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What payroll changes occurred in 2013, and what can I expect in 2014?

Last week, we examined the role your HR department plays in handling the complexity of evolving federal and state taxes in regards to payroll, in the article “Is your HR department ready to take on the role of tax collector?”  However, taxes are only a small part of the job description of an individual who manages payroll. This week we will parallel that discussion with a broader summary of changes that occurred in 2013 and the expected payroll modifications of 2014.

2013 Changes

Payroll isn’t just about paying employees; it’s now a hot topic among executives

Simply put, payroll was once just the unassuming process of cutting a check. It used to be a part of the HR department or accounting team, and in many cases it still is, but the complexity of the method is changing company structures. Now more than ever, payroll is a topic of discussion in board meetings with high-level executives examining the ins and outs of all the various avenues of the payroll process. Payroll team members are highly educated individuals, meeting the company’s top decision-makers to discuss bottom line issues and, in some instances, working as their own department.

Payroll is about protecting the employee and employer

There are so many different circumstances that come with each employee, with each company, with each new quarter and year.  Payroll employees are responsible for keeping up with those changes and ensuring the company is in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.  This is in part why payroll team members must regularly meet with top executives in order to guarantee that the company as a whole is following protocol.

Expected 2014 Changes

Emphasis on education

 With the significant amount of responsibility one must undertake in a payroll position, those with past payroll experience are highly sought-after.  Employers are looking for individuals who are ambitious and can take on the multifaceted role, which includes more federal and state regulatory knowledge than ever before. Payroll employees must now take a test on IRS regulations, laws and mandates prior to hiring, and those with a Certified Payroll Professional certificate offer an even greater value.  

Competition among payroll talent

Payroll employees with an additional background in HR or accounting have a lot to bring to the table. And, with payroll operating more and more as it’s own department, payroll team members have more opportunities for title-changes so it’s important to understand the various roles of all that encompass payroll. 

Much of what is discussed here can be found in "How the payroll industry evolved in 2013 -- and what changes to expect in 2014 (and beyond)", via As we mention time and time again, health care and payroll modifications will ebb and flow for years to come as we find the right balance. It’s important to stay on top of all the alterations that come our way as it affects us personally and professionally. We want to assure you that BenefitMall is here to answer all of your questions as our industry advances, so please take full advantage of our services and contact us for all your inquiries, including our payroll services.  

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