia, the legislative environment and industrial instruments that govern payroll can be notoriously hard to navigate, and errors can be costly.
With the potential for significant penalties and legal consequences for paying employees incorrectly, companies are now applying a sharper focus to payroll governance and management. There are many elements to governance (we won’t cover them all here), but incorporating your payroll function into your corporate Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) framework can be beneficial. GRC frameworks provide controls and measures that can be applied to your payroll function, including reporting, record keeping and proof or evidence of governance steps taken.
Ultimately, how payroll is governed will vary from company to company based on size and the complexity of the industrial instruments they operate under. But, ensuring the right people have access to the right payroll software and information and follow the right processes is a crucial part of the journey.
A pay compliance solution is one tool you can leverage to simplify and streamline the process of validating your payroll each pay cycle because it helps maintain compliance and improve your payroll governance without affecting your online processes. This blog will explore the benefits of using a pay comparison solution and how it can help any organisation to improve payroll governance.
Reduce the number of manual processes
Payroll processing is a crucial function of any organisation, and it involves a significant amount of data entry, calculations, and checks to ensure employees receive the proper compensation. If done manually, these tasks can generate a lot of work for your payroll team and introduce the additional risk of errors occurring.
A Pay Compliance solution from Tambla can significantly reduce the manual work required from payroll teams and minimise the risk of errors from spot-checking or manual validation of pay results. Here is what it does:
- Automated data ingestion utilises your actual employee data from various sources, such as HR, Payroll and Time & Attendance platforms, to populate the Pay Compliance platform.
- Independent payroll calculation by our interpretation engine processes your data to create independent pay results.
- Comparison modelling transforms the data into a side-by-side comparison of your actual pay results against Tambla’s independent calculations.
- Insights Dashboards provide easy-to-use, graphical views that enable your payroll team to identify variations and drill down through the data to specific locations, teams, individuals or shifts to help identify the root cause of the variation. Views can be configured for any level of detail, allowing executive teams or board members to view summary information without needing separate reporting.
Tambla Pay Compliance uses your existing data, applies its own interpretation and builds an offline model that provides a detailed analysis solution designed to support your payroll governance process.
Meeting your employment obligations
It is essential that companies adhere to the employment obligations that apply to their business to avoid legal issues and penalties. A large number of the cases that are documented in the media are the result of incorrect calculations or erroneous interpretations of industrial instruments. Most companies want to do the right thing, which should be the minimum standard.
However, managing payroll governance and the associated processes can be challenging. Organisations with large shift-based or essential workforces operating under any number or combination of awards and EBAs have increased complexity in the calculation of payroll, and it stands to reason that with larger and more complex environments, the likelihood of mistakes increases. Over longer periods, left unchecked, small errors have a compounding effect and can grow into costly and expensive payroll issues.
Most companies already have some manual validation steps, such as spot-checking individual results, comparing current and previous period totals as an indication, and perhaps running offline test scripts for specific scenarios. Using a payroll compliance tool can automate these manual processes and extend the reach of the results beyond random samples and instead cover the entire payroll. Tambla Pay Compliance can enhance your payroll governance process and provide your payroll team with valuable features that can save time and cost and provide proof of work that highlights any variations in a timely fashion.
A comprehensive comparison between what was paid and what an independent interpretation says should have been paid allows for potential issues to be highlighted, investigated and resolved quickly. With historic data stored, the service can easily be extended to support initiatives for analysis of Casualisation, better-off-over-all (BOOT) testing and Annualised Salary requirements.
Integration with your existing data
Pay compliance solutions leverage data from your existing systems to match, model and compare your current data with internal and external sources to identify areas of concern. Depending on your industrial instruments, a pay comparison service may need to receive data from a company’s existing HR technology stack:
- HRIS data (to understand employment conditions and changes)
- Workforce Management data (to understand what was planned)
- Time-sheet data (to identify work completed against the plan)
- Payroll data (to understand what was actually paid)
Payroll compliance is a complementary capability rather than a replacement technology. Taking a data feed from these systems allows offline, non-critical processing and ensures no disruption to current payroll processes. Once received and modelled, the data is transformed into graphical views that allow for a complete analysis, removing the need for unsecured solutions (usually spreadsheets) that are both limited in ability and costly to maintain. Automating the aggregation of the data in this way ensures your team receives accurate and timely insights every pay cycle.
Actionable insights through visual dashboards
Payroll compliance tools use dashboards to provide actionable insights that your payroll team can leverage to make informed decisions and recognise issues before they become costly problems for the organisation. Dashboards provide the following information for your payroll team:
- Identify discrepancies: Payroll compliance tools compare data from different sources and identify discrepancies. For example, if your payroll data shows that an employee was paid $50 and the comparison says they should have received $55, the view will highlight the difference and provide a visual alert so your team can investigate further.
- Detect trends: Payroll compliance tools enable teams to analyse trends in payroll data over time. For example, the tool can identify if there is a consistent pattern of variations for particular individuals, pay codes, locations or departments. The dashboard enables the team to drill down through the information to isolate areas of concern that may require attention.
- Provide customised reporting: Payroll compliance tools enable the creation of customised views that model data in different ways to meet specific needs. Data can also be exported for offline presentation analysis or circulation.
Dashboards display data in a user-friendly, graphical format and provide actionable insights that enable payroll teams to make informed decisions, improve compliance, and reduce errors and costs.
Enhance the employee experience
Payroll compliance solutions can significantly improve the employee experience by ensuring that your people are more likely to receive the correct pay. Underpayment (or over-payment and subsequent claw-back) can impact morale and burden your payroll team, who must process adjustments and corrections and respond to potentially unhappy staff. Accurate and timely payment is crucial for employees’ financial stability and satisfaction, and payroll comparison solutions can play a role in reducing such errors.
One of the benefits of using a payroll compliance solution is that it can identify potential pay issues before they become major problems for employees. For example, in addition to under or overpayment through incorrect calculations, the system could highlight any unusual patterns in employee pay or discrepancies in the pay rates for employees performing similar roles.
Payroll compliance solutions provide numerous benefits for your organisation and employees and can be a valuable tool for your payroll team. The benefits outlined in this blog are some of the more commonly experienced.
These solutions can help payroll teams reduce the required manual work and provide more comprehensive checking than can be completed manually. They can help to identify and rectify issues before they become costly problems for an organisation. They also support payroll teams in payroll governance as a critical function of a business. Additionally, payroll compliance solutions improve the employee experience by reducing the occurrence of repeated under or overpayment.
By promoting employee satisfaction and trust in the organisation, payroll compliance solutions contribute to a better work environment for everyone involved.
Why leverage Tambla’s Pay Compliance tools?
While Payroll Compliance is an emerging technology in its own right, companies like Tambla have provided these capabilities for many years through Award and Agreement Interpretation Engines designed to accommodate Australia’s complex industrial instruments.
Our software can reduce the complexities of the calculations associated with ensuring your staff are paid correctly for hours worked. We support your payroll operations by ensuring they have the necessary insights into the payroll process.
Visit our Tambla Pay Compliance page for more on our capabilities.