Processing payroll accurately and in a timely manner is a primary challenge that affects businesses on a regular basis. Regardless of whether your payroll system is weekly, bi-weekly or some other format, it may seem like this is a never-ending process that takes up a considerable amount of time and effort for you and your employees. Accuracy and timeliness are critical for tax filing purposes, ensuring employees are paid the correct amount each pay period and more. When not completed properly, the process can impact your tax liability, cause employees to pay their personal bills late and more. If you are looking for a way to take the time and stress out of the payroll process, consider how these tips can improve your business’s process with fabulous results.
1. Set Up a Direct Deposit Payment Option for Employees
There was a time when the primary method businesses used to pay employees was to print out or even hand write paper checks. This itself was a costly and time-consuming process. Errors were common, and these had to be corrected. Checks were often lost and had to be replaced. In addition, it took time to deliver or mail these checks to each employee. Some businesses still use a check system as a primary payment method or as an option today. A better idea is to require payment through a direct deposit system. This eliminates the time, stress and cost associated with using paper checks from the equation and ensures that everyone gets paid in a timely manner. If you own a small business, direct deposit may sound like a payment option that is not feasible or practical with such a small operation. However, there are various direct deposit options available through most business accounts, so it may be a solution worth exploring regardless of the size of your business.
2. Automate Payroll and Benefits Processing
Even when you eliminate paper checks from your payroll process, there are still aspects of the process that can be a costly nightmare to contend with. For example, you may have to manually track vacation and sick time, properly allocate benefits, adjust withholdings as your employees desire and more. Whether you have a few employees, dozens or more, this can be a true burden. There are software programs available that can automate this process for you. You can easily find a payroll processing software program to implement in your organization, and you can begin to enjoy its benefits soon. “When you compare the cost of different programs, also take time to learn how different features work so that you can find the most effective solution for your business’s needs,” said Accu Data Workforce Solutions.
3. Hire a Contractor for Data Entry and Management
Another idea is to outsource the entire process altogether to a dependable third party. A payroll processing contractor may handle all aspects of data entry and management as well as processing. Many payroll contractors have an established system that you and your team will need to follow regarding submitting hours, adjusting sick time and more. For example, a manager may need to log into a system to record days when an employee is using sick time. The information is inputted directly into the contractor’s program and immediately applied to the employee’s records. This eliminates the burden placed on your HR department of entering and tracking data as well as of making adjustments. It also minimizes incidents where information is entered incorrectly and needs to be revised. While this may be a more expensive option than using in-house software, it can entirely eliminate the burden of in-house payroll processing.
Payroll processing may be one of the prime areas that you want to focus your attention on when improving business practices. This area affects everyone in your office, and it also impacts tax liability, benefits processing and more. You may have one or several people devoting a significant number of man-hours to this process each week. By improving the process, you may be able to decrease liability, improve employee satisfaction, save time and reduce overhead expenses. Speak with your accounting or HR team to determine how each of these steps can benefit the company in different ways, and move forward with the thoughtful decision that is best for your business after conducting reasonable research into the options.