How Far Has Tech Gone In HR & Payroll

How Far Has Tech Gone In HR And Payroll

Strategically, HR is an all encompassing infantry unit catering to every productivity goal of the company. From sourcing, selecting, negotiating, hiring, training, retaining and paying the onboarded talent, the job of HR is in fact as vital as the year-end’s profitability. But HR tech hasn’t always been in the limelight and it is why the industry only started making some headway around about the 1990’s.

But as far as tech adoption goes, the HR load is light if it was a 2 to 5-men enterprise but when a corporation employs 30, 50, 100, 500 and employees numbered into the thousands, it calls for a comprehensive solution to store and process staff records as well as generating everything from a payslip to statutory reports.

Further, companies that opt to process HR matters in-house should also be mindful if the hired HR team is well versed enough to execute according to the domestic legislations. Falling short in this area may attract unwanted consequences such as fines from the government departments. As such, practising HR and adopting HR tech to supplement the tasks at hand requires depth and experience to do the job well.

Evolution of HR Tech

A quick look at how far technology has come to support the HR practice will inform us that perhaps now is the time to really look at what technology can offer to our workplace.

  • 1979 – the launch of SAP R/2, integrating HR functionality together in the same ERP database with production planning, materials management and financials; not a standalone module.
  • 1987 – establishment of Peoplesoft, the first HR Management System (HRMS) in the world.
  • Early 1990s – The HRMS market emerging with ERP vendors like Oracle and JD Edwards introducing HR ERPs covering all functions like core HR, recruiting, learning, US payroll, and reporting. Smaller ERP vendors followed suit globally with customisation for specific markets.
  • 1994 – Monster launched the first-ever online recruitment website.
  • Rest of 1990s – moving from client-server technology to the web and opened up HRMS to users outside of HR (or HRMS employee self-service) where HR systems became more specialised eg. recruitment-only.
  • 2000 – 15% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology with early adopters like Pfizer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
  • 2003 – LinkedIn is founded, the first professional social media site.
  • 2005 – 50% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology.
  • 2015 – 90% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology.
  • 2018 – 85% of job applications were made via job boards.
  • 2019 – 92% of HR leaders believe the future of providing excellent employee service has to include chatbots.


With HR Tech going through rapid adoption especially in the last decade, it beckons for those in the practice to sit up and listen because the time is now ripe. By that it means Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has just entered the fray and if one is not paying attention to this development, competitors may surge ahead leaving conventional teams myopic with merely processing macros in a spreadsheet like it was 1999.

This is inline with a Forbes article published in September this year which mentioned that “as HR technology becomes increasingly integrated, I predict companies will look for more automation capabilities, and those who succeed in creating technology for this sector will find ways to create efficiencies for HR professionals through automating workloads while also improving the employee experience.”

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), HR's Turbo Boost

Automation or RPA is in fact the new kid on the HR-block. What it can do while the HR Manager is cosying up to dinner and the World Cup fever after hours will quite literally blow one’s mind away.

Take for example payroll processing, RPA, when programmed to its intended scope, will perform like the payroll processing department in the office without the need of any human supervision and much less human labour.

From matching names, tallying salaries, calculating claims, emailing designated “managers” to verify pay raises, reading responded emails and finally executing the “pay” command, all these can be done with zero human intervention.

Although this may sound far-fetched just 20 years ago, it is not entirely so in 2022 because even instant messengers of the chatbots have made their presence felt in this era. Case in point, the implementation of an AI-driven chatbot in a particular company has reduced inbound HR enquiry emails by 43% from about 100 emails per week, offloading the unproductive menial work of answering leave balance, procedure to submit claims etc from the HR officers (Director, VP, Managers etc) that serves 100,000 employees across 75 countries (source: 

Not to be mistaken, by removing the “human” element from the HR process is in no way negating the HR professionals from their responsibilities but instead, liberating and empowering them to be even more autonomous and strategic in carrying out HR practices.

With more time in hand, HR practitioners can focus on formulating dynamic strategies so corporate goals like annual targets and quarterly performance can all be levelled up. To that end and according to, “Recognition, Health & Wellness, Learning and Development – these are a few of the emerging areas of HR technology that have become crucial to engaging and retaining top talent”.  When these are technologically-enabled, it will extend yet another dimension to the equation – data.

HR's Big Data In The Making

HR's Big Data In The Making

Employers armed with such data possess a high level of knowledge about the performance of the company because the metrics provided from here will go on to prompt about the next steps eg. how to re-engage before a top performer exits for another opportunity. Retention hence becomes an area that was once run by interaction and intuition but now substantiated through data analytics. The same Forbes article mentioned earlier also concurs to such an all encompassing expansion of the HR Tech industry where it suggests the next phase of this space would require “analytics, AI, integration with a suite of HRIS and HRM solutions and an employee-first mindset—the keys to truly complete workforce management.”

Where will HR Tech go from here? According to, “the best platforms are about modernising the employee experience. Even small companies use HR software now to up their employee experience strategy, and price is no deterrent (given the heavy competition in the market). HR software will easily be a $43 billion industry by 2026.”

If you haven’t already, now is the time for your HR department to up their game and play ball!



What Businesses Need to Know About Running Payroll






1. 給与計算チームの責任とスキルセットが明確になっていることを確認する。







2. クラウドのデータストレージとともに、ハードウェアとソフトウェアを最新にしておくことが重要です。

Having up-to-date technology hardware and software, along with your cloud data storage is critical








3. 環境変化に対応する





Keep abreast of regulatory changes





1. 初期設定



2. 毎月のオペレーション



3. 各年度で行う業務

各年次の税務申告書の作成と提出を行います。マレーシアでは、EAフォーム(annual employee tax return)とフォームE(annual employer tax return)というものがあります。

4. レポーティング











企業は、リスク管理に改めて焦点を当てながら、事業価値を保ちつつ、コストを削減しようとする傾向にあります。デロイトの最新レポート「グローバル・アウトソーシング」によると、 「コスト削減が最優先され、 クラウドやロボティック・プロセス・オートメーションが重要視されている」とのことです。



Author Bio



What Businesses Need to Know When Running Payroll Internally

What Businesses Need to Know About Running Payroll

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls unbelievably into its second year, continuing to affect both lives and livelihoods, organisations around the world are undoubtedly rethinking the way business processes are done. This has certainly hit home for many organisations as they strive to proactively manage the changes they find themselves facing in such disruptive times.

Organisations need to remain agile in how they deliver their services, stay connected to their customers and find ways to improve service delivery, expand their portfolio and drive growth. But in the pandemic that organisations have been facing for some time, there is even more upheaval, uncertainty and disruption.

Payroll is a critical component of any business given that it is a core recurring business activity. Ensuring its continuity is of utmost importance. Taking this into consideration, we’ve put together some key points that every business that runs payroll internally should take note of.

1. Ensure your payroll team is defined and mapped out against responsibilities and skill sets.

It is important to have the best payroll team possible.

Your payroll manager typically supervises a team, the size of which might vary depending on the organisation. The manager reviews and approves all payroll payments and provides advice on payroll issues.

The manager also educates employees about various issues such as changes in legislation or regulations, updates on corporate policies and clarifications on pay structure.

As such, he/she needs to have a list of all team members and then map them out based on their responsibilities, skillsets and contact details. By doing this, tasks can be quickly and easily redistributed if there are changes in the work roster, availability of staff, in the event of lockdowns or any disruption.

Particularly where individuals or teams are required to work remotely, remote access credentials and processes need to be clearly defined and communicated so that payroll operations may continue uninterrupted.

If your organisation uses a payroll SaaS (software-as-a-service), there would typically be a task scheduler feature within. This would enable the team lead to assign payroll processing tasks based on the skillset and availability of team members even if they work remotely.

2. Having up-to-date technology hardware and software, along with your cloud data storage is critical.

Having up-to-date technology hardware and software, along with your cloud data storage is critical

These are twin concerns that should be high on your list of priorities.

Organisations that are still running their payroll platform on-premise should ensure that their payroll team has a secure VPN (virtual private network) connection to the payroll platform and data storage. A VPN creates a secure connection between you and the internet. So when your team uses a secure VPN, they ensure that all data traffic is encrypted. This keeps hackers away and ensures devices are not as vulnerable to attacks.

Today, the definition of a workplace has become increasingly flexible as organisations have to consider work from home arrangements. In lieu of this, a robust security system is a must when remote access is allowed into the network.

Alongside this, employees need to be provided regular training and communication to support this initiative. This ensures that everyone is on board in terms of use, rollout,  security, common weaknesses and threats and how these may be addressed.

Furthermore, a storage solution is needed. Your organisation is not just transmitting and processing data. You will also be required to maintain records, all of which are processed, transmitted and stored electronically. A data storage solution ensures that your data is easily accessible and can be relied on which is of paramount importance when processing payroll.

3. Keep abreast of regulatory changes especially in a dynamic environment.

During a pandemic, governments around the world are responding to the situation as it unfolds.

Governments have been and will likely continue to make weekly, sometimes, daily, announcements and even, changes to regulations, to support the population. For example, in Malaysia, the government introduced stimulus packages as a response to the national lockdown measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is not all. Other announcements have been and may continue to be made. These include the deferment of regulatory filing dates, wage subsidies as well as changes to the social security contributions. All of these need to be tracked as they can complicate payroll processing. When these are managed well,  infringement and penalties can be avoided.

Keep abreast of regulatory changes

How can payroll be made simple.

This is where outsourcing can prove to be a valuable strategy.

It enables an organisation to remove critical administrative tasks from their core concern, freeing them up to focus on driving the business forward. Outsourcing can prove to be more cost-efficient as it negates the need for additional hardware, software and manpower for this task.

Let’s take a look at what happens when an organisation decides to outsource payroll.

1. One-time payroll activities.

These include conducting a business requirements study on the organisation to evaluate their specific needs and how support can be customised. The payroll processing platform will then be configured to support this. This includes establishing rules and protocols.

Relevant data will be captured and a migration exercise carried out. Dry runs to check the system and data would be conducted in parallel to ensure a smooth transition and to catch potential issues early.

2. Recurring payroll activities.

Once everything has been established, the first payroll processing can occur which involves crediting wages to the appropriate employees, creating the necessary supporting documentation (including payslips) and statutory reporting.

A system and protocol will be established to manage both client and employee queries as these surface.

3. Annual payroll activities.

The scope includes the preparation and submission of the annual tax returns. In Malaysia, these include the annual employee tax return (EA form) and the annual employer tax return (Form E).

4. Payroll reporting.

The pandemic has created massive complications. National lockdowns have been and continue to be enforced. Brick and mortar businesses continue to struggle with moving forward especially if they are not able to digitalise key aspects of their business.

This can lead to revenue loss. There have also been supply chain disruptions and the introduction of remote work to get around these challenges.

The fallout from the pandemic signals a return to basics.

Organisations are shoring up value and driving costs down, with a renewed focus on risk management. The latest Deloitte report on Global Outsourcing confirms that “cost reduction is back on top and that cloud and robotic process automation are table stakes”.

In conclusion, there are many ways organisations can minimise the disruption, negative

impact and uncertainty that is present in these volatile times. The use of outsourced payroll and the digitalisation of data can work well to help organisations navigate forward successfully.

Optimise Your Payroll Management with Outsourcing

In conclusion, there are many ways organisations can minimise the disruption, negative impact and uncertainty that is present in these volatile times. The use of outsourced payroll and the digitalisation of data can work well to help organisations navigate forward successfully.

Explore outsourcing with us to find out how your organisation can benefit from the expertise and technology that we have to offer. CXL Payroll & HR Outsourcing service guarantees compliance, reliability and security of your company profile. We’re committed to help you improve your payroll process that can optimise your resources, talent, knowledge and tools.


Author Bio

Fariz Abdullah is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CXL Group. The organisation consists of two divisions— Contingent Workforce and Payroll & HR Outsourcing. Under his purview, Fariz has transformed CXL Group into an HR organisation that believes in the importance of advancing through technology but with a deep focus on the human touch in an increasingly digital era.