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How the payroll run is guaranteed to become a nightmare

What does Halloween have to do with payroll? Both can most certainly cause you nightmares.

How the payroll run is guaranteed to become a nightmare

Imagine the terrifying scene when the wages that are paid at the month's end are totally wrong or, even worse, not paid at all. Because this is exactly what we wish to avoid and we want to ensure that you can enjoy both Halloween and future payroll runs, we are pointing out the four greatest challenges and how to overcome them.

1. Are you right up to date regarding statutory regulations?

One of the biggest payroll challenges is the frequent change in statutory requirements. There is considerable variation between tax, social insurance and employment laws depending on the canton, region and industry. Payroll experts have to keep pace with these changes as they otherwise face the threat of additional fees, or even fines.

How do you stay bang up to date with statutory requirements?
On the one hand, by continuing professional development. Every year in November, for example, we hold the "Jahreswechsel" event at which we also introduce the changes and innovations in social insurance regulations. On the other hand, by regular technical adaptations to the system. Your IT or payroll software partner is the best person to turn to in order to find out which statutory innovations have been introduced, or how to introduce them. As a company, you are responsible for introducing the updated software or hardware solutions to your internal users and training them on their use. Regular quality assurance is also necessary to ensure a smooth payroll run.

2. Are your master personnel data up to date?

Manually inputting master personnel data is a laborious and error-prone process. Often this is not noticed until errors appear in the payroll run. The reasons for incorrect data are complex. The following are some of the causes we see our customers experiencing: the data was input by other HR departments that are unaware of the consequence of incorrect or missing entries; master data has to be input several times when an employee joins the company; payroll is not informed of changes to master data; there is no single point of truth where master personnel data is concerned.

How do you ensure that your data entry is efficient and correct?
In addition to a neat process and good communication between departments, it is also recommended that you consider modern HR software solutions. These allow data entry and management to be automated and optimally connected by interfaces. By integrating HR tools such as automated workflows and time recording in the master data system, you can ensure that all your employees' data will be correctly captured and managed.

3. Is your payroll system regularly maintained and is it state of the art?

Many a payroll manager has experienced sleepless nights over technical problems, especially when obsolete payroll systems or inadequate technical infrastructure are used. These can lead to unwanted errors that in turn lead to delays in payroll accounting and the resulting discrepancies.

How does your payroll system run seamlessly?
One fundamental prerequisite is modern, reliable payroll software and hardware that is regularly updated. If you have a system that is no longer maintained, a new payroll system should be your absolute priority. By investing in powerful technological solutions, you can not only save time but also spare your nerves.

4. Is your payroll data secure?

Data privacy and security are paramount in payroll as this is where sensitive employee personal data is processed. Cases such as that of Credit Suisse at the start of the year, in which an employee is alleged to have stolen personal data, are the ultimate disaster. Businesses must ensure that appropriate security measures are implemented and also continuously monitored to ensure the data's constant confidentiality and integrity.

How do you secure your payroll data?
Investment in data privacy and security is indispensable for a successful business. This includes the use of restricted access, encryption technologies and regular security audits in order to protect your payroll from potential threats. If an external provider processes payroll, it is your responsibility to ensure that the very highest priority is attached to security. Do you use a payroll cloud software? Ask your supplier what measures it takes to defend against attacks by hackers.


In addition to the immutable framework conditions, there are many opportunities for businesses to turn life in payroll into a living nightmare. Invest in training, modern technologies, efficient processes and data security. You will thus not only successfully overcome payroll challenges but also save time and, ultimately, expense. A well-thought-out payroll strategy can prevent payroll nightmares. HR will once again have time to reach for the stars and dream of other topics.






Published: 31. October 2023

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