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Tech Straight Talk: RPA Utilization within Payroll

Processing payroll consists of many routine and administrative activities, with every pay cycle demanding accuracy, timeliness, and well-planned coordination across multiple organizational entities. While high-quality service is expected, senior business stakeholders tend to see payroll as a tactical area of the business, and there is pressure to keep costs low.

Key Details

  • Many of the administrative activities found in payroll processing meet the criteria for automation, opening the opportunity for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to simultaneously improve the consistency and quality of service while reducing costs. These common criteria include processes:
    • With a high volume of transactions
    • With a high value of transactions
    • Requiring frequent access to multiple systems
    • Existing in a stable IT environment
    • Requiring limited human intervention
    • Handling a minimal amount of exceptions
    • Prone to errors or re-work
    • With clearly defined sub-processes
    • Where there is a clear understanding of current manual costs
  • The following payroll activities may benefit from the implementation of RPA:
    • New hires / separations or departures
    • Contractual changes – position, benefits, roles, responsibility
    • Permanent changes – increases in salary, adding benefits, contact details, address changes
    • Temporary changes – bonus payments, expenses payments, overtime
    • Attendance records
    • Absence records
    • Holiday records
    • Validation and reconciliation of payroll
    • Deductions – pension, union, travel card, loans
    • Audit and validation reports


Utilizing RPA to conduct the more administrative activities within payroll processing will allow organizations to realize the following benefits:

  • Increased accuracy
  • Increased consistency
  • Decreased auditing requirements by up to 80%
  • Reduced cycle times by up to 40%
  • FTE time savings of up to 80% – 90%

Additional Resources

CloudPay: How Robotic Process Automation RPA Is Shaping the Future of Payroll
Institute for Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence: Criteria, Use Cases and Effects of Information Technology Process Automation (ITPA)

Additional Contributing Author: Brian Ruswinkle

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