5 ways managed payroll helps a business strategy

Counting money and doing payroll

Formerly looked upon as being a mundane, albeit important task, the function of payroll within a business is still mostly undervalued. Payroll, however, involves major financial and reputational stakes, whilst providing opportunities such as data analytics and resource optimization, smart payroll management may just hold the keys to improve your business strategy. But before diving into the 5 ways it will help, it is important to know what prompted this surge of potential.

Payroll evolves, and so do a payroll specialist’s duties

Technology enabled the transformation of payroll. Far from its beginnings, limited to physical pay checks and manually-filled payslips, Cloud-based systems equip payroll specialists with a wealth of resources and data. In today’s globalized work environment, these digital tools are the key to unlock new advantages, whether with regards to compliance or analytics. However, in order to seize these major opportunities, the once-practical duty of payroll specialists is veering towards a more analytical and operational one – especially when it comes to organizations with expansion plans.

Viewing data in such a light will help your business evolve, because:

1. Tapping into the power of data provides insights into your workforce and operations

This data is, indeed, crucial for the proper and timely administration of payroll, but it could also be so much more.


  • Apart from wage calculation, how useful is the information gathered throughout this process? One way of maximising this precious asset would be to analyse this data to gauge operations, detect trends and identify patterns and behaviours among employees.
  • In what scenarios are overtime and increased turnover rates linked, and conversely, in what areas do overtime affect productivity, quality, or even talent retention?


Learning how to read such data could give you a fresh perspective of the actual efficiency of internal policy making.

2. Appreciating the financial importance of payroll guides strategic decision-making

From geographic to functional data, payroll holds tremendous insights into your business to guide you towards informed decisions. Figures may speak louder than words: they will help you make well-advised plans, as data analysis will help you forecast and, in turn, regulate labour costs. This opportunity alone plays a major part in any organisation’s financial strategy.

Analysing such expenses from an HR perspective might be a game changer at different levels:

  • Firstly, by using payroll data to analyse labour costs v/s active contributions per country of operation in the case of organisations operating in various countries.
  • Secondly, by analysing established office functions and their remuneration schemes, while weighing their contribution: is the function still convenient for a part-time employee who receives overtime pay, or does the workload simply make it more cost-efficient to consider hiring full-time employees?

Such questions guide smarter allocation of resources.

3. Maintaining employee experience is of the utmost importance to retain and attract talent

It is no mystery that, in today’s competitive workforce, a poorly managed payroll comes at the great cost of talent loss. Maintaining a positive employee experience is therefore one of the main goals of payroll specialists. This is often achieved thanks to a number of measures that include the use of employee self-service portals  to facilitate data collection and enhance its accuracy. Such innovative tools are based on Cloud technology, which gives employees instant and easy access to data. They can, for instance, know how many leaves they have left and manage the application process from start to approval. Adopting these solutions also brand your company as a forward-thinking employer of choice that cares about employee experience.

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4. Optimising your internal resources and processes

Smart payroll solutions also come into play to automate mundane, yet labour-intensive administrative tasks. Free of such time and energy-consuming tasks, your staff will be able to shift from simply performing routine functions to dedicating themselves to improve processes and find innovative ideas. It also generally allows your HR teams to focus on talent, and devise the best internal policies, work packages, and other tactical management decisions.

5. Reviewing data to ensure compliance

Setting up adequate audit and reporting mechanisms will certainly help by ensuring the financial compliance of your business with local regulations. However, payroll data can take you a step further down the road to legal compliance and best employment practices, if you know where to look. Indeed, payroll data can also unveil pay gaps within your organization that would come at the cost of employee experience, while saving you the burden of being exposed to potential discrimination lawsuits.

Streamlined processes across every country of operation in Africa

Choosing a dedicated payroll specialist to assist you in your expansion plans ensures smart payroll planning, as well as a streamlined process across every single country of operation. As a service provider in over 44 countries on the continent, Africa HR works with experts to guide you through local compliance requirements, and gives you access to digital tools specifically designed for managed payroll in the African continent. Contact us to learn more about how we can help!


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