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The importance of Payroll
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The importance of Payroll

Posted on 11 April 2023

​One of the reasons why we're so passionate about payroll is that we feel like these professionals are often underappreciated. Most people only talk to them when there's a problem or issue, but in reality, payroll is a crucial function within any business. Over the years, we've seen payroll get more recognition, especially with all the underpayment issues that have come to light recently. Payroll is finally being seen as the important function it is below are my top observations of the current market.

The talent pool

We have to say that the talent pool is quite dry at the moment. It's been challenging to find experienced payroll officers, especially those with Chris21 experience, which has been the primary system I've been working with over the last six to twelve months. Although there are plenty of SAP candidates out there, finding quality payroll officers with a few years of experience has been difficult.

Salary expectations

There has been a significant increase in salary expectations among candidates, especially those with only six months to a year of experience. Many are asking for 90-100,000 or more, which can be difficult to justify. While it's great to get as much money as you can, I think it's essential to think about the long-term opportunities for growth and development.

Opportunities for growth

Right now, there are a lot of opportunities to join larger teams in good businesses, even if you only have six months to a year of experience. These larger businesses offer more room for growth and development, and it's an excellent opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop yourself as a payroll professional. That's something I encourage all candidates to consider.

As for smaller businesses, while they may not have the same opportunities for exposure to larger systems, they do offer exposure to more parts of the payroll process, such as accounting functions and end-to-end processes. Sometimes, larger businesses can pigeonhole payroll professionals into specific functions, limiting their exposure to the entire process.

It’s a slow market

We've also noticed that many roles are taking a lot of work to get across the line. There's a bit of hesitation among businesses due to the unknowns surrounding a potential recession.

Learning & development

We think learning and development are critical to sustaining higher salaries, particularly with the accelerated shift towards cloud-based payroll systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most businesses weren't set up to work remotely a few years ago, so the transition to cloud-based software has been critical for businesses that had to switch to remote working. Investing in training and development can lead to opportunities for secondments in the systems team and eventually to permanent positions.

Overall, we're excited to see where the payroll industry is headed, and we're confident that there will continue to be opportunities for growth and development in this field.

Here are our five tips on how to show your appreciation for your payroll specialists.

  • Compensation and benefits - matching the salary of existing team members to those who have just joined the industry. This shows that the company values their contributions and is invested in their well-being, both professionally and personally.

  • Provide chances for growth - offer opportunities for payroll specialists to expand their skillset and grow in their roles. This keeps them engaged in their role and shows that the company is invested in their future.

  • Acknowledge their contributions - make it a point to recognise the important work that payroll specialists do for your company. This provides motivation and can offer satisfaction from making a positive impact.

  • Celebrate milestones - honour important milestones, such as the successful completion of a major payroll project or the achievement of a significant milestone in their career.

  • Create a positive work environment - support a work environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration.

Watch our Hot tips video series discussing these points, in our video library.

​Please reach out to our expert team here for more payroll insights!

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