Winner of the Excellence in the Management of Innovation award for 2018, category for medium enterprises
Keeping payroll relevant in the Gig economy
As the Gig economy grows, who knows what the future holds for corporate payrolls. As more and more people do gigs rather than full-time jobs, who will pay them – payroll or the accounts department? Come to think of it, will large corporates and their payroll departments even exist in the virtual era of nimble newcomers?
These are some of the questions about the future that Accsys’s leadership team are keeping in their sights while dealing with today’s dilemmas – of which there are plenty.
When it comes to innovation, for instance, the following catch-22 comes to mind, says CEO Teryl Schroenn:
“As an IT company, we have got to be innovative, which means we have got to take risks – and then we have risk. So how do we innovate while maintaining stability and limiting risk to our clients?”
Consider that some of Accsys’s clients have upwards of 25 000 people on their payrolls and operate right across Sub-Saharan Africa, from South Africa to Senegal, and it’s clear that finding the balance between innovation and stability is a real business imperative.
In fact, it’s one that Accsys, which has clients doing business in 19 African countries, is tackling right now.
“We are busy with a massive update that we have been preparing for since last October,” says Teryl. “We are always our own guinea pigs, so we started testing the update in our own payroll. After two months, we ran it live on two client sites and now we are starting with some of our bigger clients.”
It sounds so simple but it’s actually not: with clients operating in 19 countries, the update has to accommodate 19 different national tax frameworks, not to mention a host of other country-specific salary and employment details.
This update not only caters for clients’ current payroll requirements but is part of the evolution towards a digital future that is unfolding as we speak. “Innovation means making sure you have a product that people can use now and that works, while also being mindful of how things are changing and the impact of digital on payroll,” says Teryl.
Talking of change, what does she think the future holds for large corporates and their payrolls?
“I think people and companies are like countries,” she says. “Some want to be their own country, like Catalan or Scotland, and some want to be centralised, like Russia. In business, there are different models too: some companies want to be small and agile, and some want to be huge. “But one thing is for sure: whatever the future holds, SARS is still going to want their tax.