However, some specialists in these areas believe that technology has advanced to the level that unskilled operators can be used even for key processes.
Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, a national supplier of payroll, HR, Time & Attendance and Access Control solutions, and an eLearning based Diploma in Payroll Administration, believes it is important that technology retailers recognize, and take cognisance of, this alternative point of view.
“The fact is effective solutions that are strategically integrated into the business certainly add value, but can rarely be run exclusively without knowledgeable intervention, and cannot be entirely responsible for optimal operation and delivery. Staff who are responsible for the operation of these systems must be qualified, because any system is only as effective as the information entered into it,” says Schroenn.
“Our view is based on the premise that organisations should not entirely entrust pay and statutory duties to a system, without a thorough understanding of the legal and financial implications of mistakes. Most well designed and modern payroll systems will calculate pay accurately, as well as all statutory calculations,”
“However, human error makes it possible that input is incorrect, and a qualified person should quickly be able to see where there are potential problems, and resolve them. Payroll is not only about calculating correctly, but also about careful and thorough process – qualified people know how to ensure that they are always compliant,” Schroenn continues.
Experts at Accsys describe these implications as very real, potentially very costly and detrimental to business.
In terms of payroll administration – and according to Accsys specialists - these risks include the danger of a user not understanding why they do what they do, possibly falling into the trap of acceding to staff demands and failing to tax something that should be taxed.
Education and qualification within the payroll administration market is an issue that Accsys treats as a key priority. The company has long been recognised for its impeccable record in spearheading efforts to address skills development, training, effective recruitment and general education within this field.
“Given that formal payroll qualifications in South Africa are relatively new, , a large number of payroll administrators have learnt their skills on the job, and have simply been trained by the previous incumbent of their role within the company. This means that mistakes and poor processes may be perpetuated without an understanding of how things should or could be done,
“More and more administrators are seeing the positive effects of a qualification on their lives, after all a qualification, when applied correctly, teaches one to think rather than to follow prescriptive ‘rules’,”