People operations
4 min read

How People teams can convince their Leadership to switch to payroll software

Sabrina Castiglione
March 10, 2023

Let's face it – People teams are frustrated with payroll. And for a good reason. The endless payroll admin comes in the way of driving meaningful business outcomes, impacting almost all employees and their relationships with the business.

Yes, payroll is necessary.

People teams also get that payroll is a necessary business function. Fundamentally, employees work for a living and ensuring they get paid right and paid on time lies at the root of it all. And that's how most HR and People teams get stuck in this vicious cycle of prioritising payroll over any other activity than can enhance employee experience or impact company productivity.

Most People teams are also actively trying to automate payroll admin. Be it by creating internal processes or working with an external payroll outsourcing provider. But given the nature of external payroll providers, People teams pick up the admin burden anyway while acting as liaisons between the payroll provider and internal teams. Given the failure of traditional payroll solutions, People teams are now switching to payroll software like Pento.

But here's the catch – building and presenting a business case to the Leadership can be challenging. Payroll costs are not obvious, and Leadership are far removed from the risks and inefficiencies of day-to-day payroll.

We're here to make this easy! Read on to learn how you can convince your Leadership to switch to payroll software like Pento.

Surface hidden costs and opportunity costs.

Time is a scarce resource. Making the most of it is essential, especially as Leadership usually see time spent on 'General and Administrative' activities as a business overhead rather than a value driver.

When payroll is not automated, there are some hidden costs. People teams need to surface them effectively. It all adds up, be it time spent getting data from multiple department heads, double-checking calculations, reviewing every change from the previous payroll, or helping with employee queries.

People teams should also help Leadership realise the opportunity costs when they spend time on payroll admin. They could spend more time retaining employees or increasing company productivity instead of going back and forth with outsourcers or scrambling to understand payroll legislation. Every minute spent on payroll is time and effort away from actively fulfilling your role. People teams should ensure Leadership knows this opportunity cost from the get-go.

Payroll also becomes more demanding at scale, so you often add headcount and bloat your People team. And as champions of culture and operational efficiency, People teams set a bad example by sticking to a traditional payroll provider and inefficient payroll process.

‍Lead with ROI – time saved, improved impact, efficiency, and scalable.

Changing payroll providers can take time and effort. Leadership teams understand this and want to avoid investing in the wrong solution. The best way to diffuse the objections from Leadership is to lead with a clear return on investment.

Why payroll software?

Share the benefits of adopting payroll software. Be it the time saved on calculations and payments or the reduced anxiety because there's no more pressure to be the expert in payroll legislation. Talk about how it benefits not just the team but you – if onboarding payroll software will allow you to break away from the worries and plan your next best offsite, call it out.

Why now? What's the trigger?

Often, Leadership need to be made aware of the underlying pain of payroll admin. It's your job to mention how the current payroll setup is causing pain. Are your employees getting paid incorrectly due to the payroll provider's mistakes? Are you paying an external provider to manage your payroll but still spending the same or more time on payroll? Are you unable to drive high-impact projects like hiring or setting up culture frameworks? Bring forth your current payroll setup's pain and potential risks to drive urgency.


What's the impact? How soon will you realise it?

Quantify the pain. Try to put a number on the time you spend on payroll activities. Now showcase the high-impact projects and business outcomes you can achieve with that time instead of spending it on payroll. Help Leadership visualise the short-term, evident impact of saving time and energy as a People function and how you can better use those productive hours. From workflows to numbers, differentiate between payroll setup today and how you can improve payroll with payroll software.

Talk about the ease of switching your payroll setup.

If switching your payroll provider will take additional resources and months on end, Leadership will reject your proposal instantly. Ensure you're going to your Leadership with a plan on how you'll be switching out of your current payroll provider and settling into the payroll software. For instance, if you choose Pento, we do all the legwork. Liaising with your existing provider, data reconciliation, setup, and testing – Pento takes care of it all.

If you automate payroll, you can finally concentrate on driving company-wide impact. Reiterate this to your Leadership.

At Pento, we understand that payroll is necessary. But it's also highly tedious right now, and it shouldn't be. With our payroll software and instant, expert support team, we aim to make payroll admin a thing of the past. We want to remove the payroll burden from People teams and automate it, ensuring payroll runs smoothly in the background, with minimal input.

With this article, we hope we've helped People teams like you build and present a strong business case to switch to payroll software.

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