Sage Africa Newsroom

Outsourcing your payroll lets you focus on growth and strategy

22 December 2016

By Anton van Heerden, Executive Vice-President, Africa & Middle East at Sage

As a business builder or the manager of an enterprise in Africa, you face a complex regulatory and tax environment as well as ever-stricter enforcement of the rules by your government and tax authorities. That means you cannot afford to make any mistakes when you calculate your payroll and related tax payments and submissions.

Getting it right is operationally essential, but it can also be a drain on your time and your resources. This is doubly true if you lack a modern payroll system that automates calculations and submissions. Yet getting your payroll right is just a cost of doing business – it’s not going to help you set yourself apart from your competitors.

That’s why more and more African business leaders and entrepreneurs are starting to look at outsourcing their payrolls to specialist service providers. This approach enables you to focus on strategy, customer satisfaction and your employee value proposition rather than on paperwork and administration. You leave running the payroll process in the hands of someone who excels at it because that is the reason they are in business.

How does outsourcing work?

Outsourcing is a contractual agreement where you entrust a third-party service provider with running a service or process on your behalf. The benefit is that you get access to the service provider’s expertise, technology and processes without needing to invest in skills and infrastructure yourself. Outsourcing your payroll process eliminates many of the back-office costs associated with operating your payroll in-house, such as software and admin staff. 

By working with a specialist, you can be sure that your payroll is accurate and that you are compliant with the latest tax laws and tax calculations. Another benefit is that the payroll outsourcing service provider will have the processes and discipline to better manage the risks of leaking employee information. Outsourcing can make your payroll run faster and easier.

All you need to do is gather and communicate payroll information to the payroll outsourcing service provider. Using a payroll service also gives employers access to a greater number of services. This has become increasingly important, as administration of other functions (for example retirement plans, medical aid schemes, direct deposit and leave administration) has become part of the payroll process.

How can you tell if it is time to outsource payroll? 

Answering “yes” to several of the following questions:

  • Have your employees had to remind you when it’s time to issue payroll?
  • Have your employees questioned your payroll calculations?
  • Do you need to free up payroll employees to perform other functions in your company?
  • Have you had employee issues due to confidentiality breaches?
  • Has your company received a penalty from your country’s tax authority for failing to pay on time or for paying an incorrect amount?
  • Have you ever overpaid taxes or statutory deductions such as unemployment insurance social security?
    • Do you offer multiple payroll deductions for employee benefits such as medical aids and retirement funding?
    • Do you experience difficulty in reconciling payroll related payments?
    • Are you frequently adding new employees and/or terminating others?
    • Are you having difficulty tracking accrued vacation and sick leave balances? 

When choosing a payroll outsourcing service provider, it pays to compare not only pricing, but level of service and value added to your business.  As the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs, Sage is an indispensable business partner in helping businesses optimise their payroll environment.