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Payroll Data

Getting the Most Out of Your Clients’ Payroll Data


Payroll data can mean the number of paychecks issued, the amount of each paycheck, or even whether employees are paid via paper check or direct deposits. It can also mean ALL of these things, but as you develop your firm’s payroll offerings you’ll want to think much bigger.

Jan 5th 2022
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For accountants, being able to offer competitive payroll and benefits information begins with finding a vendor that supplies this data.

Clients want to know where they stand in relation to other companies within their industry: Do they pay their employees more or less than other companies? Do they offer comparable benefits or not enough? As a firm, it’s up to you to help them answer these questions. And it begins with finding a payroll vendor that supplies this data.

One way to obtain this data is through benchmarking surveys sent to your clients. These surveys contain questions such as salary for specific positions, whether bonuses are given and the amounts, or which healthcare benefits are offered and their associated premium costs.

While surveys can help you gather details, the information is only voluntary and the validity of the information can come into question. Also, by the time you can share the results, the information may be outdated.

Bu what if you had a tool that could not only handle payroll processing but also offer access to payroll and other human capital data in real time? This is what we call big data, and it is possible. Read on to find out how.

How Do You Currently Use Payroll Data?

The answer to this question will depend on your firm’s payroll practices. Does your firm act as a payroll processor or a payroll advisor? While the former gets payroll done, the latter advises customers on their payroll – where their salaries stand in relation to other businesses in their industry, how their benefits stack up against others or where bonus structures fall on the scale. And this is only scratching the surface.

Modern firms know how important it is to use data to gain deeper insight into client needs. The more you know about your clients (i.e., what products or services they utilize or if they meet your requirements as an ideal client), the better equipped you are to offer them additional advisory services.

If you’re processing payroll but not using the information that comes from it, you’re missing out on an advisory service that’s in growing demand. If you’re not working with a vendor that can leverage data to offer deeper data analysis, you can’t provide clients with higher-value and higher-impact advisory services. Yes, you can continue to process payroll, but the road ends there. Is that really where you want to leave your payroll journey?

Data Analytics for Insight and Growth

If you’d like to view valuable data and extract meaningful insights to grow your advisory services, you’ll need a payroll vendor who can leverage payroll data to provide the information. With tools like Compensation Benchmarking, powered by ADP® DataCloud, you can pull valuable data such as compensation, workforce change (i.e., tenure or turnover), workforce demographics, and time and attendance.

The best part? It provides data in real-time—not just from the payroll data within your firm, but from a database containing millions of employees. The meaningful insights that a benchmarking tool provides will help separate your firm from the competition. However, you’ll need to take the initiative to utilize this type of tool to create an advisory product for your clients.

Imagine a scenario where you meet with one of your largest clients that’s concerned about their compensation and benefits packages compared to others in their industry. With a benchmarking tool, you can provide intelligent information that tells them exactly where they stack up against others—not only in their city and state but within their region and across the country.

The ability to offer these types of insights is invaluable. For example, discovering that they’re underpaying staff (which could be why they’re struggling to hire and/or retain power performers) or overpaying employees (which can lead to a cash flow shortage). Identifying that holiday bonuses are or aren’t on par with competitors or that they’re paying a higher premium for healthcare than others in their industry. All of this information can help clients to make better business decisions.

The Wrap…

Insight is everything! Clients are looking to their trusted advisor for guidance on how to run a better business. As such, you need access to real-time data so you tell them how they stack up to others in their industry.

When you partner with the right vendor, offering advisory services that leverage big data is far easier. Take advantage of a benchmarking tool to handle the complex work of gathering data—and become the rock star firm your client expects you to be.

ADP® partners with forward-thinking accounting professionals who value being essential to their clients' success. We offer the most flexible partner models, powered by quick & easy insights from the most complete set of payroll, HR & benefits solutions – all backed by dedicated expert support. Our Accountant ConnectSM Certification Course provides an in-depth working knowledge of the tools & resources inside Accountant Connect to help modernize your payroll process, improve firm efficiency and strengthen your advisory services.