Top Takeaways from APA Congress 2019

Last week, Replicon returned to the American Payroll Association Congress in Long Beach, CA. Amidst the excitement of greeting other payroll experts and influencers, I had the pleasure of attending some sessions and roaming the exhibition floor during a few breaks away from the booth. Over three days I came away with several key takeaways from the 37th annual congress:

1. The Hard Truth of Payroll Transformation

What can organizations do to truly streamline payroll? In short: streamline time & attendance. Payroll constitutes 60% of the time & attendance process, and you simply cannot have one without the other. While this has always been true, it seems it’s only beginning to catch on now, judging by the demand evident among APA attendees. Transforming time & attendance – and subsequently, payroll – actually goes far beyond the outmoded assumptions revolving solely around “time in/time out”. There is a great deal more information today necessary to track in order to ensure success – including employee location, frequent changes in labor law, costs, and overtime, to name a few. This had attendees on the hunt for a solution that can offer these features, and more.

2. Remote Employees: In

While remote employees aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, it’s only recently that they’ve become such a significant majority – expected to comprise at least 50% of the global workforce this year. With numbers like that, keeping track of deskless and mobile workers is no small matter. The topic came up several times in sessions (“Future Trends in Time and Attendance”) and in conversation with attendees. As evidenced by its prevalence at this year’s APA, businesses are beginning to realize that they require mobile-first solutions in place for remote or field-based employees or payroll will struggle to maintain accuracy, transparency, and productivity.

3. Keeping It All Compliant

The ubiquity of global workers directly correlates with the popularity of this topic at the conference – compliance. With the advent of remote workers in different states, regions, and countries, it’s no wonder the focus on compliance was more pervasive this year than ever. Payroll teams now understand that they can no longer rely on manual solutions or local vendors to manage labor laws in each country, region, or city. They require a fully comprehensive compliance solution in order to avoid violation risks – one that works integrally with their time-keeping system to diminish errors and increase accuracy, allowing for real-time monitoring and ongoing updates as local, national, and international policies inevitably change.

4. Managing Change

Change management is an inescapable truth of running an organization. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to implement some big changes that could potentially alter the course of your business forever – and for the worse, if you aren’t careful. Numerous workshops shone the spotlight on change management, only highlighting its importance in the age of Brexit and new DoL rulings. But businesses hesitate to move forward on change, faltering at the idea that they must redo and customize everything all over again to meet demands. They’ve begun to seek out solutions that can integrate with their existing ecosystem, using what they already have to foster new and innovative approaches. This dynamic landscape of shifting payroll requirements demands that organizations plan ahead, and businesses want solutions that not only serve their purposes today, but can be flexible and configurable enough to meet any changing needs moving forward – without expensive and time-consuming deployments.

Any lingering questions around managing global compliance, understanding the mobile workforce, or best practices for complex time and attendance? Feel free to reach out!

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Thanks to all for another fun, fantastic, and informative week at the APA Congress. See you next year!

Vivek Gopalpuria
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vivek Gopalpuria
Vivek is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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