Singapore’s payroll industry embraces automation and AI

The adoption of automation and AI by payroll professionals reflects a broader industry shift towards embracing these technologies.
By: | June 3, 2024

Payroll professionals in Singapore have shown a strong preference for automation and AI, according to a new study.

Titled 2024 The Power of Automated Payroll Report SEA: Singapore, the study by Employment Hero surveyed over 1,000 professionals across Singapore and Malaysia and highlighted a growing recognition of the potential benefits of AI and automation in streamlining payroll processes and boosting efficiency.

The study found that 78% of the respondents believe leveraging AI and automation to reduce processing time is appealing. This reflects a broader shift within the industry, with 71% expecting an increase in automation use within the next year. This trend underscored the industry’s embrace of these technologies, particularly considering that a significant portion (86%) of payroll providers currently takes one to five days to complete pay runs.

However, the report dispelled concerns about job displacements within the payroll profession. Instead, it emphasised the potential for upskilling and professional development. The study suggested that automation can free payroll professionals from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more strategic areas. Specifically, 50% of the respondents believe automation will allow them to delve into areas like employee engagement, talent management, and workforce planning.

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Additionally, with a shift towards strategic roles, the need for skills like interpersonal communication, leadership, and a broader understanding of organisational dynamics will become increasingly important. The study found that over half (58%) believe automation can improve their data analysis skills through AI-powered trend prediction and resource planning.

While the outlook for payroll automation is positive, challenges remain. The report identified troubleshooting payroll errors (35%), data security and privacy concerns (28%), and balancing automation with human oversight (32%) as the top three concerns for payroll professionals in Singapore.