The UCPath Center’s payroll department provides an integrated payroll solution for the entire University of California (UC) system, including garnishments, union dues, workers compensation, payroll adjustments and payroll processing. Those interested in a career in payroll – or in information technology – should pay attention to software trends that will likely keep growing over the next several years.
Jeff MacCharles, lead portal administrator at the UCPath Center, explained IT staff supporting transactional human resources functions (such as payroll) should be familiar with the following languages and programming platforms: Oracle, PeopleSoft, Drupal, PHP and MySQL.
“There are a lot of modern, upcoming technologies that we’re looking to integrate here at the UCPath Center,” said MacCharles. “It’s not just a matter of using pre-existing technology. It’s definitely dealing with the cloud, and working with the latest and greatest across the board.”
Here are several cutting-edge payroll software trends to take note of:
Better Data Security:
Both employers and employees are demanding better security from payroll providers, including identity theft benefits to protect themselves from security breaches. The payroll department holds the following sensitive data: Social Security numbers, addresses, wages and bank account numbers.
“Data security is a top priority for the UCPath Center as we are responsible for employee data in critical systems, such as UCPath,” said Bill Freire, senior manager, IT. “Due to the large number of UC employees that will have their data stored in the UCPath system, we have implemented various methods for ensuring the data is secure.”
Freire explained that the UC Office of the President (UCOP), as well as at some UC locations, the IT department has implemented a second form of authentication. “Additionally, security questions have been implemented as another layer of security to protect each individual’s personal, financial, and benefits related information,” he added.
Greater Cloud Adoption:
Payroll is the most data-intensive aspect of human resources (HR). Companies using a cloud-based payroll system can access their data and software application from anywhere rather than tapping into an in-house computing infrastructure.
According to the Cloud Academy, a cloud service provider handles all storage space, software updates and backups in a safe and secure manner. All the company needs is an internet connection to get into the cloud. Payroll accounting software in the cloud can simplify processes and reduce manual effort, as its systems are backed up constantly.
“The UCPath Center and UCOP have adopted cloud-based solutions over the last five years as service offerings have become more common, robust and secure,” Freire explained. “Most of the UCPath Center solutions that are used to provide service to employees are cloud based, including UCPath (human capital management system), UCPath online (employee self-service website), case management, and the phone system for employees that call in to speak with an UCPath Center Employee Services Associate.”
As more cloud-based services are available, Freire explained, the UCPath Center will look to leverage those that add value and allow the organization to be more efficient and effective.
A company that invests in cloud payroll software automates the entire payroll process.
Every payroll cycle demands 100 percent accuracy, timeliness and seamless coordination – from updating employee bank records and salary data to disbursement of wages to employees, according to GPayroll, a payroll software-as-a-service provider. This has driven many companies to invest in HR technology solutions to manage payroll data and calculate the correct wages for all employees.
HR experts told the Society for Human Resource Management that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation could change HR management in the coming years, and may take over the entire payroll process.
Chatbots are currently leading the way in AI, according to Chatbots magazine. These conversational interfaces conduct online conversations with users to answer questions, resolve issues, complete transactions or to serve as a helpdesk.
To date, the UCPath Center has not adapted AI solutions in payroll.
While technological developments have an impact on how employees can restructure their time, it can also transform the way companies conduct business. According to PwC, a shared services model is a key lever to improve both effectiveness and efficiency.
The UCPath Center is an example of a shared services model, as it’s in the process of centralizing, streamlining and standardizing the University of California’s HR, payroll benefits, general ledger, work force administration and academic processes.
MacCharles said he likes the challenge working at a centralized, shared services center. “This model is not just a trend, but it’s the way for an entity to save costs, streamline and make a complex process efficient,” MacCharles added. “I like being on the ground floor and being a part of seeing some of the big decisions made in regard to technology and where we were and where we are now. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Online Employee Engagement:
HR professionals expect more employees to be engaged in payroll discussions now that they can access their own payroll information on their laptop or their mobile device.
“UCPath online is a website with a modern look,” MacCharles explained. “This is what our UC colleagues are looking for — the ability to view their information and consume it from a mobile device, a tablet, or a Desktop Computer.”
The UCPath Center’s employee services team plays a key role in bringing this self-service online option to life, as it serves as a go-to resource for all UC employees who need help with their services.
The employee services team delivers reliable and accurate customer service to UC employees, managers and locations. The department also promotes the use of UCPath online as an easy-to-use resource for all UC employees.
As a member of the UCPath Center team, MacCharles said he feels that all departments consider his input and expertise, including the IT team, along with UCOP. “It’s nice to know that I can have open conversations, and I feel like I’m a part of the solution,” he concluded. “I feel like I’m a part of the larger picture.”
Make your mark on the UCPath Center team. View our open career positions now.