Paying people

3 ways to optimise your payroll

3 Ways to Optimise Your Payroll

Payroll isn’t just an essential business function – it also plays a key role in maintaining a high level of employee satisfaction.

Employees depend on getting paid on time and with the correct amount. A payroll process that’s slow, error prone or overly complex can harm the employee-employer relationship and place unnecessary burden on the payroll team.

So how can you ensure your payroll runs smoothly? Here’s three key measures payroll professionals should take to optimise payroll and avoid placing your company at financial or compliance risk:

1. Hire the right people

An exceptional payroll operation requires the right people on your team. However, good payroll staff are often hard to find. Once they find a job, their employer usually tries their utmost to retain them.

When searching for payroll staff, a solid sense of customer service and payroll qualifications should be top of the list of desired qualities.

Lack of knowledge or training are typically the cause of many payroll mistakes, so it’s advisable to seek someone with qualifications like a Certificate IV in Payroll Administration or Diploma of Payroll Management. With payroll legislation, rates, and thresholds constantly changing, the best payroll staff should be undergoing regular training.

And with the notion of payroll being merely a back-office function now very much outdated, a keen sense of customer service is now essential in payroll staff. A focus on servicing payroll customers and the ability to communicate are valuable qualities that help ensure payroll knowledge is shared across the business.

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2.  Keep policies straightforward and transparent

To keep payroll aspects as easy as possible, business owners should analyse their current company practices. If policies including expense reimbursement, attendance, and paid time off are over complicated, it’s safe to say payroll will be too.

Organisations should make sure 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 complicate matters.

3. Invest in the right technology

A good way to ensure your payroll is as streamlined as possible is to combine your payroll software with those used by other key business functions. This can help avoid duplication of work and provides maximum efficiency.

For instance, combining your payroll software with your financial management system can give you a deeper understanding of your workforce costs, helping you recognise payroll and associated labour costs against projects.

Sage MicrOpay works with Sage X3 to provide a single source of truth for payroll and finance. Combining these solutions not only reduces operating costs, but also allows you to control the cost of your workforce with better visibility.

By combining payroll and finance software you can analyse costs to spot patterns and make predictions, find anomalies such as the costs of one department being particularly high in a month, and make improvements like bringing overtime costs down.