What the Trump Administration Could Mean for HR and Payroll

New proposals by the Trump Administration, plus other changes to laws impacting the workforce, will likely have a significant impact on HR and payroll organizations in the coming months. Workday recently hosted a webinar with Bloomberg BNA to discuss what professionals in these areas should anticipate, and what role technology can play in helping them prepare.

One of the biggest changes affecting payroll is Trump’s proposed cuts to personal income taxes. The plan calls for reducing the number of income tax brackets from seven to three. If executed within the next several months, this shift would require organizations to conduct a midyear tax withholding on workers’ wages.

There are additional wage-related changes expected this year that would directly impact payroll departments, such as the ongoing issue of multi-state taxation. Legislation was passed, but has not yet been acted on by the Senate Finance Committee, that could prohibit states from imposing income tax on non-state residents working inside their borders. This could result in compliance challenges given the lack of clarity around how to categorize such workers, compounded by the fact that many payroll departments lack internal processes for dealing with complex worker statuses.

There’s also a trend toward the creation of multiple minimum wage laws within a single state. California and New York recently joined Oregon in a multiple minimum wage system based on location and employer size. This adds even more complexity to the payroll process as companies struggle to account for varying local laws.

One of the biggest changes affecting payroll is Trump’s proposed cuts to personal income taxes.

Beyond wage issues, perhaps the most visible change that would impact HR as a whole is the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While it is unclear what the final healthcare legislation will entail, any change will likely require action from companies nationwide.

For companies already dealing with significant shifts in their workforces, big policy changes only create more challenges for their HR and payroll teams. This is where technology can have a huge impact.

At Workday, many of our customers tell us that our delivery of continuous updates is among the leading benefits of having cloud-based finance and human resources applications. When there are changes to laws and tax rules that impact payroll, healthcare benefits, or new compliance requirements, Workday is able to deliver updates that help customers quickly adapt to those changes.

There’s also a huge benefit to having human capital management and payroll unified in one system. Michael Baer, managing editor at Bloomberg BNA, noted during the webinar that one of the biggest challenges facing payroll today is lack of timely communication with HR, especially when it comes to employee status changes. Once a change is made to an employee’s status, residence, department, or classification in Workday Human Capital Management, that information is seamlessly and immediately there in Workday Payroll—as well as third-party payroll applications that are integrated with Workday—and other functional areas such as Workday Financial Management.

Perhaps most importantly, having an agile enterprise system can also prepare our organizations for unforeseen future changes. We may see responses at a local level to policies adopted by the Trump administration, but instead of requiring HR and payroll employees to keep up with each change, you can lean on an automated system to do that for you. Without having to worry about whether you’re in compliance with the latest regulatory changes, you can continue to focus on the important issues facing your business.

(For more details on the impact of the proposed changes, watch “U.S. Payroll Outlook: 2017 and the Trump Presidency.”)