Over the last eight months, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen organisations and their payroll management required to continually adapt and keep on top of the ever-changing schemes implemented by the Government to support employers and employees through the somewhat testing and uncertain times faced.

As we look towards the New Year and attempt to gauge what lies beyond the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses, at The Financial Management Centre, we are exploring what the future holds for payroll after the COVID-19 pandemic.


How Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Changed Payroll?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen various schemes implemented to ensure that organisations, employers, employees and self-employed individuals have had the vital financial support needed to support them through the unpredicted and unanticipated challenges that COVID-19 has inflicted. These schemes have, however, increased the demands faced by payroll managers and ultimately changed payroll.

Below, we have delved into the way in which payroll has changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have additionally outlined what we believe the future holds for payroll after the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Has Placed Increasing Demand on Payroll Managers

While schemes including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self Employed Grant have prevented numerous organisations from having to close their doors permanently, various revisions have been made to the financial support available over the last eight months.

Not only have these revisions forced organisations to adapt how employees are paid, but it has seen them required to provide crucial up-to-date payroll information regularly to ensure that they are eligible for the financial support bestowed by the Government.

However, demanding pressures to ensure that their payrolls remain updated at a time when many employees are furloughed combined with a lack of information, resources and payroll support has seen organisations look to outsource payroll duties in a bid to abolish the increasing pressures that payroll duties impose.

At present, it is estimated that at least 28% of organisations outsource their payroll. However, this figure is set to surge in the near future.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Increased Demand for Efficient Payroll Systems and Software

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen several organisations reflect on their current payroll process. For many, the need for a more efficient payroll process has been highlighted.

Although payroll software is available for payroll and HR departments to take advantage of, traditional payroll systems are often favoured.

However, this has posed as an issue throughout the pandemic as employees were forced to work from home. Inability to access and update crucial payroll information at a time when schemes are continually changing has proved to be challenging.

As touched on above, organisations across the country continue to favour traditional payroll software. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a need for advanced payroll systems that are accessible regardless of location.

From making payroll data more user-friendly to providing consistency and accuracy, payroll software is already widely employed, providing a multitude of organisations of various benefits.

Over the next year, the number of organisations that are expected to take advantage of payroll software such as cloud payroll is set to increase. Not only will this ensure that reporting payroll information to HMRC and calculating statutory pay and PAYE tax and NIC is somewhat easier, but it guarantees that organisations make accurate claims and mitigate payroll fraud.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Highlighted The Importance Of Ensuring Payroll Is Accurate and Compliant 

In addition to ensuring that payroll software is accessible to organisations and their finance departments regardless of where they operate from, the need for accurate, compliant and up-to-date payroll records is crucial.

In August 2020, it was communicated that HMRC had received at least 8,000 reports of potential Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) related fraud. HMRC has stated that they believe up to 10% of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims have been fraudulent or paid in error. Regrettably, this has cost the Government, economy and private sector at least £3.5 billion.

In a bid to tackle fraud, HMRC has confirmed that claims will be investigated in order to tackle fraud in the future. Although an organisation’s payroll should consistently remain in line with the current payroll legislation, claim investigations are forcing many to review and ensure that their current payroll is compliant.

What Does The Future Hold For Payroll After The COVID-19 Pandemic?

When considering the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed payroll, it is clear that the future of payroll is likely to undergo many changes.

Although it may be somewhat challenging to predict exactly what the future holds for payroll after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to change drastically.

A greater number of organisations are expected to outsource payroll tasks, take advantage of new and improved payroll systems and ensure that their payroll is accurate and compliant at all times.

Going forward, it is also clear to see that payroll managers will need to be able to operate and adapt to changes imposed by the Government quickly.

Outsource Your Payroll To The Financial Management Centre

If, like many others, you are considering outsourcing your payroll duties to ensure that you can take advantage of payroll systems and guarantee that your payroll is compliant, why not consider outsourcing your payroll to us?

At The Financial Management Centre, we offer a national payroll service for businesses. Our team will ensure that all aspects of your payroll are taken care of in a timely manner and comply with the current, and future, payroll legislations.

As part of our payroll services, our dedicated payroll experts will maintain and provide accurate employee records and payslips. Furthermore, we will take care of statutory requirements, including PAYE tax and NIC and provide HMRC with any required reports on your behalf.

Contact Us The Financial Management Centre Today

To find out more about our payroll services, why not pick up the phone and give our team a call today?

Likewise, if you are ready to hand your payroll over to our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Simply give us a call on 0333 202 7198 or email info@tfmcentre.co.uk.

Kass Verjee
Kass Verjee

Kass is not only a qualified bookkeeper/accountant but he is also a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has a full practising certificate.