Demand Grows For Automated Payroll, HR In Africa

Written by Dana Sanchez

From VenturesAfrica.

The payroll and human resources market across sub-Saharan Africa is booming as organisations of all sizes start to move away from manual management of their payrolls towards automated payroll solutions.

That’s according to Gerhard Hartman at Sage HR Africa. He says rapid economic growth throughout sub-Saharan Africa – paired with a growing focus on compliance in most countries – is prompting organisations in the private and public sectors to implement world-class automated payroll and HR software.

“In West Africa, East Africa and the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, companies are looking towards automated business solutions to improve efficiencies in HR and payroll. They are also embracing automation to improve accuracy and to combat fraud,” he adds. “Against the backdrop of growing regulatory complexity, organisations realize that spreadsheets and other manual methods are no longer enough to meet their needs.”

Hartman says that African companies’ payroll and HR requirements are becoming more sophisticated as their businesses grow, as they look to expand into new markets, and as they focus on managing their human capital as an asset. As a result, many of those that relied on locally developed software are now looking towards solutions provided by multinationals such as Sage.

Adds Hartman: “In addition to seeking to streamline the payroll, we are also seeing many companies look to technology to help them better manage the performance of their work forces. For that reason, we are seeing healthy demand for solutions such as employee self-service, performance management, and training development for employees.

“They are looking for solutions that feature functionality such as tight integration with accounting systems, and which have powerful reporting tools that allow them to get accurate payroll and HR information that enables them to make better decisions. HR has come into its own as a strategic priority for African organisations.”

Hartman says that African organisations are at the cutting edge of technology as they adopt new HR and payroll solutions, staying at the forefront of trends such as the cloud and mobility. For many companies that have had basic or even no IT infrastructure, cloud apps are providing them with a fast and cost-effective way to get up-and-running with the business solutions they need. In regions such as East Africa, mobile functionality is highly valued.

“For many African businesses, the cloud is a way to save operational and capital costs in their IT environments, including payroll systems. And we are also seeing many implement online employee self-service solutions to automate processes like expense claims and leave approvals.”

Hartman says that qualities African organisations should look for in a HR and payroll solution include ease of use, security (including an audit trail and access control), compliance with local labor and tax regulations, and scalability. Those that do business in more than one country may also need support for multiple languages and currencies.

“When you’re evaluating a HR and payroll solutions, look into the local support for the product from the vendor and its business partners and ask for reference sites,” he says. “And pick a solution that can grow alongside your business.”

Read more at VenturesAfrica.