Small business payroll trends to keep an eye on

Small business owners have the advantage of being able to handle most of their operations online—including payroll. With so many things evolving in the digital transformation space, the payroll process continues to improve. 

It’s easy to make payroll complicated if you’re tracking all the factors of employment on your own. Additionally, keeping tabs on changing federal and state tax regulations on a regular basis can be daunting. But thanks to the many advances in the payroll industry, you can optimize your process with ease. 

It’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the payroll industry to remain one step ahead. Here are a few innovations that are catching on for the long haul. 

Cloud tech

As more processes move into the cloud, payroll is no exception. In fact, Zion Market Research estimates cloud-based payroll software to generate over $13 million by 2026. Companies are continuously revamping how they operate, which includes being able to access payroll and HR information in real-time from anywhere. 

This helps businesses alleviate the hassle of increasing the capabilities of the current system.

Tip: Homebase payroll maintains all of your employee records on the cloud, including wages, hours worked, and more, so you can save time and reduce errors with all your data in one place.


Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, and your business must keep up with the changing times. Although this technology does require human oversight, chatbots are useful for handling routine requests from employees and streamlining certain processes to keep everything organized and the company ready to scale.

Digital wallets

Who would have thought there’d be a time where employees would be able to get paid as soon as they finish their work? The growth of real-time payroll and wage distribution is continuously gaining traction, making employers take a second look at the way employees are paid. 

Instant transfer of funds is starting to cater to the masses, especially millennials who want to get paid now instead of waiting two weeks. 

Combining HR and payroll systems

While HR and payroll are separate, they are alike in more ways than one. Creating integrated systems allows employers and employees access to all information housed in one centralized space. 

This increases efficiency, functionality, and effectiveness in the management of employee data. Cloud-based HRIS systems are cost-effective and help create insights to offer better services throughout the company. 

Increased gig workers

Most companies didn’t realize how strong the independent contractor and gig worker market was until the pandemic hit. While traditional full-time employment is still alive and well, the integration of using gig workers creates a need for payroll software that blends the two together for an effective, efficient, solution.  

To learn more about paying these types of workers, check out our article on independent contractors

Transparency in pay

It used to be considered taboo knowing how much someone else in your company made, but giving employees a peek into how these salaries are designed and why people get paid certain amounts increases morale and creates a fair, level, playing field. 

With pay transparency, employees also know what they need to do to get raises while removing bias. On the outside, this enhances the brand image, and on the inside, increases employee morale.

Better data security

Security breaches are at an all-time high, and with so many people and processes involved in the cloud, having a security system is more than a priority. In addition, payroll software now has to be GDPR-compliant if you have employees working remotely. 

With so much data and confidential material being handled by employers, every precaution must be made to use the highest levels of security, authentication, and regulation.

Tip: Homebase payroll offers a secure way to store your employee information so you can rest easy knowing their sensitive data is properly maintained and protected. 

Touchless systems

The days of relying on Excel spreadsheets for payroll are coming to an end. Touchless payroll delivered through automated systems helps put the employee in control of their information in real-time. These systems also keep financial information up to date instead of having to wait a few weeks.

These are just some of the main trends going on in payroll technology that can’t be ignored. Businesses that capitalize on the wave now can implement systems that keep processes running smoothly and employees happier. Times are changing. Being a frontrunner as they evolve puts your business in a good position to attract and retain great talent.

The Homebase solution integrates payroll and HR management into a system that keeps things moving seamlessly from one to the other. Automate everything under one roof to remain compliant in all areas. Address employee needs, give them new options for how they want to get paid. Keep track of their hours and other information all from an app. Get started today! 

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