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Managing payroll is one of the necessary tasks of running a business. The bane of SMB owners everywhere, payroll is best known for being time-consuming, costly, and difficult to manage. This can definitely be true, especially if you’re still managing the payroll process by hand.
If you’re using payroll software then you’ll have a much easier time, but chances are, there’s still a variety of improvements you could make to your current processes that would make payroll as a whole much easier. Here are a few of those changes!
1. Switch to a Paperless Payroll Process
If you haven’t already, there’s no better time than the present to switch from manual payroll processing to using payroll software. Switching systems may be inconvenient at the moment, but the benefits continue as long as you’re using the software. You’ll be saving money from the beginning, starting with reduced paper costs. Overall efficiency will increase as well because most people can type faster than they can write by hand. If you opt for an automated system, you might be able to slightly (or extremely) downsize your payroll department, furthering your savings in the long run.
2. Optimize Your Onboarding
One of the more labor-intensive parts of payroll is the onboarding process. First, the new hire has to complete all of the required paperwork, and then a payroll specialist has to copy all of this information over to the payroll records. It’s very easy for both parties to make an error, but you can reduce this risk by using a digital onboarding process instead. It will take the new hire less time to complete, and if your onboarding solution is integrated with your payroll management system, the information will be automatically imported, eliminating the chance of human error when copying information.
3. Get All Employees on the Same Pay Schedule
Managing payroll process is already complicated; why make it worse? Having multiple pay schedules is an easy way to stress out your payroll department. Avoid that issue, and consolidate all of your current pay schedules to a single pay schedule. This should be relatively simple to do using your payroll management software. Not only will this make pay periods easier to keep track of, but it will also reduce the number of times payroll needs to be processed per week. When it comes to payroll, less is more. If you choose to follow our next recommendation, using a singular pay schedule could also save you money!
4. Stick to Direct Deposit
Paper checks come with a variety of problems. They can get lost, they can be stolen, they can be altered, etc. No matter which way you look at it, using a digital payment method is the smarter option. Although prepaid debit cards may be used by some companies, the best method overall is direct deposit. This provides a clear paper trail and eliminates the change of lost, stolen or altered payments. If you’re lucky, your payroll platform will provide direct deposits free of charge. Of course, if you followed our previous step then this won’t normally be an issue anyway!
5. Consider Integrated Systems
Many companies use standalone solutions, but complete payroll solutions are quickly becoming more popular, and for good reason! These platforms are not only capable of automating your entire payroll, but can also automate many routine HR tasks as well. Most offer benefits administration and PTO tracking; the best offer employee self-service options! Many self-service portals allow employees to view their past pay stubs, current hours, benefits, and update their Form W-4 information. Some even allow them to manage their information from dedicated mobile apps!
Establishing and maintaining an efficient payroll process is certainly doable, but you’re likely to struggle without the help of payroll software. However, once you’ve chosen a payroll processing platform that meets the individual needs of your company, processing payroll will be a breeze!
The smallest of businesses may benefit from standalone solutions, but for companies large enough to have an HR department, we highly recommend using complete solutions instead. Automating both departments will greatly reduce your employee workload, effectively freeing them to attend to other vital business functions. After all, “time is money”—so start saving!