The shift to remote working improved payroll efficiencies globally, providing much needed support to over-stretched HR teams. That’s according to a report from leading global employee pay provider, CloudPay.

According to the Global Payroll Efficiency Index (PEI), data input issues dropped more than 4% and the number of issues per 1000 payslips fell 24% in the year following the Covid-19 outbreak. These figures suggest that process efficiencies improved at a time when investment in payroll software improved as teams switched to operating remotely.

The report introduces a new Payroll Difficulty concept – analysing the complexity of payroll processes, software maturity and talent availability to benchmark how efficiency is being impacted by wider, uncontrollable market conditions.

The data – which benchmarks payroll processing KPIs across 130+ countries – showed that the complexity of data collection in a remote working environment had a marginal impact on the number of days required to complete payroll processing, with global figures reporting an additional 0.1 days in calendar length for payroll. The percentage of supplemental runs also rose, up over 4% globally, though this can largely be attributed to the increase in the number of employees being laid off during the pandemic which resulted in termination payment requirements.

CloudPay CEO, Paul Bartlett, commented on the data:

“It’s encouraging to see that overall payroll efficiencies improved in the year following the Covid outbreak when many teams were operating in a remote capacity. For HR teams that were already over-stretched, this does highlight is that payroll technology – which was heavily relied on during national lockdowns – significantly improved efficiencies in operational tasks. What’s important now, though, is that this momentum isn’t allowed to slow as we enter a period of more ‘stability’.”