What’s In A Name? Should We Be Payroll?

Yesterday I attended the second day of the APA’s Virtual Congress.  I found the webinars highly informative and loved the interaction in the chat room.  One of the webinars I attended live was the “Developing a Successful Payroll Service Delivery and Staffing Model” presented by Robert Gerbin, SPHR, who is a Global HR and Payroll Operations Consultant for Ernst & Young, LLP.  While the webinar contained excellent information on staffing and maintaining a payroll department, Mr. Gerbin brought up a unique question that I have never encountered before. And what was this question?  Mainly should the Payroll Department be called “The Payroll Department”?  So why should be change our name?  According to Mr. Gerbin, since payroll departments do so much more than “process payroll” why not make the name reflect the actual work being done.  Payroll is both a tactical and a strategic business process.  There are tremendous responsibilities.  Failure to carry out these responsibilities correctly and with deadly accuracy can result in heavy fines, have a negative impact on operations, severely damage employee moral and result in negative publicity to the company.   The title proposed is an excellent one.  Payroll Services. We process payroll, handle general ledger interfaces and files, administer garnishments, interact with management, process benefits, and withhold, administer and report taxes. Why not let our name reflect that?  Just as when “personnel” became Human Resources we should become Payroll Services.

What do you think?

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