​NZ payroll shake-up ahead as MYOB ramps up Kiwi investment

With one of the most complex payroll systems in the world, is New Zealand at risk of strangling employment growth in red tape?

James Scollay - General Manager of SME Solutions, MYOB

James Scollay - General Manager of SME Solutions, MYOB

With one of the most complex payroll systems in the world, New Zealand is at risk of strangling employment growth in red tape unless urgent attention is paid to streamlining the payroll system.

That’s the damning view of payroll provider MYOB, which claims employers of all sizes across the country are spending too much time calculating and processing payroll.

“With the disconnected nature of the current systems, and so many different requirements for reporting and record keeping, it’s easy to see why New Zealand is ranked as one of the world’s most complex payroll environments,” says James Scollay, General Manager - SME Solutions, MYOB.

“New Zealand is generally considered a great place to start-up and run a business, but payroll is an area that remains mired in red tape.”

According to the latest NGA Human Resources Global Payroll Complexity Index, New Zealand is ranked 10th internationally for payroll complexity, and 5th for the complexity of government reporting.

To address some of the issues faced by local employers, Scollay says MYOB is making a “significant investment” in the sector, launching a series of payroll-focused initiatives, including a new online payroll solution, a payroll bureau and a mobile web app.

“MYOB’s vision is to provide a connected and easy online payroll solution for all employers, whether they have one employee or over 500 staff,” he explains.

At present, Scollay estimates that MYOB software is used to pay over 30 percent of the New Zealand workforce.

During the past few years, the company has been investing strongly in the local market, developing new technology and extending the scale of its offerings with payroll-focused acquisitions including Pay Global in 2014 and ACE Payroll and IMS Payroll in 2015.

As a result, Scollay says MYOB now covers payroll for businesses of all sizes, from 1 – 20,000 employees and recently launched Essentials Payroll, an online solution which can be used as a stand-alone payroll system or integrated with MYOB Essentials Accounting.

“Our Essentials users tell us they have already cut time spent managing payroll by up to 40 percent,” Scollay adds.

“This next-generation online solution takes that even further, letting employers pay their staff quickly and accurately in three easy steps or collaborate with their payroll provider to manage the process.

“It’s also going to streamline communication between employers and the IRD, which currently has to deal with a wide variation of systems and providers and still has to process paper returns from a significant proportion of businesses.”

To complement the new Essentials Payroll, Scollay says MYOB is introducing a new payroll intermediary service, MYOB PayAgent.

Scollay says the service will allow Kiwis to nominate MYOB as their payroll provider enabling them to outsource payments to staff and PAYE as well as their IRD reporting obligations.

Further investments in the local market into the launch of a new mobile web app, MYOB YourPay and for larger businesses wanting a fully featured cloud payroll solution, Scollay says MYOB Advanced People will be launching later in 2016.

“Our vision is to provide a connected, end-to-end payroll solution for all employers that enables them to engage with employees, collaborate with service providers, automate compliance and integrate systems to minimise data duplication and manual processing,” he adds.

“We are confident this will boost productivity, reduce complexity for New Zealand employers and free up their time to focus on their business and what they do best.”

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