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Nobody Gets Fired for Buying IBM

Matthew Horton
August 21, 2023
3 Min Read

The perception amongst large, risk-adverse organisations, is that using big brand or expensive payroll software guarantees compliance.

In most instances, payroll systems are not built for the complex Australian legislative environment. It may work if you have a simple salaried payroll and support staff to help with workarounds. But, as soon as you have pay rules which need to manage multiple timeframes, penalties, allowances, and overtime, it’s likely the proverbial hits the fan.

No payroll software is perfect – at a minimum the software provider (and often the customer) needs team members who know what rules need to be applied and when to apply them, as well as how taxation and superannuation should be applied.

It would be a rare case where ‘off-the-shelf’ software will possess this knowledge. Configuration may take weeks or months and throughout this process, robust testing should be undertaken. Without testing, it could be months or years until you realise that something seemingly insignificant is misconfigured. Recent high profile underpayment cases illustrate that while the error itself may be small and unintended, the compounding effect results in substantial underpayments, and potential reputational damage.

Many systems were designed as a solution for one piece of the workforce management puzzle. Perhaps onboarding, rostering, time and attendance, or payroll. There’s an expectation that data flows will be seamless. Multiple systems equal multiplied stakeholders, leaving more room for error. What happens when a data update occurs in one system – how do the others know they need to replicate this?

Mistakes happen - But how much control does the payroll team have over changes required in supporting software systems? How responsive are your software suppliers to change requests? A customer’s solution may be to create workarounds that are managed outside of the payroll system. This equates to more overheads, time and complexity. More margin for error. Less time adding value where it counts.

There is an alternative – SaaS payroll systems, built specifically for Australian businesses, offering a single source of truth, and designed to empower business owners and payroll experts. Demystifying the ‘under the hood’ code and putting businesses in control of their own system. Interfaces that allow customers to easily build out complex pay rules, set up allowances, run testing scenarios in real time, with simple reporting to show how the rules are being applied and why.

Quick configuration enables a focus on testing and accuracy. Change often happens in the business and legislative landscape. SaaS payroll systems are flexible and adaptable, whilst still being cost effective.

If you are looking to improve your business’ productivity and build resilience, with a software that is flexible, cost effective, and easily configurable, then SaaS payroll systems should appeal. Whilst the adage “Nobody gets fired for buying IBM” has been proven wrong time and time again, perhaps a more modern take could be “Nobody gets fired for considering SaaS payroll”.