I attended the American Payroll Congress this year for the first time in the Washington DC metro area. It was three informative, educational, and fun (!) days of meeting up with colleagues, old friends, and new partners. Here’s my report from the field:
1) Payroll challenges are universal
It’s not just you who’s struggling with missed punches, getting out termination pay, and off-cycle payment problems. The struggles are universal and experienced by all. Despite the industry’s best attempts to address these one-off problems, it seems that we may be destined to just accept the fact that the unfederated, state-by-state payroll laws make it impossible to ever fully get rid of these challenges.
A related but separate observation is that the fragmentation of the technology platforms has resulted in all of us operating multiple systems. We have a timekeeping vendor, a payroll vendor, a paycard vendor, and an HRIS vendor. With this much fragmentation, solving problems becomes even more challenging.
2) The Daily Pay Movement took center stage
Hands down, the Daily Pay Movement was the most talked about topic at Congress this year. And it’s related to the first point: the best way to reduce the amount of work caused by one-off problems for payroll departments is to reduce the amount of turnover in the employee base.
For example, if termination pay is a challenge, then the best way to deal with that (absent changing the laws) is to reduce the number of times you have to jam out a term pay. Offering DailyPay at a company results in 40% fewer hires per year for the average company. That means 40% fewer termination pays, 40% fewer onboardings, 40% fewer offboardings, 40% fewer paycard cancellations, etc. My interview with Talent Economy was released during the conference where I speak about these issues here.
3) Compliance is more important than ever
Judging by the number of breakouts dedicated to some type of compliance topic, it’s clear that compliance is top of mind for the industry. The growing power of the plaintiff’s bar combined with employee-friendly arbitration processes make it imperative that we don’t cut any corners in compliance matters.
In our world, wage deductions and assignments were a big discussion topic, as were the timing of withholding taxes.
Great to spend a few days with the thoughts leaders in payroll at Congress this year. Very much looking forward to seeing how payroll evolves, and how The Daily Pay Movement continues to grow.
I shared the stage with Alice Nwoke, Shiftgig’s Payroll and Benefits Manager, on the impact of DailyPay on Shiftgig’s 10,000-person workforce.
Payroll professionals learning about and joining The DailyPay Movement