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From Data To Decisions: Leveraging Payroll Reports For HR Success

Sheriff Subair

Content Marketing

April 8, 2024

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As workplaces evolve and employee expectations continue to shift, the role of HR in organizations has expanded beyond traditional administrative functions like payroll processing

You probably already see this change happening in your organization.

Today, HR leaders are expected to:

  • Purposefully guide teams as they navigate our new work and business landscape,
  • Align workforce strategies with business goals,
  • And drive overall business success.


With all these new responsibilities and expectations, proving the value of HR can be challenging.

To demonstrate your department's impact and influence top-line decision-making, you need actionable insights that go beyond mere data. This is where payroll reports come into play.

Why payroll reports?

Payroll reports are like a goldmine of information. They tell you a lot about your workforce dynamics, how your money is being spent, and potential areas for improvement.

By harnessing these insights, you will not only optimize your payroll processes but also showcase the tangible value you bring to your organization.

In this article, we'll explore four key payroll insights that HR leaders can derive from their reports and leverage to demonstrate the impact of the HR department within the organization. 

From identifying cost-saving opportunities to uncovering trends in employee compensation, these insights serve as powerful tools for HR leaders striving to drive meaningful change and contribute strategically to their organization's success.

Understanding Payroll Reports: What Should You Expect?

In today's digital era, accessing data-driven insights has become easier than ever, thanks to automated payroll systems like Pade

With just a few clicks, you (and your team) can generate a variety of payroll reports tailored to your organization's needs.

But what exactly should you expect to find in these payroll reports?

Here are some key elements commonly included:

  • Employee earnings: Details of wages, salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation earned by your people.

  • Withholdings and deductions: Breakdown of taxes, pension contributions, and other payroll deductions withheld from employees' paychecks.

  • Net pay: The amount of money employees receive after all deductions and withholdings have been subtracted.

  • Payroll taxes: Summaries of taxes withheld from employee wages and employer tax liabilities.

  • Benefits contribution: Contributions made by both employees and employers towards benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.

  • Payroll expenses: Total costs incurred by the organization for employee compensation and benefits.

  • Year-to-date (YTD) Totals: Cumulative figures for various payroll components since the beginning of the calendar year.

By analyzing these components, you can gain valuable insights into the financial implications of your organization’s payroll.

For example, recognizing trends in payroll expenses or benefits usage can help optimize your resource allocation and inform decisions around compensation and benefits packages.

Read Also: Best Payroll Software In Nigeria

Key Insights You Can Unlock With Payroll Reports

Let’s get into it. What sort of insights can you unlock with payroll reports?

Total Compensation Distribution

Employees today seek more than just a paycheck—they value comprehensive compensation packages too.

Research from SHRM confirms that benefits like health insurance and retirement plans greatly influence job decisions.


What does the total compensation package for employees at your organization look like?

Understanding how perks and benefits, alongside base pay, are distributed among your workforce is crucial for two reasons:

  • It tells you if there's a fair distribution of rewards. This is important if you want a positive work environment with happy employees.
  • It helps you assess the competitiveness of your compensation packages. You need competitive compensation packages to attract, retain, and motivate top talents.

You can quickly generate a report that gives you this information on Pade.

Just create a payroll summary report and you’ll have the numbers behind your employees compensation in one sheet.

Then you can identify disparities in total compensation distribution, and make data-driven decisions to enhance employee retention and organizational success.

Optimize Your Budget Allocation

Imagine receiving a message from your CEO asking, “How effectively is our payroll budget being used?”

Do you have an answer? If not, you might be missing out on valuable insights that could shape your payroll strategy.

Payroll reports serve as invaluable tools for understanding how your payroll budget is utilized and optimizing it for the future. On Pade, you can build a payroll report that provide insights into your cost drivers—variables influencing overall compensation costs, such as salaries, bonuses, and compliance expenses.

Apart from identifying what contributes to your payroll expenses, you can also compare your spending to budget allocation and prioritize efforts to control or optimize your payroll budget.

Ensuring Compliance And Legal Adherence

Navigating the complex payroll landscape can be tough. Even small mistakes can lead to severe penalties.

Payroll reports serve as invaluable tools for following the law and avoiding problems with legal authorities.

During payroll audits, your reports act as compasses, helping you highlight any violation and potentially save your company a lot of money.

On Pade, you can generate a report that helps you track whether your employees are taxed correctly under Nigerian laws. You’ll also see the summary of all the taxes and employee statutory payments made by Pade on your organization’s behalf.

Beyond that, accurate payroll records, as captured by Pade, are essential for audit trails and legal inquiries. They’ll serve as the documentation you need to quickly demonstrate compliance and address regulatory issues.

Identifying Salary Disparities

Despite progress, achieving gender pay equity remains a distant goal for many organizations. 

Research indicates that men are paid more than women of similar qualifications and experience levels by as much as 20%.

But it's not just about gender. Salary disparities can also arise among employees performing the same roles in different departments, leading to feelings of inequity and diminished morale.

Identifying and addressing these disparities is crucial for fostering a fair and inclusive workplace culture. Your payroll report is a powerful tool in this endeavor.

By comparing salaries across departments, positions, and genders, you can uncover hidden gaps and inconsistencies in compensation. This insight enables your organization to refine its hiring, salary, and promotion policies, ensuring fair treatment and equal opportunities for all employees.

Taking proactive steps to address salary disparities will not only promote employee satisfaction and engagement but also strengthen your organization's reputation as an employer of choice committed to equity and fairness.

Demonstrate The Impact Of HR With Pade’s Payroll Reports

On Pade, you can use one of our reports templates or build your reports from scratch. Whichever one you choose to use, you’ll have access to the raw data behind your organization’s compensation and be able to use this data to influence policies.

Want to learn more about how Pade’s payroll platform helps you streamline your payroll processes? Book a demo here.


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