Payroll – Behind the Scenes – Part 4

It’s time to get back into our sneak peek series of Payroll – Behind the Scenes and 2023 has some goodies to share with you, and we even feature in one of them in this edition. For those that are new to the series, these real-life examples are intended to give a little insight into the world of Payroll, the challenges payroll employees face and the crisis’s that go on behind the scenes, completely unbeknownst to the rest of the company employees. It is good to get a little context on how they work and how integral they are to the arrival of your pay every week/fortnight/month.

“I have worked in payroll for too many years to divulge here, I will age myself! It wasn’t long before I realised that the same rules do not apply to payroll teams when it comes to annual leave as we have to be conscious of payroll cycles. I have lost count of the number of weddings and weekends away that I had to turn down or join late as they clashed with the end of month or bonus season. To the point that when my best friend got engaged a few years ago, I, as her maid of honour, was brought into the date selection process to ensure I would actually be able to make it. They ended up getting married 4 months later than originally planned as the only date their chosen venue had in June clashed with our payroll, so they moved it to accommodate me. That’s love!!”


“A few years ago, I had just started a new role in the payroll department of a pretty large company, and I was horrified to see the system and protocol they were using for their payroll process. It was archaic and the accuracy of their data was loose at best. I had just completed a succession planning project with my old company, and I swiftly recommended a similar approach for this company. Thankfully they were not oblivious to the need for some proactive measures, and they let me run the project with transformational results. The processing speed increased by 20%, the accuracy level improved by 45% and the team was able to use the extra time to put into data analytics which I then used to feed into the senior management team. The payroll department went from being a forgotten team to being one of the most influential departments in the company when it came to strategy. (We actually recently published a blog on Succession Planning which is worth a read if you think your payroll department needs some structure).”


“I am the CFO of a SaaS company based in the UK and a good day for me is when I don’t hear about any internal operational issues. I think it is something that a lot of people in my position will say but payroll is something that takes up a lot of our attention, but it is the cost of it, our monthly/ annual overheads as opposed to the processing of it. We assume that will go to plan and we have been known to take that process for granted, forgetting that it is managed by people who get sick, have accidents or family commitments and on rare occasions decide to quit with no notice! Yes, you have guessed it, the quitting story happened to us. Two of our 3-person payroll team decided to hand in their notice on the same day in a pretty dramatic fashion, leaving us high and dry for the upcoming payroll cycle. To say we scrambled for a solution is an understatement. We had a matter of days to find an alternative, but I am happy and relieved to say we did. After a google search and subsequent follow-up call with one of their listed clients, we signed up for the CR Payroll Cover. They completed a speedy onboarding process and were able to process our payroll with no disruptions to service. This is a cover that we are into our 3rd year of. We have activated it a handful of times when needed and it is such a welcomed safety net for the payroll department and the business as a whole.”


“This is short and sweet. People don’t think major payroll issues happen anymore but under the protection of this anonymous series, I am going to share my whopper error. Our payroll process was not as sophisticated as most companies would be accustomed to and through a simple excel error, I ended up paying 95% of the company the wrong salary. Easy to rectify you might assume but the main issue arose when people started to talk and realised whose salary, they had gotten in error which then launched a series of requests for salary reviews. I didn’t stay in that company much longer after that but I did learn a valuable lesson in attention to detail!”



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