In the past two years, the way in which we work has changed dramatically. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisations across the board to lower costs, restructure, and rapidly evolve to remote working models.
This trend is set to continue in 2022, as companies realise the benefits of hybrid working, and redefine what normal is today, says Edmund Pohl, Head of Outsourcing at PaySpace, leaders in payroll and HR software. “With technologies advancing at a rapid pace, and the cloud becoming ubiquitous, having employees that can readily execute their jobs anytime, and from anywhere, makes outsourcing a clever choice for organisations wanting to remain competitive.”
Another trend driving outsourcing, he says, is the fact that increasingly more applications and technologies are coming to market every day. It can be a challenge to try to master all of them or even keep abreast with ongoing developments. To get a handle on this, many companies are considering industry specialisation, and hiring experts in their various fields of technology who have the requisite knowledge.
He adds that outsourcing companies that use cloud-based solutions are at an advantage, as their users can easily access files and data almost instantly. So, the need to invest in hardware for data storage is removed, which means maintenance costs are cut. “Cloud-based applications are also excellent for collaborative and real-time work, as updates and legislative changes happen instantly, without any intervention needed from the end-user.”
This is particularly true when it comes to payroll, Pohl says. “While traditionally payroll was a supporting function instead of a revenue function, it’s the most important function within the organisation. Companies are starting to identify more strategies to improve compliance, boost efficiencies, and lower costs. Outsourcing the payroll provides all of this and more.”
He also states that with outsourcing, there’s always an element of technology. “A major driving force behind the growing popularity of outsourcing is that these providers are adopting a greater degree of automation, and integrating APIs, and tools such as Workday into their customers’ existing systems. APIs can be a major benefit, as they enable the rest of your workforce to have access to your data.”
In this way, the outsourcing provider becomes an extension of your business and you are empowered to access all the data. “Also, with tools such as WhatsApp ESS, employees can access payslips via WhatsApp, apply for leave, view their records and more. This enables mobility, because all that is needed is an internet connection, and is 100% secure. There is now more of a focus on the technology stack, instead of only the service.”
“Similarly, Power BI enables access to information, even though the payroll responsibility isn’t sitting within your company. These tools can give tremendous insight on employee behaviours, and other trends from all your data,” he explains.
When it comes to choosing the right outsourcing partner, Pohl says clever organisations understand that outsourcing offers a tangible solution to many business problems. Look for outsourcing partners who can share in the decision-making process while giving support services, too.
“It’s all about transparency and finding a partner who will go the extra mile and build a long-standing relationship. Look for providers with a proven track record, who have accounts with a huge number of payslips, and who offer compliance and accuracy,” he says.
He adds that any outsourcing business needs support, as it doesn’t function as an island. “It is important for a provider to have backing in terms of application development, compliance and legislative issues, and with a larger organisation, customers have easy and immediate access to that.”
In addition, look for a provider who has ownership of their software, so it can be tailored to each customer’s specific needs, he adds. This also means that developers, support teams, and compliance teams are always at hand. When an outsourcer has this ownership, they have more influence and flexibility. Updates happen instantly, as does support, without any backwards and forwards.
A real partner will work with their customer to see where they can save money, make processes more efficient, help them become more compliant, and more accurate to avoid penalties, says Pohl. “It comes down to understanding the customer, acknowledging that no two customers are the same, and accommodating their individual needs as much as possible.”
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