Today’s business owners and payroll managers have a variety of HR tools, software and resources that previous generations could never have dreamed of. Nonetheless, modern businesses still suffer from their share of payroll woes.
Here, we’ll take a look at five of the most common problems companies face, and what you can do to alleviate those issues.
Optimizing Your Payroll Management Process
In a recent survey, more than 50 percent of business executives said that their current payroll process left room for improvement. The most common reasons were:
- Legislative compliance
- Difficulty finding global payroll talent
- Organizational inconsistencies in the payroll process
- Incorrect tax withholdings
- Over and underpayments
- Administrative cost
A good software suite can make the payroll process less overwhelming. If your business operates internationally, or even in multiple US states, you’ll also need to comply with a slew of local regulations which can overwhelm a single payroll manager.
The Most Common Problems
Many business, even some larger ones, still have a manual, in-house payroll process. A manual payroll system requires a lot of paperwork, and not all of it is distributed evenly throughout the year. For example, annual W-2 forms must be issued by January 31st of the following year, which gives your team less than a month to tabulate hours, wages and deductions for the entire company.
This can be overwhelming for a small staff, and lead to mistakes. Errors in data entry can create payment issues, leaving the door open to lawsuits – or even fines.
Payroll software can alleviate this issue, since it will track all of this data for you. Some software will even generate W-2 forms automatically.
Businesses with paper-based timesheets can have trouble keeping their records well-organized. For smaller businesses, better workflow can solve this problem. Creating a uniform filing process and keeping files in a central location are both essential practices.
If you’re running a larger business, you’ll want to invest in payroll software that integrates all your HR and payroll functions. Even smaller businesses can benefit from a digital process, since it further reduces the possibility of human error.
If you use different software for different payroll functions, you may find that they’re not compatible. For instance, your employee records may be stored in a format that your pay and benefits software doesn’t recognize. If you use a third piece of software for employee performance, things can get even more complicated.
A well-designed software suite can integrate all of these functions, and will streamline your overall process. This will reduce the time your team spends on tracking and data entry, making them more efficient.
Tracking Employee Absence
Tracking your employees’ vacation time, sick time and personal time can be challenging. Even businesses that use payroll software will often use paper time cards for this purpose, which makes the process fraught with potential for abuse, or for accidental errors by employees who aren’t used to the paperwork.
If you’re in the retail industry, or another industry that requires precise scheduling, you may need to plan several weeks ahead for employee absences. A digital timekeeping system can help with this process, both by eliminating paperwork and by syncing vacation time requests with your scheduling system.
The State of California recently made some changes to their labor laws, including significant changes to reporting requirements for on-call employees. In addition, the federal government is in the process of amending overtime rules for the second time in three years.
Because regulations are constantly changing, both in California and throughout the nation, it’s essential for employers to review their policies and practices on a regular basis. This ensures that your business will stay compliant, and gives you time to put up any new required signage. Failing to stay compliant can invite government investigations and possible penalties.
The right professional payroll software suite can help you mitigate this risk. Because their entire business is focused on payroll, they’re experts on current regulations, and can keep your procedures up-to-date without requiring you to spend hours in compliance meetings.
Finding a Reliable Payroll Management Software
As a business owner or payroll manager, you have a number of options for your payroll functions. You can use in-house software, or a cloud-based software that works for multiple locations.
Reliability, top-tier customer service, and reputation are the hallmarks of a quality payroll management service provider. If you’d like to know what Payroll Plus has to offer, you can call us at (706) 731-9879. We also have a web form, where you can contact us for more information.