Payroll is a pivotal function in every business, helping to ensure accurate accounting and liabilities are managed appropriately. Not all payroll systems are created equal and it’s entirely possible the payroll system your business is using, is not optimised for the success of your business. There are many warning signs to look out for when it comes to an underperforming or ill-suited payroll system. 

If you are concerned about the performance of your payroll system, then consider these 6 signs and determine whether it’s time to overhaul your payroll system in 2022.

1. Using more than one system

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be using more than one payroll system. There are many reasons for this kind of payroll solution, including a dispersed workforce, legacy systems that maintain important data or even following mergers or acquisitions. If your business is running multiple payroll systems, this could be a sign it’s time to overhaul your system. One of the key challenges of multiple systems is data and reporting. With more than one system, reconciliation of data or reporting can be challenging as the storage and analysis of individual data may differ between systems. Opting for one type of payroll software means you can house all the required data in one system and rely on the reporting that the system provides. Given the importance of accurate data, running multiple systems may be a warning sign for your business in 2022.

2. Manual workarounds or data entry

If your payroll staff are maintaining any data or payroll solutions with manual data entry or workarounds, this is a clear sign to overhaul your payroll system. Manual checks, data entry or workarounds are inherently dangerous for a number of reasons:

  • Errors can become more frequent and costly
  • Payroll resources are underutilised
  • Pressure on individuals can cause cultural issues

These issues are not worth the perceived difficulty of implementing a new payroll system. Manual tasks can represent hundreds of hours of wasted or inefficient hours for payroll services. If you have manual checks or data entry in your system, this is a sign to investigate.

3. Staff are unhappy

Payroll services have an incredibly important role in the business and can often bear the brunt of the frustrations from staff when things don’t go to plan. A sure-fire sign that your payroll system needs to be overhauled is if your staff are unhappy with the functionality. No payroll solutions are perfect, but if your staff are unhappy with their current system to the point it slows them down or results in a greater rate of errors, it needs to change. Watching staff interact with the system and referencing performance dashboards are great ways to better understand if your system is causing issues for the team’s performance. Implementing payroll software that the team finds workable can go a long way to reducing those errors or issues for other staff. 

4. Accessibility

Payroll teams can often be required to solve issues or challenges at all hours of the day, any day of the week. A sign your payroll system needs to be overhauled is that it can only be accessed from a central location on an immobile device, such as a desktop PC. Given the nature of the work of payroll services, the ability to dynamically manage challenges on the go, at any time, is crucial for success. If your current payroll solutions don’t allow staff to access the system remotely or from mobile devices, it’s time to overhaul your system. 

Explaining to staff members whose pay or tax has been incorrectly handled, that you can fix the problem once you get to the office again, probably isn’t going to be the most sensible way to handle that problem. Avoid this scenario altogether by ensuring staff have the access they need with your payroll software. 

5. Compliance and legislation changes 

If your business operates in a heavily regulated industry that requires significant compliance, then your payroll system needs to match that environment. Whether this increased compliance and regulation is a result of a change in the industry or your business has gotten by in manual solutions, this is a clear sign to overhaul your payroll system. Payroll software should make the life of the payroll services in your business easier. Overhauling the system to ensure it’s capable of keeping up with regulation and compliance changes is a great place to start. Not only will your business ensure compliance, but any significant changes to regulations also shouldn’t derail your payroll teams.

6. Accuracy is challenging 

Payroll solutions should be used to inform business strategy and decisions, not obstruct it. If your current system is unable to provide accurate data or snapshots of the current situation, leaders will be making strategic decisions based on missing information. This is a clear sign your payroll system needs to be overhauled. Given the importance of payroll services in the business, the strategy should be informed by the data and reporting from the payroll software. Informed strategic planning needs to account for the whole business, including the data from your payroll system.


Payroll is a function within the business that can impact so many others in such a meaningful way. The software solutions used by payroll teams need to be optimised and efficient for the outcome the business is trying to achieve, and i3Group can get you the outcome you are after. 

Interested in more information about payroll systems? Check out our master guide here!