Payroll: 6 Benefits of an Employee Self-Service for your business

Paying people for work done in a specified period (i.e., payroll) is a foundational element of any functioning organisation, and significantly impacts employee experience and perception of the organisation’s financial viability. However, this crucial and seemingly simple task can be one of the most challenging and time-consuming responsibilities for organisations, particularly those with a global reach into Africa. This challenge is often compounded by the manual nature of payroll, and associated human error, that typically occurs in in-house payroll teams.

According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey, the pandemic and current unstable political climate has increased the chances of global recession, leading to an increase in the number of organisations outsourcing their payroll to external organisations. Outsourcing payroll functions, particularly to organisations with automated systems, minimizes the risks and subsequent costs associated with not getting global payroll ‘right’.

Challenges to successful payroll across Africa

Global expansion is challenging. Organisations face many obstacles in rolling out accurate and compliant payroll across different African countries with different languages, tax laws around deductions and withholdings and labour legislation concerning mandatory contributions. The more dispersed a global workforce, the more risk to the organisation.

Managing an accurate payroll system requires significant expertise, and should an organisation not get payroll right, there are significant legal, financial, and employee-related consequences.

Area of risk

Cost to the organisation


Organisations with a global workforce need to account for local regulations, tax, and labour laws, which vary – sometimes drastically – from country to country in Africa. Non-compliance with such laws and subsequent penalties and damaged reputation can threaten the successful expansion of an organisation into Africa.


Establishing an in-house payroll team can be very resource, time and cost intensive. Should an organisation not invest in the right people and technologies, costly mistakes may occur, leading to considerable fines and penalties should a tax or employment law be broken.

Employee experience

Accurate payroll is a key factor in employee experience and subsequent satisfaction and loyalty to the employer. Errors or non-compliance negatively impact their experience, indeed, a survey conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos suggests that 49% of employees in the US start searching for a new job after 2 payroll errors.

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Outsourcing payroll to support Africa expansion

Global organisations with established legal entities in Africa can benefit from an outsourcing partnership with a payroll outsourcing firm to minimise slow processes, unforeseen costs, and inaccurate or non-compliant payroll cycles. A core reason why these partnerships are so effective is the availability of employee self-service portals to give organisations and their employees’ visibility of and control over their payroll.  

An employee self-service platform: A value-add

An employee self-service platform is a web-based platform or gateway that employees and organisations use to facilitate payroll processing. This tool allows employees and employers to access relevant information and conduct tasks, such as requesting leave, logging expenses, and collecting data for trend analysis over time. Embracing this lightens the workload of payroll professionals and boosts efficient organisational processes. Consider some of the value-adds of a centralised, self-service platform:


What the organisation gains

Compliance is less daunting

A self-service portal offers a clear and concise view of an employee’s payroll and employment-related information, which can easily be cross-checked against relevant regulations (e.g., leave legislation, tax laws, insurance, or social security).

Embracing an outsourced payroll organisation with an online tool gives employers a view of how their employee’s payroll is being managed in compliance with relevant legislation.

Less time-consuming, more value-add

HR professionals will have more time and resources to add value through strategic process planning and innovation for successful Africa expansion.

Faster, more effective onboarding

Time to onboarding is crucial for organisations needing to remain relevant in constantly evolving markets or needing to fill critical skills gaps. An employee self-service portal streamlines the tasks that slow the onboarding process down (e.g., data collection and approval).

Employees are onboarded faster, more effectively and more consistently across multiple different countries.

Improved employee experience

Employees utilising a self-service platform enjoy the control it gives them over their payroll information and process. 

Taking autonomy over their payroll process may add positively to an employee’s experience of company culture.

Less human error

People, especially when overwhelmed by tasks, make mistakes. Mistakes made in a payroll cycle can be costly to the organisation legally, financially and impacts the employee experience.

Outsourced payroll processes and automated systems reduce the error that arises through the manual processing of tasks.

Increased organisational agility

Increasingly, organisations across the world are recognising the need to be agile in their responses to the various environmental, political, governance and social factors that impact their way of work.

Outsourcing an often-cumbersome process, such as payroll, and managing it on a centralised system means that firms have the capacity and resources to focus on business needs for rapid innovation, quality assurance and reduced cost, whilst ensuring to maintain a positive employee experience.

Africa HR gives you access to the best digital tools

AHR successfully manages the payroll of global organisations in 44 African countries. Outsourcing payroll to AHR and utilising our self-service system ensures organisations have a compliant, effortless, and cost-effective payroll cycle, every single month.

As payroll specialists, we pride ourselves on always finding tailor-made solutions for our clients’ needs. We provide our clients with turnkey cloud-based tools – which are perfectly adapted to the context of remote work – and payroll processes and strategies to fit their unique expansion plans across the African continent. We help them get the basics right, through our automated self-service platform.


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