Industry Trends

4 Key Payroll Trends You Need to Follow in 2023 - and Beyond

Thierry Zois

Payroll trends? Payroll has such a stiff and boring reputation that the very idea of it having trends might sound more than a little absurd. However, it may be time to reconsider that attitude.

Changing work ecosystems and the growth of gig economy sectors have added more complexity to paying employees - something that was already complicated enough.

In this post you'll learn about the following payroll trends:

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1. Payroll trend: The gig economy  

No matter where you are in the world, salary payouts tend to be monthly. However, the more you think about it, the less fair it seems to employees. 

You could argue that the employer is generating debt on a daily basis vis à vis the employee across the entire month - and if that’s the case, where is the interest rate?

Being paid at the end of the month is not an accident - it became customary more due to limitation and principle than the general public imagines. Society has simply never had the right framework in place to pay employees on a daily or real-time rate.

In the last couple of years, the rise of the contingent workforce and the gig economy has begun to cause a shift in the old ways of thinking. 

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It’s no accident that governments are also putting enormous pressure on this new economy and workforce. At the same time, employers have been circumventing the law by dumping responsibility onto the contingent workforce due to legal complexity. 

“Figuring out what the next big trend is tells us what we should focus on.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms

That’s a solid conclusion, but it involves quite a bit of complexity, primarily due to local regulations such as taxation, social security, holiday allowances, etc.

However, the biggest handbrake on innovation in this industry is time. Running payroll on a monthly basis gives you plenty of time to address any issues via manual intervention and does not necessarily scream for disruption.

Moving to daily or real-time payroll is a whole other ball game, however. Time will be extremely scarce, pushing businesses to run payroll efficiently and with 100% error-free calculations, especially in big organizations with loads of employees who seek financial well-being.

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2. Payroll trend: Artificial intelligence

While we’re on the subject of limitations, practically all companies in the gig economy that tackle payroll do so via Excel.

Now don’t get me wrong, Excel is an extremely powerful and successful tool, but it was invented in 1985. It's literally older than most of the people who get paid with it!

In order to keep up with the world of payroll in 2022, you’re going to need help from solid IT architecture and AI in order to embrace the difficulty of scattered and opaque data. The technology helps to eliminate any human error and radically increases efficiency.

As a result, companies will need to empower their payroll processes by making them more transparent, faster, and professional. In other words, payroll teams around the world will need to be on technological steroids in order to keep up with the pace of change. 

3. Payroll trend: Cloud-based payroll and data

Cloud-based payroll is a payroll management system running solely via the internet, allowing a team to handle all payroll operations digitally.

Payroll dinosaurs tend to favor on-premise installation. This is simply not in line with today's reality, in which companies need to have a global system that can work seamlessly in any legal jurisdiction.

Having a system located in the cloud lets you be more agile and support your employees wherever they happen to be.

More importantly, it also ensures safe payroll transactions and data maintenance with the latest in class security protocols, preventing data breaches and unauthorized access. 

When you own payroll, you pretty much own global spending power. Having data access at all times will allow you to reinvent the way you conduct fintech, especially in sub-topics such as debt, credit score, and payments.

4. Payroll trend: Crypto payroll

Crypto has definitely shaken the world of finance and has became a very important alternative asset class. Retail investors in particular are bullish on this new way of diversification.

Accordingly, it’s natural that from a financial well-being perspective, employers will need to provide their employees with crypto payroll. Employees will be able to choose whether they want part of or their entire salary share to be paid out in crypto assets.

And it’s not just a nice thing for employees to have from a financial well-being perspective - crypto payroll also gives the employer the possibility to hire quality talent in developing nations where jurisdictions are unstable and banks are reluctant to send out money. 

The bottom line is that crypto is here to stay, and history shows us that the best way to deal with trends and innovations is to embrace them!

Conclusion: Keep up with payroll trends

Payroll trends aren't really trends. They are more like obligatory directions you need to follow in order to keep pace with the changing world of work.

And while 2023 may seem relatively far off, Q4 of 2022 is not too early to start thinking about what the future will bring.

Not all solutions are simple to implement (e.g. crypto), but for most of them, a good automated payroll system will go a long way. Instead of losing countless hours on manual data input into spreadsheets and dealing with hard-drive-based files that are rarely up to date, you can benefit from fully automated solutions.


At Symmetrical, we’re reinventing the world of payroll, with an end goal of being the payroll solution you won’t hate. How are we going about it?

Our payroll operations are fully managed, offering:

Our features are not our only advantage - our solution comes bundled with a friendly and approachable team that will serve you every step of the way along your payroll journey. There are over 80 of us now, and we all work every day on making your payroll invisible.

We believe you deserve better. We believe that payroll clients have been ripped off long enough, with poor service (I know, I’m being kind here), outrageous prices, and invoices you’d need a degree in mathematics from MIT to understand. 

Talk to us

And because we think you deserve better, we’re asking you to get in touch with us and see how we can help you grow by making payroll easier.

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