26 June 2023

Real-time payroll: what is it, and how could it benefit you and your team?

Real-time payroll blog header, showing people first payroll

MHR’s People First HR and payroll software includes a real-time payroll system that will transform your payroll functions in a way you’ve never seen before.

What is real-time payroll? 

The evolution and future of payroll is something that MHR has been championing for some time. In recent years, payroll has evolved somewhat more slowly than other business functions, something that has been discussed by Mark Jenkins, CFO. So, what is real-time payroll, and why is it the most anticipated development in recent payroll innovation? 

In short, real-time payroll is an automated process where payroll calculations are made instantly as changes are made in real-time. This functionality evolves payroll into a revolutionary planning tool that streamlines processes, increases accuracy and improves data visibility instantly.  

What are the benefits of real-time payroll for payroll teams? 

Traditionally at the end of every pay period, there is a mad rush within the payroll department, creating unnecessary pressure and stress to ensure everyone is paid on time and accurately. With real-time payroll from People First, there is no cut-off, and therefore no peaks and troughs in a payroll professional’s workload.   

This steady workflow means payroll teams can breathe easy and can level up supporting the business in new, more valuable ways. 

Let’s face it: no one likes getting things wrong. Making mistakes when running payroll can be a kick to morale for both those who are running the payroll, and the employee whose pay is affected. Pay errors can lead to employees not having enough to pay bills at the start of the month, leading to stress and resentment. 

We have such an emotional attachment to our pay, so financial wellbeing becomes a huge factor too. Our employee experience report suggests that 47% of employees wish their employer would focus more on financial wellbeing. 

Real-time payroll can also help remove the risk to your business. Information will surface early, which gives time to correct errors before it’s too late. 

Payroll has a bigger part to play in a business than some may realise, and your payroll team is much more than the people who pay the wages. Their potential can be realised with real-time payroll. 

What are the benefits of real-time payroll for employees? 

A report from Wagestream has found that 70% of UK employees are worrying more about money. Giving employees complete transparency and enabling them real-time visibility to enable financial planning is key.  

Traditionally, individuals have only been able to access their payslips at the end of the pay cycle, but with a real-time payroll system, employees can see exactly how much money they are earning, as they are earning it. 

For example, if an employee does overtime, it can be inputted into the system and the amount they are owed for that day will automatically be calculated and appear on a dashboard.  

Real-time insights enable employees to have a full understanding of their interactive payslip, from overtime to expenses, to tax and salary sacrifice. With this information to hand, employees can make informed financial decisions, which does wonders for their wellbeing.  

What are the benefits of real-time payroll for organisations? 

Aside from all the above, there are loads of benefits an organisation can find from switching to real-time payroll. The most important is efficiency. 

Our payroll research shows organisations waste up to 75 hours per pay cycle, so having effective and efficient processes in place is critical to running payroll successfully. 

The ability to track people costs in real-time means that organisations can move from reactive to proactive planning. This added agility allows organisations to make quicker, smarter strategic decisions and better prepare for the unexpected, improving business resilience. 

How is real-time payroll in People First changing the face of payroll?

MHR’s leading cloud-based HR and payroll platform, People First, has the first real-time payroll engine, changing the face of payroll.  

This means our customers have access around the clock to up-to-date people costs, enabling them to make strategic decisions with immediate impact throughout the month. 

Payroll teams can plan better, avoid mistakes and be freed up for more added-value work, and employees have access to an interactive payslip throughout the month, so they have a clear view of what they have earned, when they’ve earned it: boosting financial wellbeing.  

People First is scalable; and can be adapted to your organisation’s requirements by adding additional modules. It’s available across all devices, including an app.  

Book your demo to discover how People First’s real-time payroll can: 

  • Improve payroll accuracy 
  • Enable informed decision-making, ahead of month end 
  • Increase payroll efficiency 
  • Ensure there’s access to data throughout the entire pay period 
  • Enhance workforce management planning 
  • Build stronger business agility 

Book a People First demo and find out how real-time payroll will enhance your business processes.  


Blog tags
Hannah Rafferty

Hannah Rafferty

Graduate at MHR

Back to previous