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51% of businesses in Ireland identify speed and efficiency as biggest challenge for salary processing

Eimear Bryne on beach in bray

The speed and efficiency of salary processing in Ireland is the biggest challenge in payroll management, according to a recent study by SD Worx Ireland. Eight percent of Irish employers, totalling more than 29,000 organisations, acknowledge that they experience issues with the timeliness of their salary payments. The Europe-wide survey across 18 countries found that just three countries – Austria, Belgium and Denmark – show greater dissatisfaction for the punctuality of wages. Despite these challenges, most organisations in Ireland (83%) are satisfied with the overall handling of their payroll processes – versus a 71% average across Europe.

SD Worx, a leading European HR solutions provider, carried out extensive research involving 5,118 HR leaders across Europe, including 150 in Ireland. It pinpointed speed and efficiency in payroll processing as the primary challenge for organisations in Ireland, with 51% of HR leaders citing it, significantly surpassing the European average of 41%. Additionally, the research suggests a potential issue with accuracy in salary payments, as 47% of respondents identify processing accuracy as a top concern. 

To handle salary payments, 39% of businesses in Ireland work with a specialist payroll provider. The study found that most (86%) organisations in Ireland combine outsourced functions with their own in-house expertise and software. This leads to many employers taking a hands-off approach, with less than half (45%) reporting to be actively involved in payroll tasks and sub-processes. Just 10% of businesses handle their payroll payments entirely in-house, while 4% completely outsource the payroll process.

The research also highlights the central role that technology plays in salary payments. It found that more than one-third (35%) of businesses in Ireland have built their own software platforms for processing and administration. Meanwhile, 26% use a payroll solution hosted by their external supplier in the cloud (SaaS model), and the same proportion have external payroll software running on their own servers or in the private cloud.


Eimear Byrne, Country Leader, SD Worx Ireland, said: "Payroll is getting more complex. In particular, legislation is continuously evolving, with new rules being added – sometimes retroactively – both at local and European level. It has become a much bigger job than it was previously, so it is important for everyone involved to stay alert and ensure they have seamless processes in place.

“We continue to live in a cost-of-living crisis. Many people don’t have the luxury of having savings that can cover rent, childcare and other expenses if their salary doesn’t arrive in time. A delay of just one day can cause undue and unnecessary stress.

“Continuous progress in innovation and digitalisation make the payroll process more efficient. At SD Worx, we help businesses by keeping them up to date on new legislative developments, while also working with them to strike the balance between automated solutions and personal support. With salary payments influencing so many facets of a person’s life, every employer has a responsibility to get it right.”