Payroll remains one of the most critical operations in any organization. We all know that payroll can be a thankless job—often being the first to hear about mistakes. Improving processes in payroll can certainly boost employee morale but it also has the potential to save your organization a ton of time and money.
What are some of the best ways to improve your payroll processes and add to your company’s bottom line? Here are 5 payroll best practices you can start to implement now.
Let’s face it. Payroll is task driven and time sensitive. Many of the same tasks are completed each and every pay period. Documenting your department’s procedures is the first step in taking control of your payroll department. It helps new and existing payroll employees alike and ensures that tried and true methods are given a stamp of approval. If you ever face an audit, you’ll be the rock star when you produce your department’s payroll procedures manual that outlines everything from policy, timelines, methods and outcomes.
Create a Payroll Calendar
The nice thing about payroll being time driven is that you can plan your entire year in advance. Creating a payroll calendar that outlines all of the critical dates taking place for the year keeps your department on task and helps things to run smoothly. Your payroll calendar should include: pay period and pay dates, holidays, processing dates (including payroll itself as well as taxes, direct deposit, commission and bonus runs). It should also include any data transfers and benefits payments. Make your calendar as easy to read as possible and accessible to everyone in the organization.
Simplify Time and Attendance
Simplifying time and attendance can save your organization in big ways. Start by taking a look at your pay codes and streamlining them whenever possible. The more pay codes you’ve established, the more complex time keeping becomes and the more confusing it becomes for everyone. There is more chance for payroll errors in coding, general ledger tracking, communication and even calculating overtime. Do you really need a different pay code for vacation-hourly and vacation-salary? Keep it simple.
Though direct deposit remains a popular method of distributing pay, pay cards are becoming increasingly attractive to organizations. Pay cards are more cost effective than cutting printed checks. Delivery of payroll funds is fast and reliable with this method and does not require a bank account. While some establishments charge for check cashing, there are no fees involved with pay cards, which can be used to make purchases at point of sale terminals. It pays to evaluate pay cards as a viable payment method for your organization.
Cloud Based Payroll Management
Consider cloud based payroll software solutions. Whether it’s paying out commissions and bonuses, collecting time sheets, providing educational materials, setting up direct deposits, changing W4 data or collecting deduction data, there is a task involved. Each task is a communication and exchange of information between employees and the payroll department. As the world becomes increasingly virtual and mobile, having access to information as well as the ability to make quick changes on your desktop or mobile device is more important than ever. Do a checklist of tasks and determine where you can automate them in a cloud based system.
Evaluating your payroll imprint on the organization will help you to remain timely and compliant. Establishing best practices helps your payroll staff be good stewards of the organization’s resources and keeps your employees happy, too.
Whatever your payroll needs may be, we’ve got you covered! Schedule a personalized demo of EPAY’s complete payroll and tax management solutions today.