Payroll Robot – A Case Study

Torch’s Payroll Bot Saved Our Customer 120 Man-Hours A Month

Our customer, a business-driven youth employment initiative, partnered with government and labour, has created over 62,000 new work experiences in the past 32 months – that is a lot of salaries to process every month.  In addition, the environment is very fluid, with youth and employer partners shifting on a monthly basis.

As a growing NPO, the organisation needed to find ways to scale without increasing operating costs.  One way to scale operations is through the digital transformation of business process, redesigning the enormous amount of repetitive and monotonous administrative tasks for automation.  Automating the Payroll Process using robotic process automation (RPA), saved the NGO over 120 hours of monotonous and repetitive processing time per month and reduced the error rate to zero. What happened to the employee doing this before? They were released from boredom and are using their human-only skills of empathy and creativity to drive the expansion agenda for the organisation.

The successful automation of the Payroll support process ensuring the Finance department receives youth data information at speed and accurately, is a substantial time saver for the business. The payroll robot, manages a dedicated mailbox and processes all youth movement, partner invoices, payslips, payroll files, and EMP201s – effectively managing over 120 sponsor and partner relationships.

Our RPA partner, Torch Solutioneers™, have done an outstanding job of understanding our complex multi-partner payroll ecosystem and have delivered significant value and efficiencies” (Chief Technology Officer, Dec 2020).

Collectively the NGO and Torch Solutioneers™ achieved the primary objectives for automating this core business process:

  • production of accurate reconciliations for all submitted documentation,
  • reporting on all missing items that must be submitted from a governance and compliance perspective, and
  • submitting a complete Salary Report accurately and at speed.


Despite initial fears over unemployment, RPA is in fact a job creator. As demand grows for RPA with more businesses starting the digitisation process, as well as within the businesses they serve, enabling scaled operations through an integrated approach that moves employees away from repetitive mundane tasks in order to bring the best to their interactions. This is supported by Torch’s experience with RPA to date. None of our customers have gone ahead with RPA with the stated intent of cutting jobs, but rather with the view to improve business processes and efficiencies at scale. This is especially significant when considering the high rate of unemployment in the South Africa, particilarly in the youth age bracket.