South African Payroll Association calls for employers to introduce mobile, self-service software

Among the top five favourite self-service payroll activities are viewing and updating personal information and looking at digital payslips.

The South African Payroll Association has called on employers to “put payroll in your employees’ pockets or purses” by introducing mobile, self-service software into their organisations.

Lavine Haripsersad, a director at the Association, pointed out that more and more South Africans are now used to employing smartphones for personal activity, but often find it frustrating to access their personal information or fill in forms at work as they need to go through lengthy, complex processes to do so. Industry experts estimate that between 37% and 45% of the population currently use smartphones.

“We need to see workers as consumers and find ways to provide the experience they’re used to,” Haripsersad said. “That means going mobile.”

He added the top five most popular activities that mobile technology enabled workers to do was:

- View and update personal information: It is more efficient to enable employees to review and change records rather than have payroll staff do it – as long as there are workflow-based processes in place to ensure that any alterations are signed off by managers;
– Look at digital payslips: Alerting staff when their digital payslips are ready to download can save employers millions in printing and distribution costs;
– Access tax data: Errors are less likely to occur if personnel can keep track of their Pay-As-You-Earn and IRP5 data in order to better understand their tax obligations, answer tax queries and submit returns with the relevant information to hand;
– Manage leave: It is possible to reduce the admin burden on payroll administrators by enabling employees to submit leave requests and check remaining leave by means of a self-service app;
– Make travel and expense claims online: Both can be automatically forwarded to managers for approval before submission to the payroll administrator making the process quicker and more efficient.

Haripersad said: “Technology is evolving so fast and payroll must keep up if companies want employees to be happy and productive. This means making information and services available to them in a way they’ve come to expect.”