The Most Critical Skills for Payroll Managers in 2019
Throughout history, technology has shaped how people engage with the world, including how they work.
Understandably, the introduction of new technologies can make people nervous when it threatens to disrupt the status quo. Just mentioning outsourcing and automation can be enough to send pulses through the roof.
But remember—people drive technology, not the other way around. Instead of automatically making jobs obsolete, innovation can actually highlight the skills people need to be successful in the future.
Take payroll managers, for example.
Because paying employees for their hard work is what makes world economies go ‘round, this is a critical job that isn’t going anywhere. Cloud-based software like Workday, in combination with the services of a payroll provider, have brought changes of course. But those changes haven’t eliminated the need for payroll managers and in-house payroll teams. Instead, they make it easier to identify what skills and tasks are the most important.
Having a Partner Makes Payroll’s Job Easier—But You Still Need a Team
Organizations contract with payroll providers for at least three reasons:
- Service partners help companies save time and reduce their costs
- Most service partners have far larger teams with more combined experience and built-in redundancies
- Companies prefer to focus on their core business above all else
But payroll partners do have their limitations. Despite the valuable support they provide, they’re focused on the basic footwork of payroll processing. They don’t have any insight into the accuracy of the data they’re working with, nor are they responsible for coordinating with payroll stakeholders on initiatives that will benefit the companies they work for.
The Most Critical Skills and Responsibilities for Today’s Payroll Managers
The reasons above underscore why in-house payroll managers and payroll teams are still so important, even with a payroll partner.
The most important skills and responsibilities for payroll teams include:
- In-depth knowledge of payroll and payroll tax compliance
- A detail-oriented mindset to ensure audit reports are reviewed and corrected on time
- The problem-solving skills necessary for identifying improvement opportunities, redesigning company processes and managing the internal flow of data
- The interpersonal and communication skills necessary for collaborating with internal stakeholders and external service partners
New Solutions Create Space for New Opportunities
Not every task associated with processing payroll is strategic. When organizations are stuck doing everything on their own, they have less time to develop the skills they need for those activities that actually are strategic. It’s understandable that innovation can create anxiety for workers, but it can also create opportunity.
When workers can delegate some of the more tedious aspects of payroll processing to a partner, in-house payroll managers and their employees have more time to concentrate on work that matters.
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