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EY’s 2019 report on global payroll trends showed that more than two-thirds of companies surveyed had a formal payroll strategy in place. In their 2021 report, the need for a formal strategy is even more important thanks to COVID-19 and a workforce that demands more flexibility. But many organisations struggle with the basics: where to begin and which model is the best fit for their business. 

Investing in a payroll strategy is key to ensuring compliance, reducing risk, and increasing efficiency. 

Payroll management

A cornerstone of any payroll strategy is deciding who will take responsibility. 

If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your payroll operation, taking those first few steps can be daunting. Entrusting something so important to a third party is a big step — we get it. Knowing which model to choose, and understanding the pros and cons of each are essential to achieving payroll success. 

Will payroll be kept as an in-house department and resourced? Will it be absorbed into HR or finance? Or will it be outsourced so operational efficiencies can become the focus? 

Keeping the payroll function in-house may on the surface seem like the best approach, but with that decision comes its own challenges. What systems will you use? Can you guarantee that you will always have access to the best and the brightest talent? Is it the right decision long term for your business? 

‘Outsourced payroll’ as a concept is not so straightforward as it first appears. Will you outsource some or all payroll operations? Will you keep a small team in-house to manage parts of the process, or will you trust a payroll provider to manage it end-to-end? How can you be sure which option aligns to your organisation’s wider strategic goals? 

Affinity has the experience and the expertise to manage all aspects of your payroll. 

The ever-changing compliance landscape

Being able to respond to frequent changes in legislation, and to historic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can only be achieved by organisations with robust internal processes. Missing something vital can mean the difference between paying employees accurately and traumatising them. 

Every year, more and more organisations are discovering either overpayments or underpayments made to staff. It takes a lot of effort to keep up to date with changes in legislation and the needs of your workforce. At the heart of compliant payroll is the ability to collect timely information from employees and generate accurate calculations based on that data. If you can do both, you’re already ahead of the curve. 

It’s no small feat reporting the right information to the right agencies on time, every time. Affinity has spent three decades refining our processes in the payroll space to ensure that we meet the challenge of payroll compliance head-on. 

Payroll technology that supports success

Carving out a meaningful strategy in the technology space is challenging for most companies. At best, it is frustrating, confusing and time-consuming. At worst, it can derail plans, blow the budget, and damage reputations. 

How will you know what systems will best support payroll accuracy, compliance and automation? What do they cost, and who supplies them? These are just some of the questions that a business that wishes to remain competitive must answer. Unfortunately, with so many players in the payroll space, it can be tricky to tell who is selling snake oil, and who has the right solution for your needs. 

Discerning business leaders will already know the power of technology and the role it plays in the overall success of the organisation. Our technology, coupled with our payroll expertise, automates much of the payroll process, allowing you to focus on other things. 

Tapping into talent

The EY payroll surveys also revealed that finding and retaining the right payroll talent was the number-one challenge for the organisations surveyed. Payroll is becoming increasingly complex, and the level of expertise needed to successfully manage payroll is out of reach for many companies. 

Payroll is a critical part of any organisation. Payroll skills and expertise are hard to find and even harder to build. If your long-term strategy is to grow your in-house payroll team, then you are likely already discovering what it takes to recruit, train and nurture that talent. If you find yourself at a crossroads — wondering if keeping things in-house is the best option — then you would do well to consider starting a conversation with a provider who can help you to make the right decision for your business. 

In our definitive guide to outsourcing your payroll, we discuss some of the people-related challenges inherent in a smooth-running payroll operation, and champion the idea of partnering with a competent payroll provider. 


Once you start recognising the intrinsic value of a fully formed payroll operation and its importance to the strategic goals of the wider business, you will be far more discerning in your decisions relating payroll. Whatever model you choose, arming yourself with the right information, knowing your limitations, and understanding your long-term goals, can set you up for payroll success. 



For over thirty years, Affinity has been a trusted partner for mid-market and enterprise businesses in Australia and New Zealand, empowering them to transform their payroll operations. With a focus on turning payroll from a cost into an asset, we have established ourselves as industry leaders in delivering innovative cloud-based payroll software and exceptional payroll services.