Payroll can be complex and time consuming to manage. It’s also one of the biggest operating costs any business faces.
But that said, it’s also one of the most essential functions in any company. They say an organisation is only as good as its people. And your people expect to be paid. Any difficulties or delays in paying people on time, and you end up damaging the relationships that make your business what it is.
It’s therefore in your best interests as a business owner or senior leader to get payroll right. You want a motivated, happy workforce who put their all into the job because they get due rewards and good treatment. At the same time, you don’t want every payday taking up hours and hours of people’s time. Complexity becomes a drain on resources and a distraction. And inevitably, errors will then creep in.
The easier payroll administration is, the more efficient and accurate it will be. Which will keep everyone happy. Here are four ways to simplify it.
Pay everyone at the same time
One of the biggest headaches you can create for yourself as a company is paying people at different times. This might have started because you have people on different pay schedules, such as weekly and monthly. But it’s much, much easier to pay everyone at once. This applies to any contractors or freelancers you work with as well as employees. A monthly payday is also more convenient than weekly, otherwise it can feel you are constantly processing payments.
Switch to a centralised digital system for HR and payroll
These days there is no need to try to handle payroll manually, whether it’s paper timesheets or spreadsheets or processings BACS payments one by one. There is no shortage of professional software options to choose from that will automate the whole process for you.
It also makes sense to combine payroll and HR systems. One of the advantages of this is it means you can consolidate all employee data in one place. There’s a lot of duplication of information, and the work that goes into maintaining records, if you run separate systems for HR and payroll. Combining the two, and having more open communication between HR and finance in general, can reduce errors as well as save a lot of time.
Empower employees to take control
Digitisation of payroll operations also opens the door to having employees more directly involved in the process. For many workers, their only routine engagement with payroll is receiving a payslip once a month. When it comes to things like filing for sick pay after an absence or querying their tax code, they have to step into a process that’s opaque to them (and involves a lot of forms to fill in).
One solution is to offer digital ‘self-service’ payroll options through employee web portals and mobile apps. According to Deloitte’s Global Payroll Benchmarking Survey, 60% of companies are already offering options which allow employees to check pay online, change tax codes, manage holidays and sick leave etc. Not only does this give people a better experience of payroll where they feel more in control, it also reduces the administrative burden on staff in accounts payable and HR departments.
Outsource your payroll operations
Finally, one of the best ways to make payroll easier and simpler to manage is to outsource it to an external provider. As with all types of outsourcing, contracting out your payroll operations lifts a considerable burden off your internal teams and allows them to focus resources on other areas. You also get the benefits of hiring professional specialists who are able to provide a streamlined, highly efficient service and cost-effective service.