How does technology affect payroll proficiency?

Managing a payroll in Europe is a very time-consuming and error-prone task. And slip-ups never go unnoticed. On the contrary, payroll errors can have far-reaching consequences, such as hefty fines and high correctional costs. Luckily, payroll software has developed in such a way that it can take over various payroll subprocesses. Which countries have already jumped on the bandwagon and which still need to step up their digital game?

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Scores by country



Tech boosts payroll proficiency across Europe

Next to outsourcing, technology is the driver with the most positive effect on payroll proficiency. A remarkable 42% of all surveyed companies explicitly say it’s making payroll (much) easier. Mainly Belgian and British companies are big tech fanatics. It eliminates mistakes and enables them to amass large amounts of actionable data. For example, with the right software, they can easily see the correlation between staff bonuses and absenteeism. This type of data insights often leads to better business decisions.

Tom Wouters, Chief Products Officer at SD Worx

Payroll technology in the heart of Europe

Ranked from most proficient to least proficient:

United Kingdom

In recent years, the British government facilitated digital reporting. Companies are also increasingly using payroll software to gather internal data, integrate data sources, calculate salaries and much more. The outcome: over half of British companies indicate that technology is making payroll (much) easier and a whopping 70% praise the positive impact on the total cost of payroll processing. Mainly larger companies (over 250 employees) seem to be satisfied about the impact on costs.

All about payroll tech in the UK


In Belgium, the high level of digital maturity for payroll is heavily linked to the high degree of outsourcing. Seasoned partners provide direct access to cloud-based, scalable and integrated technological solutions. The built-in compliance and reporting capabilities offer large extra value in a notoriously complex country for payroll like Belgium. The result is that no other country is this satisfied about the punctuality and correctness of its payroll: over 70% of companies.

All about payroll tech in Belgium

The Netherlands

The Dutch are known for their fast adaptation to new technologies. In payroll, it’s no different. Nearly 2 in 3 companies already strictly use cloud-based systems to make sure their employees get paid correctly and on time every month. Somewhat counter-intuitive, this innovative mindset doesn’t translate into superior satisfaction figures. A possible explanation is that Dutch companies have raised the bar for digital maturity much higher than their European counterparts.

All about payroll tech in the Netherlands


Although France sits in 4th place, the decent score for payroll technology suggests that also French companies have smooth access to effective software solutions. As is the case in Belgium, this is most likely related to the above-average degree of outsourcing. The payroll subprocesses for which tech is the biggest gamechanger according to the French? Data collection and integration, administering payroll documents, tracking absences, and data interpretation.

All about payroll tech in France


Most German companies prefer to manage their payroll processes in-house. Together with low investments in digitalisation and automation this leads to a fairly modest level of digital maturity. And those who do invest in technology are less satisfied about the positive effects on the total cost of payroll processing than other European companies. German SMEs in particular fail to see the return on investment. Only half of them are happy with the current financial benefits of payroll tech.

All about payroll tech in Germany