Cloud-based services are becoming ubiquitous across the full spectrum of business functions and applications.
This growth is being fuelled by many factors, including gaining more flexibility in features, better compliance, and more control and cost compared to using an on-premise system – and nowhere is this more true than with HR and payroll.
Sandra Crous, MD of payroll and human capital management software, PaySpace, cites several reasons why savvy businesses are adopting cloud-based payroll & HR.
Improved accuracy and speed
“Number one, cloud-based systems improve both accuracy and speed. They are specifically designed to ease the pain points associated with on-premise systems.
“Any good solution will feature an interface that is easy to use and intuitive, with simple navigation.
“Moreover, as many functions are automated, the need for manual calculations is removed, which in turn practically eliminates errors and redundancies.”
Secondly, Crous says cloud-based payroll systems offer mobile accessibility.
“Today’s workforce isn’t office bound. Many employees work on the go, from satellite offices, or from home. One of the major benefits of cloud-based payroll is that HR staff and management can process payroll at any time, and from any devices.
“This is particularly useful for companies who have offices in several countries, or across multiple time zones.”
Better data protection
According to Crous, although some organisations question the security of cloud-based payroll, in reality, it is far more secure than its on-premise counterparts.
Any data stored on-premise is vulnerable to not only natural disasters, but hardware failure resulting in data loss.
Cloud-based payroll companies ensure that their security is best-in-class on every level, from data to infrastructure, and that data it is backed up regularly and encrypted.
Roll out features faster
With cloud-based payroll, the latest versions of the software that the business needs to run its payroll are made available to all customers as soon as they’re released. Instant upgrades and updates put new features and functionality into customers’ hands to make them more productive, instantly.
In addition, software enhancements are usually released on a fairly regular basis, in sharp contrast to on-premise tools that might only introduce a new iteration every year or so, and even these will take a significant amount of time to roll out.
In terms of compliance, those in charge of payroll have to meet certain deadlines, particularly where salaries and tax filing is concerned. In addition, frequent changes in HR laws, especially in Africa, which already has multiple countries all with different rules and regulations, could see the business in hot water if they fall foul of compliance.
Most important of which are pay cheques and tax filing deadlines.
Regulators are known to impose large fines on businesses who violate tax law, making it crucial for businesses to have flexible payroll systems that are frequently and automatically updated with any new information.
Scalability for the business
Next, says Crous, is the scalability that cloud-based payroll offers. “This is one of the major differences between cloud-based and on-premise payroll software.
“The former is 100% scalable, meaning that if your company has to deal with a fluctuating, growing, or shrinking workforce, this is a major benefit.
“Companies need not worry about growing too fast and lacking the capacity or on the other hand, paying for more than what they need and use.
“With cloud payroll, businesses only pay for what they use.”
Access to self-service portals
In addition, cloud-based payroll and HR offers self-service to employees and managers alike.
“Self-service portals offer fantastic benefits to employees at every level in the business, as they offer staff access to their HR and payroll information any time, and from anywhere.
“Employees can check their salary history, benefits, leave balances and personal information using their own smartphones or other devices, which means that managers don’t waste time responding to requests that staff can now sort out for themselves.”
No capital outlay or maintenance costs
Next on the list, is that cloud-based payroll and HR is less costly than having to buy and maintain servers.
“Cloud software boasts a far higher return on investment than having it all in-house.
“There are no capital outlays associated with buying and maintaining hardware. Also, there are no setup costs and no continual upgrades and updates, meaning businesses save on both upfront and ongoing expenses.”
Automated updates and disaster recovery
Another benefit, says Crous, is that cloud-based HR & payroll solutions offer your organisation the ability to run off the cloud and restore any critical data and systems to any location.
In this way, in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or other catastrophe, they enable the business to get these crucial systems back online far more rapidly, and remove the manual processes of traditional recovery methods.
In addition, updates are managed automatically, and the company always has access to the best and most up-to-date version of the software.
This means there is no downtime, and the IT department can focus on revenue-driving activities instead.
A lower carbon footprint
Finally, cloud payroll services are greener and more environmentally friendly.
“Lowering our carbon footprint is an imperative for businesses across the board,” says Crous.
“With cloud, there are fewer servers to maintain, meaning that organisations can lower their energy consumption, and with it, their impact on the environment. Moreover, with cloud-based systems, the company only uses as much space as it needs, meaning waste is eliminated.”