What Payroll Can Learn From 2020

2020 was a difficult year. With COVID-19 disrupting nearly all aspects of modern society, everyone was forced to rethink what ‘normal’ meant, from coffee shops to multinational corporations. Of those affected in various industries, smaller businesses had to bear the bigger brunt in the scramble to identify and implement safe, remote workflows. The lack of manpower and the financial cushion of being a large organization were the primary reasons for that.

Caught in in the lurch of that transition was a critical part of HR: payroll. Businesses, like the rest of us, were utterly unprepared for a global-scale disaster – as corporations and government bodies drafted updated rules and regulations concerning payroll practices in a pandemic-ridden world, most of the year was spent in a sort of firefighting mode. Rules would be implemented, issues arising in the aftermath would be amended and the cycle would repeat. New Zealand went into a strict, enforced lockdown early in the pandemic, a measure that wrecked economic stability in the short term but is being lauded by the rest of the world for its effectiveness. Government support, changes in business tax and wage subsidies meant that payroll managers needed to always be on top of the latest compliance requirements, because there is no margin for error when it comes to payroll.

Having to manage all that in addition to the standard corporate tax and income tax (withheld by employers in the form of Pay-As-You-Earn basis) added several layers of complexity to the jobs of payroll managers, who were also adjusting to working remotely with the extra responsibility. That is where technology has proven itself invaluable, by helping payroll operations run smoothly and accurately. Cloud-based solutions like PeopleSonic gained wider adoption as data and access portability were sought, alongside a robust and secure platform for managing critical payroll and HR data.

A year into the pandemic, however, most HR and payroll teams are still running in disaster mode, as the uncertainty associated with virus hotspots, variable restrictions and lockdowns keeps businesses operating erratically. That means that even with technology providing necessary support, there are still steps that HR professionals can take to tackle this uncertainty and still deliver quality work. Let’s examine what those steps could potentially be:

Embrace the automation provided by technology

While most companies, small or large, have sought HR platforms for their cloud services to meet work from home requirements, they are missing a critical advantage by not utilizing these platforms to their fullest.

PeopleSonic provides a payroll automation solution as part of its software suite, which not only helps reduce errors in bookkeeping and payroll processing, but it optimizes the process as well so that there are no delays – we all know how inefficient large spreadsheets become over time. Not only that, payroll automation helps reduce process costs as well, a saving critical for small businesses at this critical juncture in time. If you consider one upgrade to your HR and payroll processes, make it this.

Stay on top of changing regulations

The pandemic response in New Zealand involved various forms of stimuli and support for businesses of all sizes. The Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme and sector-specific support, for instance, are all new aspects of payroll that need to be accounted for with every salary processing event.

While the government-based programmes have been established by this point, it does not hurt to add ‘checking the Treasury website regularly’ to your work routine to stay on top of any new developments, or updates to existing subsidies.

Technology can aid here as well. The PeopleSonic suite, for instance, provides compliance information within the platform, so that HR personnel are aware of critical information in the employee’s country.

Stress on data security

Most businesses, even smaller ones, have traditionally had on-site IT to provide a secure digital environment for employees to work in and store data. However, with the move to home-based work, employees, especially in HR and admin, will be accessing highly sensitive data through unsecured home networks, which opens the possibility for security breaches – the ultimate betrayal of the client/customer’s trust.

Shifting to a cloud-based HR solution rather than the in-house solution that was used pre-pandemic is the fastest way to secure all your critical personnel and payroll data. PeopleSonic’s platform pairs that secure cloud environment with a system that can be accessed on computers, smartphones and any internet-enabled devices to combine convenience with the ultimate peace of mind.

 As 2021 gets underway and it becomes clearer that the term ‘business as usual’ is still not attainable, it is paramount that HR remain on top of the upheaval in daily work functions – more so now than ever before, employees need reassurance in the face of uncertainty with regular salaries. That requires payroll processing to happen like clockwork, which can only happen if HR personnel make embracing technology their 2021 resolution.

Time Is Money: Why Automated Payroll Is Better

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late, a popular saying which ties in perfectly with Peoplesonic’s introduction of Automated Payroll. A simple and easy to use interface, that allows for a time-efficient solution to your financing problems. 

Is Your Risk Calculated?

In terms of finance and calculation, it all comes down to margins and efficiency. There’s a certain speed at which an employee can execute a task and even then the accuracy of said calculations is in doubt. Manually crunching numbers, entering data, and calculating leaves a lot to be desired from an efficiency standpoint. Similarly, as humans are incapable of perfection a few natural hiccups are inevitable.

For a small business or any business, all these factors are very much counter-intuitive. So why not opt for a ready-made solution; Peoplesonic? Payroll automation simplifies and completely revolutionizes the traditional method as it is capable of calculating a string of numbers in seconds. Calculations also include adding bonuses, taxes, and other variables that would otherwise be tedious to factor in.

Automated Payroll Gets Work Done Faster, Simpler, And More Efficient

Setting up your payroll on Peoplesonic for the first time may seem daunting, however, it’s as easy as a few taps. An admin has to specify a few factors such as payroll date and frequency, which can conveniently be altered from the settings tab. It’s as simple as that, with the data entered the process will completely be automated without any errors. You’ll be able to see each payroll report and overrule any edit you wish seamlessly, every detail is just a tap away!

This will remove the need for an in-house resource to manage finances as well as a host of other features to top it all off. The software automatically transfers the funds via bank transfer online and notifies both you and the employee about the transaction. Keeping a strict check on time won’t be an issue either as the system runs very precisely on time, allowing for each transaction and process to be done on the dot. All of this will be synced and stored to keep a complete record of the process.

Organizing Your Organization With Automated Payroll Filing

Peoplesonic completely encapsulates payroll automation, and payroll filing is no different. This feature can be activated by enabling the IRD button and linking your IRD account to the Peoplesonic system. This allows for the payroll to be optimized as per the IRD regulation and will continue to generate during its set schedule. This will allow the system to periodically maintain a tax record, and store each record as a backup. Worrying about errors won’t be an issue either, as the software is designed in a way that minimizes calculation errors and smoothly calculates your taxes.

The payroll process will no longer require human interaction or handling per se, the system will reliably produce results in an effective manner. The filing system will store and manage data, generating folders to organize as it goes forward. This will facilitate you due to its timely processing and simple interface. Convenience and efficiency all in one system!

Make Changes With A Few Clicks

One of the points of using an automated system is the ability to customize and alter any components to suit your needs. Similarly, the payroll allows for edits to be made anytime. Any edit will quickly be updated and the relevant changes will be showcased after a quick refresh! Adding a new employee is a prime example, another would be to change bank account details. If any detail is incorrect or does not have a correct value, it will be highlighted and not processed to reduce errors. This allows you to have full control over the system despite it running independently.

Peoplesonic’s entire interface runs on the same easy on the eye aesthetic which helps you navigate seamlessly.

Maintaining Employee Satisfaction

Although being an automated system, the boost in employee satisfaction is vast. The interface allows users to request and access files/libraries much more easily and even has the benefit of displaying remaining leaves etc. This allows the employees to stay in check and aids in the management side as a constant check is not necessary. It guarantees each change is made to the server at the earliest providing for a smooth and productive experience. Employees will be notified if they arrive late or have exhausted all of their leaves and paid leaves, a detailed report of each user is available to keep the financing transparent. 

The software removes the guesswork for the employer and keeps the employees in the loop, allowing for an overall efficient system.

Efficient On Time and Money

Normally HR-related tasks are carried out by an assigned team member, which exhausts the human in question, countless resources, and more importantly time. An in-house HR manager may have its perks, but it’s clear the heavy amounts of money and time do not add up. However, a feature-rich solution allows you to carry out multiple tasks within a finger’s reach and a few taps here and there. So a well-optimized payroll system carries out your tasks while eliminating human errors, and automates your problem into the all-around solution you need!

 Integrated HR Platforms are the Essential Boost Your Business Need


As more and more businesses move HR from a pen and paper department to a web-based smart operation, those left behind have a choice to make: do they stay in the past or do they take that necessary step into the future?

To add to the decision-making worry, there are two major ways HR is managed digitally: Bespoke services that manage a singular aspect and nothing else, and HR platforms where all aspects are managed and integrated into each other to provide an end-to-end solution.

Let’s resolve any lingering doubts you may have about the efficacy of these integrated HR platforms by taking a look at just how they excel over ‘traditional’ HR management.

You Get Centralized Core Services

A major complaint that arises with the sheer breadth of scope of most HR teams is the fact that data gets scattered far and wide. Collating that data when it is requested can become a hassle when it is divided across several apps, systems and files, there’s also the additional possibility of errors when combining said data into a singular report.

An integrated HR platform basically renders every such problem moot. Most integrated HR systems provide an all-in-one dashboard for managing employee data, such as:

  • Employee contact and personal information
  • Job designation
  • Department / Team within company
  • Employee documents / contracts

Additionally, these dashboard enable HR to manage data permissions and privacy controls to every employee in the company, and store all this data to the platform’s secure cloud servers, from one convenient location!

You Get Additional Services Like Payroll and Leave Management

Most HR functions beyond employee data management and onboarding are lengthy, tedious and no less essential. Payroll and leave management are two of the biggest and most demanding of those functions – ‘traditional’ HR management structures have multiple people tasked specially to fulfill these functions, making them a major manpower sink. Being human-driven also leaves these critical services prone to errors and mistakes.

Modern integrated HR platforms such as PeopleSonic pride themselves on providing turn-key solutions to the looming problems of payroll and leave management. These integrated solutions provide dedicated applications within the platform which exclusively manage payroll and leaves, while fully exposing their data to the central dashboard to enable analytics, tracking and updates.   

You Get Instant, Detailed Analytics

As mentioned earlier, the biggest boost that integrated HR platforms provide businesses comes in the form of analytics. The modern business world is exceedingly data-driven, which refers to understanding data and using those analyses to inform decision making. Knowing how to make sense of the data collected becomes far more necessary than the act of collection itself, and that is where your business profits from these platforms.

Rather than having an employee gather data, run it through their performance metrics and guidelines and create a report from that, HR platforms use their integrated nature to call data from the relevant application, analyze it and generate the required reports, all from one button click! Harnessing the computing power of the platforms also provides thorough analyses that would otherwise take HR days to produce.

You Get to Save Time

It must be evident by now that if your business still executes its HR functions through personnel only (and using paper rather than digital), you are wasting a hefty chunk of your employee’s time on things that integrated HR platforms now do instantly, or automatically on a schedule. By removing the burden of menial tasks, HR teams get freed up to tackle higher value goals for the business. The same goes for time saved each month on processing payroll, and especially the time saved in following up on leave approvals, statuses and accruals.

While the difference in time efficiency gained when using an integrated solution to using several solutions for HR management is not as dramatic as that between analogue and digital, it is still significant. That is especially true given how highly competitive today’s industries are, and even a minor advantage becomes critical in the long run.

You Get Increased Productivity 

A consequence of HR systems that doesn’t get enough spotlight is the increase in employee productivity through time and attendance management. By observing and understanding employee behaviour, managers and HR can best formulate ways to motivate teams to arrive on time, which would in turn boost and elevate the work culture of that organization. 

Time is money may be a cliche, but it is one that is painfully important to businesses, whether they’re small or even multinational. That’s why managers and team leads are always looking for data on employee attendance and how to maximise it. By analyzing this data, a more productive work culture can be created, one based on trust with the employees.


While the idea of using exclusive, specialist software to look after various HR functions can sound enticing, getting those applications to play nicely with each other can prove to be challenging, sometimes even futile. That’s why an integrated HR platform that is essentially an end-to-end solution for managing HR will always appeal more to businesses, and with good reason. What’s more, modern HR platforms even allow a lot of customisation features that can tailor that platform to your business’s specific needs, one which can easily augment the benefits you gain by moving your business from ‘traditional’ HR management to an integrated, all-in-one platform.

The Need to Automate Monthly Payroll for Small Businesses: Is it real or not?

Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to survival for small, even medium-sized businesses in today’s highly competitive markets. Forget weeks, a lag of days or even hours can prove crucial to a certain outcome, so why should your business run that risk each month when it’s time to pay your employees?

The Problem with Manual Payroll Processing

It all boils down to time and accuracy. Even with a workforce of ~50 employees, manually creating and reviewing payroll can become a major time sink. You also have to factor in the cost of the employees tasked on this project. Between that and the tedium of double and triple checking potential errors, manual payroll processing today is counterintuitive to the very idea of a lean small/medium business. Delays are inevitable, and potentially disruptive – no company of this size can afford to lose their top performers because they weren’t paid in a timely manner.

Why should payroll management suffer in the analogue era when digital technology is enabling so many aspects of businesses?

Automating to Eliminate Mistakes, Faster

Granted, some initial training of the automation tool / software would be necessary, but by and large the move to a digital payroll solution is both smart and just plain better. Correcting an error becomes as simple as merely tapping a few times on a keyboard, rather than poring over reams of paper trying to locate the mistake. Spotted a blunder that made its way to several locations? A few taps on the keyboard fix that. Updating records at the last minute? A few taps. Need necessary approvals to finalize processing? A few taps.

It’s so easy, you’ll be hard-pressed to remember a time when you didn’t have this essential service.

Let the Computers do the Calculations

The very first digital payroll management was nothing more than glorified spreadsheets, very similar to the analogue versions. A lot of the legwork still fell on the employee running the tool. Later on, salary / wage calculations and deductions would become additional modules that let your team blitz through tasks previously considered incredibly time-consuming. Tax calculations, in particular, were and still remain the bane of any manual payroll system.

With digital tech now handling all the heavy lifting, payroll automation software can now provide even more value to your small business. A consequence of technology is the rise of the freelancer, the contract worker. These essential parts of the modern workforce completely upend manual payroll, as their wages do not get processed in the same way as “standard” employees. You need tools that have the flexibility to process monthly, weekly, hourly or even task-based payments. These sought-after features were once the domain of big-budget and expensive software like QuickBooks, definitely something not every small-scale business can afford. Lucky, then, that the payroll software industry has an excellent variety available in the form of competitors such as PeopleSonic, payroll solution that is targeted specifically at small to medium-sized businesses.

Why break the bank to achieve essential payroll automation, or worse, forego it for the archaic manual systems?

Impeccable Record Storage, Instant Withdrawal

Is your accounts or finance team still doing payroll by hand? A quick way to answer that is to look at or around their offices. Do you spot absolute mountains of papers inside bulky file folders? How motivated does it make you feel to locate and peruse the payroll record of a specific employee?

Digital storage becomes available to your HR department (and the accounts/finance teams) the moment you switch to automation – you can reinforce this record-keeping through data duplication or preferably cloud storage. That’s a feature manual payroll can never have, the ability to store critical information long-term and peruse it fully and instantaneously. This feature helps your business and your employees both – no one wants to search for that one piece of paper months down the line.

Running your payroll no longer has to involve human and financial capital coupled with extended time and effort expenditure. There are now smart automated solutions available that can ramp up your efficiency several fold and put a smile on your employees’ faces each month. There is no reason to not do that, today.

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