In the business world, users are compelled to keep learning about new developments in technology, how these will impact lives and what new innovations lie in store for people. Users have little choice. They have to keep up or get left behind. This involves the phones we use, our computers, our software and our microwave ovens.

What does it mean for those people employed in the day-to-day activities of a busy payroll department? This may not sound terribly important, but one slip-up in the payroll department and that could lead to non-payment on key days in the month. That is when the payroll department becomes hugely significant.

The South African Payroll Association has given this a great deal of thought and has, dedicated resources and time to the thorny issue of continuous learning. In business, a poorly-run and inefficient payroll division is a serious risk to a company. Payroll has become so complex in recent years that it is essential to employ skilled and experience payroll personnel.

As the professional body for those employed within the payroll sector, the Association has been hard at work and is pleased to confirm that in addition to registered qualifications for payroll personnel, many other activities are in place to add depth to the existing knowledge pool.

Workshops and seminars are held regularly with experts conducting these events. Professional designations have been developed and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) activities put in place.

A master’s degree (NQF Level 7) will be available to payroll practitioners in the near future. All of these activities form part of what the Association regards as “life-long ;earning”. Participation and interest in all aspects of the payroll function including accessing the latest technology means highly qualified people who add value to their companies and enrich their own lives.

CEOs and managers should ask themselves whether they have taken into account the risk resulting from having poorly trained and incompetent staff in payroll. Having highly skilled personnel in any business means a well-run efficient and profitable concern. A highly trained payroll administrator means a legally compliant business, happy and motivated staff.

The South African Payroll Association is determined that the professionals registered with us are active members of the “life-long learning” fraternity.

To communicate the importance of life-long learning to the market, the Association is hosting its annual national Conference in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg in September.

“Payroll in Broadway” is the conference theme and several keynote speakers are scheduled to present on various topics.

Included on the itinerary is the art of networking, South African Labour Market trends 2013, SARS, Data Analytics and the function of payroll, changes in payroll over time, tax update, employee benefits, payroll education and training, amongst others.

Several high profile industry stalwarts will be attending including Payroll Giving’s advocate Dawie Crous; Sagren Govender from UIF; Daleen Meinhardt, Human Capital Management Solutions, Business Connexion; Mariana Stander, Tax Consulting SA; Jody Cedras, director: Registration and Recognition; as well as Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys.