This referenced posting is from Bloomberg and provides an overview of what is expected to be the emerging use of ‘new’ technologies in payroll processing, which includes robotic process automation (RPA), AI and blockchain (BCT). We tend to use AI as an umbrella term but many categorize RPA separately since it is a rules-based software for automating repetitive tasks whereas AI, in a broader sense, mimics human intelligence using large data sets that can be continuously refreshed. The piece simply provides reinforcement that digital is the wave of the present.
‘The growth of new technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, are expected to redefine and innovate payroll processes by reducing the need for routine tasks, said Martin Armstrong, vice president of payroll shared services at Charter Communications Inc…“We need to change our mindset from a payroll practitioner’s standpoint,” Armstrong said. New technologies are expected to become common, so payroll teams should embrace automation “because technology is going to propel us” to the future, he said at the annual American Payroll Association Congress, which was held online because of the coronavirus crisis.’
Those not familiar with payroll processing may tend to think it is limited to getting employees paid, either directly into an account, by card, check or even cash. But there are a number of steps in the process, including the onboarding tasks (e.g.; W4) as well as ongoing personal liabilities (e.g.; garnishment), not to mention status changes (e.g.; termination). Although the piece doesn’t mention it, we might also mention that on-demand wage access services are also on the rise. So there can be a whole host of more complex interactions that currently require manual intervention whereby intelligent automation can help reduce the effort.
‘Another complex event is the death of an employee, which requires a different process and special forms, depending on the circumstances, Armstrong said. RPAs can recognize state and federal requirements to ensure the distribution of funds and notifications to keep the employer in compliance, he said.’
We have often covered blockchain as one of the technologies that has utility in the corporate banking space, most specifically for trade and payments. The author points out how BCT can also provide benefit to the payroll function.
‘Through blockchain, data can be stored quickly and securely because the process is decentralized, Armstrong said. Payroll records, such as Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, benefit from having accompanying information attached to the data chain and stored in multiple locations…Additionally, blockchain can help lower the costs of international payments by eliminating the problem of fluctuating exchange rates through almost-instant processing, Armstrong said.’
Overview provided by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.
For the original article quoted in this coverage, please click here.