LOWELL, Mass. ,

According to a new survey from Kronos Incorporated conducted with the American Payroll Association, nearly half (49 percent) of all organizations surveyed admitted to not tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) in their payroll department.

The “Evolution of Payroll Technology Trendline Survey” polled nearly 1,000 payroll professionals from small, mid, and enterprise-size organizations across all industries. The findings suggest outdated, manual processes and legacy payroll solutions limit a payroll department’s ability to track and report KPIs and hinder their ability to keep up with today’s speed of modern business.

News Facts

  • Today’s work, yesterday’s tools: Many organizations rely on payroll solutions implemented before the great recession
    • For nearly a third (29 percent) of survey respondents, their payroll solution is 10 or more years old – meaning it was deployed around the same time the world was being introduced to Apple’s iPhone for the very first time in 2007.
    • Some respondents benefit from more modern solutions: just one out of every 10 (11 percent) use a solution deployed within the last year, while about a quarter (27 percent) use a solution that is less than three years old.
  • The pulse of performance: Legacy solutions likely hurt payroll’s ability to accurately track and measure business outcomes
    • According to the survey, approximately half (49 percent) of respondents admitted that their payroll team does not regularly track and report on KPIs, a possible side effect of using such outdated solutions.
    • For those who do track KPIs (51 percent), the most common metrics added over the last decade include measuring the impact of manual/voided/stopped payments (31 percent), payment errors as a percent of total payroll payments (23 percent), and total processing time per pay cycle (18 percent) – all of which are direct indicators of payroll performance and accuracy.
    • Progressive payroll departments are also focusing on their impact on the employee experience: about one-fifth (19 percent) now measure the average time to service employee requests per day, week, and month. This is significant because a slow response to payroll requests has a direct, negative impact on engagement.
  • What keeps payroll professionals up at night: Changing business objectives will create significant challenges
    • When evaluating their existing payroll solution, a quarter (25 percent) of survey respondents say merger and acquisition activity requiring the blending of two organizations presents the biggest difficulty to overcome.
    • More common occurrences, such as annually evolving business goals (20 percent) and organizational changes, including new leadership or strategic direction (20 percent), are also viewed as obstacles due to their existing payroll solution.
    • Widely regarded as experts in regulatory change, just 13 percent of payroll professionals are concerned with the impact their current solution has on their ability to manage new legislative rules and regulations.
  • Payroll’s wish list: Digital solutions that empower the entire workforce, whether hourly or salary, a manager or employee
    • To make their own role more effective, payroll professionals want their next solution to have on-demand reporting and analytics (87 percent), seamless integration with time and labor management to improve data quality (81 percent), and the comprehensive ability to track multiple worker classifications (76 percent), such as seasonal and temporary employees in addition to full- and part-time.
    • With an eye on the employee experience, an intuitive user experience (80 percent) and employee self-service (77 percent) scored highly as “must-have” features.
    • Almost all survey respondents (90 percent) say a solution that grants security-access levels based on position is critical. This would empower others within the organization – such as finance, operations, or executive leadership – to incorporate payroll data into their own reports for a more complete look at performance without exposing sensitive employee personnel information.

Supporting Quotes

  • Malysa O’Connor, senior director, Payroll Practice Group, Kronos
    “Many payroll professionals find themselves in a challenging predicament. They’re forced to rely on outdated solutions that provide limited visibility into payroll’s impact on overall organizational performance. Because of this, they are unable to build a proper business case to secure the investment needed to procure the modern, digital solutions required to keep up with today’s speed of business. Organizations that proactively invest in new payroll tools that deliver in-depth analytics and an engaging employee experience will unlock yet another door for improved performance.”

Supporting Resources

  • Note to editors: Please refer to this research as “The Evolution of Payroll Technology Survey” conducted by Kronos with the American Payroll Association.
  • See why G2 Crowd named Workforce Ready a marketplace leader in HR management suites.
  • Read the What Works blog to learn about the latest trends, insights, and best practices for payroll and human resources professionals.
  • Connect with Kronos via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

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Survey Methodology

Research conducted on behalf of Kronos Incorporated by the American Payroll Association via a sponsored survey opportunity with its membership. Survey data was collected from 959 respondents between Feb. 27 and March 15, 2018, using an online quantitative methodology. Survey participants were sourced by the American Payroll Association and all respondents who opted-in to complete the survey, including sharing their demographic and contact information, were entered to win a drawing for a $500 Amazon gift card furnished by Kronos. For further questions about survey methodology, contact [email protected].