Payroll processing is a normal part of doing business. Unfortunately, it is also time-consuming and complicated. Failing to keep payroll on track can lead to lots of problems including miscalculations and lack of tax compliance. Such problems are not what you want for your business.
If you’re having payroll problems in your office, know that there are solutions. Below is a list of five essential things you can do to keep your company’s payroll on track.
1. Upgrade Time and Attendance
Tracking time and attendance is where a lot of payroll problems begin. How is your company currently doing it? If you’re still relying on handwritten timesheets or paper cards inserted into a punch clock, consider upgrading to a modern solution.
An electronic time clock can track time and attendance using a plastic ID card or a biometric marker, like a thumb print or retina scan. Data collected by the clock is sent automatically to the company’s payroll software for immediate integration. This sort of solution eliminates the need to manually tally hours at the end of the work week, thereby eliminating calculation errors.
2. Upgrade Payroll Software
Legacy payroll software first introduced in the 1990s was more than adequate in its day. However, it does not keep up with the modern demands of payroll. One of the best things you can do to keep payroll on track is to upgrade your software. A good payroll software solution minimizes manual labor by automating many of the more mundane tasks of payroll processing.
There are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions that are also budget friendly. As an alternative, you could partner with a payroll provider and gain access to their software as a benefit of signing with them. This is a very good choice if you appreciate the added benefit of software always remaining up-to-date.
3. Move Payroll into the Cloud
As long as you are upgrading your payroll software, consider moving payroll into the cloud. A cloud-based payroll solution offers a number of benefits over locally hosted software. At the top of the list is access to data.
Data hosted in the cloud is accessible virtually anywhere. You only need an internet connection and a device to get online. This streamlines payroll processing by giving data access to payroll staff, management and company accountants in real time.
4. Reconsider Payroll Frequency
Businesses in the U.S. have multiple options for payroll frequency. Employers in every state can choose to pay their employees weekly, biweekly or semimonthly. Some states allow monthly payroll under certain circumstances. You might want to consider payroll frequency if you’re having trouble keeping your payroll on track.
For example, switching from weekly to biweekly payroll may free up your staff to do other things during the off week. Switching to biweekly also reduces the risk of errors by reducing the frequency of payroll calculations. You might even find that it makes managing cash flow easier.
5. Consider Additional Payment Options
If you are like most employers, you already pay employees through direct deposit. Did you know there are other options? Moreover, did you know that those other options can make it easier for you to pay some of your workers?
One of the newest options is something known as a payroll card. A payroll card is essentially a prepaid debit card that is refilled whenever payroll is processed. This is a great option for workers who don’t have bank accounts but are not all that excited about being paid in cash.
Paper checks and cash are also still on the table. The fact that we live in the electronic age doesn’t prevent you from paying your employees using either of these two methods. The only caveat here is to be careful of cash. Making payroll with cash requires a bit of extra diligence to ensure that accurate records are kept.
Payroll does not have to be a drag on your business. By implementing the suggestions listed in this post, you can get your payroll back on track and keep it there.