Dec 20, 2019 | International Payments

The Payroll Autumn Update 2019 - What is happening in the reward and payroll industry?

We recently attended the 2019 Payroll Autumn Update in London. The conference, now in its 15th year explored both current and future trends, covered important regulatory updates and allowed industry professionals to connect and network with common interests. It was a pleasure to join this event as knowledge partners, where we delivered a session on the macro economic outlook of the UK and the impacts on payroll.

We have caught up with our Senior Business Development Manager for International Payroll, Gary Kniveton to provide some highlights and key takeaways from the event.

payroll autumn conference
Our talk at the conference

What are the key changes and learnings to the payroll sector?

From conversations had and sessions that ran throughout the day it is clear that data security and compliance is a key area for rewards and payroll. It is essential that payroll systems comply with country laws and taxes. This is even more prevalent for organisations that have employees or assignees in multiple countries across the world.

Accuracy of information is also critical to ensure correct and seamless payroll. It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure their employees are paid on time, every time and in full for their working hours. In the keynote speech at the Payroll and Reward conference in June, our Vice President of Payment Products Karen Penney mentioned that there is a greater focus than ever before on employees in both the private and public sector, and how being paid incorrectly can have subsequent effects on the success of a business.

What challenges/opportunities does the sector face as we approach 2020?

As we go into 2020, as with many industries technology is definitely a point of interest for payroll and more companies look to move towards cloud-based systems. In particular a greater use of Artificial Intelligence which is already disrupting the traditional payroll function. AI could look to manage and build rotas, streamline data management and automate resource heavy processes. Given the nature of the Reward and Payroll functions, GDPR also continues to be a challenge from an understanding and compliance perspective.

Did you feel that engaging directly with the sector works, by attending the Payroll Autumn Update as an exhibitor?

Yes definitely, as with any sector it is great to be present at these types of events as it enables us as a business to integrate and understand further the industries needs and wants. They allow our industry experts to stay up to speed with trends, priorities and points of interest, which is crucial to delivering a world class payments service.

From the event, what did you find most insightful about the sector?

A main take away from the Payroll Autumn Update was how undervalued the payroll teams can often feel.  As pay is of critical importance to employees around the world, it follows that the reward and payroll function is of paramount importance to both the functionality and success of a business but also to the lives of those that work there. It was also very interesting to understand further that the payroll function does not always sit within the same team, but rather across HR, finance and sometimes stand alone.

What we do know for certain is that with all areas of a business, changes are often constant and necessary to keep organisations moving and in line with the times. The payroll function is no different and conferences such as the Payroll Autumn Update are a great place to gain better understanding of where the sector is heading.

Opinions expressed herein are not representative of the views of Western Union Business Solutions and Western Union Business Solutions makes no warranty concerning the accuracy of this information and specifically disclaims any liability whatsoever for any loss arising from trading decisions based on the opinions expressed and information contained herein.