For any small or mid-sized business, payroll can be time consuming and cumbersome. It can easily take your time and the time of your top managers away from more productive pursuits such as developing and selling new products. Accordingly, here are five suggestions to simplify and streamline your payroll process and ultimately help your bottom line.
- Get organized. Maintain a high level of organization to ensure that all important aspects of payroll are accounted for. Any necessary paperwork or electronic files should be kept together to avoid an end-of-month scramble. Those in charge of payroll should also consider creating a helpful internal calendar with all due dates. This schedule should be available to all appropriate employees, to ensure that everyone has access and are made aware of critical deadlines. ACH processors, like VeriCheck, allow you to take the organization to the next level with an option to batch upload contact or transaction information. This means, you can execute a task that usually takes several hours to complete in a matter of minutes.
- Go electronic. The use of paper documents, receipts and pay stubs inevitably leads to errors that can be time-wasting and embarrassing. In this century, it’s time to switch to electronic records. This will make things easier both for your payroll staff and for your employees in general. Direct deposit, via ACH is an example of an electronic payroll process. This method allows you not only to avoid mistakes associated with paper documents, it also reduces the overall all cost. The salary of the team responsible for payroll, coupled with the cost to print and mail a paper check is approximately $3-$5 per transaction. While ACH transactions are usually processed for less than $1 per transaction.
- Plan for the end of the year. While monthly payroll can be challenging, end-of-year obligations can be even more nerve-racking. Staff should prepare for this period in advance. Payroll teams should make sure they’re up to date with important tax information, including forms that must be distributed to all workers in a timely manner for personal tax filings. Depending on the state in which you do business, there may be other reports that are needed to assist with end of the year tasks. Technologically advanced ACH processors, usually offer robust reporting, in which business owners find useful all year round.
- Simplify employee onboarding. Consider empowering your new hires by letting them do their paperwork for you. A good payroll system allows employees to “onboard” themselves, completing their I-9, W-4, and direct deposit authorizations electronically, even before they show up for their first day. You’ll still need to ask for ID on their first working day, but at least you won’t have to do their paperwork for them, and they’ll be ready to start work on their first day.
- Keep your payroll policies straightforward and transparent. To keep payroll aspects as easy as possible, analyze your current company practices. If policies including expense reimbursement, attendance and paid time off are too complicated, it’s safe to say payroll will be, too. Make sure that these procedures are concise and transparent to all employees. Furthermore, creating one policy for workers at all levels of an enterprise will streamline the payroll process even more. Having to deal with different allowances for people in various roles can give staff a headache and lead to employee dissatisfaction and complaints.
Read more about ways to streamline your operations here.