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Consolidation of Payroll Providers

This article looks at payroll solutions across Local Governments. We were going to include Human Resource Software, but we found most councils were using the software their payroll provider creates, and many don’t use any HR software except for basic requirements.


What we have found through research is that payroll software is the least changed software, with councils mainly utilising payroll as a module within their comprehensive ERP software suite. Councils are only changing payroll when they change their ERP, but the best of breed solutions remain reasonably constant. The other movements seen are based on the consolidation that happened due to NSW amalgamations.

The significant movers have been TechnologyOne, which have increased the number of councils using their suite and added payroll to councils who previously used other suite elements. ITVision have been adding councils as part of the movement to their suite. Open Office have also increased based on the size of the customer base.


The Civica movements are in line with the downwards trend in their client base, but they still have a very significant customer base.


There are a group of best of breed payroll / HR solutions that have a loyal customer base. The primary best in breed solutions are Frontier’s iChris and Aurion software. They both have vital HR components.


Some of the essential components to look at when making decisions on the payroll;

·         Timesheeting – Timesheets must be easy to use and integrate into the costing. It is preferable if this can be done on devices and if timesheets can autofill based on rosters.

·         Award interpretation – The ability to create pay based on interpreting the awards.

·         Position based – Any councils that have more than 150 staff should be position-based. Any smaller councils should be making decisions based on their organisational structure.

·         Self-Service – Staff can apply for leave, time and attendance, expense reimbursements and pay-slips. These components should be done on devices or using apps.

·         Ability to allow for higher duties – Local Government is unique as staff are paid additional money when acting up when a more senior person is on leave. This should be automated, and all relevant approvals should go to the person acting up.

·         Leave & Entitlements – Annual leave should be calculated accurately, as well as rostered days off and time off in Lieu.

·         Flexible Disbursements – Giving staff the choice of superannuation providers is essential and the ability to take all relevant deductions out of payroll and automatically pay the appropriate party.

·         Allowances – Calculating allowances accurately based on the award.

·         Bulk Entry & Editing – Bulk updates of pay rates when awards change is often essential.

·         Integration – Strong integration to financials, document management and HR software.

·         Single Touch Payroll Compliant.


These are some very high-level requirements, and one detailed area not covered here is project costings.  

We haven’t covered other components or subjects in this article;  these components include Occupational Health and Safety, Training, Skills Assessment, recruitment, succession planning, performance management, learning and development and analytics.  


Maybe that is an article for another day.

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