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Every successful global payroll engagement needs a silver lining

by Anika Panwar

E&Y’s Global Payroll Survey brought out that, 55% of executives were unsure of the existence of a global payroll vendor that could provide payroll services in all their countries of operation. The market wants a solution that is not only cost-efficient, flexible, and scalable but also makes no compromises on the quality and accuracy. Ironically, despite the quantum leap made in the global payroll practice, the concept of “single yet globalized & localized” payroll service has not made headway against this myth.

Global Payroll

 

The real question when dealing with global payroll lies in – ‘how one administers payroll and stays updated with the changing compliances and laws of the land in all countries that they are present in, and do it accurately?’ To top this off, the dubiety in the availability of a globalized payroll technology solution – which brings us up to the bigger questions – is there really a “single” go-to solution for all your global payroll needs? If so, who and where are these “SINGLE GLOBAL PAYROLL VENDORS”? How does one test their capability? We’ve compiled a few prominent indicators that one could keep in mind in their quest to select a capable service provider.

Necessity is the mother of invention. ROBOTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE DRIVEN SOLUTION – No global solution is complete without having in place a software that not only guarantees viability but also ensures a high degree of quality and accuracy. The key is to look for a solution that strikes a perfect balance between technology and user-experience. A system that uses robotics driven automation to focus on the error-prone, repetitive tasks such as input/ output validation, a calculation based on an algorithm, etc. Artificial Intelligence is key for intelligent assistance to end-user through data/ information mining from the database. E.g., Chat Bots.

Go Beyond-. PAYROLL ISN’T JUST ABOUT “GROSS-TO-NET” – Going beyond than just “gross-to-net” processing to a fully managed payroll service testifies the provider’s deep domain knowledge and his ability to provide a global solution. A fully managed payroll service entails input collation, inputs preparation, payroll processing, payroll help desk, data management, and timekeeping. It further includes administering payroll and in-country related compliance with a dedicated payroll help desk and, other HR related services.

Last straw. DON’T IGNORE YOUR SPARSE WORKFORCE–Larger global payroll players tend to provide their services only to those countries where their clients could guarantee a significant employee count or have a “minimum headcount” condition, often ignoring countries with sparse employees. This forces most organizations to look out for local in-country service providers to cater to smaller groups of employees resulting in them having to deal with multiple providers for the same service. Assessing the provider’s ability to serve the underserved markets irrespective of the headcount is a very crucial factor. A single vendor approach results in a uniformed service delivery experience and single-provider accountability for all Global Payroll needs. This also ensures hassle-free process in gathering/ receiving payroll inputs, which might otherwise become a cumbersome task.

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Impact of Robotics in delivering HR Services

by Brucelin 

1.What is your take about robotics automation in the HR industry?

In any industry, repeated and manual tasks are good candidates for automation with bots. HR industry is no different and it has a huge potential for robotic automation.

The HR spectrum ranges from pre-on boarding to post–exit operations and currently there are several mundane and redundant tasks which are done manually. The key here is to pick out those activities that are time-consuming at a mass level and try to replace them with software programs called “Bots”

Tasks, like verifying the on boarding checklist, sending out emails, validating payroll inputs and outputs etc, are good candidates for automation.

Automation also improves precision and quality of these activities apart from saving time and effort.

2.Can you name some of the common HR processes where bots intervene to enhance the quality of work delivered? Has this drastically reduced manual intervention?

Sub-processes in on-boarding, recruiting and payroll processing are some HR processes where bots are found to be commonly deployed. Let us take the case of On-boarding/exit; the following tasks can easily be automated using this evolving technology

  • Assess, prepare and create new joiner data
  • Streamline information across disparate corporate systems for preparation on Day 1
  • Consolidate leave input from business areas and feed to downstream systems

In the case of recruitment, there are several areas where automation can be applied. Take, for example, the following scenarios

  • Processing candidate notifications for interviews, rejection and feedback
  • Candidate reviews – screening of CV’s and online application forms

The entire sequence of events from sourcing resumes by referring to a Job Description to scheduling interviews and rolling out offers can be automated through proper strategizing and planning.

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg; there are several other innovative aspects to this, if rightly explored, could result in strengthening the HR processing landscape

3.List some of the key advantages of using robotics in HR processes?

Some of the key benefits of using robotics in HR include

  • Time and cost savings
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency
  • Increased consistency of processing
  • Improved productivity and throughput

4.What, in your point of view are the key trends to watch out in the field of robotics in the next 5 years? What would be the biggest technology trends to look forward to in 2017?

I think robotics is going to be a huge game changer across all the industries. The wave has already started everywhere and Robotics along with Artificial Intelligence, Block chain and IOT are going to create a huge disruption in the way in which businesses are going to operate in the future

In the next 5 years, tools like Blue Prism, UI Path and Automation Anywhere are going to be used exhaustively to automate manual processes across all the industries. In areas where strategy and decision making are required, AI and Robotics will collaborate.

The Key trends to watch out for in 2017 include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block chain and IOT

5.Do you think any particular industry is adopting robotics fast these days? As an authority in the field, could you point out the early adopters of RPA in the industry?

Retail and health care are two important industries that are adopting robotics at a rapid pace. Take the case of Amazon, they already have drones manning their warehouses and they also plan to do door delivery of goods using drones in the future.

Robots are also deployed in production and assembly lines in major factories to reduce dependency on Human Resources.

In the case of healthcare, robot-assisted surgeries are highly common these days, we also have robots taking the role of general physicians by imbibing all the knowledge that are essential to analyse patient cases and take necessary actions. Artificially intelligent healthcare chat-bots could evolve to treat many common ailments.

6.In closing, can you share few key learning’s that you’ve had over the course of your professional exposure and experience in dealing with the robotics and automation?

The most important thing to understand is that automation is not really a new term – The era of automation started with the advent of computers and later the internet where various tools were devised to solve business. From mainframes to the client servers to cloud computing, automation has evolved in different phases encompassing different areas.

Robotics and AI have existed for a while now and the thrust to use them has increased in the past couple of years due to the enormous growth in business processes due to the scarcity of manpower as well as the ever-increasing cost of skilled and unskilled labour.

My final take is that unlike earlier occasions, robotics is going to make a huge dent in the way business is being carried out now and unless business owners realise this and make the right moves, they might find themselves questioning their survival amidst competitors who might have travelled far ahead of the curve.