Paying people

Online pay stubs – why your business should use them

The digitalization of business processes and finance operations continues rapidly.

Resultingly, a growing number of businesses are moving towards the use of online pay stubs.

Payroll software allows you to make your business processes more efficient and cost effective.

This article reveals why your business should consider moving away from paper pay stubs towards an online approach.

It also highlights why your employees will benefit and how making the move will help you to stay compliant with government regulations.

Here’s what’s covered:

What are online pay stubs?

Online pay stubs vs paper pay stubs

Environmental benefits and accessibility

How employees benefit with online pay stubs

Making the move online

Keeping payroll in-house vs outsourcing it

Final thoughts

Sometimes known as electronic pay stubs, payslips or e-pay, they are an electronic version of traditional paper pay stubs that contain all of the same information in an online format.

However, online pay stubs include a number of benefits for both your business and your employees.

Unlike the paper versions, there’s no need to print off and mail online pay stubs – saving your business money on paper, postage, and labour costs.

The finance leader at digital marketing agency Hallam says her firm is enjoying the benefits of digital pay stubs.

“There are so many variables that go into every payroll and it can take a lot of time to manually input, as well as being repetitive,” says finance manager Julie Rodrigues.

“Having a solution that automates this process has been hugely beneficial, saving us a lot of time. And as a result, we’re more efficient now when it comes to payroll.

“All it takes now is for me to approve it,” she adds.

Removing the need to print out paper pay stubs has other advantages, too.

As companies everywhere seek to improve their ‘environmentally friendly’ credentials, moving towards electronic formats allow them to reduce their paper usage.

This can motivate and inspire employees who want to work in more environmentally friendly companies.

As consumers also take an interest in the ‘green’ credentials of the organizations they buy from, it can have a similar effect on the profile of your company.

In addition to environmental benefits, anywhere, anytime access to pay stubs is proving to be popular with employees.

“Employees’ pay stubs and information are now easily accessible,” says Rodrigues. “They can access them through emails, or the app, and have all the information they need, not to mention one place to store and keep their pay stubs.”

“The trend is clear to me; we all seek to replace older ways of running a business with automated solutions. There are also environmental benefits from not printing off pay stubs and sticking them in envelopes,” she adds.

There are security benefits, as well.

As with almost all data, payroll information can be saved to the cloud, reducing the need for physical storage and allowing access from authorized parties only, wherever and whenever they want the information.

Online payslips are also more secure than their paper predecessors because they won’t be left around on desks, thrown in unsecure trash bins, or fall out of pockets and files.

Online pay stubs also offer other benefits to your employees.

They can be assured that it will be more difficult for unauthorized people to see their pay details. And they will have more access to this information themselves.

Instead of receiving a physical piece of paper, your employees can check their pay details using a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet.

Being able to access pay stub information from a mobile device is particularly useful for those employees who frequently work out of the office, are working from home, or who perform their roles in warehouses and retail spaces.

“The real issue with written pay stubs was that our team could be spread out all over the country rather than in an office,” says James Carfell, Human Resources Manager at Collier Roofing. “Having electronic pay stubs allows for everyone to have an online portal to access in order to see their details and whether they have been paid.”

He adds that staff normally stash paper pay stubs into a drawer, or they end up in the trash bin, or go missing.

“The electronic format means there is no worry or issue with one simple login, meaning they can check whenever they need, and they can go back to previous pay stubs to see any changes,” explains Carfell.

If you or your employees need to check historical data – this might be for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or for a mortgage lender, for example – the information will be available on screen in seconds.

Going online also frees your HR and finance team from having to search up historical pay stub information for employees.

“I love the idea of historical pay stub data,” says Carfell. “This allows you to explain the difference with pay increases or any changes to their file. If I need to present someone with six months’ worth of information, then all they need to do is to press print.”

Istoria Group, a collective of creative agencies and its subsidiary companies, has used payroll software for a number of years.

It currently has five active payrolls and moved to online access for employees out of a desire to reduce physical paperwork and administrative headaches.

“In terms of the move itself, this was a simple exercise once we had ensured all the data, including employee email addresses, was up to date,” says Mark Riggott, group head of finance at Istoria.

Once each payroll is finalized, the pay stubs are uploaded to allow employees to view the information on the day they receive their pay.

“They’re also able to view and download payment information at the end of the tax year,” Riggott adds.

For the majority of company employees, the transition to online access has proved to be a smooth process.

“For any businesses not yet moved over to online pay stubs, I would definitely recommend they do so, if only to avoid the chore of manually printing pay stubs and stuffing into envelopes,” enthuses Riggott.

If your business wants to transition to payroll online in order to take advantage of changing technology, your senior management team may be considering whether to set up payroll processes in-house or use an external payroll service or specialist.

Smaller businesses might want to consider external providers to run their payroll online because they may possess the necessary technical and legal expertise.

You might take the view that it makes more sense to keep the process in-house. If that’s what you opt for, you’ll need to buy the best payroll software for your business and arrange some training for your HR team.

If you do opt to run your payroll function in-house, be sure to invest in ongoing training for your HR team or person in order to stay current with any changes to payroll legislation. For example, if there are updates to the classification of overtime pay or if the default vacation rate is updated.

The move towards online pay stubs offers businesses of all sizes the opportunity to cut costs, improve data security, and make life easier for employees.

You and your team can decide to run your payroll processes in-house or outsource them to a provider.

Just be sure your business complies with all regulations and communicates effectively with your employees. Explain the rationale for moving to online pay stubs and provide training where necessary in order to gain employee acceptance.