One small survey offers a glimpse of worker sentiments on the issue in Singapore and Malaysia

Drawing from a survey which included responses from more than 300 participants in the professional services industry in Singapore and Malaysia, a human resources software provider has gleaned some HR and payroll tech trends among respondents in the two countries.

For one, 76% of Malaysian and Singaporean respondents cited fearing that their jobs will be replaced by technology.

Another trend was that 86% of respondents acknowledged that adopting disruptive technology was necessary to future-proof their businesses and their clients’ success.

Other trends and observations

    • 100% of survey respondents cited using at least one type of client-servicing software, but the average proportion of manual work (defined as digital documents or paperwork that need to be completed manually) remained high, at 63%.
    • Respondents cited their main payroll challenges as:
      • manual or paper-based processes taking up too much time (22%)
      • unique payroll scenarios (22%)
      • chasing clients for payroll data (22%)
    • 17% of respondents providing payroll services cited thinking that payroll services drive additional revenue; 15% cited thinking payroll services are not profitable. Among respondents that were not providing payroll services, top hesitations about payroll-as-a-service were:
      • complex legislation (36%)
      • lack of internal expertise (36%)
      • High cost of handling payrolls for their clients (28%)
    • Malaysia respondents were more likely to use client-servicing software in comparison to Singapore respondents, in terms of the overall types of software used to manage client work:
      • Accounting software: 79% of MY compared to 67% of SG respondents
      • HRM software: 59% of MY respondents compared to 45% of SG respondents
      • Payroll software: 75% of MY respondents compared to 69% of SG respondents
      • CRM software: 56% of MY respondents compared to 44% of SG respondents
      • Invoicing/payments software: 51% of MY respondents compared to 35% of SG respondents
      • Practice management software: 42% of MY respondents compared to 21% of SG respondents
      • Project management software: 35% of MY respondents compared to 26% of SG respondents
      • Additionally, 43% of Malaysia respondents cited a greater increase in advisory work compared to 29% of Singapore respondents

According to Kevin Fitzgerald, Managing Director (Asia), Employment Hero, which released the survey report: “We found that the biggest challenges (respondents were facing were) cash flow difficulties and higher labor costs, and that the best ways (these) firms can support them is through cash flow management and optimization, (where) practitioners can fully leverage HR and payroll technologies to provide better service, and better counsel.”