How employee self-serve features can reduce payroll admin

A self-serve portal simplifies the payroll process for employees, clients, and payroll administrators by enabling each party to enter or manage data.

Managing client payroll is an increasingly popular move for accountants and bookkeepers looking to grow their practice.

While employee payroll runs are an essential business function, most busy business owners are keen to outsource it. In fact, according to a recent study commissioned by the Canadian Payroll Association, 55% of small organizations are already fully or partially outsourcing their payroll process.

When offered in addition to your core accounting and tax services, payroll management can be a lucrative and recurring source of revenue for your firm. You can offer payroll services to your existing clients who don’t want to manage payroll in-house, as well as use the service as a lure to attract new accounting clients looking for a full-serve shop.

You may understandably be concerned about the additional workload on your practice.

Thanks to cloud-enabled features like an employee self-serve portal, modern software such as Sage Payroll makes it really easy to take on payroll responsibilities for your clients and earn extra revenue.

Read this article to learn more about the benefits of employee self- serve payroll apps and online payroll solutions.

What is an employee self-serve portal and how does it work?

An employee self-serve portal is a secure, online HR application where your clients’ employees can submit their time worked, request time off, and modify their personal information with just a tap of the screen or click of a mouse.

A self-serve portal simplifies the payroll process for employees, clients, and payroll administrators by enabling each party to enter or manage data.

The feature is usually offered as part of a subscription to payroll or HR management software.

For client employees, the app lets them:

  • Login and enter their work hours.
  • Update their bank account information.
  • Choose how they get paid (by e-Payment including digital cheque or direct deposit).
  • Request leave, and more.

Both the client and the administrator control who has access to the portal and can add or remove users.

For the account administrator, the app is a powerful tool that can reduce the amount of time it usually takes to process employee information and payroll runs, because some of the work and responsibility is passed to the client and their employees.

When you subscribe to cloud-based Sage Payroll, you’ll get instant access to the Sage HR employee self-serve app.

What are the benefits of an autonomous employee portal?

The main benefit is time savings.

An autonomous online employee portal will save considerable administrative time because administrators won’t need to manually enter employee hours from timesheets. The portal also helps reduce entry errors as employees are very careful to accurately enter their hours worked.

Benefits of the portal include:

  • No more manual timesheets—employees can enter their work hours directly into the application.
  • Employees can access their own pay information online anytime, anywhere—which can reduce the number of inquiries received by the payroll administrator.
  • Employees can login to the portal from any device, including smartphones—all they need is internet access and a web browser.
  • Because employees can be paid electronically, using the HR app can help eliminate printed cheques (and the associated work to print cheques, sign them, stuff in envelopes, and send to each employee).
  • As your client’s business grows, modular per-seat pricing makes it easy and affordable to add employees to the system.

The Sage HR app is a convenient solution for everyone involved in the payroll process—employees, managers, and accounting professionals. It’s included with a subscription to Sage Payroll.

About Sage Payroll

For busy accounting professionals, Sage Payroll makes it easy to process each payroll run.

The cloud-based software does that by automating time-consuming HR processes. Once hourly pay or salaries are entered in the system, the software handles source deduction calculations automatically and releases payment to employees.

Some of the things Sage Payroll can do:

  • Generate accurate T4, RL1 and other statutory forms.
  • Produce remittance reports easily.
  • Individual and accurate journal entry postings with seamless integration with Sage Accounting when processing payroll and paying your employees.
  • Provide greater financial insight with payroll and HR dashboards that display relevant information immediately to help make informed decisions.
  • Save time and minimize errors by running reports directly in the software.

Sage Payroll includes basic HR functionalities for free (such as leave management and time tracking) while delivering an integrated HR solution to meet all of your clients’ needs. The employee self-serve HR app is included with each subscription to Sage Payroll.

As cloud-based software, subscribers enjoy benefits such as:

  • Remote access from any location on any device.
  • Subscription flexibility to add or remove users (great for clients running seasonal businesses).
  • Best-in-class data encryption and security.
  • Automatic software updates to keep you update to date on the most recent tax legislation and product features.
  • Pay per seat pricing so you can buy only what you need.
  • Option to add-on additional Sage HR functions to meet client needs.

Sage Payroll gives you everything you need to process all your clients’ pay runs and manage their HR-related processes. You can rely on the software to support your move into HR-related client services and capture additional revenue streams.

Final thoughts

Being in the cloud facilities all kinds of exciting and convenient features for users of financial software.

Because Sage Accounting integrates with Sage Payroll, you may find the biggest benefit of cloud-based software is the ability to seamlessly sync payroll and HR data into your accounting solution. With a full view of your clients’ financial picture, you’ll be able to provide deep financial insight and generate reports containing real-time information.

Integration of accounting and payroll software also eliminates manually transferring data from one software product to another. That will significantly reduce entry errors that can result in payroll inaccuracies and unhappy clients and employees.

If you’re thinking about offering a payroll service for your clients—or looking to upgrade your existing software with a cloud solution, be sure to select a product that can deliver the efficiency, value, and flexibility you need to best serve your clients and continue to build your practice.