Which payroll process causes the most headaches?

Payroll is a catch-all term for a whole series of subprocesses. We’ve distinguished no less than 19 of them, from collecting data to administering absences to drawing up reports. Each administrative payroll subprocess has its own characteristics and challenges. Which weigh the most on payroll proficiency? We asked a total of 4,500 companies in 16 countries.

Travel and expense management

Administration of time and attendance

Administration of time and attendance (e.g. time worked, overtime, holidays, illness, maternity leave) is perceived as most complex payroll process, which is particularly dreaded by Irish, Spain and Finnish companies. Other pre-calculation processes that seem complicated: administration of contracts, on- and offboarding, expertise processes like expatriate payroll processing or the administration of pensions and insurance policies.

Payroll draws on many different types of employee data: demographics, working times, statutes, base salaries, benefits, bonuses, deductions, etc. Gathering all the necessary information – often from a variety of sources – can be a daunting task. Integrating all these data is equally troublesome. This is not SD Worx talking, but first-hand feedback from European HR teams. About 4 in 10 companies considers data collection and integration a top 5 payroll challenge – more so in the Netherlands.

For approximately 1 in 3 companies monitoring and implementing socio-legal changes is still a hassle. Legislative uncertainty is mainly an issue in Belgium and France, and in larger companies.

Which payroll subprocesses complicate payroll processing the most? (% in top 5)

Before Data Processing

Data Processing & Calculations

After Data Processing

Start treating your worst payroll pain points

Chances are big that you can relate to the results from our 2023 Payroll Proficiency Index. If so, it’s time to take action. The good news: many complex subprocesses have easy solutions.

Tracking time and attendance

Digitally tracking working hours through manager and employee self-service tools is a powerful efficiency booster. You benefit from an automated payroll and a real-time overview of personnel costs, while your employees get empowered to manage their own time and absences – wherever they are.

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Collecting and integrating data

Benefit from local best-of-breed and ERP-based solutions that integrate seamlessly with leading core HR, absence management, time and attendance systems, and more. Automating the collection and integration phase of payroll will save you a lot of time.

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Monitoring socio-legal changes

Why bother about studying the ins and outs of new laws and regulations if you can contact legal experts to boil it down to the essence for you? They also assist with legal documents, such as contracts, tax filings, reporting and country-specific declarations. The goal: fully compliant payroll.

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Going the full monty

Optimising certain payroll subprocesses is always a good idea, but if you really want to make it easy on yourself, you can also outsource some or all subprocesses to a seasoned payroll partner. With outsourcing formulas ranging from SaaS to BPO, you choose the level of support that best suits you.

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